City councilor seeks input on North Valley roundabout plan

Posted at: 02/10/2013 10:42 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

People are sounding off about a new survey on the proposed roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

The project is nearly set to go, and only purchasing parts of all four corners of properties at the intersection stand in the way of the project.

But until it becomes official, current District 2 City Councilor Roxanna Meyers wants to get her own constituents opinion of the project.

"I realized there seemed to be quickly an overwhelming number of people in opposition and felt they had not been heard," Meyers said.

The outrage stems from a public meeting on the roundabout last September.

Former city councilor and current Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley forged the project seven years ago.

But some people in the North Valley felt there had not been enough public comment, even though O'Malley said she had a survey conducted where 70 percent of voters said they were for the idea.

So Meyers came up with her own survey at abqsoul.org for people to vote on the issue.

The site has statistics about the intersection with traffic and accident data.

Rio Grande Neighborhood Association President Susan Johnson is for the roundabout, especially since her daughter and dog were hit at the intersection and seriously injured several years ago.

"We've had family members injured. We've had our dogs run over. We've had ourselves very close calls. We've seen any number of accidents and helped out people who were hurt," Johnson said.

She said she voted on Meyers survey but felt the city councilor had a political motive behind the survey.

"But it's a bit odd because you have to go to her campaign site to take the survey," Johnson said.

But Meyers said she is doing her political due diligence.

"That "A" people are heard. "B" that I spend taxpayer money well. And that I really focus on safety," Meyers said.

An opponent of the roundabout was relieved to see the new survey.

"I am very pleased that it has finally come to this point because at last, everybody in the North Valley is going to have the opportunity to express themselves," Jerry Ginsburg said.

The project would cost $1.5 million and Ginsburg thinks the money could go to more practical things.

"We would like to see far more traffic lights up and down Rio Grande Boulevard, which we have asked for for years, but we've been told backlogs prevent their installation," he said.

The survey will be up until February 18. Meyers would not specify how she would use the survey results for further action.