Rob Dickson
Lara Simon
The views expressed in EDo News & Views are those of the Editor and Publisher. 
Board of Directors  
Vince DiGregory
     Standard Diner  
Vice President
John Freisinger
     Innovate ABQ
Rob Dickson 
     Paradigm & Company
Lauren Greene
     The Grove Café &    
Lisa Adkins
     Fat Pipe ABQ
  Bill Bice
     ABQid, Verge Fund
Moises Gonzalez
     MarAbi Productions, Inc.
Terry Keene
     Artichoke Café  
David Mahlman
     Mahlman Studio   
Tim McGivern
     Sacred Garden
Josh Rogers
     Titan Development 
Richard van Schouwen
     QStaff Theatre  
Todd Walters
     Legacy Hospitality
Board of Directors
Bonnie Anderson
Vice President
Moises Gonzalez
Patricia Oakley
Salley Trefethen
Ann Carson
Jen & Elijah Esquivel
Steve Grant
Kathy Grassel
Pam Leverick
Lee Spittler
Ben Sturge
David Tanner
Karla Thornton  
Susan Vogle
March 27, 2019
Hilton Hotel Groundbreaking
Work has begun on the new Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites at the southwest corner of Broadway and Central, adjacent to Innovate ABQ. As reported in our last issue, the 130,000 square foot building will contain 170 hotel rooms and parking.  Legacy Development and Management from Seattle is developing the project, which is expected to be complete by May 2020. 
Proposed EDo "MRA"
The Keller Administration has proposed a new EDo Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA), presenting initial details in the March Board Meeting of the EDo Neighborhood Association. An MRA, under State law, gives cities the ability to invest metropolitan redevelopment funds into projects, for the purpose of economic development in areas of long-term underinvestment. There are two existing MRAs in EDo, the Albuquerque High MRA and the Railroad MRA (west of Broadway, east of railroad). Without metropolitan redevelopment funds, The Lofts at Albuquerque High and Innovate ABQ would not have become realities.
     We thank the Keller Administration for their leadership in building upon the success of those two projects, with this expanded area where many underutilized parcels could become new homes, businesses, shops, and other facilities for our growing neighborhood. The proposal first goes to the Albuquerque Development Commission. Their recommendation goes to the City Council for final approval, expected in the 2nd quarter of 2019. 
On-Street Parking
Redevelopment experts like Jeff Speck and Bob Gibbs recommend putting curb parking almost everywhere for several reasons. First, it provides convenient parking for local residents and customers of local businesses. Second, it provides a "barrier of steel" for pedestrians on the sidewalk. Third, it has a traffic calming effect on moving vehicles, increasing neighborhood safety.  Finally, it reduces the need for surface parking lots (which could have buildings on them) and very expensive parking garages.  
     There are over 1,000 on-street parking spaces in EDo and Huning Highlands, in the area from Broadway to I-25, and from Coal to MLK. The utilization of these spaces is poor, we believe for 2 reasons. First, the City's neighborhood permit program is protecting these spaces for local residents from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, when they are least needed by those residents, and most needed by visitors to local businesses and restaurants. Second, the metered parking on Central has effective hours of 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday-Saturday, the first and last hour of which is needed by local residents and not needed by local businesses.  
     The EDo Neighborhood Board has requested changes to both these policies, in the letter attached here.
     We hope the City will act on our request quickly, as it supports the whole idea of an MRA as described above. 
Councilor Benton Seeks Another Term
City Councilor Isaac Benton has been a leader for his district (which includes EDo) since being first elected in 2007. We are pleased to hear this news, and recommend that you sign his petition to put him on the ballot, and donate $5 to the City to qualify him for public campaign financing under City law. The election is in October. Please see for more information.
Rail Transit Attracts Talent
A history lesson for you - which Albuquerque Mayor ran on the issue of killing the proposed rail transit for Central Avenue, then later advocated for and built the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) bus which is still not running? If you answered "Richard Berry," you would be correct. The Keller Administration has inherited Berry's Folly. So, what to do about Albuquerque's lack of a quality transit mode that will attract talent and investment? This article clearly recommends that ART be replaced with a modern streetcar system, as being successfully used in Portland and Kansas City, among over a dozen cities that have built systems. Why?  Because rail transit attracts investment and talent in a way that a bus system - however rapid - will not.  
     Impossible you say? The hardest part is already done - the dedicated lanes on Central and the station stops could be adapted to modern streetcar vehicles relatively easily, by putting streetcar rails into the dedicated lanes.  Your editor personally witnessed Portland constructing their highly successful system almost 2 decades ago.  Rail installation was taking about 2 weeks to do 2 blocks. This could be done without impacting travel lanes and local businesses could remain open. Yes, this will cost money but the investment impact will be significant (as shown in other cities). And Federal funds may be available to complete this work and do it right the second time.  More here ...
Local Food Movement
We are puzzled as to why so many of our fellow Burqueños spend their hard-earned money with Amazon, Costco, and their fellow absentee businesses, when there are great choices right here in Albuquerque.  Dollars spent with local businesses stay in our economy.  Dollars spent with the "big box crowd" fly out of town overnight, never to be seen again. One of our local heroes is Monte Skarsgard of Skarsgard Farms, delivering fresh quality produce to our doors (much of it grown here) for almost 2 decades. He's not just a great organic, local farmer, he's also a great writer. Here's what Monte has to say recently about the local food movement. Please read "Realizing a Dream" here, and please support him and all our locals!
A Lesson from Salt Lake City?
Our neighbors to the north recently ran a test of free fares on their transit system, and attracted tens of thousands of new riders. As a transit rider is likely one less vehicle on our public streets, perhaps the savings to the taxpayers outweigh the cost of the fare? High transit ridership translates into more frequent transit service, which attracts more riders, which attracts more frequent service - you get the point. And high transit utilization attracts development of new apartments, condos, and businesses. We encourage ABQ Ride to experiment with this idea, and try and bring new riders (and their benefits) to our transit system. More here ...