“Tree Holes” Fixed, to a Point, Along Union Square Downtown

Need some good news this morning, Burque?

BB regulars and others obsessed with reading ABQ 311/SeeClickFix (SCF) reports might remember the saga of the ADA-violating “tree holes,” for lack of a better word along/outside the BernCo-owned Union Square building Downtown:

tree holes
Picture taken seven months ago which led to this, that, more this and…finally (see below)

These unsafe and a bad idea all-around tree holes were evidently installed as part of the glorious construction of the Union Square Building back in the late 1980s, pre-ADA’s passage in 1990 (sorry, no Google Streeview to confirm…what did we do before Google Streetview?).

After coming across these minor monstrosities late last August, your cracked, if not crack, Better Burque Tactical Urbanism Team (BBTUT) attacked the problem through its primary assault methods: slow, agonizingly slow, reports and follow-ups on SCF augmented with whiny outrage advocacy efforts here at Better Burque.

Well looked what has happened:

union square fixed 1
Tree hole becomes square of brick that almost matches color of decades-old brick


union square fixed 2
All tree holes without trees are now filled in thus

Success! Irritatingly still not ADA-compliant overall, but partial, “let not the perfect be the enemy of the better” success!

Those walking down Union Square, and reports are the numbers of those during weekdays are significant, no longer have the danger of twisting/breaking an ankle by stepping into the tree holes. Those rolling along this sidewalk, e.g., in wheelchairs, still have a gauntlet of trees, tree grates, and light poles making it impossible to navigate. Not to mention the brick surface does not conform to ADA regulations regarding sidewalk surfacing.

Never all this less, those tree holes are now remedied. Understanding that perfection is nigh impossible far too often and that the original SCF reports were about these tree holes, kudos to those who facilitated and constructed these four squares of red brick.

If Union Square is indeed sold as planned to Ed Garcia (who has been buying up much of Downtown, at least until the last few days of economic collapse started), BB and the BBTUT will do what it can to make Mr. Garcia tear up the whole red-brick monstrosity and replace it with actual sidewalks that all users can actually use.

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