From the HOA Board: Westside Boulevard Speeding and Lighting Issues

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The Westside Boulevard Expansion project has created difficult problems for many of our HOA members that can, and must, be fixed.  For at least two years, many of our HOA homeowners who live in the vicinity of Westside Blvd. have had to live with the daily threat and disturbance of dangerous speeding that occurs on this one mile stretch of road. 

At night, they have had to listen to, and sometimes wake up to, the noise of high speeding and apparent street racing.  And very high speeding doesn’t occur just at night.  Day or night, our homeowners are rightly concerned that one day a speeder will come crashing through their wall, into their backyard, and possibly into their house.  Many of us who do not live on Westside know this problem as well.  We, too, have seen drivers travel at high speed, sometimes well over twice the speed limit.

It is time the speeders are stopped.  For years, some of our HOA members have tried repeatedly to get City officials to take action to curb the speeding.  City officials recognize there is a serious problem.  They have talked at times of posting speed vans and radar signs.  Yet the speeding has continued. 

The good news is that the Northwest Area Command has now made a concerted effort to significantly increase traffic stops on Westside.  According to their figures, they have made 159 stops on 19 different days during the period from November 6, 2023, to March 8, 2024.  Apparently, they are policing the south side of Westside, while Rio Rancho is policing the north side.  We are not aware at this time of traffic stop figures from Rio Rancho.

We can assume that the concerted traffic stop efforts of Northwest Area Command are ongoing.  Yet, despite these traffic stops, speeding appears to remain out of control.  Our HOA members continue to report excessive speeding and noise at night, and we continue to observe excessive speeding during the day.

It is time that more effective measures are taken to rein in the excessive speeding on Westside.  In addition to the traffic stops, it is time to put Automated Speed Enforcement cameras on Westside.  There are 20 such cameras currently at work in Albuquerque.  Apparently they work well and, as of last Fall, 95,000 citations were issued using 17 cameras. 

The Seven Bar HOA Board have created an online petition demanding that the City of Albuquerque commit more resources, including ASE cameras, to help put a stop to the everyday excessive speeding on Westside.  We encourage all of you to sign the petition.

Our HOA members who live in the vicinity of Westside also have another problem to deal with as a result of the Westside expansion.  The expansion project has brought light pollution into their yards and their homes.  While it is unfortunate that there are some 40 new streetlights on this mile-long stretch of road, these lights do not conform to New Mexico State law or local law.

New Mexico is a State that rightfully prides itself on its dark skies.  In 2000, New Mexico enacted the Night Sky Protection Act to help preserve its dark skies.  The Act covers outdoor lighting, including street lighting.  It applies throughout the State, not just in rural areas.  It covers new lighting fixtures, such as the dozens of new streetlights on Westside. 

The Act’s primary means of night sky preservation is to require adequate light shields so that light is directed downward, and not beyond the property boundaries of the light source.  The Act also allows counties and communities to enact ordinances that are even more stringent.  There are many New Mexico cities and counties that now have ordinances requiring adequate shielding of lights.  For example, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Village of Corrales, Bernalillo County, and Valencia County have such ordinances.

Many of these ordinances also recognize the benefits of shielding in addition to night sky preservation.  They recognize the benefits of preventing glare and promoting safety.  For example, Santa Fe’s outdoor lighting ordinance states its purpose is to regulate outdoor lighting “in order to reduce light pollution, reduce or prevent glare, reduce or prevent light trespass, conserve energy, promote a sense of safety and security and ensure aesthetically appropriate outdoor lighting in keeping with the character of Santa Fe.”

Our HOA members have repeatedly pleaded with City officials to properly shield the new Westside streetlights.  They have lived for at least a couple of years with light trespassing into their yards and homes.  They have been told that the issue would have to be considered by the Department of Municipal Development.  But that was nearly a year ago.  Why the delay?  Why are these lights not properly shielded, as required by State and local law?

We have included a demand in our petition that the City of Albuquerque fully shield the Westside streetlights as required by law. 

Please sign this petition. Please also consider attending the Constructive Conversations session with Mayor Keller and Councilor Lewis on Tuesday, May 28th, 5:30 pm, Cibola High School cafeteria. The petition will be submitted at that time, and we hope to have a strong presence from Seven Bar North.

Take the G.O. Bond Survey and Tell The City What Projects You Want to See

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The Department of Municipal Development (DMD) would like residents to take the General Obligation (G.O.) Bond Survey. This Survey determines how G.O. bond money is spent on projects such as public safety initiatives, streets and storm drainage, public transportation, parks and recreation, libraries, and senior and community centers. This includes building renovation, major repairs, new construction, energy efficiency upgrades, major equipment such as fire trucks, pool filters, and playground equipment. To take the Survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KNLRDBN

Avoid Water Waste This Summer

Residents are watering more frequently in this extremely hot weather, and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) encourages efficient irrigation techniques to help avoid water waste.

  • Inspect your irrigation system frequently and address maintenance issues right away
  • Set your irrigation timer to change with the seasons
  • Run your irrigation system in short cycles, allowing water to penetrate the soil between cycles to prevent surface run-off
  • Install check valves at low points in the system to prevent water from draining out between cycles
  • Use drip irrigation instead of spray heads outside of lawn areas
  • Do not mix sprinkler system components from different manufacturers

For more information on irrigation and water conservation tips, visit: https://505outside.com.

NMDOT Starting Construction on I-25 Corridor in August

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) will begin improving the Interstate 25 (I-25) corridor in Albuquerque between Comanche Road and Montgomery Boulevard, including the freeway, frontage roads, and interchanges. Major construction is scheduled to begin in August 2024 and is anticipated to continue until spring 2027. The project will improve safety and travel times for drivers now and in the future. Additionally, the aging bridges and pavements will be replaced, and barrier-separated shared-use paths will be added at the interchanges to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. To learn more about the improvements on this three-year project, please visit the project website at https://i25improved.com

Sidewalk Maintenance in Seven Bar North

In Seven Bar North, our trails and sidewalks are heavily used by our residents. There are many in our community that walk their dogs, walk as a form of exercise, or like to stroll to enjoy our fresh air and take in the beautiful yards in our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, we have received reports of residents suffering falls and injuries due to sidewalk deterioration. One of our HOA volunteers consistently walks through all eight neighborhoods and provided the following list of problem sidewalks needing attention:

  • Casas del Norte – 21
  • Casitas del Norte – 5
  • Catamount – 8
  • Cerro Crestado – 8
  • Estrella del Norte – 2
  • Montera – 5
  • Rancho del Cielo – 3
  • Seven Bar North Estates – 2

Please remember that sidewalk maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. As per the City of Albuquerque website:
“The City’s Sidewalk Ordinance requires that all property owners be responsible for maintenance, repair, and liability of the sidewalk in front and on each side of their property. If the sidewalk is in the rear of the property, it may be the City’s responsibility. You can call the Department of Municipal Development Construction Coordination Division at 505-924-3400 to investigate.”
You may also call 311 to report a sidewalk that needs attention.

Please inspect your sidewalk and repair if needed to avoid further residents’ falls and injuries.

Breaking Ground on Westside’s New Multi-Gen at Cibola Loop

ALBUQUERQUE – Mayor Tim Keller and City leaders will host a groundbreaking for the construction of a new multigenerational center in northwest Albuquerque located near Cibola Loop and Luna Park NW. The planned facility will offer direct access to city services and programs for Albuquerque residents including youth, seniors, and adults.

WHO:Mayor Tim Keller;
Anna Sanchez, Director of Senior Affairs;
Area Elected Officials
WHAT:Cibola Loop Multigenerational Center Announcement
WHEN:Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.   
WHERE:   Cibola Loop NW & Luna Park NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114