West Central business owners want Albuquerque Rapid Transit project stopped

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Another shot has been fired in the battle over the mayor’s fancy new bus system for Central Avenue.

This time, west Central business owners saying they want the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project stopped. It’s all part of the lawsuit filed last week against the city by business owners and residents along Central.

On Wednesday, a group of business owners along west Central said the opponents living or working around east Downtown, UNM and Nob Hill are getting all the attention. They’re worried the construction chaos and traffic from the $119 million dollar ART system will be a public nuisance along west Central as well, and say they’re part of the lawsuit too.

“We’re looking at Albuquerque as an entire city. We’re not breaking it up into quadrants or Nob Hill or the west side. And what we’re trying to do is demonstrate that there are businesses from east to west that are going to be impacted by this project,” said Maria Bautista, who is suing over the ART project.

That’s all spelled out in the lawsuit. There are also claims that the mayor’s office and the feds ignored the National Historic Preservation Act because the project will affect almost 50 registered historic landmarks along the Old Route 66.

The mayor’s office stand by the ART project saying they were very thorough when they put this plan together. No word yet when a judge could make a decision about whether to halt the project.

The city hopes to break ground on the ART in July and have it up and running late next year.

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