Remember this road sign?
Remember six months ago, devoted BB reader, when John and I made the ill-informed decision to ride the “bike route” up Coors
Speedway Boulevard through Paseo del Norte and saw this sign? Remember that KRQE subsequently did a story on what BB called the “Stupidest Road Sign in Town”?
Well, the sign is gone.
Yesterday, your humble bicycle adventurer had to go pick up horse drugs at a vet clinic in Corrales, after riding west of the Rio Grande up from town. Long story and that’s the closest thing to an excuse for why I rode up Coors
Speedway Boulevard through Paseo del Norte northbound for the second, and what I promise will be the very last, time. To be precise, I rode the short stretch between here and here:
Sure enough, the very first thing I experienced in turning right northbound was to have a racing duet of BMW drivers speed past me doing at least 70 mph. VERY fortunately, they were evidently not intending to exit Coors onto Paseo, because, if they had, your humble adventurer would not be alive to type this sentence. Or maybe they didn’t do so because of the tiny speck, me, in their path.
I’d like to think the latter, but know it’s the former.
Having survived that, I made it far enough to take the photo above sans “Bicycles Merge Right” sign. To be honest, it was all I could do to take the photo before I got the Hell out of there. Eventually, I just rode the sidewalk along Coors until I could find a combination of road and ditch path that got me to Alameda Boulevard and, eventually, relative safety to Corrales. Mapped details can be found for those interested in this Strava report.
Of course the reason one has to ride Coors through PdN if sticking west of the River is that ZERO thought went into walking/cycling when the Coors
Speedway Boulevard/Paseo del Norte interchange was designed and constructed. Same for the 1980s when the Paseo del Norte bridge over the Rio Grande was first designed and constructed. Z-E-R-O. In reality, designers didn’t even give much thought to drivers going the speed limit. Have you ever tried to drive the speed limit on Coors Speedway Boulevard?
And the latest iteration of governmental “action” to “solve” the connectivity problem is to just take down the stupid sign and leave Coors at Paseo as an official “bike route.” on the City’s bike map. So very 1980s of you, City of Albuquerque!
But we’re not in the 1980s, and we’ve just heard the Mayor pledge a commitment to Vision Zero and City Council is about to debate passage of a new Complete Streets Ordinance. Coors through/under Paseo is about as far from “Vision Zero” and a “Complete Street” as one can possibly imagine, designed pretty much only for speeding duets of BMWs going at least 70.
Creating true Vision Zero/Complete Street connectivity at this deadly intersection will take more than pledges and an Ordinance.
And it will obviously involve more than simply taking down a stupid sign.