After hearing from many, the City of Albuquerque has listened and its Department of Municipal Development (DMD) will, by all accounts, restripe the oft-discussed Girard Complete Street Project’s Lomas to Indian School segment in the dimensions outlined below:
The reconfiguration above shaves a foot from each driving lane to widen the northbound bike lane to four feet. Further information on this restriping will be presented at next Monday’s Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee meeting.
City implementation of the above is obviously a positive for those advocating for a wider bike lane, but a bigger, long-term positive is that the Girard Project saga offers hope, a lesson, and a precedent in how we might proceed as a community in making roadway projects the best they can be for all users.
Those lessons learned are intricate, and relating them in-depth via a blog post not terribly helpful, to be honest. But those lessons can be boiled down to this: communication and openness is essential to all relationships, including between a City and its citizens.
The City of Albuquerque and its Department of Municipal Development is to be commended for its listening to, and communicating with, citizens concerned with the striping job on Girard. These folks could have simply gotten defensive and gone into a bureaucratic shell, but they did not.
Meanwhile, the non-motorized community is to be commended for understanding that while the fix here is not perfect, the simple math of a roadway being 39 feet wide, 35 if you don’t count the gutters, means compromise is necessary all around, at least when funds, and other factors, are not available to widen the road.
On a day in which the Albuquerque Journal endorsed Tim Keller for Mayor, Better Burque jumps on that editorial energy to endorse the work done by all players in the Girard saga. Remember this one well, everyone, and let’s use what we have learned here to propel roadway project work throughout the coming Keller administration.