Hurdles imminent for roundabout plan
City leaders in Albuquerque told attendeed of a public meeting Thursday that a roundabout at the intersection of Candelaria and Rio Grande was a done deal, but the city told KOB Eyewitness News 4 Friday that was not exactly the case.
Turns out, for the last two meetings over the roundabout, hundreds of protestors have spoken out against the project. There was even a protest at the proposed intersection on Tuesday morning. That uproar could keep the federal government from giving grant money toward the project.
"We need to get back, check with the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration), based on comments received, be sure that we're still headed in the right direction," Wilfred Gallegos, the deputy director for municipal development said.
Gallegos said the federal grant should not have anything to do with public opinion on the project. The only issue relevant to the federal money should be logistical issues with the project.
"If there are any comments related to the design that were fatally flawed or anything that we might be able to address," Gallegos said.
But one critic of the project said it is tax-payer money, and they should decide where the money goes.
"There are only a few of us who choose to speak up on the matter, but we represent many more, the silent part of the North Valley," neighborhood activist Jerry Ginsberg said.
The protest at the proposed roundabout location was started by Ginsberg. He said some people in the area are upset about him protesting the roundabout, but he said everyone against the project has legitimate reasons.
"Are not opposed to safety, by any means, and we are not supporting speeding," he said. "What we want is an overall plan that is going to be in character with the North Valley."
The city is now working on getting approval from the homeowners on the four corners of the intersection. They will have to purchase portions of their property to get the project running. Gallegos said they should know about the FHWA approval next week.