Downtown Bike Lane Massacre Currently in Progress

A reverse look at the short-lived fully-protected bike lane on 4th Street, looking southbound at Copper:

no more bike lane on 4th at copper
Last night, November, 1, 2018
Parking curbs and flexposts removed, March 2018


Parking curbs and flexposts in abundance, January 1, 2018. Those were the days…


Better Burque heard reports and saw online evidence yesterday that the Downtown Bike Lane Massacre had begun. Warnings of Massacre have filtered out via various City sources pretty much ever since the bike lanes were first curb/flexpost-protected at the beginning of this year. Still, there was no notification that first the protections would be yanked back in March, or that the killers would Massacre the lanes themselves (starting?) yesterday.

So far, and again with zero City reporting just exactly what the Hell they plan to do, only two short stretches of the already short bike lanes on 4th and 5th have been scrubbed. Here’s a shot on 5th looking southbound at Central toward Gold (note the visual irony):

no parking no bike lane 5th street
You can’t park here, this is the War Room a bike lane! Except it isn’t. Not no more.


In contrast, one block of 5th Street south, are the misty water-colored memories of the way we were:

5th still buffered Gold to Silver
But for how long?


As of last night, the scrubbing has left a confusing and scarred set of orphan bike lanes mixed with rough road surfaces and unswept debris. It’s anybody’s guess if the scrubbing is done, and that parking, almighty, all-powerful parking, will only return to a couple of blocks on 4th/5th, or if the Massacre might even get rid of this:

still parking protected 5th
Parking-protected on 5th next to the Library


While it is doubtful the City will remove the fabulous mix of parking-protection and green paint above, there’s been no public assurance that it won’t. Looking back, there was no public notice that the now-scrubbed infrastructure was being installed in the first place.

Communication is not a City of Albuquerque strong suit.

Speaking of communication, Better Burque can state that if the parking-protected/green paint treatment on 5th is removed there will be protests. Standing in the street (not the sidewalk, the street) with signs and general disruption protests. Plural.

As it is, scrubbing the stretches removed so far is both a highly visual black eye to bike infrastructure needs in this city and a dangerous mix of suddenly appearing and disappearing bike facility. The Massacre is already a public relations disaster, but more important than public relations is that its also a completely unnecessary slap in the face to anyone advocating for improvements in getting around this town without a car. Or parking said car.

It’s likely those scrubbing scars will literally be visual for a long time, but not as long as the public policy scars will last in the memories of many.



3 thoughts on “Downtown Bike Lane Massacre Currently in Progress

  1. Worth noting that the city has found the resources to remove these bike lanes, while it has been unable to find the resources for the pavement scraping on the genuinely dangerous Rancho Seco “cycle track”, where I almost got hit today when I foolishly actually tried to use the infrastructure as the city’s traffic engineering team designed it.


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