Complete Streets = Economic Development Final Report

Walkable urban places are the key to successful neighborhoods and innovation centers. We’ve been hearing this for years, and been watching other cities be successful at doing it. Now it’s Albuquerque’s time to step up and get smart. Complete Streets = Economic Development Final Report shows how to do it right. It is backed by the recommendations of Jeff Speck and by the requirements of our Complete Streets Ordinance.

Many of the recommendations involve painting the street differently to achieve two goals – first, to balance the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers. Second, to bring the design speed of the street down to the posted speed. While Central and Broadway have speed limits of 30 mph, their design speed is 45-55 mph, which is dangerous and bad for business and innovation.

We thank everyone who participated in the charrette process that resulted in this report. Success is within our grasp – will we keeping talking for another decade, or will we act?

The report is an easy half hour to one hour read. We hope you will read it, and advocate for it with our Mayor and City Council.

Post-Charrette Update

The charrette sponsors – the EDo Neighborhood Association and the Huning Highland Historic District Association – appreciated the informed and enthusiastic participation of many at their March 10th charrette.  Thank you.

Charrettes are not a meeting, they are a process.  Here’s where the process goes from here:
1.  The charrette design team is working on a Final Charrette Report, to be completed early the first week of April in draft form.
2.  The Boards of the charrette sponsors meet on April 7th and April 6th, respectively.  The Boards will review and approve the Final Charrette Report, with any needed modifications.  3.  The approved draft will be shared with the Charrette Steering Committee.  We will have a meeting to go over it and discuss it.  Suggestions will be welcome, although that may not mean the suggestions will be incorporated into the report.  That will be up to the sponsors.
4.  The final report will be presented to the Mayor and the City Council for their consideration.  We hope that will be around April 15th.  It will be posted on this website.
5.  The sponsors will meet with all of the broad range of groups that supported the EDo Master Plan, to seek their endorsement of this report.  Those groups include everyone from NAIOP to the Sierra Club.

Thanks for your participation in this process, and your support of complete streets and complete neighborhoods that put the pedestrian first and foster innovation and job creation in today’s economic development environment.

“Complete Streets = Economic Development” Presentation

An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the hospitality of the Hotel Parq Central last Thursday, March 3rd to discuss this opportunity. City Councilor Isaac Benton set the positive tone for the meeting in discussing the City’s adopted Complete Streets Ordinance, and the resolution that adopted most of Jeff Speck’s Downtown Walkability Recommendations. The presentation included the following videos that are fantastic models for our own neighborhood and city. We hope you will invest about 43 minutes watching them if you couldn’t attend.

  1. Jeff Speck on the Walkable City and its economic, health, and sustainability advantage (17 minutes)
  2. The Complete Streets effort in New York City and its achievements (11 minutes)
  3. The Complete Streets effort in Charlotte NC and its impact on real estate development and values (4 minutes)
  4. Lancaster, CA’s Main Street renovation and its incredible economic and community success (4 minutes)

Design Our Streets Meeting Schedule

Thursday, March 3, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Walkable Neighborhoods = Economic Development
Hotel Parq Central, 806 Central Ave SE
Presentation followed by social hour

Thursday, March 10, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
EDo Complete Streets Public Charrette
Bott’s Hall/City Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE
9:00-9:30 AM:  Introduction and Agenda
9:30  – 10:30 AM:  Walk Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard
(will establish clearly the need for complete streets for economic development)
10:30 AM – Noon:  Begin individual property owner discussions with design team.
11:00 – 11:30 AM:  Requested changes to Broadway, Copper, and Tijeras
11:30 AM – Noon:  Construction scheduling, signage, business assistance
Noon – 1:00 PM:  Lunch break, design team continues working
1:00 – 1:30 PM:  Bus operations and bus shelters on Central and Broadway other than ART
1:30 – 2:00 PM:  New test striping on Lead and Coal to reduce design speed to 30 mph
2:00 – 2:30 PM:  Signalization changes for complete streets
2:30 – 3:00 PM:  Requested changes to ART design
3:00 – 3:30 PM:  Pocket park at Central & Edith Library site
3:30 – 4:00 PM:  Modifications to neighborhood parking permit program
4:00 – 4:30 PM:  Infrastructure upgrades, underpasses, MLK plans
4:30 – 5:00 PM:  Final Presentation of the Day’s Work
The EDo and Huning Highland Neighborhood Associations are sponsoring the public charrette.
All citizens and interested parties are invited.

The goal of the charrette is to finalize a design for Central Avenue as a “Complete Street” under the City’s ordinance.

For more information about City policies that govern the charrette:
EDo Masterplan
Albuquerque Complete Streets Ordinance

     With the recent announcement that $69 million in Federal transportation funds are in the President’s budget request for next fiscal year, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project is moving forward toward construction start, possibly as soon as May 2016. The proposed project is an 11-mile line on Central Avenue from Tramway west to Coors, with stops every 1/4 to 1/2 mile.
     Benefits of ART over traditional buses include level-floor boarding, off-board fare payment, and dedicated lanes.
     EDo and Huning Highlands support ART, with conditions. Those conditions relate to some design details that could make a significant difference in whether ART benefits our 1/2-mile section of the project, or burdens it. Those conditions are outlined in detail in a September 29, 2015 letter to ABQ Ride.
     This is an opportunity to make Central Avenue an innovative corridor where citizens can live, work, walk, shop, and play, and where walking, cycling, riding transit, and driving are safe, enjoyable, and efficient.
     Transit is about developing economically strong neighborhoods as much or more than about just moving people. Build economically strong neighborhoods, centered around the pedestrian experience, and the transit system will build great ridership.