Albuquerque BRT system could worsen mobility in Central corridor

I attended one of the ongoing public hearings on Albuquerques’s proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system last night. And, while BRT would be an improvement over Mayor Marty’s ill-fated trolley/streetcar, the BRT plan is not ready for prime time.

For starters, the plan (information on which is available here) would reduce Central traffic by one lane each way in order to dedicate one lane of traffic in each direction to buses. In places, that means only one lane of traffic in each direction on Central. Simply put, that is not enough.

The other major issue is that motorists turning left onto Central will see their ability to do so severely limited except for at major intersections. In other words, you can turn left to Central at Carlisle, but not Cornell or on several other smaller roads. Additionally, left turns from Central on to these smaller streets or to simply get to a business on the opposite side of Central will be reduced significantly. Instead, motorists will be required to make a U-turn at a major intersection and then head back down Central to the business or side-street.

A Channel 13 KRQE story covers some of the concerns area business owners and residents have with the plan.

RGF has no problem with BRT as a concept (the current Rapid Ride system is a less costly variant of BRT), but it appears that the City is planning to spend $150 million for a system that will REDUCE mobility throughout the Central corridor. Seems like an unwise use of limited funds.

If you are concerned, please send a note to the Transit Department here. Mayor Berry is at least taking a slower, more collaborative approach to BRT. We can still modify or even convince the City to abandon BRT if it is not workable.

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3 Replies to “Albuquerque BRT system could worsen mobility in Central corridor”

  1. Above all else, central planners hate cars. When people use cars, they are not subject to direct government control. This really pisses off central planners.

    Central Ave in ABQ is not particularly congested. Reducing the avenue to one lane is idiocy, but that’s what one should expect when dealing with central planners.

  2. BRT will “eat up” one lane of traffic, both eastbound and westbound, along several miles of Central Avenue. The proponents laud the speed of mass transit, while ignoring the “road block” imposed on delivery trucks and automobiles. The “new urbanists” want to significantly reduce individual vehicle traffic, forgetting that “da bus” doesn’t have a stop at your house…nor does it go where you need to go.
    Imagine the traffice in Nob Hill, with only one lane eastound and westbound. Try to imagine a dedicated lane for the “trollley on tires” all along Central. Take some time to observe “crush hour” now alg Central—-reduction of one lane is not just a 1/3 reduction in auto traffic, it will be a Dodge-Em car chaotic mess.

  3. It appears that robocars are the future, and the near future at that. One of the appropriate size will appear at your door when summoned (there will be an app for that), and take you exactly where you want to go, then discreetly withdraw into a networked pool for the next summons. You might even own your own robocar, but why bother?

    Buses were a very dismal and wretched form of transportation that scudded and farted about during the twentieth century. Lest we forget so soon, EVERYONE hated buses. The moment anyone had enough money to get off the bus, s/he did so immediately, good riddance and never looked back.

    And Guvner Bill’s Train to Nowhere? Strictly 19th century! A cool billion dollars we owe for that pointless amusement-park ride.

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