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Shining a Light on Downtown: City Makes Major Lighting Upgrades

New and upgraded lights help make downtown safer.
December 28, 2023

Mayor Tim Keller and City leaders highlighted the City's commitment to illuminating downtown through a strategic investment in lighting. Over the past five years, the City has added 500 new street lights across Albuquerque, including over 100 in the downtown area. Additional lighting downtown has resulting in improved visibility in alleys, sidewalks, and streets. 

The City has spent $855,000 improving lighting downtown, with another $145,000 for additional projects in the works. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has pledged an additional $1.8 million to improve lighting infrastructure downtown. The ongoing and planned investments will help address critical needs, including upgrades to reduce outages and modernize wiring, conduit, and electrical boxes. This comprehensive approach reflects the City's dedication to creating a vibrant and secure downtown core. 

"Better lighting means a safer downtown for all,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Well-lit streets create a sense of security, making our improving our downtown for residents, visitors, and first responders. We are grateful to the Governor for her support and for investing in the infrastructure our city needs." 

“I have heard from business owners, residents and visitors that more lighting downtown is needed,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Downtown Albuquerque should be a vibrant and safe area for all to enjoy, and we will continue working with the City to take actions that improve public safety. I am looking forward to seeing the city complete this project as soon as possible.”   

Highlights of the downtown lighting initiative include:  

Completed Improvements 

  • Installed 50 new lights in alleyways and overhead lights on Gold, Silver, Lead, and Coal streets. 
  • Added 8 new cameras along Central between 1st and 7th Street that link directly to APD’s Real Time Crime Center. 
  • Illumination enhancements under the railroad tracks at Central and I-40 at Gabaldon Road. 
  • Placement of 52 new lights in Wells Park, complementing the new park and community center on 4th, 5th, and 6th streets. 
  • New lighting infrastructure in front of the MLK Mural on Tijeras.  
  • Created the Don Perkins Downtown Public Safety Center to increase police presence downtown. 
  • Added gunshot detection and 5 license plate readers downtown. 
  • Established Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring (TEAM), an overtime program created in partnership with local business owners to increase the number of officers on patrol during peak hours. 
  • New, lighted flagpoles at 8th and Central.  

Upcoming Improvements  

  • 8 new lights on Marquette and in the Third Street parking lot. 
  • $1.8 million to modernize lighting infrastructure. 
  • Adding new gates between Central and Copper and Central and Gold inside of the alleyways and at 3, 5, and 8th streets to control traffic flow downtown. 

The City also emphasized its transition from old-style bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs and the integration of solar-powered lights. The Keller administration is commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly urban development. The new lights are controlled and monitored by the City’s Balanced Resource Acquisition and Information Network (BRAIN).