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San Pedro has real rejuvenation potential

A couple of years ago, the Journal published a letter that we sent to promote an event called the San Pedro Promenade. The event was held to demonstrate San Pedro’s potential to become a more walkable street.

Since that successful event in 2012, we have made lots of progress towards seeing this vision a reality.

We are now on the verge of some real changes to the San Pedro Corridor from Lomas to Haines (1-40 area) and we would like to highlight why we think these changes will benefit our neighborhoods, local businesses and the city as a whole:

Let’s envision what San Pedro can become – Imagine San Pedro not just as a street, but as a community gathering space. Imagine a street with trees and shade. Imagine a lively and local business district with outdoor seating, cafes, restaurants and retail. Imagine a safe place for families walking with children or senior citizens wanting to walk in their community. Imagine what a wonderful amenity this would be for our city.

Let’s take advantage of San Pedro’s strengths. This segment of San Pedro is ideal to become a walkable, vibrant, family-friendly business district.

It is narrow enough to cross on foot or bike, and we have many marquee businesses like Rio Grande Credit Union, Christy Maes, ABC Cake Shop, Fair Plaza Shopping Center and the San Pedro Center all located along the corridor.

Let’s capitalize on San Pedro’s unique history and character.

Did you know that this area of San Pedro is almost exactly one mile high in elevation? Many businesses along the street were originally apart of the Mile-Hi Addition in Albuquerque’s early history.

We would like to reclaim its history by branding this the Mile-Hi District. We would also like to build on the mid-century modern architecture that is unique to this part of town.

Let’s build on the momentum we have for this part of Albuquerque. Across the nation, and here in Albuquerque, people are ready for redevelopment of urban spaces. From Millennials to senior citizens, people see the value in walkable, bikeable and interesting neighborhoods.

The city of Albuquerque is beginning to respond to this demand. Projects like the 50-mile activity loop and enhancing bicycle infrastructure in this area will bring more pedestrians and cyclists making San Pedro even more of a destination corridor.

In addition, David Vogel’s vision for a new and improved Expo could be a major game changer for Albuquerque, much like Centennial Park and Millennium Park did for cities of Atlanta and Chicago.

It has been two years since we hosted the San Pedro Promenade introducing this idea to Albuquerque. However, we have continued to work hard to promote it and now some real changes are on the horizon.

Now is the time to realize the potential that exists to make San Pedro a great street and position ourselves to attract future generations. Let’s invest in the Mile-Hi District to make our neighborhoods and Albuquerque better!

Also signed by Barbara Lohbeck, president of Mark Twain Neighborhood Association, and Joel Wooldridge, Mark Twain board member at large