Newly appointed Official Staff Photographer John Fleck and I yesterday rode the 97% pleasant, 3% terrifying (i.e., crossing San Mateo and Wyoming) that is Claremont NE, running East/West from basically Eubank in the far NE Heights all the way to about 50 feet from where this Official Staff Photographer photograph was taken:
As the circled distant cyclist indicates, that’s the North Diversion Channel (NDC) Trail on the other side of the wide arroyo.
Someday, we’re gonna have a multi-use path bridge over that arroyo running from what is now the western end of Claremont NE to the NDC. Here’s the area for those unfamiliar:
The proposed bridge and connection is in red above.
Once complete, the 97% beauty of Claremont will allow a cyclist to safely go all the way from Eubank in a straight, idyllic to the point of being a de facto bike boulevard shot on to the NDC, and, from there, to just about every part of town. As this excerpt from the 2017 ABQ Bike Map shows, Claremont is a vital East/West route in the area, as nearby parallel options, Candelaria and, especially, Menaul are death to cyclists.
No, there aren’t any official or unofficial plans, at least that I know about, to connect Claremont NE to the NDC. Consider this the official kick-off to such a campaign.
At some point we’ll also need even more arduous campaigns to put Claremont HAWK signals at San Mateo and Wyoming. Considering the likelihood of such a campaign being successful makes the bridge idea seem like a slam dunk in comparison.
So let’s start with the bridge. In creating such a connection, there’s also the matter of a narrow, but oh-so-fetching, walking path/park adjacent to a senior living center. You can make out the oh-so-fetching fence for the path/park in the aforeseen Better Burque official photograph (the fence BB’s Official Photographer John’s bike is leaning on):
I don’t know how much the bridge and senior center fence/park will cost, but I’ll personally put up $10 toward purchase of right-of-way and construction, even though I live about 15 miles away from the area. If you knew what an incredible cheapskate I am, you’d know this $10 shows an incredible amount of commitment to the idea.
So Scot puts up $10 and AMAFCA can chime in with a few million dollars. That seems about right.
If you haven’t already done so, ride out there yourself, being sure to include the current “official” way for cylcists to access the NDC, a route that takes them on to very substandard bike lanes on Candelaria.
The Claremont Bridge will be oh-so-nicer. I’ve got $10 that says so.