Monday, February 20, 2012

Cause and Effect

There seems to be no real hard look at the causes of having to come up with $360,000,000 for a new interchange at Paseo Del Norte and I-25.  The media just ignores it.  The cost of this one interchange is on a par with the Big I interchange constructed in Albuquerque in 2000.  The legislature just chipped in millions to help Albuquerque fund  its construction.

There is no question that this interchange is needed given the bad planning and decision making in the 1980-2000 time frame.  Urban sprawl was supported in every way by every Albuquerque Mayoral administration, especially Marty Chavez, and the chickens are now roosting at that intersection.  The taxpayers are paying the price once again for largesse handed out to urban sprawl developers.  They were the only real economic drivers for two decades in this region's economy and so they got away with murder.  Yes, they provided jobs and economic growth, but they didn't pay their fair share.  They were always whining about impact fees and paid little towards the needed expansion of infrastructure such as this interchange. Every time I railed at urban sprawl when I was Mayor I was pilloried for being anti growth.  Now the developers have all but evaporated in the great meltdown of housing.  They have taken their earnings to live the good life and the taxpayers will pick up the pieces.  I am doubtful the sprawl supporters will ever return to their once powerful political and economic stature.

It is interesting to note that this issue is so paramount at this point.  In 2007 there was not much being said about it prior to the meltdown.  Things were still booming then and it was the hidden skeleton in the closet.  Ignorance is bliss.

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

The city bus fare doubled from $1 to $2 a year or so ago, so it would seem to me the city isn't even putting money into that.

When I drove the city bus a few years ago it was almost laughable going over Paseo. You'd get out there and drive a mile or two, pick up a passenger, drive another mile, pick up another passenger. (The drivers attributed those kind of routes to Mayor Marty, and his buddy Greg who ran the bus dept, saying they had friends who lived out there who wanted bus service.) Meanwhile cars would back up behind you by the hundreds.

On other other hand, there was a morning bus route where you met the Rail Runner at a stop right where it goes under Paseo. People would flood off the Rail Runner and fill your whole bus up.

If we get that five dollar a gallon gas this summer they keep promising (supposedly Obama's punishment for the dirty oil pipeline) that would fill up the buses and the train, overload them I'd say for for a year or two until they caught up, but at least someone had the foresight to have a bus system and a Rail Runner.