TAKE ACTION: Email Your City Councilor and/or Speak at City Council on Monday

– By Leila Salim, Michael Vos, Dan Majewski and other members of the UrbanABQ team

March 17, 2016

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On Monday, March 21, beginning at 5 PM, there will be a City Council vote on Albuquerque Rapid Transit. 

We have been told that this could be the vote that makes or breaks the project. We have also been told that City Council has been receiving primarily negative feedback on the project.

This is our deciding moment.

Have you been sitting on the sidelines? Have you been unable to attend meetings or unable to articulate your support for the project?

Make your voice heard!

Below is a letter we have created that you can COPY + PASTE + SEND to your city councilor.
Below the letter, we have included a map of Albuquerque City Council districts and email addresses for each of the councilors. Don’t live in the City? That’s ok! Pick the district closest to where you live and send something to that councilor.

Please share this with your friends and thanks for your support!

_________________________________________________________________

Dear Councilors,

I am writing to let you know that I strongly support the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (A.R.T.) project.

Albuquerque is a growing metropolis on the verge of reaching a million people. While it may seem tolerable for now, if we do nothing, our sprawling growth and car-centered design will soon catch up to us, both environmentally and economically. A.R.T. can begin a shift in our city to a more flexible and equitable transportation system that brings more choices between modes and opportunities for getting around.

  • Bus Rapid Transit is a comparable, affordable, and proven alternative to light rail with added flexibility of buses. Lane and station infrastructure can even be adapted for light rail in the future.
  • Central Ave is the best street for this project because it has existing ridership, important destinations, housing, and jobs along it. This is not true of other roads suggested such as Lomas Blvd, which is not eligible for the federal funding. A.R.T. will provide better connections to these employment and activity centers and increase pedestrian activity.
  • Improving transit along Central will have a ripple effect creating a more consistent and efficient system. Increased frequency will shorten transfer times for 32 crossing routes, and by replacing the existing Rapid Ride, some buses may be utilized on other existing or new routes.
  • Putting the bus in the middle is the correct speed hierarchy. The fast-moving bus is ideal in the middle, with medium-paced traffic in the right lane and on-street parking protecting the sidewalk. Center median stations mean building one station instead of two, riders only have to cross one half of the street and pedestrians have a safe middle island to wait in when crossing.
  • Central Avenue is the most dangerous pedestrian corridor in a state with the second highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. Slower traffic from reduced lanes and wider sidewalks will be a major improvement to the pedestrian environment.
  • The projected increase in automobile traffic onto Lead, Coal, and Lomas will serve to slow speeds, resulting in safer pedestrian and bicycling environments on those streets as well.

Despite the vocal opposition to A.R.T., there are many of us who support this project. Investing in better transit and pedestrian friendly spaces will make Central Avenue more attractive for new businesses and residents. To be able to accomplish this with significant help from the Federal government is tremendous, and the opportunity to bring $4.30 back to Albuquerque for every dollar of local investment in this project is something we must not pass up.

I urge you to authorize the funding and construction of A.R.T.

Sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________

Albuquerque City Council District Map

CityCouncil districts ABQ jpeg

Below are email addresses for councilors and their policy analysts. We recommend you email both the councilor and their policy analyst.

Districts with * are districts on or along Central Avenue. For more information about council, here is a link to their full website.

Contact information for Councilors:

*District 1 – Ken Sanchez: kensanchez@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Elaine Romero: eromero@cabq.gov

*District 2 –  Isaac Benton: ibenton@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Diane Dolan: ddolan@cabq.gov

*District 3 – Klarissa Peña: kpena@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Nancy Montaño: nancymontano@cabq.gov

District 4 – Brad Winter: bwinter@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Rebekka Burt: rburt@cabq.gov

District 5 – Dan Lewis: danlewis@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Rachel Miller: rrmiller@cabq.gov

*District 6 – Pat Davis: patdavis@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Sean Foran: seanforan@cabq.gov

District 7 – Diane Gibson: dgibson@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Chris Sylvan: csylvan@cabq.gov

District 8 – Trudy Jones: trudyjones@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst Aziza Chavez: azizachavez@cabq.gov

*District 9 – Don Harris: dharris@cabq.gov
Policy Analyst – Dawn Marie Emillio: <a href="mailto:dmemillio@cabq.gov"dmemillio@cabq.gov

 

Thank you!

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