The parents of 12-year-old Eliza Almuina recently appeared before the Albuquerque city council and spoke about making roads safer in the area. Tragically, their daughter was using a crosswalk in front of her school when she was struck and killed by a driver who said he did not see the girl or her friend as they tried to cross Louisiana Boulevard. Youngers Law is representing the child’s mother in her capacity as Personal Representative for the Wrongful Death Estate of Eliza Justine Almuina.
Council looks at Complete Streets Ordinance
The city council is currently looking at making significant changes to the city’s “Complete Streets Ordinance.” The new version of the ordinance would push city planners to consider all modes of transportation (including motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians) before proceeding with any road projects. The council is also considering new language that would direct planners to study and prioritize road work in low- and moderate-income areas with higher levels of elderly and disabled residents.
There is also likely to be a shift in the public process that enables citizens to weigh in on plans for roads and related priorities for upcoming work. While the mayor, city council and the Department of Municipal Development currently determine the roadwork, everyone seems to be open to more public input.
Making the roads safer
Experts suggest a variety of changes that can make our roads safer. These include:
- Manage access points so entry and exit points are more visible, less congested and friendlier to pedestrians and bicyclists
- More traffic lights, particularly for crosswalks
- More medians and pedestrian islands on busy streets
- Better lighting so pedestrians can be seen at night
Pedestrian fatalities more common than many assume
Pedestrians make up 12% of all traffic fatalities. Albuquerque and other metro areas in New Mexico can do their part by improving the design and safety of roads, but it is also up to drivers to practice safe driving. Victims or their families should contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney if a negligent driver causes harm. A legal professional can help ensure that negligent drivers or municipalities are held accountable.