Central Avenue and Monroe, Lunchtime, 10.24.16
Everything you’ve heard about the mayhem and horror of Central during Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction is true. Look at that bumper-to-bumper traffic! Despair for the inaccessible businesses and utter gridlock! Oh. The. Humanity.
Yes, the trees once here are gone. In an effort at fairness, let’s look at those disappeared trees:
Okay, it’s too bad about the trees. We all like trees. True, some median landscaping will come back near the San Mateo ART Station. Overall, we’re told the number of trees will be greater with ART. Still, we miss the trees, although at least some of our rooting for the trees was their plucky, exposed and lonely existence in a transportation maelstrom. It’s not like that five-foot strip of median was a park or anything; it’s more truthful to say that median, and those trees, served as inadequate “safety” for scared pedestrians who hid behind them as the cars zoomed by.
Meanwhile, in doing a bit of research this afternoon on the corner of Central and Monroe, I also came across this 2013 Albuquerque Journal crime story. It includes a photo with a nearly identical viewpoint:
Yes, sometimes the view of those trees has been blocked by things like RV-sized “Command Units.” And yes, the area around Central and Monroe has issues and problems that go beyond trees and transportation. Viewpoints are certainly mixed on how much impact ART can have in helping deal with these issues, even the “simpler” ones of transportation and public safety. But one cannot say things at the corner of Central and Monroe were that great during the “good ‘ol days” of the trees. Even on days without “Command Units” blocking the view.