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Old 03-23-2016, 10:33 AM
 
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By a 7 to 2 vote, the proposed bus rapid transit "ART" was approved by City Council. It has been a hotly contested process with citizens passionately divided on the issue.

| Albuquerque Rapid Transit

Discussion at the barber shop was also mixed. Some thought the project would destroy Nob hill businesses and the neighborhood. Some thought it would benefit businesses on the detour route around construction.

I know the current Rapid Ride system needed upgrading (even though I still think of it as "new"). Some Rapid Ride stops have become eyesores and hangouts for hobos. The stop at San Mateo and Central attracted a rough crowd and since I had to make a connection there I stopped using it altogether. Don't know if that will change with ART running down the middle of 66.

What are your pros and cons?
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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Found it interesting that party affiliation had nothing to do with the 7-2 split.

Even as someone firmly opposed to it as proposed, I think it will yield some positives that will become apparent as the city reneges on the "rapid transit" aspects of it (assuming the money actually does get spent by the feds).

By renege, I mean as follows:

*The construction process will snarl traffic, and after it finishes, traffic will stay snarled.

*The transition from 2 lanes to 1 lane will take place in Central's bottlenecks, but after a relatively brief period of motorists staying out of the bus lanes, they'll occupy them out of sheer frustration with traffic. A few tickets may be handed out here and there, but police will be largely unable to pull over the offenders without further snarling traffic.

*A certain percentage of cars (and pedestrians) will occupy the bus-only lanes out of principle. Expect delays. The city will come up with new ordinances and penalties for obstructing the bus-only lanes. They'll be largely unenforceable and unenforced, and they'll only come out after much hand-wringing from the council.

*Once the federal government's money has been spent and we have a different administration, the bus lanes will officially return to becoming de facto general purpose lanes. A very vocal minority will decry what a crime against humanity the act will be, but it will calm traffic to current levels. A masterstroke by the council and mayor to con the federal government into funding city street improvements under the guise of transit.

Central, from its inception, has been a seedy row of scummy businesses and people (with the occasional normals mixed in), and that has been the very basis of its charm. That won't change.

With any luck, a new rapid ride on, say, San Mateo, Carlisle, and/or Montgomery can be instituted with the now-excess rapid ride buses. Those are the busiest lines that have no rapid ride service, and I predict they'd justify getting used.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
Central, from its inception, has been a seedy row of scummy businesses and people (with the occasional normals mixed in), and that has been the very basis of its charm. That won't change.
I have seen it changing for the better over the years. Nob Hill is no longer a red-light district (that activity has moved east) and has become a much more popular place to eat/shop/live than it was 20+ years ago. The old High School conversion to condos has helped development of "Edo". And some more recent developments between downtown and Old Town have also been welcome. So I'll be optimistic here and hope that the addition of ART will be part of what seems to be a trend toward making the Central corridor less "scummy" and more user-friendly (except for cars).

Coming from Boston where traffic is impossible on narrow downtown streets I'm not that worried about reducing lanes on Central. Snarled traffic is part of city life. People will learn to avoid using Central for east-west traffic out of necessity, rather than occupy dedicated bus lanes.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:02 PM
JBM
 
Location: New Mexico!
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I've seen these projects work and even exceed expectations elsewhere, and my own experience with them was positive, so i'm beyond thrilled to see this coming to our city. As much as i like the Rapid Ride, I feel like the infrastructure for it is falling apart and am exciting about new infrastructure. I suspect maybe that maintenance may have been put-off to await to see what would happen with ART. It's sure though that Rapid Ride has kind of been falling apart since ~2011 or ~2012, about the time the ART debate started. There used to be placards that showed the next bus' arrival times as an example.

I don't forsee as much of the catastrophe as Zoidberg, but I do agree that we could certainly (and should) expand the Rapid Ride either after ART or along with it. Hopefully, ART boosts capacity on Central so that additional Rapid Rides can be built without causing too much crowding on the Central trunk lines. I've always wanted more Rapid Rides, but worried that it would add more riders and capacity without also increasing the capacity on Central that would inevitably be effected. But I agree exactly about where new Rapid Rides should be deployed, along the 141 and 5 routes where they'd get lots of use and attract new riders, but I'd also add the idea of a Rapid Ride along the 10 route, 4th street could benefit, and it could potentially connect the corridor with Downtown, MontaƱo Transit Center and Journal Center nicely if done well.

I'm most excited about the modern station designs, the lane priority and better lighting and security. These were reasons I really supported this project, and they'll make Central look much more modern. I guess my biggest "pro" to the project is it has gotten people talking about transit and it serves as a great starting point to getting the ball rolling. People even against the project have stated desire for more Rapid Ride services and even indicated they'd use them if implemented. So, hopefully the city keeps this in mind and integrates more city-wide improvements, which they've said they're planning. In the end though, we have to start somewhere and this is a great place to start. I think we have a bright future with more public transit in ABQ, and hopefully we get the chance to vote for more funding for city-wide service improvements, because unfortunately, there aren't as many federal grants for such things like there are for ART.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:53 PM
 
Location: New Mexico via Ohio via Indiana
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I truly don't get the opposition towards ART, other than short-term financial hits for some of the businesses due to construction issues, and the usual gripes about the homeless from the NIMBY crowd (in many ways the opposition to light rail in this particular case is quite ironic, due to the usual political and cultural beliefs of the Nob Hill/UNM demographic).
Arguments for aesthetics hold little water: most public transportation re-dos have taken things like landscaping and streetscapes into account. I am sure this one will too (much to the chagrin of the guy I saw last week in Nob Hill with a picket sign decrying the potential loss of several trees in the median).
Granted, when I lived in Cleveland a few years back, when they did a massive transportation redo on their Euclid Avenue corridor, virtually the same arguments took place...some businesses (just a few, and basically barely hanging on anyway) did go under due to loss of parking and detours during construction, but sometimes ya just gotta break a few eggs for the long term. But it is much improved now that it is completed. And these parallels between Cleveland's Euclid Avenue and ABQ's Central are quite strong (medical areas, state university, the major street corridor in town historically, the breaking up of the center median in the roadway, etc)
And by the way, the current administration in Washington has federal money set aside for things such as urban transportation infrastructure. This may not hold after the next election. So use it or lose it. This opportunity is not available all the time, every year.
ABQ is not a small college town or mid-sized town losing population, it is a growing (check the census numbers, folks) CITY and region. And Nob Hill is the perfect neighborhood for this to occur. And cities need transportation infrastructure improvements from time to time. Like now. And if there are short term headaches for the residents, so be it. It's part of the gig of living in a perpetually changing cityscape. Big picture, folks.

Last edited by kpl1228; 03-27-2016 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kpl1228 View Post
ABQ is not a small college town or mid-sized town losing population, it is a growing (check the census numbers, folks) CITY and region. And Nob Hill is the perfect neighborhood for this to occur. And cities need transportation infrastructure improvements from time to time. Like now. And if there are short term headaches for the residents, so be it. It's part of the gig of living in a perpetually changing cityscape. Big picture, folks.
I have to agree. I've talked to several people who have considered moving here but felt like Albuquerque was too behind the times in several ways, including its transit system. And not Millennials, but people approaching or at retirement age who are looking for a place to live that is affordable with a nice climate. They do not expect to live car-free, but do want to be within reach of a lot of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options without having to drive. They end up scratching Albuquerque off their list, and reluctantly. They see a lot of unrealized potential here that would make it an ideal place to live.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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Default ART getting sued, twice. - Albuquerque Rapid Transit

The latest Albuquerque Journal has shed light on the ART controversy.

Their little infographic now betrays the first instance of _reversible lanes_ on the bottleneck stretches of Central.

Albuquerque's only reversible lanes I'm aware of are on the far south end of Eubank approaching the base.
There aren't a lot of distractions there but with Central's urban kaleidoscope, I wonder how they plan on avoiding head-on collisions.

Picturing a box truck from out of town and a habitually inebriated driver with a suspended license speeding down the wrong way and head-on colliding with an ART bus, killing both drivers and a couple of passengers.

Maybe the lawsuits will cut down on that.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:10 AM
 
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If you had looked at the plans on the brtabq.com site you would have seen that long ago, and you would have understood that the reversible lanes are for the ART buses only, not general traffic. Inebriated drivers can and do crash into things now; that won't change with ART.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
If you had looked at the plans on the brtabq.com site you would have seen that long ago, and you would have understood that the reversible lanes are for the ART buses only
I just looked at that site, and still see zero mention of reversible lanes.
Maybe you could point out where the word "reversible" appears.

If it indeed was reversible (which is not suggested by the papers on the site) then the site suggests there could be head-on ART traffic on the same side of the median as head-on traffic. You'd have a half-dozen head-on collisions on the first day if that was the case.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:24 AM
 
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No problem: Map | Albuquerque Rapid Transit
Look at the legend on the left. Hard to miss it.
It apples to the section from Rio Grande Blvd. to 10th St.
The bus lanes will be of a different color from regular traffic lanes and will have "BUS ONLY" painted on them. Your fears of instant calamity do not seem well-grounded.
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