ADA-Compliance Problems on Coal/4th at Zocalo Lofts

Construction looks almost complete on the new “Zocalo Lofts” at the Southwest corner of Coal Ave. and 4th St. S.W. Downtown. Visiting the area yesterday to see how roadway striping was proceeding on both Coal and 4th St., I came across what looks to be brand-new curb, gutter, sidewalk work done along with the building construction:

zocalo reality

Yeah, that’s not good.

Not quite ADA-compliant and not suitable for anyone trying to walk or roll along the southside of Coal Avenue. The construction fence and bad photography make it a bit hard to tell, but there doesn’t look to be the minimum three feet of clearance even between the curb at the corner of the Lofts building and signal base.

To give some context, here’s a Google Snap of the construction/street corner from back in December 2018:

zocalo lofts

And here’s what the street corner looked like in 2017 prior to construction (sorry “Welcome to Barelas” sign):

zocalo 2017

And to give some developer’s dream versus current reality at Coal and 4th, let’s first ask: What is Zocalo Lofts?

Zocalo Lofts is a new mixed-use development with 21 residential apartments and 10,000 sf of ground floor commercial space just moments away from Downtown Albuquerque. Our new and spacious studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartment homes feature modern finishes and European inspired floor plans. Zocalo Lofts is conveniently located in the heart of Albuquerque for easy access to some of New Mexico’s finest dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. Zocalo Lofts establishes itself as the gateway between Downtown and the Historic Barelas Neighborhood along 4th Street. Innovative architectural design coupled with desirable residential and business opportunity creates a catalyst for neighborhood redevelopment to this vibrant and historic neighborhood.

zocalo promo 2

zocalo promotional
Two video rendering screengrabs of what walking Coal Avenue at 4th Street is supposed to be when Zocalo Lofts building is complete

Of course, developer renderings and eventual reality are never identical, but what is in place now isn’t just out of line with the walkability imagined for “The Mercado” and Lofts, it’s illegal.

The intersection construction/configuration below has to be ripped up and reconstructed with some thought given to those, perish the thought, wishing to walk or roll Downtown along Coal Avenue. For instance, folks walking to their loft at Zocalo Lofts or strolling to the food market planned for Zocalo’s first floor along Coal (i.e., “Mercado”).

zocalo reality
I’m not a road engineer, but maybe the signal pole could be put in the curb section between the two curb ramps. Or maybe, just maybe, being a 20 mph Downtown Safety Zone, we could just make Coal/4th a four-way stop. 





3 thoughts on “ADA-Compliance Problems on Coal/4th at Zocalo Lofts

  1. So why set the light if itsgoing to be moved anyway, just double the work time and labor, thats money mispent, typical city of abq


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