The following is a safety tips press release from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office regarding safety tips for the upcoming Good Friday pilgrimage to Chimayo:
Every year on Good Friday, thousands of people walk to Chimayo in observance of the Easter holiday. Many of them walk along heavily used roads, such as NM 502 and 503 and U.S. 84/285. Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia wants walkers and motorists to know that beginning about noon Thursday traffic patrols will be increased on U.S. 84/285 when the majority of walkers begin their journey. A DWI Checkpoint will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2011 during the Santuario walk. The increased law enforcement presence including DWI and traffic enforcement units will continue through the afternoon of Easter Sunday.
Sheriff’s deputies will be assisted by NM State Police, Santa Fe Police Department, Pojoaque Tribal Police Department, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Sheriff Garcia says deputies will hand out 2,000 glow-in-the-dark sticks to walkers beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at Camino Encantado and U.S. 84/285; the NM 503 and U.S. 84/285 intersection; and at the NM 106 and NM 76 intersection. The glow sticks make walkers more visible to motorists at night.
Walkers are being asked to use the pedestrian path and follow signs posted by New Mexico Department of Transportation. Sheriff Garcia suggested that walkers purchase reflective tape and apply it to clothing or wear reflective safety vests over clothing. “If you have some type of safety vest or anything that is reflective or will illuminate the body, we recommend you wear that,” he said. Sheriff Garcia also urges people making the annual walk not to smoke, or to discard cigarettes in proper containers. Motorists should reduce speeds and drive as far away from the road shoulder as possible “Pay attention to speed and your driving and don’t drink and drive,” Sheriff Garcia warns.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office would like to provide these safety tips for walkers:
- Wear bright clothing, especially Thursday night, traditionally the busiest evening during the weeklong religious event;
- Take a flashlight and water;
- Dress warmly and in layers and wear comfortable shoes;
- Walk on the east side of the concrete barrier and don’t cross onto the roadway. Walkers shouldn’t use the median that divides four-lane U.S. 84/285;
- Walk in groups of at least three or more for safety reasons.
- Sign up for text alerts at http://www.santafesheriff.com. We will be sending out texts of important information for walkers throughout the weekend.