Quick Anatomy of “Don’t Do This” Bike Infrastructure: 2nd St. South of Bridge Blvd. Overpass

Plenty of good discussion happening right now around Burque regarding how to inform, protect and enforce the new generation of bike lanes and other infrastructure around town (e.g., Zuni, MLK, Jr. Blvd.). Still quite a few bumps in the road, so to speak, but these discussions, and action based on them, will hopefully help smooth things out.

Looking forward, perhaps it’s instructive to look back at previous iterations of ABQ bike infrastructure, sorta like the old “Romper Room” show with its “Do Bee” and “Don’t Bee” song segment. Yes, I still remember this from almost 50 years ago (circa-1967), even earlier that this 1980 “New Wave” version.  Today’s “Don’t Bee” of bike infrastructure is 2nd St. looking northbound just south of the Bridge Blvd. overpass:


Ms. Julie from “Romper Room” certainly wouldn’t approve of the segments color-coded (for your protection) here. Looking color-by-color:

  • Blood Red is for the sharrow sign placed too far right in the lane, seeming to indicate that “Share the Road” means “Get the Hell over cyclists and if you don’t I can feel free to run you over in my motor vehicle.”
  • Darker Blood Red is for the parking lane that looks like a bike lane; and,
  • Blue as an azure sky in deepest Summer is for the Bicycle Sign that seems to indicate the parking lane is a bike lane, while also radiating a general confusion, as this sign can be seen all over town meaning everything from “Share the Road” without adding the important text “Share the Road,” to upcoming bicycle route/path crossing to cases like this where it doubles-down on the confusion with its placement right next to the beginning of a parking lane that looks like a bike lane.
  • Green is for the unpopulated areas (dirt parking lot & Railyards) to the west and east of 2nd St., strikingly indicating that there’s absolutely no need for a parking lane. None. But it is a parking lane. But people think it’s a bike lane. Which it isn’t.

In sum, a mass of confusion reflecting what not to do when “improving” bike infrastructure in Albuquerque. Does 2nd St. need to “Do Be-ized” immediately? But, of course. Atop this, despite the job’s relative age, its foibles can be used to help guide tweaks and improvements not only on 2nd St., but in brand-new and upcoming projects around town.

As one who has bike commuted for over a decade through Barelas, taking 4th St. instead of 2nd, for the reasons colorfully depicted above, it would be nice to see some instructive benefit from a case of bike infrastructure work that has, to this point, been pretty much worthless.



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