Ricardo Chaves Demands Central Avenue Return To Normal
Calling Mayor Richard Berry’s Albuquerque Rapid Transit project a “boondogle,” mayoral candidate Ricardo Chaves on Thursday demanded an immediate halt to ART construction along Central Avenue.
“Today, I’m calling on Mayor Berry and the City Council to immediately end construction of the ART project on Central Avenue,” Chaves said. “They should have stopped this project months ago, once they saw all the negative impacts it was having on our community.
“Construction on this boondoggle should end immediately, and this historic road should be rebuilt to function as it did before this project began.”
So what should be done with the $126 million project now that it’s about half completed, especially the raised platforms in the middle of the street?
“Just take the platforms out,” and return Central to two lanes of general traffic in each direction, Chaves said.
Chaves, a businessman who owns parking lots, ripped City Councilor and mayoral candidate Dan Lewis for proposing legislation to study ART’s impact on traffic. Lewis has said that Central should revert back to four lanes of traffic if it is found that ART doesn’t live up to its projections of getting more people to ride the bus.
“The time for wasteful and expensive ‘studies’ and reports is over,” Chaves said. “It’s way too late for that. The community and businesses along Route 66 have spoken. Is the council listening to them? No.”
Chaves added that eliminating more than 200 left-hand turns along ART’s nine-mile route, and adding 10 additional traffic lights, was “ridiculous.”
It “doesn’t make business sense. Such a plan, if it’s allowed to be finished, would further devastate our already struggling economy. That’s why it must end now,” Chaves added.