To misquote Colonel Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness,” “the disaster….the disaster…”
“District 1 City Councilor Ken Sanchez said that the work so far is a ‘disaster,’ and that he didn’t expect so many lanes of Central to be closed even where no work is happening. He thought the work would be done in segments.”- from “City to drivers: Due to ART project, take another route,” by Fernanda Torres and Madeleine Schmitt, 10.19.16
So after proclaiming Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) construction a “disaster,” Councilor Sanchez has plunged deep into his political cerebrum and come up with a proposal to offer free bus rides on Central Ave., as well as Coors and Louisiana Boulevards.
On one level, the Councilor’s proposal is quaint in its proffered furtherance of one goal for ART, that more current drivers start riding the bus. On another level, Councilor Sanchez is the guy who said ART construction is a “disaster.” BB will leave it to readers as to which level Sanchez is working harder here.
Listening to constituents is important, but leadership is both more important and harder. When you co-sponsor a project, you can’t waffle…you have to lead. Councilor Sanchez is proving to be a much better breakfast chef than leader: he sure can waffle. Moreover, instead of offering suggestions and strategies his driving-centric/business constituents might actually take, such as consulting online traffic reports, expanded viewable online traffic cameras down Central, (we KNOW the cameras are there, folks, even if they ain’t “red light cameras.”) and, most simply, noting that traffic isn’t nearly as bad as perceptions generated by statements such as Sanchez’s “disaster” comment.
It is also worth asking again, out loud, who is/was driving Central Avenue, even before ART? The no-brainer route has always involved a parallel street (e.g., Lead/Coal) cutting north/south to Central to wherever one wished to go. While parallels to West Central are further apart (e.g., I-40/Bridge), this isn’t Boston’s “Big Dig” we’re talking about here.
The traffic volumes and wait times for ART construction are relatively nothing, yet Councilor Sanchez seems bound and determined to scare and waffle his way into personal political benefit. Yes, this style of leadership seems quite in vogue these days.