Albuquerque’s Bike Bridge to Wal-Mart Unveiled

Today saw the unveiling of Albuquerque’s $7 million stimulus-funded bike bridge over the Rio Grande. Being a West-Sider and something of a bike enthusiast myself (although I have been and remain a critic of the bridge), I decided to ride over to witness the ceremony.

Aside from the cost, one big problem with the bridge is that the trail to it ends in a Wal Mart parking lot:

Of course, if you are riding the trail along the river and get hungry, there is also a Chili’s: Considering that those two establishments are the most likely to gain from the trail, I wonder if they put up any money? I doubt it.

As I said, I rode my bike over, but as the photos below illustrate, plenty of folks drove to the illustrious occasion: Some of them blatantly disregarded “No Parking” signage:

Dignitaries in attendance included Rep. Heinrich who clearly did not ride his bike over, Mayor Berry, Councilors Dan Lewis, O’Malley, and Benton (he did ride his bike), and former Gov. and Stimulus “Czar” Toney Anaya. Most discussed the wonders of the new bridge and the quality of life aspects of it and how wonderful it is for the City. I don’t blame our Councilors for this as it is largely stimulus money that funded the project.

But, one thing did catch my eye and that was some of the run-down mobile homes at the bottom of the bridge like this one:

I have to say that I think that folks like those living in this trailer could have used the $7 million dollars more than the wealthy yuppies who will benefit in some small way from this expensive new bridge (you can get to the Bosque Trail from the MontaƱo Bridge Bike Trail already). Oh well, such are the economics of our federal government’s failed “stimulus” policies.