NM502/Trinity Drive: Current conditions and performance -- Very Good

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Trinity Drive between Diamond Drive and the junction with Central Ave. is a generally healthy Los Alamos artery, excluding the chaos and congestion associated with the 4th (and final!) Phase of refurbishing Diamond Drive. In the most important characteristics, and from my viewpoint, it's difficult to think of a better example of a modern mixed-use road.
In the most general terms, Trinity provides efficient, safe travel along four thru-traffic lanes with three major signalized intersections. At most times of the day, traffic is well below the road's capacity, leading to smooth flow with little delay time. Photos above and at left were taken off-peak, just after 9 AM on a weekday.
During the morning, noontime, and afternoon peak times, traffic is somehwat more intense, though still moderate compared with most arteries in other NM cities. Photo at right was taken at about 7:45 AM, near the morning peak. Some users have probably shifted their commuting route or times since the onset of construction at Trinity/Diamond in Spring, 2011; current traffic conditions are not completely "normal".

Travel times under normal daily traffic loads are excellent. The table below shows trip durations for traveling 2 1/4 miles along Trinity Dr. and East Rd. between the Medical Center parking lot and Airport Rd., including the turns out of and into the endpoints. Trips occurred between 9:20 and 9:41 AM on 4/30/11. I obeyed the 35 mph speed limit closely. Average speed over all 5 trips was 33.1 mph. Total of all delays for signals and turning traffic was < 65 sec.; average delay per trip was ~13 sec; average number of stops per trip was 2, including stops for turning at each end of trip (sometimes not required). Current traffic signals do not interrupt Trinity traffic if there are no side-street vehicles and no pedestrians.

Caveat. Since these observations were made in May, 2011, construction at Trinity and Diamond might be causing enough shift in choice of route so that traffic on Trinity is lighter than normal.



EB Stops/delays
WB Stops/delays
~5 sec for right onto Trinity; ~5 sec stop for left turn onto Airport Rd.
~10 sec delay for right turn out of Airport Rd. onto East Rd.; < 5 sec for left turn into Medical Center
< 5 sec for right onto Trinity; stops at two signals for side traffic, total ~20 sec
< 5 sec for right turn onto Trinity
< 5 sec for right onto Trinity; ~5 sec stop for red light
< 15 sec
< 10 sec

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