Paseo del Norte & the adjacent multi-use trail

This arrow marks the approximate spot where David Anderson was killed by an out of control car that came crashing off Paseo del Norte and landed on the multi-use trail just to the south of PdN. What you can't see here is just how close the path is to the 60 mph east bound traffic. The path is closer to PdN at this point than any other. And that out of control car on 3-22-2010 wasn't the only one. Another car crashed off in almost the exact same location six days later, narrowly missing the path users this time (thankfully). In response to all this, NMDOT is still deciding if a barrier is needed.

I found this disturbing and decided to write letters to the Governor, NMDOT in Santa Fe and NMDOT District Three here in Albuquerque. Paseo del Norte is also State Highway 423; the crash happened in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and other parts of PdN are in within the City of Albuquerque, so it is difficult to know who has the final say in putting up effective barriers NOW, but this is where I started. If you are bothered by the lack of response to this dangerous situation, please consider taking some action of your own.

Views: 138

Comment by Coco on April 1, 2010 at 8:23am
How'z a banner hanging from the pedestrian bridge at Chamisal reading: SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

(No. Probably cause more wrecks.)
Comment by gleejb on April 1, 2010 at 8:33am
Great idea!
I have lots of ideas along the same lines... but try hard to keep it reasonable.
Comment by Johnny_Mango on April 1, 2010 at 10:16pm
Thanks for your work! The solution seems so simple.
Comment by Coco on April 2, 2010 at 5:59am
Yeah. Simple. Slow down. There aren't enough protective barriers in the world for all the locations where excessive speed is dangerous.
Comment by gleejb on April 2, 2010 at 8:36am
I believe that these are the NM elected officials for that area. Sending your concerns to them is a great idea.

Dede Feldman, Senator
Bill B. O’Neill, Representative

I wrote to the following letter and sent it to the Governor, NMDOT District Three and the NMDOT Director
Office of the Governor

New Mexico Department of Transportation District Three Office

New Mexico Department of Transportation Director
Cabinet Secretary Gary Giron

Governor Richardson, Secretary Giron and NMDOT District Three,

I’m sure you are aware that there have been two recent vehicle accidents on the Bosque multi-use path in Albuquerque. This portion of the multi-use trail runs east-west parallel to Paseo Del Norte (State Highway 423), between the Paseo del Bosque Recreation trail and the North Diversion Channel trail.

The first incident resulted in the death of David Anderson on March 22, 2010. The second crash was a near miss which ended with a car at rest on the bike path. In both cases, the lives of the many users of this busy multi-use path were put in danger.

These two incidents happened less than a week apart, highlighting the danger of this area of the path.: this is one of the only places where there is no barrier between Paseo del Norte and the path, and it’s also the section where the path runs closest to Paseo del Norte.

I am writing you at this time to strongly encourage NMDOT to put up a sufficient barrier between the multi-use path and Paseo del Norte now. There is no guesswork involved here, no need for further study or information. This area is dangerous and unprotected for the runners, cyclists, walkers, horse riders, skaters, adults and children who use this path. I know the State is facing budget issues, but no price can be put on a human life. This action needs to happen right away.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Comment by gleejb on April 2, 2010 at 10:02am
Bringing up the excess speed issue is a good point. So good in fact, that I would encourage you to write your own letter and send it to the people listed above - and maybe the Mayor of ABQ and APD...
We don't know if excess speed contributed to David Anderson's death, but it does contribute to many other problems we face on the roads and highways of NM, including some fatalities.
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on April 2, 2010 at 10:27am
I'd welcome a camera on every corner if it would help curb the appalling habits I've witnessed, along with more digital speed indicators and doubled fines. I have not had any really close calls while riding my bicycle, but I've seen plenty of reckless and discourteous driving and there is simply no excuse.

To my mind, these two drivers involved in the path incursions had inadequate control of their vehicles, regardless of their being "cut off" by other drivers.

Turn off the cell phones, learn to use the blinkers, and (as stated above) SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.
Comment by gleejb on April 2, 2010 at 12:15pm
For those not familiar with the area, here are two photos provided by Pat Lujan. The bike path sits between PdN, in the first picture, and this building in the second photo. The driver of the vehicle that killed David Anderson went off the road and swept up David Anderson and the concrete bollards you see uprooted, stopping only when she hit this building. Does make you realize that any effective barrier will have to be substantial.

Comment by Khal Spencer on April 2, 2010 at 1:06pm
Although I find the NMDOT representative's comments appalling, considering that someone is dead**, I've gotten used to cynicism. But does anyone see the really deeper level of cynicism here? NMDOT sees fit to put in jersey barriers between oncoming lanes (look at the top photo) to safeguard motorists from encroaching into the oncoming lanes, but sees no need to protect innocent civilians on the bike path from motorist mistakes. Nice to know where we stand. Hit a tree, hit a cyclist, its all the same. Just don't hit an oncoming car. The motorists in those cars are important enough to save.

We need to raise the standards on driving and to start holding motorists (and cyclists, when they screw up) accountable legally as well as financially. But in this case, where we have human beings living and carrying on their lives alongside a high speed expressway, protective barriers for non-motorists should be considered part of the cost of having high speeds on a road within an urban area. Put up the barriers or slow the fucking road down to a civilized, urban speed, like 30 mph.

** From the KOAT report: "There are probably plenty of places where you could put a barrier throughout the whole state, that doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem at that particular location," said Phil Gallegos, with New Mexico Department Of Transportation."
Comment by Karmic Echo on April 3, 2010 at 11:52am
Yes, everybody needs to slow down and pay attention more, but looking at those pics, it boggles common sense to not see the need for a barrier. The problem with Paseo is that it morphs along its route into different types of road, and as a result many folks seem to think of it as less than the freeway it is along the section in question. It's a freeway there with speeds only 5 mph less than I-25 and I-40 (and, of course, because it's an extended stretch of road with no impediments in the form of stoplights or signs, many, many people push it up past 70 mph). I can't imagine common sense allowing a bike/walking path to exist right alongside either of the interstates without any significant protections. Incidentally, I know there is bike path which parallels I-40--anybody know if similar unprotected spots exist along its route?


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