Dangerous Albuquerque intersection attracts federal attention

Sometimes walking, biking, riding a motorcycle, using a wheelchair or even driving can feel like you are taking your life into your hands when it involves Albuquerque's most dangerous intersection: Central and San Mateo. Central Avenue, part of historic Route 66, crosses the seven-lane San Mateo Boulevard in an extremely busy area of offices, commercial establishments, a high school, a center for people with disabilities, residential development and heavily used bus stops.

To say nothing of the fact that 50,000 vehicles use the intersection every day, sidewalks and corners are not big enough to accommodate pedestrian traffic. A recent government report also found that there are no bike lanes in that area. This presents a problem as commuters must do their best to maneuver through crowded sidewalks or risk sharing the road with motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

KRQE News 13 covered this story in depth just this week, reporting that between 2009 and 2014, 40 walkers and cyclists were hit by vehicles at this intersection. Two of those victims died.

Last month, we posted a blog about the astonishing fact that in 2014, our state had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths of any state in the country. Not surprisingly, federal safety officials at the Federal Highway Administration or FHA named Albuquerque one of 30 pedestrian/bicycle safety focus cities again in 2015.

In connection with the federal focus, the FHA along with city and state officials have worked together for the past year studying how safety could be improved at the intersection. This collaboration has resulted in 16 recommendations, some of which will be carried out during upcoming bus-transit upgrades. (The KRQE story contains a link to the full report.)

Whether as pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or driver, be cautious and attentive when you are traveling on busy streets. If you or a loved are injured by a negligent driver at this or any other intersection in New Mexico, be sure to seek the advice of an attorney immediately after getting medical attention.

Should you find yourself in need of legal assistance in the wake of an accident-related injury, contact Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C. at (505) 273-3720 to set up an appointment or visit the firm's website at giddenslaw.com. Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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