With regard to support and opposition to the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART), emphasis continues to be heavy on the Nob Hill impact. While everyone seems to be debating how much Nob Hill shops like Hey Jhonny and Nob Hill Music will be affected, here are two Street View screenshots near the proposed Old Coors Rd. station. First, looking West we see the current array of check cashing, rent-a-centers, available business property and wide-open spaces:
And looking East a bit further up Coors around Yucca, we see a closed fast-food place, the seedy West Central Motel and other hallmarks of a “West Mesa Neighborhood Association” in long-term dilapidation.
The question raised by these views is: What impact will ART have on this part of Central and environs? In terms of “upside,” Old Coors and Central has just about nowhere to go but up on many scales. Perhaps the lack of attention in all the ART discussion so far is an implicit giving up on any chance for real vitalization in this neighborhood. Maybe it’s just a lack of relative political power amid these decrepit businesses and lower-income citizens.
Still, the question remains pertinent and important in looking at the pros/cons of ART overall. How will a major street redesign and buses every 7.5 minutes change these tableaux? Will that “For Lease” sign go away in Photo #1? Will the almost brand-new, but closed fast-food restaurant in photo #2 resurrect? Or will both shots look pretty darn similar in 2020, 2030 and beyond? Rapid Ride has been cruising this stretch of road for years now, with no real effect. What does ART bring to the economic table here?