Balloon Fiesta week is here, when Corrales eyes turn upward to see jeweled skies, with bursts of colorful balloons festooned in the atmosphere like so many Christmas ornaments. Of course the scenery closer to the ground is not so pretty. Lines of crawling cars seem to be everywhere. This year, the traffic seems especially bad, due to a confluence of several events. The Balloon Fiesta is certainly a factor, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to Albuquerque on a normal year. Even during the pandemic, the fiesta is expected to attract tens of thousands of people, and that influx can be felt on the streets of our little village. Many more travelers than usual seem to be enjoying our scenic byway.
Police records in Corrales show that August of 2021 was one of the highest months for traffic accidents in the last two years. This may be because of our “return to normal” including a return to in-person schooling. Add to this the trend of commuters returning to the office, and the numbers begin to explain themselves. Perhaps our newly paved road invites more carelessness in drivers. In any case, villagers and tourists alike should keep their eyes on the road during this beautiful but dangerous season.