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N.M. 314 and Courthouse Road to be redeveloped to reduce crashes

New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) officials held a hearing for the public recently to hear their thoughts on the redevelopment of the intersection of Courthouse Road and N.M. 314. One of the reasons that they'd scheduled the hearing is to get input from Los Lunas residents about different designs that they'd come up with.

The intersection has long been known to NMDOT to be plagued with safety issues. At the meeting, a department spokeperson noted that the intersection has skewed geometry and that there are too few lanes from which motorists can turn onto N.M. 314. The rail crossing lies too close to the intersection as well.

One of the reconfiguration plans that NMDOT representatives had planned to present to area residents involved the installation of a roundabout where the roads Courthouse and Juan Perea intersect. NMDOT officials argue that doing this may greatly reduce motorist speeds making this stretch of the roadway safer for pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists.

A spokesperson for NMDOT argues that the only downside to installing a roundabout in this area is that many New Mexicans aren't yet familiar with them. They note that there'd definitely be a learning curve for motorists to overcome as a result.

The benefits associated with installing roundabouts are many though. NMDOT's spokesperson notes that they have been shown to reduce as much as 76 percent of the most serious types of crashes.

At the intersection in question, NMDOT records show that 17 crashes occurred at it in between 2013 and 2016. Most of them were caused by motorists failing to yield to the right of way of other drivers.

As an alternative option, if NMDOT engineers were simply to in and eliminate the intersection's skew, they believe that there would at least a 10 percent reduction in all crashes there.

By adding a left turn lane to N.M. 314 and Courthouse, collisions at the intersection could be reduced by as much as 48 percent. The addition of a right turn lane along the same roadways could eliminate as much as 6 percent of severe crashes and 13 percent of injury ones.

If you've been involved in a crash resulting in serious injuries at an intersection, then a Los Lunas car accidents attorney can advise you of your right to recover medical costs and other expenses you've incurred.

Source: News Bulletin, "NMDOT to re-configure Los Lunas intersection," Deborah Fox, June 06, 2018

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