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Old 07-05-2016, 07:48 AM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,845 posts, read 4,787,919 times
Reputation: 3197

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You might be "classist" if:
  • You don't want to be around unpredictable drunk or otherwise intoxicated people.
  • You don't want to witness men sexual harassing women, while the bus driver does nothing.
  • You'd rather not be in the vicinity of fights.
  • You don't want to be stuck sitting next to someone whose body odor makes you gag.
  • You'd rather not get close to someone who just stayed at one of the bed bug infested motels along east Central.
  • You care about small business.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:33 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
3,213 posts, read 3,009,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApartmentNomad View Post
Many shop owners reasonably see ART as a threat to their survival.
The OP asked why, and this is why. ART is going to be a double hit on affected small businesses. First, they are going to have to suffer through the construction phase, and that itself will eliminate some number of the businesses. Just look at the before and after of many major road construction projects and you'll see many fewer small businesses along and around the 'improved' road after completion. They simply didn't have the capital to survive the drop in business during construction. Others may come back and some will be replaced by chain stores and restaurants, and larger businesses, and some former business owners will have to become employees. i know some of the small business owners that failed to survive the Paseo/I-25 work or made it through construction to find that their customers never returned.

Second, the completion of the project will shut the area to shoppers and diners like us. We don't frequent that area of the city a lot, maybe once or twice a month. Sure, parking is a small hassle but you deal with it. No big deal. After ART is in place, we'll likely visit the area very seldom, if ever. It will be incredibly difficult to drive and get around there, and we are not going to drive some place else and get on a bus. It's too bad, because some of the places are unique, but there are other places to eat and shop.
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:25 PM
 
Location: New Mexico via Ohio via Indiana
1,621 posts, read 1,543,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
The OP asked why, and this is why. ART is going to be a double hit on affected small businesses. First, they are going to have to suffer through the construction phase, and that itself will eliminate some number of the businesses. Just look at the before and after of many major road construction projects and you'll see many fewer small businesses along and around the 'improved' road after completion. They simply didn't have the capital to survive the drop in business during construction. Others may come back and some will be replaced by chain stores and restaurants, and larger businesses, and some former business owners will have to become employees. i know some of the small business owners that failed to survive the Paseo/I-25 work or made it through construction to find that their customers never returned.

Second, the completion of the project will shut the area to shoppers and diners like us. We don't frequent that area of the city a lot, maybe once or twice a month. Sure, parking is a small hassle but you deal with it. No big deal. After ART is in place, we'll likely visit the area very seldom, if ever. It will be incredibly difficult to drive and get around there, and we are not going to drive some place else and get on a bus. It's too bad, because some of the places are unique, but there are other places to eat and shop.
OP here.
This is quite similar to other urban public transportation infrastructure upgrades (which is what this is, despite any attempt to think it's a full-blown re-do or a massive decades-long "big dig" kind of crippling-in-the-short-term subway line or tunnel construction. It's just medians and it's still staying buses (no rail lines, etc) and stops and streetscaping. That's all this is in the grand scope of it.
I lived in Cleveland for a couple of decades, and this is unbelievably similar to the Euclid Avenue Corridor project. In fact it IS the same, almost play-by-play. Euclid is Cleveland's Central Avenue, the main east-west historic road through the heart of downtown and running through a state university and businesses and medical. Many many parallels to ABQ and Central. Same issues with the final goal, the removal of medians, lost revenue during construction, same issues with parking, everything. It was a project that turned Euclid into a one-lane road for a while during construction (but it was relocated to parallel major streets, like Lomas is in ABQ), two or three years. Businesses were lost in the process (I lost my favorite Peruvian restaurant and a century old private athletic club got shuttered), people protested with signs and such. But now that it is complete, other than the handful of businesses that did not survive the process, and the reduction in on-street parking now, most would say that it was needed, is an overwhelming success, and the improved streetscaping and increased ridership sought out what it intended to do. In fact, most arguments are now that it didn't go far enough and become a full-blown light rail re-do instead. I would say no, the buses are fine (though I love light rail) and it just needed the upgrade.
I have read all of these arguments posted on here......some are really weak and are reaching, and fail to see the long-term benefit in lieu of two minute EMS response time lag and trees and cars stopping and starting. But the biggie long-term issue to me would be the on-street parking situation. That is a legitimate gripe, and underscores what I've been saying all along....that this is an economic argument and the nods toward environment and trees and construction traffic are just minor nuisances that are blown up for sake of argument and to win the love of the Nob Hill demographic.
This will sound cold, but my favorite Peruvian restaurant in Cleveland was on life support with or without the infrastructure upgrade that killed it. I would argue that many of the businesses on Central would not survive it either and...well, maybe they shouldn't, as part of the upgrade. If a shop is not really working, or a restaurant, or whatever, than so be it. Darwinian, I know, I know. But this won't kill Standard Diner, or any of the other successful businesses WITH pre-existing parking. I do agree that a parking answer needs to happen, and that it probably needs to be behind the buildings on Central. Or businesses with no pre-existing parking (like the Olympia diner) are going to be in tough shape. but I would argue that a solution to that is workable too. And this transition shouldn't affect the area on Central directly across from UNM, an area with a population used to dealing with parking issues and instead walk and ride bikes and use a bus, or downtown, where even off-Central parking is metered and people who drive accept it as a fact of life. But Nob Hill? Where people are driving to a wine bar that has no parking? Yeah, it needs addressed.
Sometime you just gotta break a few eggs. But it's better than the status quo. And this federal money is use-it-or-lose it, and if Trump wins with a Republican Congress, all of this federal money earmarked for public transportation upgrades goes bye-bye. The great thing is that compromise is an option, as it was in Cleveland, and hopefully both sides can work out the BIG issue(s) regarding on-street parking. But a few years down the road, I'd bet most would look back on it as the right thing to do in ABQ, despite short-term headaches and an adjustment in the paradigm. Big picture.

Last edited by kpl1228; 07-05-2016 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:24 PM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,845 posts, read 4,787,919 times
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It's not just about lost parking. It's about creating a situation in which getting around certain stretches of Central, specifically including Nob Hill, is going to become difficult enough that a large number of existing customers will look elsewhere. I don't think they will be replaced by new customers drawn by the (maybe) more reliable bus service.

The economy locally and nationally is not great. Why risk doing this sort of damage to an area of the city that is relatively healthy?

The whole way it has been managed has been a typical case of elites telling the public what is good for them and preventing a real democratic decision making process.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 53,737,649 times
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As an outsider that has visited your City I suggest this proposed project is an unneeded boondoggle designed to help the contractors much more then the residents. Among other things Albuquerque is not densely enough populated to generate the required ridership. I suggest you do not waste the taxpayers money.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Old Town
1,976 posts, read 3,495,680 times
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One issue I have is. They are doing all this to save something like 2% of the population 11 minutes. Think about that, 11 minutes they are saving but increasing for the rest of the people that will not take public transportation.
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:17 PM
 
3,687 posts, read 5,350,382 times
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The reason is political. It is spelled out in the latest ABQ Free Press. It says that Mayor Berry, a Republican, wants to push this project through and give contracts to friends who will then help finance his campaign for Governor. So the businesses that oppose it are not opposing the project so much as they oppose funding Berry's future campaign.

But I had to laugh at the article in Free Press that showed a picture of an employee behind the counter at the Flying Star in Nob Hill, with a caption saying something like "one of the restaurants that will be hurt by ART construction." Flying Star has been closing locations and struggling to stay afloat for years. Their problems are entirely of their own making.

Last edited by aries63; 07-05-2016 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:24 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
26,465 posts, read 44,522,371 times
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Very Briefly, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit was not an overnight idea...

Albuquerque Rapid Transit, known as ART, is a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) line along Central Avenue between Tramway Boulevard (NM 556) and the Central and the Unser Transit Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

in 2004, the City of Albuquerque began operations of its first Rapid Ride line, as a precursor to a light rail system along Central Avenue. The plans for light rail were disbanded. Rapid Ride became a permanent system, expanding to three different lines in 2006 and 2009. Studies to build a rapid transit system using either buses or streetcars also took place in 2006, but no action was taken. Although the Rapid Ride is a limited stop express bus service, it lacks several key features of BRT, such as dedicated travel lanes and off-bus fare payment. The first line opened, and ran from Unser to Wyoming, then going to the Uptown Transit Center. A second Rapid Ride opened in 2006 to the west side, and the Rapid Rides were given color designations, the 766 Red Line and the 790 Blue Line. In 2009, the third Rapid Ride, the 777 Green Line, started service from Downtown to Tramway Boulevard. The Red and Green Line Rapid Rides were designed to supplement the heavily traveled 66 bus which travels from Tramway Boulevard to Unser Boulevard, as well as transport passengers to popular destinations.

Presently, only the 66 bus travels the length of Central Avenue, except from Unser to 98th street, which is served by route 198. The 777 Green line only travels from Downtown east to Tramway, and the 766 Red Line starts at Unser and travels east, but turns north on Louisiana to Coronado Mall. The 790 Blue Line serves passengers from the west side to UNM.

ART received a recommendation for $69 million in federal funding as part of the proposed FY 17 budget and anticipates the start of construction in May 2016 pending FTA approval to spend local funds...

Reference: wikipedia.org - Albuquerque Rapid Transit
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:22 PM
 
497 posts, read 472,011 times
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I'm for ART and look forward to riding it.

Simply, I see it as the best opportunity for Albuquerque to advance public transit, which I think will make for a more convenient and enjoyable city to live in. In particular, transit encourages density, spurs development, and promotes walkable, connected neighborhoods, all of which I like in a city.

Light rail would be more attractive and probably allow for greater capacity, but it would be many times more expensive. ART could be adapted to light rail down the road too, if it made sense. But the nice thing about ART is that, at least as proposed, the system would be a top-level bus rapid transit. That includes things like pre-boarding ticket purchase, median boarding, and signal priority that are all shown to provide for faster, more reliable transit. Hopefully litigation and political pressure won't result in a watered down system.

Also, Central is the right place for bus rapid transit. It is by far the busiest bus route in the city, and bus rapid transit needs and feeds on that density. I see congestion on Central as a good thing if it slows traffic, and makes the street a more pedestrian friendly environment. ART will also allow the city to shift its rapid ride resources now on Central to other routes. Ideally, ART can be expanded to new routes as the system grows, including to the Sunport.

I'm not a huge fan of Mayor Berry. And I'm sure that construction companies, architects, and other professionals will benefit from the project. But remember that those are good, local jobs being created (largely with federal money). As well, the fact that developers and landowners on Central, including Presbyterian, support ART shows that the project will promote development and improve land values.

Albuquerque is a great city in a lot of ways. But it lacks the urban, walkable neighborhoods that many of its city peers and cities that draw people away from Albuquerque have. ART is a chance to move the needle a little bit towards dynamism and growth with a transit system that's been proven to work elsewhere. Let's try it here.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Silver Hill, Albuquerque
967 posts, read 994,407 times
Reputation: 1512
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
The reason is political. It is spelled out in the latest ABQ Free Press. It says that Mayor Berry, a Republican, wants to push this project through and give contracts to friends who will then help finance his campaign for Governor. So the businesses that oppose it are not opposing the project so much as they oppose funding Berry's future campaign.

But I had to laugh at the article in Free Press that showed a picture of an employee behind the counter at the Flying Star in Nob Hill, with a caption saying something like "one of the restaurants that will be hurt by ART construction." Flying Star has been closing locations and struggling to stay afloat for years. Their problems are entirely of their own making.
Yeah, save their original store in Nob Hill and a single Satellite directly across from UNM (which would do fine even if they put an elevated viaduct down Central), Flying Star doesn't even operate any restaurants in the Central corridor anymore. They pretty much cleared out of anywhere near the proposed route well before anyone was even talking about ART.

I have qualms about ART too - at least in its current configuration - but don't kid yourself that the Free Press is anything approaching an unbiased voice on the subject. For whatever reason they (and one extremely libertarian reporter/editor in particular) have an axe to grind about ART and this has been apparent since their very first coverage of the proposal. This despite their own poll which showed their readership supported and opposed ART in almost equal measure...
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