Monday, February 29, 2016


I haven't said much on Mayor Berry's plan for a rapid transit bus system down Albuquerque's Central Avenue.  It has been painful to watch his administration's lack of work in getting support  for this project.  It is like his efforts at putting a trail in the Bosque along the Rio Grande.  The attitude is full steam ahead and damn the opposition.  I disagree with him on his Bosque project.  I don't disagree with him on his ART project.

The demeanor of the mob who came to a recent meeting to crucify the effort probably hurt their cause more than helped.  I am not privy to the true costs of the ambitious attempt at making Albuquerque a modern city ready for the next generation.  I suspect it will balloon with other related infrastructure costs.  It almost always does in such projects.

But, the system is worth doing.  My advice to the Mayor is to get a steering committee together made up of a diverse group.  Put them into subcommittees that deal with specific issues and get them to hammer out some compromises.  Meet often as a large group to get reports from the smaller committees.  This system can work.  This is how we got the downtown theaters and downtown rehabilitation started, as we did too with the new Isotopes Stadium, and as we helped steer the city through the construction of the new Big I interchange.  All of this happened during my administration in the late 90's.  It can work if the Mayor gets some organizing efforts underway.

It has been amazing to see our weak City Council sit on the sidelines.  What a bunch of sissies.  And the same goes for much of the business community.  


Tom Miles said...

The collaborative of Albuquerque/NMPBS Mission:Graduate is a model that could/should be examined for use by the city. Yes, it has taken nearly 3 years to build and implement, but a huge amount of effective work truly got done over that time ... and has laid the foundation for accelerating collaboration on a wider scale throughout the 4-county metro area. is their website.

Anonymous said...

ART is a good example of the Mayor saying “I’m from the government and I am here to help you.”The City insists ART will increase bus usage up and down central. It will not. The overwhelming majority of the demographics it is targeting relies too much on their own vehicles to travel to and from work all over this entire city and a ten mile stretch of ART is not going to reduce people’s reliance on their vehicles nor compel people to use the bus. ART will be use by the very same people that use Rapid Ride and there will be no increase in ridership. The City already has spent millions on the “Rapid Ride” system up along Central which is just as effective as ART. ART is an expensive and glorified version of Rapid Ride but with a dedicated lane and canopies up and down the center of central. ART will destroy all of the median improvements made in a ten mile stretch. ART will destroy all the progress that has been made along central and it will destroy many thriving businesses. The business community and especially organizations such as the National Association of Industrial and Office Park managers all too often confuse and try to sell construction projects as economic development, when they are not. What the Mayor needs to do is attract new businesses with jobs to Albuquerque.

DowntownCommuter said...

The problem with ART is that it's answering a question no one is asking. Not only does the Rapid Bus already serve the exact same need, it's overwhelmed with chronic problems that ART does not address...namely, the drugged-out Zombies who infest Central.

Every penny of "found" money the city has should go to overhauling and beefing up the APD and the community's drug rehab outreach. In football parlance, ABQ needs to take care of the basic blocking and tackling schemes before it deploys a spread offense. Alas, this is a basketball state, though.

Get your act together, New Mexico!