ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Construction has already started at the corner of Fourth Street and Douglas MacArthur, just south of Montano, to put in a new car wash. It’s the same plot of land where car washes have opened and closed before and residents are concerned about the problems it may bring.
For more than two decades, neighbors nearby have been trying to make 4th Street a more walkable corridor. They’re not opposed to development happening at that corner but they would like something that promotes their goal, rather than attracting more cars. “Well, there’s like four within a couple of miles of here, I can’t imagine why they’d want any more car washes,” says Stephen Miller, a resident in that area.
“The Busy Bee car wash was there for a number of years but it was a very small operation and even that was disruptive to traffic,” says Miller. He is also opposed to the car wash because of concerns over water usage and traffic. “I do ride my bike across Fourth Street pretty regularly and it’s already pretty hard to get across and this is just going to make it that much worse.”
A group called the North Valley Coalition has filed an appeal to the city. While they’re not optimistic they’ll stop the development, they’re hoping to at least make the sidewalks safe to keep their pedestrian-friendly plan on track. “That seemed to be the only thing we could appeal this on and try and get the sidewalk designed so it was a more walkable-friendly corridor. One of those is having a landscape buffer next to the street, and then a sidewalk, and then a very small frontage road,” says Peggy Norton, the President of the North Valley Coalition.
Frida Stewart doesn’t believe the North Valley needs another car wash, especially not one in her backyard. “The sound of vacuums are going to be probably a constant thing,” she says, “I drink my coffee and read books out in my backyard and I feel that will be disruptive to quiet times.”
KRQE reached out to the company building the car wash, but we did not hear back. A hearing on the appeal will be held at the end of March.