Drivers can turn right on a solid red light at the Paseo del Norte and Tramway intersection.
The new signal at the intersection in northeast Albuquerque has some drivers frustrated with NMDOT’s recent work. When traveling east on Paseo, a green turn arrow will flash to yellow and then red before changing to a solid red light for those turning south onto Tramway. After the signal was installed, no signage was added telling drivers that they can or cannot turn right on the solid red light, which is the cause of the frustration and confusion.
Kimberly Gallegos, spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, addressed the issue via a text message which says, “I have been receiving many inquiries about this and NMDOT is currently making the sign to place ‘Right on red, after stop.’ It should be up soon.”
The feedback Gallegos has been receiving isn’t the only place residents are sharing concerns, though.
A NextDoor post of a KRQE story about the new signal has more than 50 comments, many of them pointing the finger at NMDOT for the lack of clarity. “Anybody who has had anything to do with this project from the get go should lose their job and be sent to the produce department to wash vegetables,” one comment reads. “Right behind them should be the contractor responsible for the Wyoming repaving project.”
Another comment argues that the “restricted apron” on Tramway that prevents cars from merging onto the southbound lane should be removed. “There needs to be a clear NO RIGHT TURN ON RED sign there,” the comment reads. “Sanity (good engineering) should suggest removing the restricted apron access for the ‘law avoiding’ citizens that ignore the turning restrictions,” the comment continues.
Still another comment reads, “I witnessed an APD vehicle honk at the car in front of him at the red light to ‘move along!’” And another that says an NMDOT engineer said drivers should “stop and then keep going if clear.”
The KRQE news story says drivers should not turn right on the red light. When driving through the intersection on Thursday, some drivers waited for the green arrow, others stopped and then turned right, and some yielded and merged onto Tramway.
One concern is that vehicles are traveling too fast on Tramway for vehicles to safely turn right from a complete stop. “Maybe 50mph is too fast & the speed limit along Tramway should be lowered 10-20mph?” one NextDoor comment asks.