You might have, at some point in the last month, wondered “What the Hell happened to Scot/Better Burque?” If so, thanks and I hope such wondering distracted you pleasantly from the daily slog of living.
I’d love to tell you that I’ve been gone for a month on a grant-funded research excursion to study transportation systems across Europe, or even that I had a legal entanglement after having to cut somebody up who was talking shit about bike lanes at a dive bar in Brooklyn, but the real reason for my absence is so overbearingly boring that my simply relating it to you would cause instant catatonia.
Suffice it to say it paid pretty well and did not involve the use of switchblades, at least not literal ones.
Having done a bit of catch-up research on the state of long-festering local transportation issues missed during my absence, I have arrived at an incontrovertible and powerful truth:
The absolute best thing Better Burque can do for transportation in this city is to go away.
Evidence of this fact seems everywhere. After writing, whining, whinging, and caterwauling over and over and over again on the following, with zero results, the mere power of my absence has evidently made these things happen:
- That goddamn red light at Coors Blvd. and Las Estancias, the one I’ve bloviated about for years, finally got “turned on,” as noted here in a tweet from South Valley NM Senator Michael Padilla:
Great news for our precious South Valley. Traffic light at Coors and Las Estancias will be active this weekend, will blink ‘red’ for 3 days, will be activate Tuesday. A lot of people made this happen, thankful to everyone that helped get this done. @nmsenatedems #nmpol #nmleg pic.twitter.com/8T1FqCx36V
— Sen Michael Padilla (@SenPadilla) August 29, 2019
Let’s blow that photo from the tweet up, as it offers Presidential-level professional use of Sharpie (in this case rendered in a very Presidential orange)
- Elsewhere in the South Valley, I heard only yesterday that sections of Foothill SW and La Vega SW are now officially “bike routes,” as long-advocated by your humble blogger, with official “bike route” signs going up as early as next week.
- It looks like City o’ ABQ’s Department of Municipal Development (DMD) waited on all its 2019 re-striping jobs until I went away, as now the striping is just about done at several places, including Lead/Coal from 2nd to 8th (which I wrote about only, let’s see…three years ago). I can’t say the finished products are universally wonderful for not not using big-ass pickup trucks to get everywhere, but the results could certainly be worse.
- There are now ADA-compliant curb ramps at the mouth of the apartment complex driveway near Columbia SE and Santa Clara SE. BB wrote last year about the case of a wheelchair user who was struck at this location in 2012, resulting in zero citation for the driver involved, absolutely no admission of ADA non-compliance from the City, and huge sums of victim-blaming in the police report. Nary a word has been heard from anybody about this, but a ride past the location a week or two ago shows the following before/after (apologies that the two photos below seem to be in some sort of “worst sidewalk photos ever” contest):
Seriously, the above are only a few of the issues addressed since Scot wishes he had been in that bar fight over bike lanes in Brooklyn. I’m thinking that if I stayed away long enough, ABQ Ride might go back to electric buses for A.R.T. and that bike/ped bridge over I-25 at Silver and the train tracks downtown might get built.
Naturally, I’d volunteer to get lost for as long as needed, but somehow I mistakenly have this hugely egocentric sense that Better Burque somehow helped cause these things to happen. And it is for this painfully inaccurate reason that I’m back now to keep you informed about things that will probably never get fixed, until I get that grant-funded transpo research gig gallivanting across Europe.
Yes, this is a formal application for such a grant. Thank you for your consideration.