Motorists are reminded to watch for walkers

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation has begun preparing safe walking areas along various New Mexico highways for the annual Good Friday Pilgrimage to the El Santuario de Chimayo (El Santuario). The department met with local emergency response personnel to prepare for this event and crews have been working over the past few weeks to prepare the various routes to El Santuario for pilgrims making the trek this year.
Through Good Friday crews will continue to work around the clock to ensure pilgrims get to and from their destination safely.

NMDOT is implementing the following services for the pilgrimage:

  • Maintenance crews will set up traffic control devices and pedestrian walking signs.
  • Walkers will be guided to the on/off ramps at each interchange between Santa Fe and Cuyamungue.
  • At the Cuyamungue Interchange, orange barrels and signage will guide the walkers away from the mainline and onto the east frontage road.
  • Temporary stop signs will be placed at interchange locations to allow walkers to pass.
  • All cattle guards along the routes will be covered.
  • Additional signage and electronic message boards will also be placed along parts of N.M. 76 and N.M. 503 to alert motorists of the high volume of pedestrians on the roadway.
  • Portable light plants will be placed in the area of the Pojoaque Wellness Center, and the intersections of N.M. 503 and CR 84; N.M. 503 and CR 98; N.M. 103 and N.M. 76 and on N.M. 76 at mile marker 8 (Apple Shed) to provide additional lighting for those walking at night.
  • There will be trash receptacles along all traditional walking paths.

Participants should take appropriate precautions to ensure their safety:

  • Wear light-colored clothing (avoid black or dark colors)
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather forecast, layers are encouraged.
  • Wear reflective gear during early morning and evening hours.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Carry snacks and plenty of water.
  • Stay on the pathway marked for pedestrians and follow the signage.
  • Avoid walking in the road if possible.
  • Do not walk alone, notify someone where you will be.
  • Do not litter, use trash receptacles.

Law enforcement and emergency responders will patrol all areas of the pilgrimage to enhance overall safety of the event.

To further enhance the safety for this event, the department asked law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement of a state law that does not allow encroachments, including concession or roadside stands, along state highway right of way.