ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a popular spot across from the University of New Mexico, full of small businesses. Now the city wants to reimagine a key street with ideas that could make it easier to host car-free block parties.
Councilor Pat Davis said the city is considering making Harvard a more pedestrian-centric place after a study this summer suggested people want to see empty businesses filled and more community space.
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“For the first time, we have UNM involved to say how do we connect what they’re doing on campus, like what event at Johnson Field how do we get the pregame, after game over there,” said Davis.
While traditionally there’s been a dense cluster of student-friendly businesses on Harvard Drive, the area has seen more empty storefronts in recent years. The city is considering things like widening sidewalks, adding more outdoor seating, trees, and more light to help.
“Help generate student-owned businesses, start-up businesses that have a connection to the school, that have Lobo pride and that’s probably an important piece for developing that piece of the community to make it more active,” said Davis.
UNM junior Tasha McDonald says she wants to see an area where students can hang out for longer stretches of time. “I know I like to go to coffee shops to study and I’d much rather do that than go home or to the sub so if there was a place I could just relax and get a good coffee I think that’d be awesome,” said McDonald.
Anise Perez wants to see more security in the area, she thinks improvements could also help with tourism. “I think it’ll do good for foreigners you know whenever they see places around here, it’ll look a lot cleaner,” said Perez.
Davis said safety is a top priority for them, to help improve the future of Harvard Drive.
The city is hosting the “Reimagine Harvard Dr. Pop Up Event” on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Harvard Drive.