6 Positive Projects from 2016 & A Look Ahead

Written and Edited By Members of the UrbanABQ Collective and Better Burque

Check out BetterBurque.org for in-depth, Albuquerque-focused articles about bicycle and pedestrian safety, infrastructure and more! 

MLK looking east at the Edith intersection. Though there are still issues with some of the intersections along the corridor, the changes have overall created a vastly improved cycling environment.
MLK looking east at the Edith intersection. Though there are still issues with some of the intersections along the corridor, the changes have overall created a vastly improved cycling environment.

A Series of Predictions

In late 2014, we wrote an article called “A Great 2014 + The 2015 Forecast,” which can be found HEREThat piece covered positive changes that happened over the previous year and investigated some things we wanted to see happen in 2015.

Much of what we wanted to see in 2015 didn’t happen … until this year, 2016. In fact, most of the items on that list have become a reality in the last couple of months! So, we decided it was time for an update on the update:

Recent Positive Happenings:

Click here to read more!

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

yes art now single template

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!

Click here to read more!

In Defense of ART – A Response to Save Route 66 Central’s Open Letter

By Dan Majewski

Edited by Jessica Carr, Chad Gruber, Leila Salim, Michael Vos and other UrbanABQ team members

February 21, 2016

Preface

 As of Tuesday, February 9, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, otherwise known as ART, was approved for $69 million in federal funding from President Obama’s annual budget. This budget has not yet been approved by Congress so the funding is not guaranteed. However, there is a very good chance this funding will be approved and allocated, based on similar projects being approved in the past.

Regarding opinions in the community around this project, attendees were surveyed at a recent public meeting. The results were split in three ways with “38 percent of [the] 134 citizens who were polled — out of 247 who packed the rehearsal hall for the meeting — [saying] they don’t support the project, compared to 30 percent who said they do ‘very much’ and 57 percent who said they desire improved mass transit in the corridor.”

An Open Letter from Concerned Citizens

At the end of January Save Route 66 Central, the foremost antagonist in the effort to bring bus rapid transit to Albuquerque, published a critique of the city’s newest plan for the project. The entire letter can be found at this link.  

save rt 66 webpage
Click here to read the entire letter pictured above

We would like to say, in short, that this letter is well-thought-out. It is filled with ideas that could be successful if implemented in conjunction with the ART project. Unfortunately, the letter is also filled with misinformation and other data taken out of context.

Click here to read more!

Road to Nowhere — Why We Need No New Roads

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 1.18.30 AM

“Paseo del Volcan plan hailed as future of the west

Full steam ahead on ‘active’ Paseo del Volcan project”

“DOT considers proposals to ease traffic on U.S. 550”

The headlines always sound so romantic, don’t they?

Though these are all real headlines from the Albuquerque Journal about real projects, they’re selling a myth. This is part of the discussion within the #NoNewRoads campaign by our friends over at Strong Townsan education and advocacy nonprofit working to create resilient communities through better development models. #NoNewRoads strives to transform the national transportation conversation through a nontraditional campaign (emphasis ours):

This week at Strong Towns we are going to focus our attention on the embarrassing mess that is the American system of transportation finance. Our premise here at Strong Towns has been, for some time now, #NoNewRoads, a rejection of any proposal to spend more money on this system until we undertake dramatic reform.

That position puts us at odds with advocates on the left of our political spectrum as well as those on the right. So be it. The current political paradigm is bankrupting this country … . It’s time to create a new paradigm.

Click here to read more about the premise of #NoNewRoads 

The Band-Aid Approach

Everyone loves a ribbon cutting for a new road project, but maintaining the infrastructure once it has been built is not quite as fun or exciting. Our current financing system emphasizes new construction without accounting for long term maintenance costs.

New and widened roads are subject to an economic rule known as “induced demand.” It works like this:

Join us for #BlackFridayParking – Paying Tribute to Wasted Space

murica parking lot
America, the Beautiful

As Thanksgiving approaches, we at UrbanABQ are looking back at 2015. We are thankful for the exciting changes we have seen in Albuquerque this past year. From the launch of the Bici bike share system to another successful ABQ CiQlovia to the unexpected appearance of a buffered bike lane on Lead (missed PR opportunity much?), 2015 has been filled with plenty of joy. However, with Thanksgiving on the horizon we can’t ignore an unwanted cultural phenomenon that comes with it:

Click here to read more!

Where are the Jobs in Albuquerque?

– Kristen Woods

Where are the Jobs?
Click for a larger view.
This Map shows nearly every job in Albuquerque mapped as a dot. It was developed by a Harvard Ph.D. students named Robert Manduca and is discussed in the Washington Post. The map is in an interactive format that spans the whole United States. It is based on Census Data.

The map is important because it shows us numerous ways that the location of job development can effect Albuquerque.

Click here to read more!

City Council Passes Bicycling Plan: Carpe Diem Albuquerque

Another great post from Bike Yogi, this time about the City of Albuquerque Bike Plan.

Read about all the details below!

Bike Yogi

Albuquerque City Council unanimously adopted the Bikeways and Trails Facility Plan on May 18, 2015.  This plan builds on many years of hard work and specifies next steps in the progression for increasing bicycling friendliness.  The plan’s champion Councilor Isaac Benton said this was a long time coming and took a multi department effort that was boosted by advocacy from the entire community.  Bicycling is generating an atmosphere of excitement in Albuquerque, NM.

I’m including a link to the actual City Council proceedings because it tells a tremendous story.  This was a community moment where the long struggle to realize a vision of better bicycling was recognized.  The prevailing sense is that bicycling connects people together, and better bicycling advances all of humanity.   People really want this, and are doing the work to make it happen. There was a pause to take stock and celebrate all the hard work it has taken to get the plan this far.  It hasn’t been easy, but challenges…

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