How do we address transportation dangers on East Central?

Had the chance to Zoom by yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee (GABAC). Amid all the horribleness of the pandemic, one thing I will miss is the Zoom public meeting: so easy, so accessible, and so exquisitely designed for the introverted (muted, camera most definitely off). Maybe we could just lose the pandemic and keep the remote public meetings.

I remotely joined in to see presentation and discussion regarding a recently conducted study of East Central Avenue between Louisiana and Eubank (with overtones of all the way to Tramway). I wasn’t alone, as a relatively larger number of Zoom boxes filled with names, cameras off, appeared principally due to this subject/presentation. This stretch of “The Mother Road” is one of the most dangerous and deadly transportation “killboxes” in all of the Middle Rio Grande, and many showed up to see what we might do about that.

The typical journalistic approach is to attend such a meeting, view the presentation/discussion, and relate the major points of both, perhaps including a quote or two if the journalist isn’t lazy. I am neither a journalist nor industrious, a schoolteacher by trade, and you know what we teachers do: assign readings.

So here’s your assignment: Read/view this study and come to your own conclusions about it. Naturally, feel free to comment in abundance either here in the unwieldy WordPress comment section or via social media of your choice, but I’m not requiring an essay here. Like any schoolteacher worth their prep period, I love to assign work, but I’m not grading any papers. Nice teacher that I am, I will bring up a few terms to look for in the reading/viewing below: HAWK, buffer, “road diet,” and near v. longer-term.

I know it’s 23 pages, but it’s a page-turner! Really! Happy reading/viewing!

4 thoughts on “How do we address transportation dangers on East Central?

  1. Man. I don’t even like driving Central. It gives me The Fear. Does anyone even remotely within shouting distance of their right mind dream of bicycling this stretch of the Mother Road? It makes Tramway look like the Paseo del Bosque. I refer you to the noted safety consultant Ellen Ripley: “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

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    1. Understood, Patrick. Although the presentation was made to the Bicycle Committee, both the study and presentation last night were much more centered on pedestrian improvements, both because there are already many folks walking this stretch and for the exact reasons you point out in your comment.

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      1. Walking that stretch must be equally horrifying, although afoot you’d have a little more freedom to bob and weave, as it were. I’m crossing Central on foot, I want a road diet, no right turn on red, and a pair of seven-league boots.

        We moved here from Colorado Springs about seven years ago, and while this was trading up in many respects, much of ’Burque reminds me of the least attractive aspects of our former hometown’s eastern side. A pedestrian wants to carry some snacks, a big bottle of water, and perhaps a first-aid kit between signalized crossings.

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  2. Wow. Things have changed. I used to commute on a fixed gear along Central from Atrisco (where I entered Central from points further west) to Juan Tabo morning and evening back in 1997 through 2004; 2004-2008 I commuted much the same distance but using Mountain, MLK, and Copper through the Fairgrounds to surface streets. Sure, I was a young 40-something, but I never found the traffic deadly; you just had to ride defensively. With the growth in cycling and the recent improvements to Central, how has it become more dangerous? I’m not doubting, just asking.

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