The lively discussion a couple of weeks ago concerning the re-striping of Lead and Coal was great. It seems most people supported the idea of a dedicated bike lane, but some were unconvinced that turning these streets into two-lanes (with a lane for parking) was a good one. The bottom line for me is this: we all pay taxes for roads, so why not make these streets more pedestrian friendly? If you need to zip around town in your car, use the freeway. These streets are in a residential area, and one that is ripe for some change. If we ever want to make Albuquerque more walkable, then we need to make our streets more attractive and easier to maneuver as a pedestrian. Which brings me to the corner of Coal and Arno. I think it's sad that we have a painted on ice cream shop on the side of the Creamland factory/warehouse. Wouldn't it be great to have a REAL ice cream shop here? Creamland could exploit the local food movement and serve ice cream made here in New Mexico!
*Also: stay tuned for more info on the Great Streets Facility Plan that will go before the Environmental Planning Commission. The plan would serve as a guideline for making existing and future streets in Albuquerque safer and more ped/bike friendly, and more attractive and "memorable."

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Comment by Phil_0 on April 3, 2008 at 12:49pm
Sadly, I don't think this is even a painted-on ice cream shop. I'm pretty sure Creamland pulled up stakes a few years ago. The building has been for sale, but they haven't had any takers...
Comment by Khan on April 3, 2008 at 4:53pm
Geez, I'm sorry I missed the original discussion on Lead/Coal, I would've had an earful for the world. As someone who has lived on the 300 and 400 blocks of Girard & Princeton for more than a decade, I am near to vomiting when I think that the only viable streets for streamlined and thus safer and more eco-friendly (as much as traffic can be) travel in my neighborhood might be the victims of gentrification & do-gooderism. But like I said, I missed the other discussion, so I won't belabor my 2 cents. I do not, however plan to drive 20 minutes out of my way to to freeway (are you kidding me with that?) to go downtown or to the market.

At the risk of throwing feces around on your page, which is rude of me.
Comment by ABQDWELL on April 3, 2008 at 5:03pm
Great stuff. Are you familiar with the Great Streets plan the city is, apparently, seriously considering? There's going to be a meeting for interested parties Thursday, April 17 from 5:30-8:00 at Hotel Blue. If interested email Dennis Osorio of 1000 Friends of New Mexico at: dennis at 100friends-nm.org
Comment by Matt on April 3, 2008 at 6:58pm
I like the possibility of a more walkable lead coal area. I grew up in Fort Worth (a serious victim of sprawl) where everything was a serious commute. However, I have spent the last four years in a beach community in San Diego and realized the value of a mixed-use pedestrian friendly community. It amazes me that some people cannot see the link between congested streets and the lack of pedestrian friendly communities. I like your vision Brendisimo.
Comment by Brent Morris on April 3, 2008 at 7:55pm
Great posting, Brendisimo. I too missed the original Lead/Coal discussion but as a father of two young kids living a couple blocks south of Coal near Carlisle, it's truly a hazard just walking my family to the local park and virtually impossible to cross safely with children & dogs in tow. I use these streets all the time for commuting east and westbound but feel the loss of one lane of traffic to gain a lane dedicated to walkers, bikers, kids and animals is more than justified and will only make this city more humane.
Comment by brendisimo on April 3, 2008 at 8:55pm
First of all, they're words not feces, so throw as much of it around as you want. I like a lively discussion and like hearing other points of view. I just don't agree that this plan will severely debilitate drivers. Cars OWN this town. I feel like every street here is streamlined for cars, not pedestrians. And yes, Albuquerque is not a point where one can reasonably pick up their kids and then get groceries without a car (although I'm sure it happens every day), but that's the long-term goal/hope of a plan like this. Getting people OUT of their cars is safer, healthier, and more eco-friendly. And thank you ABQDWELL for the info, I knew about the plan and am going to attend the meeting. Go to www.1000friends-nm.org for more info about the Great Streets Facility Plan.
Comment by bluejays47 on April 4, 2008 at 8:22am
I'm going to maintain my original argument, that encouraging mass transit and the like can and should be done without discouraging people who have to use cars, for whatever reason. We'll see how the restriping shakes out.

Aside the First: Does anyone know when the restriping is actually going to happen?

Aside the Second: More ice cream shops= more betterness, as far as I'm concerned, but isn't "I Scream Ice Cream" already a Creamland purveyor?
Comment by Edith Grove on April 4, 2008 at 9:24am
I'm looking forward to the restriping. I do use Lead and Coal a lot, but they're pretty damaging to the flow of the neighborhoods around them. Anything that makes them a little bit more like regular streets would be a good thing. I hate having to cross them when I'm walking. There always seems to be some rogue vehicle hurtling towards me at 45 mph.
Comment by jeff on April 4, 2008 at 9:59am
traffic engineering in abq has historically (though i think it is changing for the better) seen its job as providing for the fast and efficient flow of motor vehicles. very little to no concern has been paid to the resulting effects upon spatial qualities of the streets.

the more i've read and thought about it, i'm convinced that the form-based code will only have a chance at succeeding its stated goal if it is coupled with the great streets program (or something like it). the form-based code is highly reliant upon the spatial/sectional qualities of the street in it's entirety to create the desired effects.

i suppose one could think of it in this greatly simplified way - the form-based code addresses the two vertical surfaces creating the street walls and the great streets program deals with the ground surface.
Comment by once banned twice shy on April 4, 2008 at 10:03am
It's time for me to annoy everyone once again with my bakfiets suggestion. I wish I knew how to make a linky, so I could show one to you all, but it is basically a bike with a bin on the front for children and/or groceries. Before you all start hollering at me about how IMPOSSIBLE that would be, would you just stop and think for a little bit about how you could make it POSSIBLE? People, you're going to have to shed that car dependance sooner or later...

And Khan, how about going to Gibson? That's a pretty fast east-west route.

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