Bikes and This Year’s Point-in-Time Count

Work offered me the opportunity to participate this week in the annual “Point-in-Time Count” survey of unhoused folks. Over three days, I had the chance to ride through and chat with folks in three very different, and very similar, parts of town: under I-40 around 1st Street, down around Wilson Park near Gibson and San Pedro, and out west to Coors and 98th Street near I-40.

I could pass along fascinating stories I heard and incidents of varied levels of distress, but today’s NY Times has a story (let’s find out if “gifting” a story w/o paywall works in blogs) that does a better job than I could (particuarly photographically) in relating the reason for the count and the reality that is life for far too many of us.

My only wrinkle to the Times story and count nationwide is that I surveyed via bicycle, a method of finding/chatting with folks that I think worked pretty well as a pilot.

My route (pink) through West Central and up to I-40 from Coors to 98th St. What are the colors and squares all about, you ask? Squadrats will likely be subject of quite a few upcoming posts.

I’m intrigued by outreach/street medicine efforts on bike such as this one in Portland, Oregon. While it’s a very, very small speck in the immensely overwhelming universe that is addressing/solving homelessness, maybe bikes are a way to get more services to more folks. And burn a few more calories and a bit less fossil fuels in the process. Speaking of bikes, readers of the NYT story and anyone paying attention, will note the daily importance of bicycles to a great many unsheltered homeless.

In looking ahead at Better Burque, after much hem, haw, and further hemming (and hawing), I went ahead and paid for another year of blog fees toward this site. Much rather would spend it here than for a blue check, for instance. Don’t know precisely the direction, but think I’m somewhat aimlessly wandering toward the idea that riding a bicycle is fun in ABQ, and in ways most folks don’t yet realize or explore. So if you’re looking at the almost spider-on-LSD bike route depicted above and wondering/interested in why the hell anybody would want to ride it or, say, through the intersection of Unser Blvd. and Bluewater NW, check back from time to time.

And have a great weekend!

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