More Loma Colorado crosswalks are scheduled for removal this month.
After the removal of two crosswalks in the fall, three more will be removed as warmer weather moves in: at Meseta Court, Loma Vista Blvd. and Los Miradores Drive (east).
The project started as a result of comments Loma Colorado HOA Manager Brand Hetherington made in October 2021 regarding speeding and pedestrian crossings in the area, Peter Wells, deputy city manager, said via email. The city responded by conducting a pedestrian crossing study “to assess the functionality of the crosswalks and viability for installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons.”
That analysis was done last spring, and in August, the city notified the HOA that none of the crosswalks warranted the installation of RRFBs, Wells said.
“Moreover, the analysis yielded that a majority of the crosswalks should not remain painted, resulting in a consolidation of crosswalks,” he added. “The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which the city adheres to, cites the perils of an indiscriminate over-installation of crosswalks as it creates a false sense of security for the pedestrian and becomes roadway clutter to the driver. The purpose of the crosswalk is enhanced pedestrian safety and heightened driver awareness.”
Wells said that the city received no feedback from HOA management or Loma Colorado residents until work to remove crosswalks began in October 2022. Due to concerns being raised after the removal of two crosswalks, the remaining work was put on hold.
In December, he said, city staff and Mayor Gregg Hull met with community representatives and HOA management “to discuss the need to complete the work that was started and reiterate the plan moving forward.”
“What was communicated then, and gain to HOA management recently, was that with warmer temperatures work would be undertaken to remove crosswalk markings at Meseta Court, Loma Vista Blvd., and Los Miradores Drive (east) in mid-March.”
Signs were posted at the marking last week to advise residents of the upcoming work. One of the targeted locations is located at a bus stop for Rio Rancho students in the neighborhood.
Wells said that at the completion of the project, six of the original 11 crosswalks will remain and that additional pedestrian crossing studies will be done this spring and, if needed, this fall.
“This study will determine whether, through consolidation of crosswalks, the pedestrian volume is sufficient to warrant additional enhancements (e.g. RRFBs) at the remaining crosswalks,” he said, noting that any enhancements would have to adhere to the MUTCD.
He also said the city proposed the HOA grant an easement or dedicated right-of-way to the city, which would allow for the construction of a sidewalk connection at the north end of the Los Balcones Place cul-de-sac to the corner of Los Miradores Drive; he said a formal response from the HOA is pending on that proposal.