I think Albuquerque should shut down a large portion of Central avenue and other streets every weekend. They do it in Bogota, Colombia and many other cities and it's catching on. In a non-walkable, suburban city it gives people a chance to do what we enjoy most, getting out of our caves and simply being in each others presence (it's true and it really makes people happy!). Call it a Ciclovia, street fair, "shop and stroll" or whatever CABQ wants to name it (pretending like they invented it), but it works. Didn't you have fun?
Great idea! Maybe not EVERY week tho
Yes, a great idea. I love Albuquerque, except that there are few places to just stroll and be around people, maybe meet some of them. Aside from the parking issue, this would be terrific. (Maybe a drive and ride?)
Las Cruces shuts down Main Street in downtown every Wednesday and Saturday (year round)---like three blocks---for a nationally recognized farmers/art market! Its a great street since it is very narrow (two lanes) with big sidewalks.
I am a little surprised that ABQ doesn't already have something like this in place. Special events are great and the big turnout is a good indicator of their popularity. But I think there's also room for more regular events like you're suggesting. When I lived in Oklahoma, I saw this in both big and small cities alike. Regularly scheduled events like "First Friday" or "Second Saturday" were a time for businesses to shut down the streets and welcome shoppers to peruse the area freely, often accompanied by live music. I think that'd be a great place for ABQ to start. We might not be ready for a weekly occurrence, but a monthly event might be a good way to get people used to coming out and enjoying the city more often.
I'm almost always a pedestrian, so I love this stuff, but tolerance is fairly low for shutting down Central on a regular basis. Perhaps meeting in the middle would be more well received: shut down the south side of Central only, and split the north side in two temporary lanes (with most North-South crossings closed, except at lights). Traffic would move slower, keeping things relatively safe, and through-drivers would get a chance to see what they're missing. Perhaps if this was on a Saturday there would be an option to use UNM parking structures since fewer people are on campus during the weekend. Another option could be to use Silver, but that has much lower visibility, less space, and fewer shops. Finally, I think it'd be difficult to get critical mass on a weekly basis -- I think monthly would be easier to maintain interest and keep attendance up. A new theme or special appearance/event/etc. each time would keep things interesting?