Tonight was the second meeting held by the city to provide the public with information about the project and allow feedback. The meeting was held in Nob Hill and thus attracted it's many varied and vocal individuals including Don Shrader, Councilor Heinrich, Greg Payne and a slew of city officials and HDR employees.
Sadly this post focuses mostly on the negative because of what the vocal minority in the crowd decided to spew when given the opportunity to comment. One lady asked why we should support a transit system that uses electricity from a utility company that uses so much coal. Her goal was point out that this rail technology did not promote green living. I wanted to ask her how her rubber soles were made but it was not my turn to speak. Does it not occur to people that taking 150 people out of their cars has far less impact than if they had driven?
Later, a gentleman asked why Albuquerque would look at mass transportation like this because he didn't think the city would ever be big enough to support it. His argument was that we are doomed to be just like Phoenix and it wasn't worth the investment. Another had the argument that development does not follow transportation.
I couldn't contain myself from laughing out loud. First, Phoenix is Phoenix because they invest in freeways rather than mass transportation. Second, every city is shaped by its tranportation network. A city would not exist without such access.
Anyhow, one of the information boards had eight examples of tram (streetcar) models. These three were my favorite, the first being my top choice:
Furthermore, they were soliciting comments on everthing including a couple options for how to run the rail...far side or center layout.
I have to admit, I'm all for the layout that puts the stops in the median. I defend my option by qualifying that such a layout would still allow for bicycles to share the road. The other option promotes bicycle riders to use parallel roads, which in this case, is all neighborhoods. People will argue that biking along central is not safe because too many people drive too fast and there is too much traffic. But the whole point of this project is to promote infill and density, which lends itself to higher pedestrian traffic and slower vehicular traffic overall. The whole scenario works, I'm just not sure there is enough right-of-way to achieve each of those goals.