City Improves Crosswalks at 49 Elementary and Middle Schools

Over $550,000 in crosswalks improvements completed—more underway this year

April 7, 2021

From Department of Municipal Development.

Mayor Tim Keller and the Department of Municipal Development have invested over half a million dollars in improving crosswalk safety at nearly 50 elementary and middle schools since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close for the year.

“We’ve seen too many tragic accidents involving kids just trying to get to school. While our kids were home or in City programs this past year, we’ve been hard at work making sure their daily walks to and from school are safer than ever,” said Mayor Tim Keller. 

Improved School Crossings Press Conference

In October of 2019, the City of Albuquerque (CABQ) Vision Zero Taskforce and CABQ Department of Municipal Development (DMD) published the City of Albuquerque Elementary and Middle School Crossing Evaluation. This evaluation identified 21 crosswalks at public schools in the city were deemed as “Prioritized for Funding” or as “Monitor for Funding.” The interactive crosswalk report can be found here.

As a result of that report, DMD immediately starting working with City Councilors and the Mayor’s designated Pedestrian Safety Fund and were able to identify over $550,000 in funding dedicated towards school crosswalk improvements.

Notable accomplishments include:

  • Eisenhower Middle School - $30k investment. Installed RRFB’s
  • Hoover Middle School - $33k investment. Installed new ADA ramps, new crosswalks & striping
  • Desert Ridge Middle School - $36k investment. Installed RRFB’s
  • Hayes Middle School – Relocated flashing beacons to signalized crossing, refreshed crosswalk
  • LBJ Middle School – $22k investment. Installed RRFB’s.
  • Chaparral Elementary School - $6k investment. Refreshed crosswalk, turn arrows, stop bars, etc.
  • Governor Bent Elementary School - $62k investment. New ADA ramp, additional signs and striping.
  • Jefferson Middle School - $2k investment. Refreshed crosswalk.
  • $205,000 investment.  24 school crosswalks rated “Poor” refreshed. 17 additional school crosswalks refreshed by Fall of 2021.

“Our children’s safety is of utmost importance to me, as children return to school. I am happy to work with APS to ensure that all school crossing areas are well identified, and are made as safe as possible for our children.” Said City Council President Cynthia Borrego.

"Crosswalks can literally save lives, which is why we are so grateful to the city for making this important investment on behalf of Albuquerque Public Schools students and their families,” said Dr. Gabriella Blakey, APS Interim Chief Operations Officer. “We appreciate that much of this investment targets our middle schools, where the need for better school crossings was so great. Thanks to our partners at the city of Albuquerque, student travel to and from schools will be safer.”   

DMD Director Pat Montoya said, “I am incredibly proud of our traffic engineering and crossing guard teams.  We continued to improve crosswalks at school and citywide. We are especially proud of our community members and crossing guard employees for staffing up and protecting our little ones in very short order.

The DMD Crossing Guard Division staffs 75 elementary schools in the City of Albuquerque jurisdiction every morning and every afternoon. Crossing Guard leadership and their approximately 150 crossing guards were able to fully staff crossing guards at elementary schools once the order for in person learning was approved by the state of New Mexico.

“With almost an entire school year without in-person learning, our crossing guards were very excited to help our little ones get to and from school,” said DMD Deputy Director Paul Rogers. “Our dedicated team of crossing guards were able to quickly come to call and we are all happy to have our days feel a little more normal.”

City of Albuquerque Vision Zero Team and the Traffic Engineering Division will implement Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at every signalized school crossing in Albuquerque by the end of April 2021. Leading Pedestrian Intervals gives the pedestrian a green walk signal prior to any green signal for vehicles in order to give pedestrians a head start on traffic.

DMD would like to thank Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones, Councilor Diane Gibson, Councilor Brook Bassan and Council President Cynthia Borrego for their help in identifying funds to help improve school crosswalks. In addition to school crosswalk improvements, DMD is scheduled to invest up to $1.8 million in roadway striping before the winter of 2021.