“Why Did They Do X?”

A few weeks back, John wrote a BB piece entitled “Why Don’t They Just Do X?” discussing how seemingly irrational and incomplete public policy decisions result, in part, from the complexity of interwoven jurisdictions.

In response to my piece a few days back on the dilemma of Campus Boulevard & Carlisle very near Central Avenue, an alert reader passed along the 1935 photo below from the Albuquerque Historical Society website:

Nob-Hill-1935 historical society

There’s much to chew upon in this aerial photo, but, focusing on the criss-cross (a literal “X” if you will) of Campus and Monte Vista boulevards, notice that Campus follows an arroyo, a fact which explains quite a few things, including why cycling north on Girard to Lomas is such a short, but significant, uphill.

Truth be told, even as a cyclist going only 12 mph, there’s not much else left that would tell an only somewhat observant person, let’s call this person “me,” that Campus Blvd. follows an arroyo. Looking at an aerial view of 2017 doesn’t either:

nob hill 2017

Going back to pre-1935, the need/desire for Campus Blvd. to follow the arroyo when created might have had something to do with water, but I’m not a “water guy.” It might simply have been because Campus was intended to be the “ring road” around UNM. I don’t know.

I also have no solid reason to even guess an answer to the “why” question regarding the desire/need to have Monte Vista and Campus form a criss-cross that has since led to so many traffic engineering headaches. I can only go back to John’s “Why Did They Do X?” on that one. In fact, I’ll change it to “Why the Hell Did They Do That?”

Again, as happened in my last post on the matter of Campus Blvd. and Carlisle, I’ve done nothing to posit solving the traffic engineering dilemma. We’re all eager to hear/read workable solutions about that. Until then, if indeed such solutions are ever posited, I’ll just try to be more observant of the arroyo as I ride up and down Campus Boulevard, before getting ever nervous as always as I get to the intersection of Campus and Carlisle.





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