The Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee (GABAC) is one of those City boards/commissions, hearing, in our case, about and discussing cycling problems and solutions. Your humble blog poster currently sits, as it were, on the Committee.
The Committee meets once a month, and at each and every one of our last, approximately, ∞ meetings the subject of dangers in cycling over the train tracks on El Pueblo Rd. NE has come up. I am not exaggerating. Every. Damn. Meeting.
Yes, you know the train tracks we’re talking about. If you’re a cyclist who gets around this town at all, you’ve either personally experienced these tracks (Google Streetviews above), or heard horror stories from those who have.
And Better Burque wants to hear from you. Now. As in right this minute.
Why? Well, because the train tracks on El Pueblo have injured many over the years, but they are still there. Why? Well, for a number of reasons, overlapping jurisdictions and responsibility prime among them. Are these tracks responsibility of BNSF (the train company)? The City? The State of New Mexico (whose right of way this part of El Pueblo is within)? The company which sends a whopping two trains overnight, maybe, over these tracks?
Watching the football of responsibility being anxiously passed about by government staff during meetings and other discussion on El Pueblo is like one of those ∞-lateral kick off returns at the end of games, but without the touchdown (just broken collarbones, etc.).
Everyone agrees something must be done. But nothing has been done. Don’t hit us on the Committee or government staff, but we can’t even figure out to go about making sure a sign like is placed there warning everybody of the danger:
We haven’t been able to do, to quote the immortal Matt Foley, jack squat. And that’s where you come in. Seriously.
We know many Better Burque readers have either been injured trying to cross these tracks, or knows someone who has. City commissions and governmental bureaucracy haven’t solved the problem, so it’s time to track the litigation and make everyone aware of how much these tracks are costing taxpayers, not to mention the victims themselves.
We have made the first of what looks to be several public records requests on emergency/311 calls and City risk management litigation, and we’re already starting to have some success. We need you (and those you know) to come forward, anonymously if you wish, and add your name and incident to what will surely be a growing pile of cases in which someone has been injured by these train tracks. And don’t hold back just because you were lucky and only got some “road rash.” Any crash information is pertinent.
You can Twitter direct message us @better_burque.
Even more importantly, you can share this message and your own, far better crafted, all-calls via any and all communications means at your disposal. You got an Aldus Lamp, by all means communicate with others in a nearby sailing vessel.
We look to get as much information, preferably contact name, date of incident, and, if possible, a good story on how the incident occurred and any medical and legal outcomes. BB has a staff of not nearly enough and a budget of $0.00, but we’ll devote capacity to compile reports and pass along information garnered to interested, we certainly hope, parties such as Mayor Tim Keller and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Nothing else has worked. People are still being injured. Got any information for us?