Forgot Your New Year’s Resolution? Remembering South Diversion Channel Trail Extension

It’s February 12th, and you might not have lost those ten pounds you “resolved” to lose by about now. I know I haven’t. Still haven’t done my taxes early or achieved my resolved goal to cleanse myself of judgment and become a radiantly calm being, mindful of all and vengeful to none.

Or something like. Nope. All long gone by February 12th. Still got the ten pounds, the undone taxes, and, most certainly, all the judgment and mindlessness that comes with daily living.

Maybe next year.

Nevertheless, we can’t give up on Better Burque’s Resolution for 2018, extending the South Diversion Channel (SDC) Trail north from Rio Bravo near Broadway all the way under I-25 to Gibson Blvd, “Lobo Village,” and beyond.

In case you missed declaration of said resolution during the “Official New Year’s Resolution Window” (ONYRW), and don’t walk/ride much on paths down here in the South Valley, the “Chris Chavez Loop” extends south from the Bosque Trail before looping east and then north along the South Diversion Channel before currently terminating at Rio Bravo.

sdc now map

Long-range, the year 2040, planning calls for the trail to be extended north quite some distance, with several variants and spurs, ending, as the Channel does, along the southern end of UNM campus.

2040 sdc

Red “x’s” show where the Trail currently ends at Rio Bravo, and where it could (and will, damnit!) eventually go in coming years. Most important is an “x” in the middle of the graphic above indicating placement of that “Holy Grail” of South Valley non-motorized transportation, car-free crossing of I-25 in the southern half of our fair city.

That, my friends, has just got to happen, whether Scot ever loses that 10 pounds or not.

And it appears help and action might be on the way to making that I-25 crossing and SDC extension an eventual reality. The “final draft” of a new “South Valley MultiModal Study” calls for all sorts of juicy projects to alleviate the inequity of non-motorized travel in this part of town, including our Resolved SDC:

svmm draft study projects

Anybody got $8 million dollars?

Yes, $8 million is a chunk o’ change, but somewhat like Jake Blues in “The Blues Brothers” we’re kind of on a “mission from God” here, or have at least declared a “Resolution.” One we intend to keep.

You might have noticed the sudden change to first-person plural above. Yes, “we” are going to make this happen. If “we” happens to include a BB reader with $8 million in between the couch cushions, that would give us a solid running start. More realistically, extending the SDC is going to be one of those grinding, often frustrating, more grinding, touch-n-go, multi-jurisdictional, “polycentric governance” enterprises that will require patience (not my strong suit), persistence, and far more patience.

The next step on this long road might best be closely following developments regarding adoption of the South Valley MultiModal Study. As you see above, SDC is just one of several proposed wonderful additions to walking/riding in the SV, and moving this document into guidance for future plans vital.

There’s also the prickly job of picking priorities among possibilities. There are several great ideas here; which one gets done first, second, very last? BB resolves to use the “Holy Grail” argument in seeking that SDC move up the priority ladder. Think salmon, but with $8 million instead of spawning.

It won’t be easy, but history has, most definitely, shown resolutions never are. If anybody is willing to join me in keeping up with this issue, together we can better our chances for that day, perhaps long from now, when we’ll ride bikes, sans cars and trucks alongside, safely under a roaring I-25 between Rio Bravo and Gibson.

Now that’s a mental image worth keeping in mind, and worth at least $8 million.



2 thoughts on “Forgot Your New Year’s Resolution? Remembering South Diversion Channel Trail Extension

  1. […] As John rightly points out, the route at present takes one very much into the Channel floor itself, i.e., the “ditch,” and is therefore “deadly.” As a long-term non-motorized method of safely crossing I-25, Gibson, etc., the SDC needs a wee bit of work. Roughly $8 million of wee bit according to the just about finalized “Near South Valley Multimodal Study.” […]


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