Friday, January 14, 2005

Residents Speak Out At Public Forum; Cadigan Endorses Continuous Flow Intersection at 4th Street

The City of Albuquerque hosted a meeting at the Convention Center last evening to discuss the City's currently proposed options for re-striping the Montaño corridor. Despite the Coalition's repeated requests to be an active participant in any proposed redesign efforts and to engage an independent study of the area, the City kept our Coalition out of the process. A representative from Wilson Engineering presented their four proposed realignment options for the Montaño corridor, none of which included any of the principles articulated in our Community Visioning Report (www.cabq.gov/council/communityvisioningreport.html).

This fact can't be blamed on Wilson Engineering. After all, a contractor simply does what the client asks it to do. In this case, the City told Wilson to come up with various options for the Montaño corridor. But Wilson was told to limit the scope of its evaluation to those options that would permit Montaño to go to 4 lanes, without any consideration for the principles articulated in our Visioning Report and without regard to the negative impacts to our area.

Our Coalition has repeatedly said that whatever happens along the Montaño corridor, a complete reconfiguration of the intersection at Fourth Street - one that permits free traffic flow and that helps promote economic revitalization - is vital. The fact that the City simply ignorned our entreaties shows that they are not yet ready or willing to be serious about revitalizing our area and are intent on developing a poorly planned, high volume vehicle corridor.

On a bright note, Councilor Michael Cadigan, in his closing remarks, acknowledged the very real need for economic revitalization in our area. The Councilor stated for the record that the 4th Street intersection should be a "continuous flow" intersection and that the City should focus on finding design options for the 4th Street intersection that would permit free traffic flow as well as promote economic revitalization in our area. This marks a significant - and welcome - step forward in the Councilor's thinking. We hope he will actively pressure the Administration to endorse an independent study of the intersection so that options such as the continuous flow intersection, which we have repeatedly suggested to the Administration and which have been summarily dismissed by them every time, can be identified and explored.

We repeat our call for the City to act on Councilor O'Malley's recently passed legislation, which provides funding for an independent study of the 4th Street & Montaño intersection. The Mayor has vowed to veto this legislation. That would be a mistake. Councilor Cadigan's support of Councilor O'Malley would be a welcome message to the Mayor that the politics of "my way or the highway" will no longer be the way to get things done in our community. Please contact each member of the City Council and ask them to stand up to the Mayor's threatened veto of Councilor O'Malley's independent study bill. The people HAVE spoken. It's time the Administration listened.