Readers Need Solutions About The I-40 Bike Takeover »Albuquerque Journal
MORE ABOUT THIS I-40 MOTORCYCLE DRAMA: After a wreck shut down Interstate 40 on April 10th, readers started commenting on both the event and how to deal with it.
Jerry Shea emails: “I am absolutely amazed at the apparent police reaction to the outrageous blockade of I-40 by these stepping rocket launchers last weekend. They tell us boys are going to be boys or something? Should we be careful not to upset her? I’m sure I missed something. IMHO, the police should have locked them up and confiscated their bikes! “
And Fishburn e-mails: “I’ve written about it before, and in your reply you said that the various police departments were putting in place guidelines to keep the streets open or reopen them as soon as possible. That didn’t happen.
“This is the kind of (something that) annoys New Mexico motorists. This was I-40 today because of a motorcycle accident. It appears that the motorcycle is lying on its shoulder in front of one of the police cruisers, but all four lanes were closed. If it was the typical police response, it probably took at least an hour.
“I drove a tow truck in California years ago. When I and possibly other tow truck drivers reacted to an accident, we were immediately under pressure from the police to evacuate the vehicles so they could reopen the road. That is definitely not the case in New Mexico. “
For a small background, this wasn’t a single vehicle accident. And this isn’t the first time motorcyclists have taken over a freeway here to do stunts. The Albuquerque Police Department has announced that an investigation is ongoing. The April 12th journal had a short article about it, and on the day the highway was closed, Rebecca Atkins, APD communications specialist, published this press release:
“On Saturday, April 10th, around 4pm, a serious accident occurred between a vehicle and a motorcycle on Interstate 40 heading west near the river. A large group of motorcycles drove west on I-40, blocking all lanes. Many performed tricks and stunts. Witnesses reported that motorcycles on the interstate slowed down to about 35 mph at times.
“A 1997 white Ford truck was also traveling west on I-40 trying to avoid the large group blocking traffic and pulling in the left shoulder to pass. The Ford truck returned to the left lane and collided with a 2001 Honda motorcycle that was in the left lane.
“The driver and a passenger of the motorcycle were seriously injured and transported to the UNMH. After the collision, several motorcyclists surrounded the truck and began knocking on the windows, intimidating the driver. The driver of the truck felt threatened and then ran away from the scene. The driver was contacted by officials. “
The editorial page editor D’Val Westphal deals with commuter problems in the subway area on Mondays. Reach them at 823-3858; [email protected]; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.