Last Chance to Help Measure Bike Lanes! Best/Worst of AABLE So Far

Note: This is the weekly BB Duke City Fix piece. Devoted BB readers will notice a few mentions below that have been made here previously. All that means is that you are a tremendously hip and cool person. So it’s a compliment. Enjoy…


With 279 data points and 83 separate roads collected so far, and only, roughly, 27 road segments left to go, your chance to join our bike lane measuring effort is just about over. Don’t you want to be able to tell your grandchildren, or unknown folks in the grocery store check-out line, that you participated in AABLE?

Seriously, the bike lane measuring project is somewhere around 85% complete at this point; big thanks go out to all who have helped so far and those who will continue to do so. A list of streets/segments still left to measure can be found at the bottom of this post.

Also below is a little photographic essay of some highs and lows of Albuquerque bike infrastructure I’ve personally run across in my AABLE travels. Speaking of those travels, and to answer questions such as “Why the Hell are you measuring these bike lanes?”, here are a few products and by-products revealed in undertaking this endeavor:

  1. The absolute best way to learn this city is to force one’s self to ride a bicycle in places s/he had never previously considered. Having bike lanes in widely spaced parts of town, and saying “I’m gonna measure all the bike lanes,” is a way of becoming more adventurous and less travel introverted. Oh, the places you’ll go, as a certain “doctor” once wrote.
  2. Albuquerque truly has plenty of good, bad, and ugly when it comes to bike infrastructure. This is no surprise, but some remote, at least to me, parts of town have some amazingly good bike lanes, while others, sometimes equally remote, umm…don’t (see photos below for examples of both).
  3. The Albuquerque bicycle community is great! Yes, we never seem to agree on anything and, yes, like all single-issue groups (and the Mafia) we tend to only eviscerate our own, but the help exhibited via an array of cyclists, journalists who are cyclists, etc. has been heart-warming and confidence-building in terms of tackling bike advocacy issues in Burque.
  4. Bike Lanes are a form of traffic engineering ethnology/archaeology.Collecting this data illustrates the many “generations” of bike lane thinking and practice. Our streets are a living museum of what was considered “safe” 5/10/20 years ago and how bike lane history, unfortunately unlike history in many other realms, is evolving upwards and onwards.


And now a few best/worst photos, so far:

1. Best Bike Lane in Town (at least that I’ve found):.  De Vargas and Timarron in the far SW part of town. 171 total inches (77 inch lane; 94 inch buffer).  Combined with the very, very low traffic count and speed here, going uphill has never been so much fun.

2. The Many Periods, Eons, Epochs and Ages of Bike Lanes on San Pedro: Example “Cambrian Period.” 25 inches of lane just south of Paseo del Norte. Further south, near Bellamah, San Pedro has a 61-inch lane with 25-inch buffer. Let’s call San Pedro/Bellamah “Information Age,” as we mix our classification metaphors.

3. History in Progress: Dr. MLK, Jr. Blvd at Edith. Taken a couple of weeks ago, this intersection now has a bright-green bike box and adjacent green on the bike lane. I’ve left MLK on the “to be done” list below, as the project isn’t done, and slight measurement related changes are still possible. In this shot, we’re looking at 72-inch bike lane and 39-inch buffer.

4. “May I Interest You in a Multi-Use Path?”: Unser north of Tower. With 33 inches of bike lane and the traffic speeds on Unser, the engineering more than gently goads one to the MUP and makes one wonder why this also “counts” as a bike lane.

5. You put the coconut in the lime and mix it all up…oh, wait, let’s switch those.The area around McKinney and Forest Hills in the NE Heights switches the buffer from driving lane-side to curb-side (Burlison being another example). I’ve heard theories on why this was done in this little enclave of opposite universe thinking, but am all ears on the “real story.”  59-inch bike lane and 77-inch buffer here, by the way.

6. When the Bike Lane Symbol is Painted on the Gutter, You Know…: This is Candelaria at the North Diversion Channel (NDC) Multi-Use Path, near Girard, westbound. Picking my least favorite bike lane so far is tough. There are several candidates (e.g., 2nd St. between Alameda and Paseo). Nevertheless, it’s hard to outdo the ugly of the 26-inch bike lane, and approaching 18-wheeler in this instance, at Candelaria and NDC. In fact, Candelaria throughout is very possibly the single most in need, high priority, existing bike lane improvement situation in ABQ. Counting Candelaria in the “more than 400 miles of on-street bicycle facilities and multi-use trails,” as the City of Albuquerque does, is misleading advertising and encourages unsafe travel.

Still more photos and adventures to be had, and, of course, you’re invited. Measuring rules are simple and can be found in this previous post. Thanks again for everyone’s help and here’s the list of what’s left. As the project has evolved, the issue of how often to stop/measure has come up. My feeling is that eyeballing and only stopping when previous measurements start to vary quite a bit (e.g., San Pedro as mentioned above or Southern with its quite different westbound v. eastbound width) is good enough.

  • 72nd NW near Susie Reyes Marmon Elem.
  • Atrisco (I-40 to Central)
  • Atrisco Vista (see Volcano Vista)
  • Barstow (Harper to Paseo del Norte Far NE)
  • Bluewater NW
  • Broadway (Downtown and around I-40)
  • Carlisle (south of Coal)
  • Central (west of downtown)
  • Chelwood Park (north of I-40)
  • Cherry Hills (Barstow to Cherry Blossom Far NE)
  • Coors (only around Bosque School and nearby)
  • Copper (near UNM)
  • Copper (North of I-40)
  • Dorado/Wenonah (FAR East west of Tramway in Four Hills)
  • Eubank (Paseo)
  • Fortuna (West Mesa HS)
  • High Desert (all)
  • Kirtland AFB (all)
  • Layton (Academy to Eubank)
  • Los Volcanoes NW
  • MLK (once restriping is completely done)
  • Monte Vista
  • Rainbow (Volcano Vista H.S.)
  • Rosewood (Harper to Cherry Hills Far NE)
  • San Francisco (Ventura to Holbrook far NE)
  • Volcano Vista (shows as bike lane on CABQ Map, but is in fact just shoulder)
  • Western Skies (off Singing Arrow between Juan Tabo and Tramway FAR East)

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