“Sidewalk Closed Cross Here” and Those A.R.T. HAWKs

Last night, the Better Burque Tactical Urbanism Team (BBTUT) came across this sign blocking the eastbound sidewalk on Central Avenue at Laguna:

sidewalk closed

A quick ride east on Central revealed the only sidewalk work in-process was some distance east, beyond the Laguna (“WeDo”) Albuquerque Rapid Transit (A.R.T.) Station, so BBTUT performed the necessary service:

sidewalk open

A bird’s-eye view of the scene gives more detail:

sidewalk central and laguna
Red X = Site of sign; Green Box = A.R.T. Station; Purple rectangle = apartment building; Blue oval = Approximate site of actual sidewalk repair

Putting ourselves in the mind of the repair crew also in charge of placing closure signs on both sides of the repair, one can see from above their thinking. There isn’t a Central crossing on this side of the street until all the way down to 14th St. NW in the far south-east corner. The repair is between the crossing on Laguna and 14th, so…

But there IS another crossing.

There’s the HAWK crossing at the A.R.T. Station. In fact, this crossing is the absolute bestest of all crossings because those HAWK signals react much faster to hitting the “beg button” than hitting them at either Laguna or 14th. One waits only a few seconds instead of way more than a few seconds.

To be more precise, it is infinitely smarter to cross Central at the A.R.T. Station. Pretty much everybody walking/rolling across Central should use the HAWK signals at Laguna Station (and elsewhere) instead of other options. From this, we can deduce one certainty and one learned speculation:

  1. The repair crew isn’t thinking about the A.R.T. Station as a crossing;
  2. The City of Albuquerque doesn’t want pedestrians using A.R.T. HAWK signals to cross Central.

In the small unfortunate ubiquity of illegally placed “sidewalk closed” signs, BBTUT performed a very small public service last night. Perhaps the greater eventual service to all who walk/roll is this advice: Use the HAWK signal to cross Central. It’s terrific!


P.S.: It’s hard to tell from the poorly composed photographs above, but westbound Central was generally bumper-to-bumper during the taking of these two snaps. Making westbound drivers stop at the HAWK signal would have been no issue at all. Everybody was already frequently stopped.

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