By Carolyn Carlson
Thousands upon thousands of vehicles, whispers of speed cameras, a new municipal judge and extending a development moratorium were the highlights of the last two meetings of the Village of Los Ranchos Board of Trustees.
At their Jan. 11 regular meeting, Village trustees heard about the tens of thousands of vehicles that traverse the main Los Ranchos roads each day.
Village public safety liaison Fred Radosevich made an informative presentation with stats from a recent traffic study. He said village residents have the most concern about the volume of traffic, speeding traffic and pedestrian and bicycle safety. Hold on to your seat belts some of the numbers were startling.
According to a map of the number of vehicles on a daily basis depending on different sections of the roadway:
Ortega Rd 800 -1400;
Fourth Street 7,500 to 15,100;
El Pueblo 2,800;
Rio Grande Blvd. 5,100 to 6,800;
Osuna 19,200 at Edith then down to 11,000 at Fourth;
Chavez Rd. 3,900; and
Paseo del Norte shuttles 61,000 to 86,000 vehicles through the village.
Radosevich said there are 14 speed boards scattered throughout the Village reminding drivers to stick to the speed limit. He said the boards also collect information such as how fast folks are going. A number of traffic-calming measures were discussed ranging from speed cushions to automated speed enforcement cameras. Radosevich said if the trustees wanted to consider speed cameras, which issue civil citations, then now is the time to do it as Albuquerque has them and Bernalillo County is considering them as well. The Village could piggyback with the county so as to not reinvent the wheel. There was no substantive discussion on the idea or on the traffic numbers.
Christina P. Argyres was appointed municipal judge at the Village's December meeting, after the death of Judge Diane Albert. Albert was killed by her husband in a murder-suicide over Thanksgiving weekend. Argyres has been the alternate judge and will serve until the next election.
Also at the December meeting, Trustees approved extending the moratorium on Pilot Project and Conservation Development permit applications until May 2023. This will give the Citizens Advisory Committee more time to finish their recommended changes to how the Village will allow for certain kinds of development.
There was much negative public comment about not wanting to share an old non-working trolley that has been stored in a warehouse somewhere for a seemingly long time. Trustees voted down a request by Youth Development Inc. and by the American Sign Language Academy to transform it into a coffee shop/food truck at the village Agri-Nature Center along the S-curves on Rio Grande Blvd. The groups were going to ask the Legislature for $250,000 to renovate the aging trolley into a coffee shop where the kids could learn about running a business, food and other hospitality services while providing food and drink to those visiting the Village crown jewel, the Agri-Nature Center. But it had to be on the Village’s requests from the Legislature since it is Village property and that is why a vote was taken. Naysayers believe it belongs to the Village and it should benefit the village, not outsiders. So for now the trolley will continue to collect rust and dust.
Trustee George Radnovich had a bone to pick with Mayor Donald Lopez. Radnovich asked the Mayor why the Village has been paying for Lopez’s renewal for his professional engineering license. Lopez said the Village pays for it because he is a peer reviewer for Village engineering projects. He said he is the only mayor in the state who is also a registered engineer. He went on to say that for his entire time, on the board as a trustee or now as mayor, the Village has paid for his renewals. Lopez asked Village Attorney Nan Winter to look into the matter. Winter said she would look at it from both sides and report back.
Village Trustees meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm unless otherwise posted. For official village information, check out losranchosnm.gov.
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