City planning to shut down Albuquerque streets to give residents more room to social distance

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque wants to add extra elbow room during the pandemic. That’s why they’re planning on shutting down some streets to give people the chance to spread out and social distance. From bicyclists to people out for a quick run and some for a casual stroll with their dogs. “We’ve done it much more since the pandemic started,” says Shana Baker.

It’s clear the streets of Albuquerque have gotten a lot busier since the pandemic started. “There’s a lot of children out playing, in the evening it’s wonderful because kids aren’t at home watching tv,” says Susan McKnight.

In an effort to create more space for people to enjoy the outdoors, the City of Albuquerque adopted the Active Streets Initiative to temporarily close down certain streets in the city. “It’s just to make more room for everybody so you can social distance you can wear your masks you can feel very comfortable outside,” says Johnny Chandler, Public Information Officer for the Department of Municipal Development.

So now the city is trying to figure out which streets to close and they want the public to help them decide. “We put out a survey shortly after that resolution was passed,” Chandler says.

Over the past month, they’ve received 111 responses. Some of the streets people want to see closed include, Kathryn in the International District. A street near Hyder Park in Nob Hill and Silver and Central downtown. The city says the streets do have to meet certain requirements. “A smaller street where it collects traffic but is not a major thoroughfare through the roadway. So collector streets could be considered but there can’t be any buses on them,” Chandler says.

The city says they are still ironing out details like full and partial closures depending on homes and businesses in the area. But they plan on having two to four streets closed by the end of July. The initiative states the roadway closures would be in effect until the current public health order and all social distancing directives have been lifted. “As long as the idea is that it is for openness and for people to come into the neighborhoods to walk and bike that’s good,” Baker says.

The city says it will cost $600 to $1,300 to close down the streets. They are still accepting the surveys. To submit a street, click here.

The list of streets proposed includes:

  • Tingley Drive between 8th Street and Central Ave.
  • Streets in Old Town
  • Marble/Mackland/Mountain between Stanford and Alvarado
  • Central Ave. downtown
  • Wilson Place between Girard Boulevard and Constitution Avenue
  • Silver Avenue through Nob Hill/University/downtown
  • San Joaquin Ave. between Wellesley Dr. and Princeton Dr.
  • Linda Vista Ave between Amherst Dr. and Wellesley Dr.
  • Ridgecrest Dr. between Carlisle Blvd. and Kathryn
  • Fair Heights/Mile High District
  • Southern between San Mateo and Utah
  • Anderson Ave. between San Mateo and Louisiana
  • Kathryn between Ridgecrest and Cesar Chavez Community Center
  • Bell between San Mateo and Utah St.
  • Utah St. between Southern Ave. and Zuni Rd.

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