3.10.16 Rio Grande Blvd. Public Meeting: The Anti-ART

Had the chance to attend most of the Rio Grande Blvd. “Complete Streets Concept Plan” public meeting last night and it’s too bad you missed it (likely, as there were only about 20 people there).

It was the exact opposite of every ART meeting: civil, thoughtful, informatively precise and creative in its exploration of ideas. It was everything public participation can and should be, an accomplishment that unfortunately might seem impossible to those large numbers attending ART meetings the last few weeks.

As for the Plan itself, specifics were laid out in a PowerPoint (yeah, I know, PowerPoint…shudder) that was pretty much a combination of an earlier presentation and the latest renderings, but in the two links you miss the creative, imaginative and CIVIL back and forth from citizens and presenters along with the PowerPoint. And, believe it or not, all this happened even when somebody said the ultimate atomic bomb word in traffic planning these days: “roundabout.”


As for the specifics at this point, there’s plenty to argue about. And folks did argue last night, but with a definite bent toward a communal resolution that will make Rio Grande between I-40 and Alhambra as good as it can be, given its limitations, high traffic and crash counts.

Will Better Burque start cycling North/South via Rio Grande Blvd. after any of these improvements/alternatives? Let’s keep this piece objective by avoiding that question. Look at the renderings yourself and contact city staff listed here with your civil, creative and imaginative thoughts on the matter.  Together, maybe we can make using Rio Grande Blvd. in this area 1/100th as nice, pleasant and thoughtful as was last night’s public meeting.


2 thoughts on “3.10.16 Rio Grande Blvd. Public Meeting: The Anti-ART

  1. It was certainly an interesting contrast to ART meetings. Somewhat surprising that attendees allowed Central/Rio Grande to be removed from discussion as that’s been almost a decade long “planning” process. Convenient to just roll it into ART like that is perfect solution. In terms of bicycle access and navigation through potentially signifcant connecting corridors, that might be short sighted. One item that was quietly presented is that now there will be an addition 400(?) motor vehicle trips between Alahmabra to Rio Grande. That seems like a significant burden on residential folks living in that neighborhood and will certainly have an impact at Rio Grande/Alahambra for bicycle safety and comfort (currently arguably A+ now in terms of level of service).

    Since plans are to have bicycle lanes terminate on Central at New York, this route via Alahambra/Chacoma becomes a very important connection to and from west side/downtown and also North-South if improvements will not be made on Rio Grande Central to Mountain.

    The most intriguing question of all is what Councilor/Council services will do with the input and comments. Will they just be recorded as “public input” and then another long gap till another similar set of alternatives is presented in another public meeting? Or will the thoughtful comments/insights be catalogued, processed, digested and then used to discuss with and move things forward with the very important community interest groups in the area?


  2. Scott: Pertinent observations, all. From the cycling perspective, enhancing east-west alternatives both north and south of Central will be VITAL with ART. You point out the ramifications of rising traffic on Alhambra south of Central; it’s also true to get Mountain EXACTLY right at Rio Grande Blvd., especially as it’s a “bike boulevard” (at least in name and a few actual aspects). As for safe north-south bicycle travel on Rio Grande itself between Central/I-25, making that section truly “Complete” might end up having more to do with somehow dramatically reducing the traffic count than anything else.


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