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Thin layer of fencing separates highway and pedestrians

A thin layer of fencing separates thousands of speeding cars on Interstate 25 from a pedestrian walkway in Las Cruces.

“That chain link fence in no way is meant to keep a car off,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

And it didn’t in April. A man trying to evade police exited the highway and barreled through the chain link fence, driving through that walkway on Triviz. Thankfully, no bystanders were injured.

It begs the question: Could something like that happen again?

“Whether it’s on Triviz or on any city street, I think the probability exists anywhere in the city,” Miyagishima admitted.

A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Transportation admitted it has happened in the past.

“This is not typical, but it does occur,” Evans said.

The walkway is owned and designed by the city, but NMDOT is responsible for the barriers between the right-of-way and adjacent properties.

“Our engineers design based on functionality of the roadway,” said Ami Evans, a spokeswoman for NMDOT. “The design of these roadways permits drivers ample time and distance to safely stop their vehicles. There is no design for driver behavior.”

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