Back in 2018, a couple of us went to Albuquerque City Council offices passing around one of those bullet-laden “two-pagers” and talked to Councilor Ike Benton and staff about turning William St. SW (South Broadway and San Jose neighborhoods) into a designated “Bike Route.”
Those bullets also included the idea of connecting said “bike route” to existing bike route Edith Blvd. Thus, designating William St. and a little connecting stretch of east/west Pacific SW bike route as well would result in miles and miles of such route designation from Edith/Menaul north of I-40 all the way south to William/Woodward.
Everybody in that chat at City Council offices seemed to think this a good idea, and there sometime later followed some vague, occasionally awkward “democracy” as the idea went through the local govt. “bike committee” and City Council itself, if I recall this vagueness correctly.
That was back in 2018.
So yesterday, in fairly late 2021, I’m riding Edith south to Pacific and west through Broadway to William St. yesterday when I come across the scene below at the intersection of Pacific and William:
Now I’ll be honest: I’m largely done with “sharrows.” We cyclists who get about town see these stenciled in at the craziest places (e.g., bike lane/right turn lane merge areas at major intersections). Many drivers have no idea what they mean (i.e., “share the road”), and local govt. too often calls bike infrastructure “good” just because it plops down some of these “shitty arrows.”
On streets such as Pacific and William above, with daily traffic counts in the hundreds, stencils with bicycles on them are better and perhaps more effective than no stencils with bicycles on them. In fact, NACTO acknowledges their benefit in places “where the speed differential between bicyclist and motorist travel speeds is very low,” and these South Broadway/San Jose residential streets with speed bumps generally do constitute such a case.
So, yeah, sharrows, including those with little arrows directing riders to follow this newly designated bike route. We’ll take it as a positive. On the other hand, the ride yesterday did not reveal any green “Bike Route” signs (guess those are “in the mail”), and the CABQ online bike map currently fails to include William SW as a bike route.
City, you need to get on those two things., and preferably in fewer than the three/four years it took to get these sharrows stenciled.
And while we’re at it, can we fix the intersection of Broadway/Pacific? Right now, despite a cute little sharrow stencil at the light, there’s no such stencil going westbound and zero beg button/loop detector set strong enough to detect cyclists. Yeah, let’s get on Pacific and Broadway, too.
However, nevertheless, still, heretofore we do have these newly stenciled sharrows. Hail democracy (seriously), and thanks to all who have played a part in making this happen (and will continue to play such a part in getting these other needed things done). It was fun to take the photo above yesterday thinking back to that chat at City Council offices in 2018.
So those “two-pagers” we are always putting together, often thinking to ourselves “Why the Hell am I bothering to put together this two-pager?” sometimes prove to be worth it. Sometimes. And to some degree.