Saturday, February 07, 2009

Marty for Downtown and MRCOG Says What?

Image courtesy of kevinkarnsfamily

I was happy to hear Mayor Marty endorse the city center this week. I can't find the link but I either read or heard him (news clip?) suggest that it would be good to obtain funds that could be spent downtown. Not the strongest statement but we'll take what we can get. I'm certain he was referring to money for a canopy for the ATC but I'm not sure what else he might be referring to knowing that money won't come from DC for the arena or streetcar.

While the city has minuscule amounts of money funneling down from new housing construction in the 'burbs, perhaps we'll see a return of serious talk concerning inner city development and density? For some reason I'm skeptical.

During my visit over Christmas I noticed some work has been completed on the last remaining building at old AHS. Does anyone have any information about that project? I know it's not part of Rob Dickson's development.

Speaking of Rob Dickson, anyone have a clue what he's up to now that his project is fully built out?

In other news...

Now, I have ranted and raved about the Railrunner and I can't help but add more fuel to the fire. My textbook contained some information that I felt was pretty obvious but it doesn't seem to make sense to so many:

"Transit's cost effectiveness increases with higher densities at origins and destinations. It is no surprise that public subsidies for transit have increased at the same time that metro transit is not as competitive as private automobile."

"A new rail system implemented in an area laden with density caps and minimum parking requirements will have less influence on land development than such a system implemented in areas where the community wide land use design, small area plans and development management plan include actions intended to support or leverage the opportunities provided by the investment."

"transportation plans either reinforce past development trends or stimulate development in locations not contemplated in the land use plan."

After reading this I immediately thought of Nob Hill fighting a streetcar and the horrendously planned (or lack thereof) Journal Center station area.

I also often wonder who is making recommendations to add more stops to the system. I heard talk of creating an additional stop at Montano. Really? Talk of a fourth station in Santa Fe seems incredibly asinine considering the ABQ metro area currently has just 6(see population differences between SF & ABQ) stations. Throw in the pueblo stations (don't get me started on these) and we've killed the purpose of commuter rail. The chance of MRCOG actually convincing citizens to ditch their gas guzzlers in favor of the system requires a huge convenience factor. Added commuting time plus limited service is not the answer. MRCOG is mixing the concepts of commuter rail with light-rail while leaving everyone wondering what they're doing because they don't appear to have transparency in their planning nor their execution.

Overall, this in a beautiful concept and project for the metro area. But the execution is what matters most. My confidence has been shaken.

Sorry for the brain vomit style of my post.


Michael said...

Hm. Great post. I really hadn't ever thought about what you're talking about with regards to the RailRunner. Interesting to think about.

Anonymous said...

Rob is busy trying to get his commercial space leased. He's also taken to wearing some sort of skin-tight lyrca concotion as he wanders around the neighborhood.

The last building in the High School is going to be 2 floors of high-end lofts. The bottom floor is going to be commercial, and they're still shooting for a small market, but a restaurant is a possibility. My wife talked to the guy, who said done by April...but they've got a ton of work left.

Tim said...

Thanks for info anonymous! ...especially the lycra. lol

Anonymous said...

Extra stops on the Rail Runner aren't necessarily a bad thing, so long as not every train stops at every station. They would need to schedule a few express trains.
Still, the general public seems to have very strong opinions about what should be done, though few understand the difference between "commuter rail" vs "lightrail" vs "modern street car".
You have no idea how many times I've heard: "We have a new light rail in ABQ, it's called the Road Runner" Unfortunately some of these same people may end up effecting transit decisions :-(