The walking danger of Coors Boulevard, particularly Coors at/near Rio Bravo Boulevard, received its 15 minutes of media infamy (actually just under six) in a piece by KOB’s Chris Ramirez and crew that aired last night.
The story has a solid outlining of Coors walking deaths, and comments that both encourage and discourage from BernCo Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada:
Commissioner Quezada compares Coors to Tramway Boulevard because both are major corridors in the metro area. Quezada said the difference lies in the fact that Tramway is in the city, in the upscale foothills.
“You look at Tramway and you see beautiful bridges and bike paths and these great community driven infrastructure needs,” said Quezada. “I support proper infrastructure on the northeast side of town, I just want it equitably done on the South Valley and Southwest Mesa. That’s what I’m asking for.”
Commissioner Quezada adds that because Coors is a state highway, the state must sign off on any improvements and ideally pay for them.
“I’ll be honest with you, it hasn’t been easy my first couple of years having conversations with the state,” said Quezada. “Dennis Chavez and Coors Boulevard are my two priorities in that area when it comes to safety and when it comes to really trying to put in proper infrastructure needs.”
Commissioner’s Quezada Coors/Tramway comparison is a good one, while his honesty in being thwarted so far by the State and NMDOT gets at one of the three bureaucratic hearts (City, BernCo, State) that have made Coors what it is, and very much is not. Of course there’s a difference between acknowledging and stating a problem versus getting the problem fixed, and we seem far from the “fixing stage” when it comes to Coors, particularly in the far South Valley.
Those three layers of bureaucracy, an example of “polycentric governance,” as I believed it’s called, have mucked up Coors at/near Rio Bravo, allowing developers to develop Walmart and other reasons to walk (shops, medical facilities, etc.) without making damn sure it’s safe to walk. Perhaps mainstream media reports such as KOB’s last night will help change that. As the Commissioner alludes, maybe our new Governor and NMDOT Director will help as well.
Unfortunately, there’s reason to be pessimistic. BB encourages you to check out Coors at Rio Bravo/Dennis Chavez today. Note how long now the building boom has gone on down here (I live about a mile away); note also how damn little has been done to make walking safe now, almost 15 years after the Walmart Supercenter opened. Last time I checked, that damn red light at Coors/Las Estancias STILL hasn’t been made operable, as alluded to in Mr. Ramirez’ piece last night, regardless of how many times and for how many years that fact has been mentioned here at Better Burque.
Then again, public policy changes have happened over the years due to the media spotlight of investigatory local news, and that and a few thousand more BB posts about the problems for walkers at/near Coors & Rio Bravo of Coors can’t hurt.
So put this one on the pile.
At some point maybe the pile will reach eye-level of those at City, County, NMDOT, and Governor’s Office whose developer-driven and funded “polycentric governance” has led to the walking death trap reported upon last night.
Thanks to Mr. Ramirez and Crew for doing so, and KOB for airing this information.