ABQ-area trails, routes need a serious cleanup

First, the multiuse trail next to interstate 40 between Tramway and Los Altos Golf Course.

The August column included Van Eldredge’s concerns about debris blocking the trail. He followed up with a few photos to show what he’s talking about, and says he called 311 to report graffiti, trash and vandalism to public property along the route.

Steven Dapra says, “While at no time has the I-40 trail between Eubank and Tramway boulevards been ‘essentially impassable,’ (as Van wrote) on June 1 I called 311 about trash along the trail and in the two tunnels. What happened? Eventually, a crew came out and instead of picking up the trash, it cut the weeds with a large lawn mower and in the process shredded all the trash, leaving as big a mess as before. The crew also did not pick up the trash at the approaches to the Juan Tabo tunnel.”

Second, Route 66, aka Central.

Van Melton asks, “Does the mayor plan on doing anything on roadway of Central street area from about Louisiana to Wyoming? The patchwork roadway is horrendous. The homeless situation with persons passed out on the sidewalks and doorways from Broadway all the way to Tramway is sad.”

Third, the Bosque Trail.

Christine Escudero emails that she and her husband “rode our bikes from the Alameda parking lot along the bosque trail, south to the turn off to the Old Town Farm. … There is a ditch that also runs parallel to the trail and it is so extremely full of garbage. … It would probably require a Bobcat. … It is such a lovely trail, and the Old Town Farm is a common destination, and it is sad to see such an eyesore along the way.”

THE ANSWERS: City spokeswoman Jessica Campbell says, “I have notified our Park Management crews who will also be in contact with Clean Cities — a division of Solid Waste Management — who takes care of graffiti on city property.”

Spokeswoman Emily Moore says, “SWMD addresses illegal dumping and litter throughout the city on a daily basis through our Clean City Division. There is a crew that cleans the ART median corridor weekly and they also address litter on public right of way within that area on Central. If anyone sees any illegal dumping, SWMD encourages them to call 311.”

The multi use trail adjacent to I40 between Tramway Blvd and Los Altos golf course. It is littered with graffiti, trash and vandalism to public property along the route. courtesy Van Eldredge

Spokesman Johnny Chandler says, “Two summers ago Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development repaved Central from Eubank to Juan Tabo and this summer repaved Central from Juan Tabo to Tramway. We also instituted a new striping design on East Central from three lanes in each direction to two with a buffer on the right hand side in both directions to help protect pedestrians. East Central was designed before the interstates were built, and we are repaving and re-designing East Central for current-day traffic and community needs. DMD has plans in the works to repave Central from Louisiana to Wyoming.”

Lisa Huval, deputy director of Housing and Homelessness with Family and Community Services, says “there is no easy answer to homelessness, but the city is working with its partners on a multi-pronged approach.” Efforts include more shelter beds, supportive housing, adding five more staffers to address encampments on public property (there were two) and investing in street outreach services.

Mayoral spokesman Babaak Parcham says, “We can do better in Albuquerque than leaving people on the streets; that’s exactly why we’re investing in the Gateway Center and getting it up and running this year.”

As for the Bosque Trail, spokeswoman Kimberly Gallegos of the state Department of Transportation says that’s “a retention pond that flows full of trash and debris when it rains; all these drains come from I-40. Our crews try to get in there after big storms, due to the (amount) of debris coming off I-40.” She says that it is now fenced to help prevent illegal dumping. But she said, “Crews must wait until the ground is completely dry to get equipment in there and do a cleanup. This area is high on our alert, and crews are aware that every time it rains, it tends to get worse. We will continue to work to clean it, and hopefully with the help of the recently relaunched Toss No Mas campaign, there will be more of the traveling public tying down their loads and disposing of litter in bags and not on the roadway.”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.


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