To quote Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does” and it applies to the ART bus project.
The City says the ART bus project will not reduce parking spots on Central, even though the design plans and construction show it absolutely will along the areas where businesses that rely on off street parking are located. (December 12, 2016 Albuquerque Journal article “ART projects impact on parking still hotly debated, A-1).
The rational the City uses to say that parking along Central Ave will be increased is that the city is factoring in the addition of a 99 parking lot at the end of the ART construction corridor, near the Downs racetrack and casino, five miles away from downtown.
Retired UNM Civil Engineering Professor Gregory Rowangould’s did an extensive independent review of the ART bus project’s impact on parking all along Central.
Professor’s Rowangoud’s parking study was relied upon by the “Make Art Smart “ group of Plaintiff business owners that filed a Federal lawsuit in to stop ART.
I listened to Professor Rowangould presentation twice regarding his study and findings on the ART bus project.
Professor Rowangould reviewed and relied on the very traffic studies the city used in its application for the Federal Transportation Administration $69 million grant.
Dr. Rowangould’s study found that at best, the ART bus project will only match the “on time” performance of the already existing “Rapid Ride” system.
In the historic “Nob Hill” area, there will be only one lane each way for regular traffic, not the existing two lanes each way, a 50% reduction in traffic capacity.
It was found that ART will eliminate 165 parking street spaces, 10 additional traffic signals will be added with very few areas where sidewalks will be widened to make it walk able.
The City has also said the dedicated bus lane will have to be returned to general use after 19 years to accommodate increase traffic flows along Central.
ART will eliminate existing lanes, and it will degrade the traffic flow performance of Central contributing to major traffic congestion
Professor Rowangould actually met with Berry Administration representatives well over year ago before any public hearings and tried to warn them of the design defects and problems with ART.
The City officials, rather than listening, dismissed Professor Rowangould as someone who did not know what he was talking about.
Frankly, Professor Rowangould has forgotten more than the city experts will ever hope to know.