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ABQ Rapid Transit Moves Forward

 
By: DAYNA G. CRAWFORD, Deputy Director /Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project Manager
 
All great cities have vibrant neighborhoods and effective public transit. Experience has repeatedly shown that cities that invest in bus rapid transit create inviting walkable neighborhoods and spawn a wave of local private development.
 
With community help, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project continues to move forward toward construction and completion. With the anticipated granting of $80 million in federal grant funds in the President’s budget in February, the ART project will enter the first phase of construction by late-March.  And as we move forward to construction - it’s important to know that one lane will be open in each direction at all times in front of businesses. We are also working with businesses to host events on Central to make sure people know they are open and welcome customers. 
 
The latest station designs and roadway alignments can be viewed on the project website (BRTABQ.com) and represent four years of public input and ideas. These updated documents, at 60-90% design completion, incorporate lighting designs, cross sections and alignments along Central Avenue. 
 
ART will provide quick and efficient transit service with increased dependability and timeliness. By purchasing fare tickets at nearby kiosks, ART will reduce how long the vehicle is standing still to pick up passengers, which will greatly improve service speed. This combined with advanced signal timing and a dedicated lane allows the ART to move more easily through the city. ART, while designed to look and operate like trains, is a considerably less costly alternative to light rail.
 
The ART project will contribute to the character of Central Avenue by widening sidewalks and/or adding landscaping wherever right-of-way allows, making all sidewalks ADA accessible, and improving pedestrian lighting to create a walkable corridor. These and other ART streetscape improvements may slow traffic somewhat but will also increase the safety of pedestrians and bicycle users and make businesses more “visible”. This type of environment attracts people and businesses.
 
Rapid transit projects like ART have a proven record of stimulating development and redevelopment of neighborhoods in other cities. For instance, an article in Albuquerque Business First said in the first year that Fort Collins, CO operated its rapid transit system, it attracted $150 million in associated development along its transit corridor. A Forbes magazine article said Cleveland’s $250 million investment in putting its HealthLine down a main corridor has generated $5.8 billion in development since opening in 2008. That’s $114 for each transit dollar invested.
 
To further our public outreach efforts, we will hold five (5) public input sessions in late February and early March. These meetings will give an overview of the designs and station updates, explain construction phasing, and allow people an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts about the construction. 
 
Please learn more about ART at www.brtabq.com or on the ART Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AlbuquerqueRapidTransit
 

DAYNA G. CRAWFORD

Deputy Director /Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project Manager

ABQ RIDE

Alvarado Transportation Center | 100 1st Street SW | Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Mailing Address:

Albuquerque Transit Department, ABQ RIDE  I  P.O. Box 1293 I  Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103

Direct: 505-724-3184 |Cell: 505-414-3438

 

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