Traffic Engineering

Providing and Maintaining Safe and Efficient Movement of Traffic in the City of Albuquerque

The City's Traffic Engineer and staff have a number of responsibilities, however, the mission of the traffic engineering division is to provide safe and efficient movement of traffic in the City of Albuquerque.

The Traffic Engineering division uses engineering techniques and standards to to regulate traffic signals, maintain pavement markings, traffic signs and street lights on City infrastructure while initiating traffic calming and addressing obstruction issues all to assure the safe, efficient, convenient and expeditious movement of vehicles and pedestrians.

Safe and efficient movement of traffic in the City of Albuquerque is achieved through the optimal use and maintenance of the most appropriate traffic control devices or equipment. It is the goal of the division to maximize use of the resources while streamlining the procedures that provide for the safe and efficient movement of traffic and respond quickly to efficiently process customer needs.

Mission Essential Functions

  • Intelligent Transportation System Implementation
  • Traffic Signal Maintenance
  • Sign Maintenance
  • School Zone Flashing Beacon Maintenance
  • Traffic Signal Timing Plans
  • Blue Staking of Signal Equipment
  • Markings Maintenance

Within the Traffic Engineering Division, there are three specific sections:

  • Traffic Management
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Traffic Operations

Traffic Management responsibilities fall into three broad categories: The Traffic Management Center, Traffic Signal Maintenance and Placement, and Intelligent Transportation System.

Traffic Management is responsible for maintaining the traffic signal system in the City. Staff perform routine maintenance and emergency repairs to all traffic signals, signal systems, school zone flashing beacons, and warning lights. Staff also repair the complex electronic circuits of the microprocessor controllers, they also are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to signal knockdowns or power outages. Further, duties include installing new signalized intersections upgrading deficient and outdated signal systems, maintain the current system through troubleshooting and repairs and improve the operation of the signals through signal timing changes. The staff's expertise consists of an extensive knowledge of wiring, electrical connections, installing and removing poles and assembling various signal related hardware to construct a signalized intersection.

The ITS component of Traffic Management is responsible for all traffic timing, signal corridor coordination, provides project management, ensures systems engineering, integration, and maintainability and observes and analyzes traffic patterns to mitigate traffic issues.

Traffic Engineering responsibilities fall into 311 response to citizen issues, crash analysis, project review and inter-agency coordination, warrant studies, speed limits, traffic engineering guidelines, traffic counts, and travel time studies.

Traffic Engineering staff is responsible for handing service requests, interacting with the public, other city departments, and consultants and contractors. Also, records keeping, traffic studies, engineering support for the Traffic Engineering field operations and design and lay out of various traffic control devices. Additionally, staff performs speed studies, turning movement studies and collects traffic count data. They write work orders to answer citizen concerns and requests from the public regarding the need for traffic control signs and markings; coordinates preparation of the budget, coordinates with vendors regarding the purchase of supplies and equipment, coordinates with utility companies regarding power supply to traffic signals and school zone flashing beacons, and meets with school transportation personnel and crossing guards regarding pedestrian facilities needed for schools.

Traffic Engineering evaluates constituent feedback and designs compliant actions meeting the MUTCD, City, State, and Federal standards. Creates, maintains and modifies a geo-spatial project tracking system which ties 311 cases to traffic engineering initiatives through the work order process and addresses specialized studies for multi-way stops and signal warrants along with speed reduction studies.

Traffic Operations fabricates, installs, and maintains signs and pavement markings. Staff is responsible for maintaining the traffic control signage and paint markings throughout the city. Staff duties include fabricating and installing stop signs, yield signs, no parking signs, street name signs, and many other special signs. This section also is responsible for the pavement markings on the city streets, including yellow center lines, white edge lines, cross walks, and stop bars.

Traffic Operations restores all striping annually and maintains all markings for loading, fire hydrant, parking, and specialty zones. Additionally, they are responsible for fabricating in-house and replacing all worn, faded, and vandalized MUTCD approved regulatory, warning and guide signs.

Major Accomplishments Annually

  • Developed guidelines for the NTMP program
  • Continued implementation of the five phase roadway striping plan to more efficiently organize, complete and monitor work.
  • Installed 130 lane miles of pavement striping on City Roadways.
  • Implementation of the five phase roadway curb painting plan to more efficiently organize, complete and monitor work throughout the city.
  • Installed 6000 feet of curb painting
  • Completed a cooperative project with NMDOT to locate and place 41 advanced signal ahead signs on the Coors Corridor between Westside Blvd and Bridge Blvd.
  • Addressed, installed or repaired 400 urgent sign requests (Stop, Yield, other regulatory) with 106 occurring after hours
  • Addressed, installed or repaired 5,220 non-urgent sign requests
  • Began implementation of plan to inventory the traffic sign infrastructure of the City in order to comply with Federal Highway Administration requirements
  • Inspection and repair of approximately 72 high mast highway lights
  • Replaced 12 video vehicle detection cameras, an 20 inductive loop detectors
  • Programmed, and integrated of 32 traffic signal controllers, 65 CCTV cameras, and six count stations from the field to the Traffic Operations Center
  • Developed, implemented and adjusted the signal timing plans along three major corridors (Coors, Tramway, and Alameda)
  • Reconfigured pedestrian modules along 4th street from Solar to Douglas MacArthur
  • Traffic signal intersection improvements (installation of mast arms, signal heads, conduit, cable, etc.) were made at three major signalized intersections (Coors and Sippi, Central and 12th Street, and Central and Moon)
  • Phase 10 GIS mapping of all existing traffic signal and traffic communication infrastructure was provided to New Mexico One Call reducing city costs by more than $20,000
  • Completed 85 intersection construction evaluations, including new cable, foundations, J-boxes, etc.

Traffic Engineering Q & A

Q.) Does the Traffic Engineer have the responsibility for street lighting?

A.) Yes. The Traffic Engineer <approves> locations and PNM installs the street lights.

The policy of the city is that arterial (and selected collector) streets be lit to Illuminating Engineering Society standards for arterial streets. On all other streets, 100 watt high pressure sodium vapor lights shall be <located> at all intersections, on cul-de-sac streets over 200' in length, at right angle turns, and at mid-block locations where block lengths exceed 500'.

Q.) Does the Traffic Engineer have the responsibility for private ways?

A.) <Private ways> may be platted only where the Traffic Engineer determines that they wil always clearly function as a local street and created only where public right of way would not better serve public purposes.

Q.) Who is responsible for traffic signs?

A.) Street name <signs> are installed by the city by the Traffic Engineering Division, although the developer of new subdivisions pays a street name sign fee for each intersection. The developer is also responsible for special curve warning signs. All other traffic signs are installed by the City at City expense.

Q.) Who determines when a traffic signal shall be added to the city infrastructure?

A.) The <determination> of where and when traffic signals are to be installed shall be by the Traffic Engineer.

Q.) I would like to add a wall or fence to my property, who at the City can help?

A.) The Zoning Hearing Examiner shall not approve a wall or fence unless the Traffic Engineer finds that the specific plan approved would not be a hazard to traffic visibility.

In existing, mostly developed subdivisions, walls and fences are discouraged but may be placed within the right of way if approved by <Traffic Engineering>, City Engineering, Zoning and Building Inspection, and Utilities Engineering.

All walls or fences over three feet in height and within the right of way must be field checked by Traffic Engineering prior to <approval>. Any walls or fences which are within the clear sight triangle are restricted to a height of three feet measured from the flow line of the gutter.

Q.) Who in the city approves the various classes of bikeways?

A.) Final design <approval> of bicycle facilities developed through the use of these guidelines acceptable to the City of Albuquerque shall be through the authority of the Traffic Engineer or personnel delegated such authority by the Traffic Engineer.

Variances to the bicycle facility guidelines shall be considered on a case by case basis, based upon factor which demonstrate that public safety and current design standards are addressed by the Traffic Engineer.

Q.) I am moving oversized, overweight, and/or over length truck load through the city, who must I contact?

A.) The traffic engineering division <issues> the <permit> for movement or operation of oversized, overweight, and over length vehicles in city streets.

Q.) What are the duties of the Traffic Engineer?

A.) The <duty> of the Traffic Engineer is to determine the installation and proper timing and maintenance of traffic control devices; conduct engineering analysis of traffic accidents and devise remedial measures; conduct engineering investigations of traffic conditions; cooperate with other city officials in the development of ways and means to improve traffic conditions; and carry out such additional powers and duties as mandated by city codes and ordinances.

Q.) Who has the authority to place and maintain traffic control signs, signals and devices within the city?

A.) It shall be the general <duty> of the Traffic Engineer to determine the installation and proper timing and maintenance of traffic control devices.

Q.) I believe our neighborhood has a problem with traffic, who at the City is responsible?

A.) Traffic Engineering reviews existing neighborhood traffic management policies and assesses the problem.

Q.) I understand the NTMP is being assessed?

A.) Yes, <Traffic Engineering> is reviewing existing neighborhood traffic management policies.

Q.) How can I have a banner placed in the right of way?

A.) <Street Banners> advertising a public entertainment or event, if specifically approved by the Planning Director and the Traffic Engineer and in locations designated, may be displayed 14 days prior to and seven days after the event.


Traffic control signals, signs and markings.