Never a lover of trite expressions, “let’s not reinvent the wheel” has to be one of my least loved cliches, particularly in terms of researching the dangers of trying to walk our roadways. Still, the expression comes to mind when it comes to reporting on and making recommendations to fix Albuquerque’s #1 problem intersection: Central Avenue and San Mateo Boulevard.
This intersection, perhaps more than any in town, combines a plethora of societal realities, all meeting at a roadway ill-equipped to safely deal with them. I’ve started about fifteen recent posts on the subject of Central and San Mateo, site as you would expect, of more than one walking fatality in the past two years, but have come to the conclusion that MRCOG and others involved have so perfectly captured the situation (recommendations included) that everyone (and not just BB readers) should just read the following over and over and over until its recommendations are fully implemented.
Seriously, this assessment of Central and San Mateo is on the Final, the Mid-Term, and counts for 100% of your grade. If you have any scintilla of interest in making this intersection safer, you should not only read it, you should carry around a copy ala Mao’s Little Red Book (although electronic versions are now acceptable to carry around). This is required reading on many different levels.
Big kudos to all who led/funded its creation and to those who worked to put it together. BB will be writing some pieces in the near future including data and findings from the Assessment. Yes, you will be responsible for having done the homework prior to reading those future blogposts.
All academic kidding aside, fixing this intersection should be Priority #1 in any plan to make walking safer in this city, and implementing all the recommendations made in this report are essential. I’ll close for now with those recommendations, and be back in future posts with how the process of implementation is going so far.
Central Ave & San Mateo Blvd RSA
Recommended Safety Improvements:
1. Address the lack of pedestrian space and
maintenance issues at the southwest corner.
2. Follow draft Public Right‐of‐Way Accessibility
Guidelines (PROWAG), increase the size of key
spaces, and align ramps and marked crosswalks
to go beyond minimum accessibility
3. Investigate reducing lanes on San Mateo Blvd.
4. Provide pedestrian median refuge islands on
San Mateo crossings and plan for one‐stage
5. Reduce turning radii.
6. Provide a ‘No Turn on Red’ phase to the signal
plan and include a dynamic sign.
7. Provide a ‘Leading Pedestrian Interval.’
8. Automate the pedestrian phase.
9. Check signal timing for sufficient pedestrian
10. Add backplates with retroreflective boarders to
all signal heads.
11. Re‐mark and widen crosswalk markings.
12. Safety education and interventions.
13. Improve maintenance at bus stops.
14. Provide wayfinding and improve connections
15. Coordination with ART (note: remember this was written in 2016) and perform ongoing monitoring for safety improvements.