A quickie Google search finds this innocent lede from 2010:
The city will be hosting a week of workshops to consider concerns and improvements to the Rio Grande Boulevard corridor.
Further below in the short news item is a truly powerful word:
The city had been studying the possibility of a roundabout at Candelaria and Rio Grande when neighbors asked if the entire area could be looked at for traffic patterns and safety concerns, said Tom Menicucci, a policy analyst for the city of Albuquerque.
Did you spot the word?
No, it’s not “Menicucci,” who does still work for the City, by the way. You know the word. I’m not even going to type the word. The word is transportation’s “Voldemort,” at least in some parts of the world, Albuquerque very much included. It’s like saying “Jehovah” in “Life of Brian.” You wanna galvanize people, including folks who would gladly stone you to death and/or make a horcrux from your soul? Just say the word.
Public utterance of the word was sufficient over the 2010s to result in nearly a decade of public meetings, Gene Grant op/eds, more public meetings, Journal editorial board takes, even more public meetings, an extremely lo-fi “Voldemort” promotional video by the City, and, if I recall correctly, hand-scrawled signs left on nearby telephone poles proclaiming “this” the work of the Devil or the City Planning Department, two terms which are pretty much interchangeable for many of those who tend to leave hand-scrawled signs on nearby telephone poles.
A decade later, I had the chance to see the “Devil’s work” in action during afternoon rush hour yesterday. Here’s what it looked like.
So this is what all the hulla and baloo were about? The brou and haha?
On a still, cloudy January afternoon approaching dusk, one was most struck by the serenity of the scene, especially considering how many drivers were rounding about. See, the magic word loses its power if split, horcrux style, or, more importantly, if actually installed and in action instead of merely talked, yelled, and screamed about over and over and over and over.
Good job, Albuquerque! Kudos to the aforementioned Mr. Menicucci and many, many other City Councilors, City staff, neighborhood advocates, and others who patiently fought, listened, and persevered, finally.