Albuquerque Journal, N.M., D'Val Westphal column

2017-08-28 | Albuquerque Journal

Aug. 28--WHERE ARE THE I-25 LIGHTS? Shirley Willson emails that "the street lights on Interstate 25 for the Bernalillo exit 240 have never been on. Also there are quite a few out as well for the Placitas 242 exit."

Dan Ware, who handles information for PNM, tracked down that "the lights at exit 240 are the responsibility of the town of Bernalillo. The lights at 242 are ours."

And he explains that "there were eight lights reported out to us on Aug. 18. Because of the complexities and costs of doing work on the interstate, our crews do all their metro-area interstate work twice a year, all in the span of about a week. The lights reported out at 242, as well as any others that have been reported or seen by our crews, are scheduled to be repaired in three to four weeks.

"Our maintenance team is currently in the process of scouting the metro area -- which includes I-25 from basically the Algodones area down through Valencia County and I-40 from roughly Rio Puerco to the Sedillo area in the East Mountains. They will then plan the most efficient repair schedule they can, based on location of outages. They can only work at night, from midnight to 8 a.m."

Stay tuned for an update on those other lights.

MISSING THE BLUE LINE ON RIO GRANDE: A reader called to ask when the No. 790 bus, aka the Rapid Ride Blue Line, will return to Rio Grande.

She says the reason for the diversion, a sinkhole in June, has been repaired for a month and yet riders are still having to catch the bus blocks over.

Rick DeReyes, public information officer for ABQ Ride, says the morning road supervisor and chief planner "say Route No. 790-Rapid Ride/Blue Line is still detouring away from Rio Grande due to work on the (Albuquerque Rapid Transit) project. Barricades went up at Rio Grande and Central around the time the sinkhole in the area was being fixed. After the sinkhole was fixed, the detour was continued for several reasons:

--It would've been extremely difficult for our 60-foot bus to make the right turn from Lomas/Central onto Rio Grande with the current barricade setup.

--And had we chosen to try and make this difficult turn, to have the bus wait in the traffic backups in the area would have added further delays to that route.

--And while those barricades have been taken down for brief times then put back up again, it would've caused a lot of confusion to constantly announce and then retract the detours there."

But an end is in sight. "The work at that intersection should be finished in about four to six weeks," DeReyes says.

A GOLD-STAR ID: Peggy Wrhel asks in an email, "How can I tell if the driver's license I was issued complies with the Real ID Act? I got mine in February, but it doesn't say anything about complying. I suspect it doesn't because the first woman I spoke with said I needed a birth certificate instead of a passport. I told her a passport was sufficient and she should look at her list. She replied that most people don't have a passport and told me to go sit down.

"I eventually received my license, but no one said what kind it is. I don't need a compliant license as I have a passport, but I'd like to know. I imagine other people have this question, too."

Peggy is right about a current passport being sufficient to prove identity. (You also need your Social Security card or W-2 to prove your ID number, and two bills with your address to prove residency.)

Real ID-compliant licenses have a gold star in the upper right corner. Non-compliant driver authorization cards say "not for federal purposes" in red letters across the top.

Editorial page editor D'Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.