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City Taking Proactive Measures to Curb Pedestrian Fatal Crashes

Parts of Central Avenue are seeing a marked increase in fatal pedestrian crashes
February 22, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Harold Medina and Municipal Development Director Pat Montoya held a press conference to discuss proactive measures the city is taking to address pedestrian fatal crashes along Central Avenue. Along with increased enforcement from APD, DMD and Vision Zero have already installed or plan to install additional pedestrian safety features along Central.

“Tragedy is occurring far too often on our streets in the form of fatal collisions that could be avoided,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Today, we are taking strong and strategic actions to keep pedestrians safe and hopefully save lives.”

Last year, APD investigated 57 pedestrian crashes that either resulted in a pedestrian fatality or great bodily injury. Between Louisiana Blvd and Eubank Blvd along Central, there was 6 pedestrian fatal crashes. Since the beginning of 2024, there has been 14 crashes involving a pedestrian that were either fatal or great bodily harm. APD’s Traffic Team has been carrying out operations addressing jaywalking for pedestrians in known problem locations. The operation has yielded 65 citations. In addition, the Horse Mounted Unit and Tactical Unit have been frequenting the corridor and addressing jaywalking, individuals impeding the sidewalk and other traffic/pedestrian violations.

“Most of these crashes along Central have been similar and often avoidable,” said Chief Harold Medina. “The impact on both victims who are struck and the drivers is very traumatic, and we want to decrease those types of outcomes as much as possible.”

In 2019, the city began implementing ideas from the national Vision Zero program that aims to reduce fatalities on Albuquerque’s streets. This program has resulted in several roadway improvements and a reduction in crashes. This program works with APD officers to track, identify, and find solutions to dangerous roads.

“Our Vision Zero program uses a data-driven approach to identify and fix streets and intersections that are the most dangerous. Our data shows that a significant stretch of East Central needs help,” said Valerie Hermanson, Vision Zero Coordinator for the City of Albuquerque. “With APD’s help we hope to see a significant reduction in serious crashes in that area, and across the city.”

Pedestrian safety features along Central include:

  • Two new additional pedestrian signals east of Louisiana. The signals are at: Central and Conchas and Central and San Pablo. (Bernalillo County added a third at Utah)
  • Pedestrian Activated Warning System, or PAWS, Light to the corridor. The Pedestrian Activated Warning System lights are A. I. -powered and will recognize when a pedestrian starts to cross Central and light up yellow.
  • Restriped Central Ave. east of Juan Tabo to slow traffic and make the roadway safer. We narrowed the lanes and created right-turn only lanes that give drivers extra time to notice pedestrians. Preliminary data shows fewer crashes in this area.
  • Median Refuge Islands on Central that will give pedestrians a safer place in the middle of Central. We are also adding mid-block signals to warn drivers

“Albuquerque streets are getting needed improvements thanks to our traffic engineers. Innovative projects like our P.A.W.S. lights will make sure they’re even safer for everyone on the roadway,” said Patrick Montoya, Director of the Department of Municipal Development.