Latest Update

January, 2017: The City has not had the cooperation of the NMDOT in the federal ROW process. Until such time that this changes, we can't predict when the roundabout will be built. The Rio Grande Complete Street Test Project was implemented in November 2016 and the monitoring period will be a minimum of six months.


Welcome to

May 2014

Dear Neighbors,
Over the last 18 months, I have carefully and respectfully considered the arguments for and against the roundabout.

There have been 13 accidents at the intersection of Rio Grande and Candelaria since data was collected for the updated intersection study (report dated July 2013). Two accidents since December of 2013 resulted in multiple injuries. Contributing factors were disregard for the traffic signal in three of the accidents, improper turns in four other accidents, and speeding in one accident. These factors are issues that can be mitigated by a roundabout, which is a nationally-recognized proven crash safety countermeasure. The 2013 study recommended a protected-permissive left turn signal for cost savings; however, when disregard for signals and improper turns are contributing factors, this is not an effective countermeasure.

The 2013 study acknowledged that a roundabout would provide superior crash reduction benefits and recommended that the intersection continue to be monitored and a roundabout not be ruled out. After receiving that study, the City Council voted 7-2 against canceling the project. Subsequently, the City re-applied for federal Highway Safety Improvement Project (HSIP) funding. The Metropolitan Transportation Board (MTB) at the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) voted to award increased federal HSIP funds for the project.

It was clear to the Council that this intersection will benefit from the significant improvements a roundabout can provide. No new local funds are required for the project. After objective consideration, I decided to proceed with completion of the roundabout. City Council then unanimously voted to reaffirm that the roundabout at Rio Grande and Candelaria is a City project.

As a separate but related demonstration project and with some State capital funding, I have requested that the City proceed with design of a lane reduction restriping of Rio Grande Boulevard to a three-lane configuration (one lane in each direction with a center turn lane) from Candelaria to Griegos, where it already becomes a 2-lane facility. Data will be collected before and after the restriping in order to help gage its effectiveness. For more information about this test project, visit my Council website project page.


Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2