Mixed Messages at Buena Vista/Central Notch

As countless UNM students have known for years, the best non-motorized way to reach campus from Central Ave. and points south is through a notch at Buena Vista. It’s so popular that, with a bit of advocacy, the notch was formalized as part of the median work for A.R.T. So what’s with this new “No Pedestrians/Use Crosswalk” sign?

Looking north across Central to Sara Raynolds’ Hall on UNM campus

We’ve spent good money on the notch. We’ve put up a bollard to prevent drivers from using it as a left/u-turn spot. Hell, the crossing is so popular that UNM has two paved routes leading from it to Redondo Drive:

Outline of those two, eventually converging paved paths winding through the greenery officially known as “Yale Park”

As chalked up in the Google image above, it’s a bit over 500 feet from the notch to the nearest eastern crosswalk at Yale, and, as every UNM student in the institution’s history can tell you: they’re late for class. They’re gonna use that notch, but now, after years of informal and formalized infrastructure development, they’re told “no, go walk 500+ feet.”

The greatest danger to non-motorized users here might be that big light fixture falling on their head, but that’s a different story

Needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), NOBODY is gonna walk those 500+ feet to Yale. And the evident installer of this new sign, City of Albuquerque, knows that. So, what’s with the mixed message?

I kinda sense this is a rhetorical question, or, at the very least, one so easy a teacher would never put it on a test because everyone would get it right. And what’s the fun in that? Still, as I am a teacher and test construction is one of the most fun things about the gig, here’s your one question “Final Exam.

City of Albuquerque has installed “No Pedestrians/Use Crosswalk” signs up at Buena Vista/Central because:

A. There was a sale on “No Pedestrians/Use Crosswalk” signs at the sign store.

B. CABQ are big fans of absurdist theater, and positing such mixed messages to its citizens illustrates that our human search for order and meaning is ultimately pointless.

C. They don’t want to get sued, even though they are hugely incentivizing use of the notch.

D. Just like the rug in “Big Lebowski,” this sign combined with the notch “really ties the room together.”

I told you it was a ridiculously easy test.

One thought on “Mixed Messages at Buena Vista/Central Notch

  1. Reblogged this on Better Burque and commented:

    In addition to the unfinished A.R.T. stop near San Pedro, noted in our last post, the City has set up other dangers along Central Ave. for walkers/rollers because it is too scared to slow down drivers by finishing the job. Example, Central at Buena Vista.


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