EDO NEWS & VIEWS
The views expressed in EDo News & Views are those of the Editor and Publisher.
EDO NEIGBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Board of Directors
The Grove Café &
Fat Pipe ABQ
Hotel Parq Central
ABQid, Verge Fund
The Evolution Group
Montoya and Love,
HUNING HIGHLAND NEIGBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Board of Directors
Tom Pantano & Marie Collinson
Construction Projects Near Completion
Residents, businesses, and visitors to EDo have faced the challenges of construction since last Fall. Soon, they get to enjoy the fruits of the labor of many good men and women in Albuquerque! In August, the Lobo Rainforest Building at Innovate ABQ will open - 155 two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, principally for students at UNM's Innovation Academy. Ground-floor offices and classrooms for the Innovation Academy, STC.UNM, an Air Force research unit, a small Sandia National Labs office, Nusenda Credit Union (with a cafe, no operator announced). Soon after, we hope the new Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) will begin operations. Discussions regarding additional new projects - a possible hotel, restaurant, and new micro-loft apartments - are underway. Stay tuned!
Qbriks Daily General - a new "micro-Target" in EDo
EDo welcomes Brian Gage and his much awaited shop to BelVedere, at 300 Broadway NE. Need household or convenience items? Qbriks probably has them - and will order them for you if they don't. Qbriks joins Hartford Square (restaurant), Revelry Salon, and Lovishly (jewelry) at that location just north of Innovate ABQ. Please support these local businesses and keep your money working in Albuquerque, not on Wall Street!
That's right, ZERO waste. Can you imagine an Albuquerque where all "waste" is "food" for another process? Think of the benefits to our health, to our economy and jobs, to the beauty of our city, to our environment! Well, Philadelphia has beaten us to the punch with their recent decision to eliminate all waste by 2035 -
Why not Albuquerque too? Why not sooner? The world is looking for leadership and solutions. Most of that leadership and those solutions will come from cities. When will Albuquerque step into a global leadership role?
Spending Infrastructure Dollars Wisely
Does anyone remember the "shovel ready" requirement of the 2009 infrastructure stimulus bill? What that meant for Albuquerque was that instead of spending our $75 million allocation on projects with economic development "multiplier" effects for our long-term future, we wasted it on a freeway intersection to nowhere - Paseo del Volcan and I-40 West. Been there lately? Probably not! Meanwhile, we are not maintaining the infrastructure we already have - streets, underground utilities, parks and plazas, and the like. Who knows what will happen in Washington DC, but here's hoping our political leaders will follow some of the wisdom outlined in these two articles. It's all about walkable urbanism - that's what many Americans want and can't find, and it's what creates the best economic return on investment for cities.
Green Storm Drainage Infrastructure - Please!
Once again, Albuquerque is behind the leadership and innovation curve of most U.S. cities. This time it's with our approach to stormwater drainage. Cities around the nation are working with Mother Nature and not against her, using simple and less expensive techniques to hold stormwater, purify it, and recharge the aquifer. The National Assocaition of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has a new guide to stormwater management.
Meanwhile, Albuquerque continues to rush water down streets and concrete channels, full of pollutants and debris, right into the Rio Grande. Several new drainage projects in EDo are following this same failed formula, with negative impacts on development along Central Avenue, and with negative consequences for our city budget (buying unneeded land at high prices, steep construction costs). With Councilor Isaac Benton's leadership, the City Council has passed a moratorium on these projects until a more thorough analysis of alternatives can be performed. It seems long past time for the Mayor and City Council to adopt the NACTO standards as our own!
Photographing Your Neighborhood and Your City
Urban designers working on master plans often ask the public participants to walk the design area and take photos of all the things they love, and they hate. Many of those designers will ask their audience to rank various photos from 1 (hate) to 10 (love) as a means of setting design standards and building consensus. We think it's a great way to "notice" the places we frequent regularly but sometimes don't "see." This article may inspire you to try it for yourself - at home. No need to go on vacation to enlighten yourself on the built environment all around you daily.
California White Paper on Benefits of Physical Activity
"Not exactly news, but yes: physical activity and exercise is necessary for good health." So concludes a recent paper posted by the California Air Resources Board. Driving is not a physical activity, and yet most Americans (and Burqueños) spend a good part of their day inside a motor vehicle, often to perform routine daily tasks. Meanwhile, here in Albuquerque, with some of the finest weather in the country, pedestrians are an endangered species, cyclists are brave, and transit riders seem to have no other choice. Well-meaning efforts to use our public streets for more purposes than racetracks for cars, trucks, and motorcycles - the Complete Streets Ordinance, the Jeff Speck Downtown Walkability Analysis - gather more dust than they gather implementation.
There is no better way to "know" your city than to walk, cycle, or ride the bus. Let's hope public policy under our next Mayor will move in the direction of enjoying our city and enjoying better health as a community.