One of the ideas I have been told by many of the rersidents here in Albuquerque is developing along the river. Damming the sides up and making a river walk similar to the one in San Antonio. Or perhaps making a cannal that leads away from the river and making a boat-accesible water tour of Old Town.

You are the voice of Albuquerque. Do you think this is a good idea? Or is it too expensive and a waist of money. Or, would it give the residents here something to take pride in? Give me some insight on your opinion.

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You need to fundamentally understand the ecology of this area before assuming anything of this sort wouldwork. That is where one starts-bottom line. Talk all you want, without this understanding, no one will buy it, especially all the agencies that do monitor the Bosque-my guess is that they would laugh hard and long over this! You can be an outdoor man all you want, but at least attempt to understand the history of this river and the feasibility of these types of projects before assuming it would be just fine, and the idea of progress.
Although it's an interesting idea, it's not really a good one for Albuquerque. The river has a good sized bosque, with plenty of wildlife - it's already like a huge natural park in the middle of the city. Why ruin it with development.

The Bosque and the Sandias are like 2 huge Central Parks, except there in Albuquerque (more horizontal built environment) and not New York City (more vertical built environment).

LOL!! Instead I think a developer should build a small dam to create a small lake (pond?) on the Rio Puerco (where there is very little bosque), where Laguna Pueblo can build a resort and casino on their side and the developer can build waterfront shops and restaurants on the ABQ side.

Just kidding - but at the rate of development on the westside, you just never know, do you? Angelo, you may get a River Walk.

Thanks for posting this idea. I'm glad there's conversations like these going on all over ABQ, because whether an idea is good or not so good, at least some people who live there really seem to care what happens to the city and its environs...and try to make sure that quality developments do happen there in the future.

Makes me wonder what Albuquerque will look like in 50 years? A beautiful (more densly built - in my vision) city that corresponds well with it's surroundings, or a huge suburban looking city that sprawls farther than the eye can see.
Afterbush, there's apparently some kind of threshold for thread length for replies, so I'll answer you here. First off, what you're proposing is quite different from what Angelo and Granjero are talking about: for one thing, your ideas are quite a bit less invasive, destructive, or dependent on inflated and unrealistic ideas about the river and what it can support (boats, canals, shops, mariachi bands, etc.) What you're talking about sounds a lot more like an augmented, improved version of what's already in place: trails for exploring the bosque more or less as it exists. We part company over riverside buildings, tasteful or not, but your comments re: jetty jacks and your overall vision for the bosque are both spot-on.

However, as someone who's spent an enormous amount of time along the river and quite a bit less time crossing over it - I submit that your view of current bosque/river access is a little inaccurate, particularly when it comes to the kinds of infrastructure and access that are already in place. There are miles of trails through the bosque, some paved, many unpaved. There are multiple easily-accessible parks and other locations with clear, well-marked bosque and river access. The forest itself is being stripped of invasive species and returned to its original open, park-like state. Granjero's stereotype of an ugly thicket dotted with homeless camps is increasingly inaccurate for most of the Rio's course through the city. Many of the existing trails and paths could be spruced up in the manner you describe, but this would be an expansion and elaboration of a network that's already in place, not the imposition of a new and wholly inappropriate way of looking at the river.

Finally, as someone who's lived in places that are both wetter (Oregon, Washington, Northern California) and drier (southern Arizona) places than New Mexico, I can tell you you're way off when it comes to what New Mexicans think about water in general, and the Rio Grande in particular. The river is profoundly important to me, and I deeply felt its absence in Tucson, where the Rio Santa Cruz dried up years ago. I know for a fact I'm not alone, and that for many folks the forests that line the river's banks are a major part of its appeal, not an obstacle to be removed or overcome.
Too late for what, exactly?
I think that a nice way to showcase the bosque would be to build a bridge across Central between the botanical gardens and Tingley beach. The bridge could be like one of the ones that cross Tramway elegant and mostly made of wood. To the West from the top of the bridge one would see the river just above the cotton wood tree line. The botanical garden would be to the North, Tingley beach to the South, Old Town and Downtown to the East.
Of course there is no practical reason for such a structure because there is already a little train and a foot/bike path that pass under Central, but they don't draw attention to the river as a destination because they remain invisible to the motorist.
Hello my friend, without reading any further, the idea presented regarding developing the Bosque would be a disaster and not feasible at all! During the warmer months, the river can be nearly dry. For anything like this to have a slight chance of being realistic, agreements with Cochiti Dam would have to be made to continually release enough water downstream to keep this theoretical tourist attraction "afloat." I simply don't think our Rio Grande and Bosque are legitimate places to even think of these sorts of things. Our water is too important out here; every drop of water in the state is accounted for and more. This plan would be shot down fast, for there simply isn't that kind of water here to go around for these purposes. Have you done any inquiry into New Mexico Water Law and its complications? If not, spare yourself the pain-it ain't simple! Our Bosque can be regarded as a compromised and changing ecosystem-mainly due to the fact that the urban stretch of the river is totally human-engineered. B/w the levees, jetty jacks, dams and riverside drains, this river does not function as it did before the engineering-say pre-1930's or so. Invasive vegetation is continually being fought off-replacing the majestic cottonwoods we are so fond of seeing. B/c of the engineering, the water tables have dropped below sustainable levels to support native vegetation, thus the changes we see, and all the projects clearing out exotic species in the Bosque. I could go on, but I think you get the point. These tourist ideas are best applied somewhere else. Thanks for asking for opinions!

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