Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) continues to “Creep” forward, as Radiohead and many, many cover artists might say, with the latest in a flurry of legal challenges, maneuvers and folderol. Yes, we’ve achieved “folderol” status, folks!
Yesterday, a federal appeals court granted an emergency motion after a City of Albuquerque appeal of the construction injunction (“what’s your function”) put in place after opponents appealed an initial federal ruling that construction could proceed.
You got that?
This leaves us with the wonderfully Orwellian legal finding that “non-destructive, pre-construction” construction can begin, evidently today, as long as it is not destructive…and “pre.” For instance, I believe this blogpost is not in violation of yesterday’s ruling. But I’m not entirely sure.
Having achieved lofty folderol status, those who have participated and/or closely followed events here in Albuquerque pertaining to ART might get the impression that we are unique in our folderolosity (which WordPress tells me is not really a word..that’s okay, it also tells me “folderol” isn’t a word, either). How is it even possible that such a bewildering combination of controversy and legal machinations could ever, ever take place regarding a bus rapid transit system?
It’s unpossible, right?
Actually no. Following a highly skilled, and highly underpaid “professional” Google search with the terms “brt project halted -albuquerque,” the following “hits” come up. We’ll just point out a few of the 203,000 results indicated:
- Provo, Utah, 6.11.15 : “Petition to Halt Utah County Bus Rapid Transit Fails”
- Amman, Jordan, 6.18.15: Work resumes after “the project stopped in the summer of 2011 amid concerns over its feasibility and funding, and the Cabinet subsequently suspended it and halted all related tenders.”
- Islamabad, Pakistan, 6.24.13: “The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has termed the Cabinet Division’s objection to its proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project “unnecessary, premature and a deliberate attempt to disrupt the project at its primary stage.”
- Johannesburg, South Africa, March 18, 2010: “On Monday, despite a two-week delay, violent opposition, vandalism and a minibus taxi strike, Johannesburg successfully rolled out new Rea Vaya BRT routes in the Soweto township.”
- Houston, Texas, 5.29.15: Amid protests of financial conflict-of-interest, city “officials contend that they have appropriately disclosed the potential conflicts and that opponents are merely launching a last-ditch effort to derail the bus plan.”
- Vancouver, Washington (Portland, OR suburb), 12.4.14: “Nineteen Clark County citizens have sued C-TRAN, seeking to halt the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) high capacity project planned for Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver, an accounting of funds expended so far on the project, and a public vote approving BRT before further funds are spent.”
- Fresno, California, 1.31.14: “Fresno City Council Slams the Brakes on BRT”
- Eugene, Oregon, 2009 (from Federal Transit Administration evaluation of the project): “The City of Eugene is an environmentally minded community and has a city ordinance that doesn’t allow the removal of any tree in the right of way that is over 50 years old without holding a public vote. LTD was required to airbrush the roots of trees located where the transitway was to be built to determine whether or not the tree could be removed. While it did not halt the construction process, LTD did incur an additional expense to determine the root structure.”
- New Dehli, India, 5.8.14: Amid delays in construction, one passenger notes: “‘It connects Delhi in a good manner,’ said Akshya Saxena, a passenger standing near a bus rapid transit platform amid rush-hour traffic. But he added with a sigh, ‘In India, everything becomes controversial.'”
Yeah, Burque, it turns out we have some ways to go in the Folderol Olympics. That team from New Dehli, for instance, is gonna be really hard to beat. Actually, it’s strangely reassuring to see similar obstacles, opposition and something else beginning with the letter “o” all around the world pertaining to BRT system implementation. Despite how crazy ART has become, and how absolutely bonkers it has made some of us, we’re not alone.
There’s plenty of crazy to go around. Isn’t that reassuring?