Improvements may come to Albuquerque’s west side of Route 66

The city of Albuquerque is considering improvements to its stretch of Route 66 on the west side of town.

The stretch in question is from Unser Boulevard to 98th Street along Central Avenue (aka Route 66), according to KRQE-TV in Albuquerque. It’s about 1.5 miles.

The station explained:

That strip of Central doesn’t look like the rest of Route 66. There are no sidewalks, landscaping or bike lanes and are very few street lights.

Residents in the area feel like this is a forgotten part of the city. However, with so much new development coming to the area, like the Unser Crossing project, city council wants to give that stretch of street some much-needed TLC.

They’ll be adding medians, landscaping and lighting. One of their main goals is to make the area ADA compliant.

City council should sign off soon on spending $300,000 on the design and another $2 million on construction.

Here’s the video by the station:

The station reported that councilor Kevin Sanchez wants to continue improvements “up the hill” once the improvements there are finished. Once started, that Route 66 spruce-up would take 15 months.

Left unmentioned in the story is the planned Route 66 Visitors Center at the top of Nine Mile Hill. That has to be a major consideration on why the city wants to improve that section of Central Avenue.

At least one Route 66 advocate met the project with skepticism. Swa Frantzen, the founder of the website, stated on Facebook:

“After what Albuquerque, NM did to central with their ‘ART’ debacle, I’m not sure being neglected is a bad thing.”

Frantzen was referring to the troubled Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus project, which still isn’t fully operational and hurt dozens of businesses along Central Avenue during its construction and subsequent dropoff in traffic.

(Image of Albuquerque from the peak of Nine Mile Hill by terraplanner via Flickr)

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