Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis is now calling for a study of the impact of the ART bus project. (See March 18, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page B-1, Metro & NM Section, “Councilor calls for study of ART’s impact”)
The City Council resolution would require data collection AFTER the construction has been completed and after the bus line is fully operational.
This is what you call political grandstanding and pandering for votes by someone who is running for Mayor and who is really part of the problem of city hall failed leadership.
The ART bus project has been pending for at least four years and there were two federal lawsuits with numerous court hearings as well as five very well attended public hearings with angry constituents but City Councilor Dan Lewis was nowhere to be found during any of those hearings.
Lewis thinks that just because he voted against spending the federal grant funding for ART, that is good enough, but it’s not.
Lewis never pushed for nor did he advocate that the ART bus project be placed on the ballot for voter approval.
Lewis never made a public effort to stop the project.
Six months before the project is set to be completed, Lewis is now calling for a “good hard evaluation” of the impact ART is having on traffic, businesses and the environment now that the federal grant is in jeopardy. Why now?
Had Lewis attended the federal court hearings on the injunction and the public hearings to listen to citizen’s complaints, he would know that businesses and citizens were demanding traffic evaluations along central and residential areas, environmental impact studies and an evaluation of the effects on central businesses ART would have all before construction even started.
A full analysis of the traffic and lost parking spaces was done for the federal court by a former UNM professor.
Dan Lewis had no problems being present to vote on the $60 million dollars in revenue bonds used to fund the building of “pickle ball courts” and baseball fields and other pet projects of city counselors.
What was included in the revenue bonds Lewis voted for was $13 million for the ART Bus project.
One vote against ART funding does not hide the fact Lewis is part of the problem of failed leadership on the City Council and giving Berry a pass for seven years.
Lewis is now running for Mayor so now he calls for a “study” after the damage has been done to Route 66.
One final note: Dan Lewis has said before he does not believe that mass transit, such as a bus system, is an essential service to be provided by the City.