BUSES NEED DRIVERS AND BETTER RIDERS:
Linda Arnold called to report her bus connections routinely do not show up, including on Menaul and on Wyoming, but also wants to point out bus drivers have to put up with nasty and abusive riders who are “drugged up and nodding off, smoking fentanyl in the back,” etc.
In addition, there is an issue at the Alvarado Transportation Center Downtown, with trash and grocery carts as well as pigeons in the water fountain.
Megan Holcomb, the marketing and communications specialist for the Transit Department, says “regarding the no-shows for the Menaul and Wyoming routes, ABQ Ride is facing an extreme driver shortage. This is an issue that transit agencies across the country are facing now in the post-pandemic world. Our department is working hard to fill much-needed vacancies and we ask anyone who is interested to apply at cabq.gov/transitjobs.”
As for troublesome riders, there is now security video to go with security personnel. “Back in September, ABQ Ride announced that over 1,100 cameras from all transit fleet of 245 buses are available to be viewed at APD’s Real Time Crime Center. Cameras from ART stations, the Alvarado Transit Center and the Central and Unser Transit Center are also shared with the RTCC.”
AND NO PIGEONS IN THE WATER FOUNTAIN: And about the pigeons, Holcomb says, “we are working through possible solutions for the pigeon issue at the ATC. … Our maintenance team is working to repair the fountain so it does not hold water, which is one cause for the abundance of birds. We also have signs posted in the area urging the public to not feed the birds, however there are some folks who do not follow the rule. I will let our security team know about this and have them respond when they see this happening.”
SECOND STREET CLOSED FOR SINKHOLE REPAIR : Samuel asked in late October: “Why is Second Street closed in both directions between Prosperity and Desert?”
Antonio E. Jaramillo, director of Operations and Maintenance for Bernalillo County, replied the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority was “fixing a possible sink hole near Heather Lane.”
GIANT SPIDER (STENCILS) INVADE BIKE LANES: Edward Sullivan emails “riding my bicycle throughout the city, I have spotted stenciled spiders in various colors in the bike lanes. Today riding north on Pennsylvania and turning east on Osuna the spiders were all yellow. I have seen others red, blue, green, purple and several other shades. They are about 12-14 inches in size. … I was thinking maybe they are some kind of signal. I can’t imagine someone hasn’t seen somebody stenciling these around the city.”
Scott Cilke of the city’s Department of Municipal Development says “the city is unaware of who is painting these spiders in the roads or for what reason, but generally with any graffiti, the city tries to clean it up in a timely manner after it is reported.”
READERS HAVE FIESTA PARKING FIXES: After the Oct. 17 column featured a reader who was trapped in the Porky Pig lot after a torrential downpour cleared the launch field during the Oct. 7 evening glow, Journal readers have weighed in with suggestions.
Gina Jiménez says charging a parking fee “slows down the process of festival attendees getting parked in a timely manner. Why not add $3 more to the price of general admission to the festival, with that $3 going to whoever is charging the parking fee? Less headache for workers retrieving the money and a smoother, quicker parking experience overall.”
Chris was shocked about it taking “two hours to wait to get out!? … Glad I went in the a.m. on my e-bike!”
But Sandy Jacoby says the morning of Oct. 7 was no better in Porky Pig, raising the need for parking attendants after as well as before events. “We also experienced no movement out of that lot after the spectacular mass ascension. Our good feelings toward those who made it easier to get into the lot quickly dissolved as we waited and waited and waited to get out of the lot. There were no police nor anyone else around to facilitate movement. We could see traffic moving on the main exit road, but it was so congested at the exit of our lot that no one could move out. … About one car exited the lot every five minutes for the first hour and a half, and then it got a bit faster. I am sure those at the end of the line were there over two hours.”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; email@example.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.