ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Rapid Transit was supposed to be up and running by now, but after a laundry list of issues that weren’t made public, the city put the brakes on the ART.
“I’m frustrated because it’s not happening quickly,” said Vickie Fellows.
Fellows owns Squeezed, a juice bar along Central, and her business has taken a hit.
“We get a lot of complaints about parking, about traffic. A lot of customers say, ‘We’re not gonna come, we just can’t,'” said Fellows.
She also said people just don’t follow the new traffic rules.
“One street east of Wellesley, there’s a big sign up that says ‘All traffic must turn right,’ and at least half the traffic, anytime I’m stopped at that intersection, they go left anyway,” she said.
KRQE News 13 cameras caught driver after driver, doing just that. Even an ABQ Ride Sun Van drove straight across the bus lanes along Central onto Tulane.
Fellows thinks the city should change those rules until the buses actually on the road.
“Cover up those signs and say you know what, until we’re ready to go, and we’re gonna get it there, we’re gonna let people turn right and left,” she said.
Other businesses have similar frustrations. Jay Steinberg owns Birdland and said the traffic lights shouldn’t be programmed for the buses if they are not on the streets.
“They do have the bus lane on that signal which means that we’re waiting an extra 10 minutes for a bus that doesn’t exist,” said Steinberg. “They need to change the signals to fit what’s going on right now.”
Businesses also think the bus lane can and should be utilized.
“My opinion would be that maybe we let the city buses that are still running, use that lane,” said Fellows.
Right now, many of the bus lanes are blocked by cones.
“Even if it’s for emergency vehicles and things along that line,” said Steinberg.
The city has not yet decided what changes they will make in regards to the bus lanes, traffic signals and left turns, but they did confirm they are evaluating all possibilities.