Valle de Oro and “Local Traffic Only”

It’s always fun to follow cases in which development alters a neighborhood. Changes along 2nd St. S.W. and around newly established Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge put a tourism/nature-oriented twist on development, yet with many of the same neighbor concerns that come with a shopping center or housing sub-division.

Hence this sign spotted yesterday on 2nd St. just south of the Valle de Oro Visitor’s Center under-construction:

strange sign

As is so often the case in development battles, there must be a lovely backstory to this little sign, because while it’s true that there is “No Outlet” for those going south of this sign in the sense that one will eventually have to turn around and head the other direction, it’s not quite true, depending on who you talk to, that the road south is or should be considered “Local Traffic Only.”

That’s because a bit south of this sign Salida Sandia SW intersects 2nd and runs east/west at the edge of Valle de Oro:

valle south bird

And if you note the red square at the bottom left, a trip east on Sandia Salida gets one to a gate at a point near the southwest edge of the NWR. That looks like this:

valle south

Now sometimes the turquoise gate to the right is closed to vehicular traffic and sometimes, as was the case yesterday morning when I rode through, it isn’t. There’s a parking area further up the road, evidently designed for folks who drive to the NWR and ignore this sign:

strange sign

One has to guess how many meetings have taken place about this sign, and how many Salida Sandia SW neighbors had to bang their boot on the meeting room table to get “Local Traffic Only” on this sign. One imagines a significant level of boot banging.

Meanwhile, there will be two meanings for the “Local” on this sign:

  1. Local Valle de Oro neighbors banging their boots;
  2. Local Burqueños who visit NWR and have enough “local knowledge” to ignore the sign and just keep driving.



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