What's going on, Albuquerque?
Wow, I also agree with Paul Gessing about the scarcity of liquor licenses - the price encourages megabars, instead of neighborhood watering holes. The costs of drinks has to cover the liquor license cost or rental, so a lot of people drink at home or sneak in booze. The sudden interest in beer pubs is partly explained by the cost of a full liquor license.
Since you mentioned BRTs (again), here goes:
BRT's are the sexy solution to invigorate inner cities - damn the costs! The BRT proposed for the University corridor, for example, doesn't exist as a bus route even now, but MRCOG says that it'll become the most popular route in ABQ, and probably create thousands of jobs. Central Ave (east of downtown) will become a shopper's magnet, with all the poor people who ride the 66 stopping for lattes and craft beer in Nob Hill - er, I mean, all the students and middle class folk who don't live off of Central suddenly using the BRT for wining, dining and shopping. Just like the Paseo project will create 1000's of jobs - its all transportation magic.
I'm with Hettie (from yesterday)- the Montgomery and San Mateo buses are pretty popular these days, along with the Louisiana to the Westside bus service. The BRT soaks up a lot of resources that could be used to provide service to other parts of town.
Part of the problem, shotsie, is in the federal funding model and the way projects are awarded. Strangely enough, you're more likely to get funding for a new, sexy project than you are to shore up existing routes and services.
The hope is that these new projects will draw new riders into the system - people who normally would not even consider taking the bus. It worked with the Rapid Ride, even before the bus passes for UNM/CNM students exploded ABQ Ride's ridership.
While I agree that we need to focus on routes other than Central, ABQ Ride hopes that the introduction of BRT buses would allow them to reallocate existing Rapid Ride buses and expand that express service to routes like Lomas or San Mateo.
From one of the photos in this mornings Journal it looked like more than 500 protesters at the Downtown march yesterday. I hope the mayor and APD take notice.
I was at the protest against the police shootings. Several independent sources each put the numbers at between 1500-2000. It was very inspiring to see so many people come out. Folks came from as far away as Colorado Springs and Santa Fe.
Benny, you are an eternal optimist. I really don't see regular folk riding the Rapid Ride (or any other bus for that matter). People are not going to abandon their cars for a cool-looking bus that goes up and down Central (how do they get to that cool-looking bus from their house at Wyoming and Academy?). They might abandon their cars if buses got them from their house to their job without a half-hour wait and a two mile walk, though. Why couldn't the city consider a BRT on, say, Montgomery?
And yes, I think the sun will set in the east this evening because I, too, agree with Paul Gessing. I've been complaining about the cartel nature of liquor licenses in NM, too. And for all those business owners who bought liquor licenses at a high price and don't want them devalued? Welcome to capitalism, people. You pays your money, you takes your chances. I do love the quote that you can't have arts without booze, along with "it's not the rules we made, it's the rules we live with." Har. I know I've never been able to appreciate the Mona Lisa without being loaded. All this time I thought I was just a rube...
Wow, this post features a three-fer for agreeing with Gessing, as well as me agreeing with Shotsie about something liquor-related. Besides all the great points made above, the current system concentrates liquor licenses in affluent areas and at big chains while killing bars and watering holes in small, rural communities. And once there's no place to drink locally in Tularosa or Vaughn or Carrizoso, what do you think people will do? Stay home with the TV or get in the car and drive 30 miles to the next bar?
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