• Old Town Albuquerque by Svobodat

Driving in ABQ

Written by Ysmay.

Common opinion is drivers in Albuquerque are terrible, and during rush hour especially. New Mexico is affectionately known as the Land of Manana. This spills over into the driving. All throughout the city you'll encounter people who aren't in a rush to get anywhere. During rush hour you'll find slow-going drivers who are holding up traffic, and speed demons who dodge in and out of traffic.

Fortunately the roads in Albuquerque are pretty easy to figure out. Albuquerque was laid out in a grid, and there are two interstates that can make getting around pretty quick.

Interstate 25 and Interstate 40 are two major interstates that intersect in Albuquerque in what's known as the Big I.

I-25 runs all the way up to Santa Fe and beyond. There are four lanes through Sandia Pueblo, and ten lanes in downtown Albuquerque. In the recent past, as part of Governor Bill Richardson's GRIP initiative, parts of I-25 have seen improvements. Among them, a $15.5-million project expanded the interstate at New Mexico 556 (Tramway Road) to six lanes.

Interstate 40 runs replaced the post-1937 routing of U.S. 66. The interstate runs east-west connecting Bernalillo County, Laguna Indian Reservation, the Cibola National Forest, Tijeras, and more. I-40 also varies from four lanes to ten lanes. Much of I-40 in Albuquerque opened in 1962.

If you want to do as the song says and "get your kicks on Route 66" historic U.S. 66 is easy to find in Albuquerque. Up until 1937 travelers would have followed Iseleta Boulevard north until they crossed the Rio Grande. Just a quick turn north onto 4th Street, they would go through downtown towards Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. What remains of historic U.S. 66 is on Central Avenue, and parts of the frontage road along I-40. You can take New Mexico 556/Historic U.S. 66 all the way into Sandoval County. Going east, pick up New Mexico 333 from Albuquerque to Camuel and Tijeras to travel along the old U.S. 66.

Some great programmers in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Transportation came up with a web and mobile app all about roads in New Mexico. It's available for both Android and iPhone, and is well worth checking out.

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