Monday, December 13, 2010

UNM South Campus Placemaking Plan

This plan for UNM South Campus is impressive. Lets hope it happens.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bike Bridge Open

The Gail Ryba Memorial Bridge at I-40 and Rio Grande now open. Bike bridge will connect Bosque Trail with trails west of the river.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Say What?

Jim Long owner of multiple hotels in the state plus the Albuquerque Plaza building downtown was quoted in the Journal today as calling the proposed downtown arena project an "economic albatross." He went on to say: "The issue is the lack of desirability of Downtown. If you come to stay here, there must be something to do. There must be a vibrant community aspect to Downtown to attract those conventions, and I think people know that intuitively."

Uh, isn't a core reason behind the project to make the area more vibrant so it will be more attractive as a destination for conventions and locals?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stapleton Denver

Just got back from a three night stay in the new urban community of Stapleton in northeast Denver. The developer of this project — Forest City Convington — is developing Mesa Del Sol. Stapleton definitely had a walkable, community feel. Lots of varied, interesting architecture. Lots of walkers and bikers. One of the most appealing aspects of the development is the coming light rail station which will connect to downtown Denver. Upon first inspection of Stapleton you can't help but get a Truman Show/contrived feel but I sense that will ease as the community matures. It sure was nice to walk to bagels and coffee in the morning, groceries in the afternoon and drinks and dinner at night.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Omaha Gets Value of Downtown Stadiums

Another example of a mid-size city (Omaha) that gets it. From College World Series is Moving On: "Next year the Series will move three miles north to the $128 million TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bad News for Downtown Arena Project

Per New Mexico Business Weekly: APS to buy First Baptist Church, site of proposed downtown events center. The more I travel and see what other cities (San Diego, Denver, Boise) have done and are doing with their downtowns, the more I fear Albuquerque just doesn't get it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Affordable Downtown Green Living

Fabulous story about new Silver Garden lofts by a new resident.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

China Becoming Worldwide Leader in High Speed Trains

From the Washington Post: China is pulling ahead in worldwide race for high-speed rail transportation. Meanwhile back in New Mexico some GOP candidates have vowed to mothball the Rail Runner.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Big I Landscaping at Dusk

This superb photo of the recently completed Big I landscaping comes from Robert Reck, a student at UNM. This image won the merit award in a Photographing the Built Environment course. It along with other tremendous photos are currently on display at George Pearl Hall (the Antoine Predock designed School of Architecture and Design building located across from the Frontier Restaurant). Imagine if such an attractive, billboard-free landscape stretched from the Sunport to Bernalillo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rio Rancho Roundabout Revolution

Rio Rancho is beginning to live up to its "City of Vision" slogan with the introduction of multiple roundabouts. Aesthetically pleasing, accident-reducing roundabouts are being constructed in numerous locations: Loma Larga near the high school/pool/library, Cabezon Boulevard/Western Hills Drive, Wilpett Road/King Boulevard and Cherry Road/17th Avenue. City has even posted information on how to navigate a roundabout. Image at right shows potential crash points at traditional light controlled intersection. Image at left shows how roundabouts greatly reduce potential accidents and totally eliminate head on collisions.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Could Be

Great Streets Plan aims to make ABQ more livable. Picture is planned improvement of Atrisco Dr./Central Avenue NW. (1) colors, texture and patterns clearly mark pedestrian space (2) trees, lights and transit shelter provide buffer from traffic (3) small reduction in speed and vehicle lane width supports safer walking and cycling (4) bike lane provides designated space for cycling (5) bike box allows cyclist to ride into the intersection and make turn first, while remaining highly visible (6) median offers pedestrian refuge (7) buildings located close to sidewalk encourage pedestrian patronage.

Council takes up this proposal on April 14, 5 p.m., Council Committee Room, 9th floor, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center. If this idea appeals to you please attend this event and please contact your Council member.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mayor Soliciting Opinion on Events Center Project

I am feeling more and more confident in my prediction that Mayor Berry is going to get the Events Center done. As I've written before, I firmly believe this is an economic development project that wisely capitalizes on revitalization and transportation investments. He's soliciting public feedback on this project.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Imagine: T-Birds Join Scorpions at Downtown ABQ Arena

News that the NBA D-level Thunderbirds are moving to Rio Rancho highlights again the negative economic impact of not having a downtown arena. Hockey fans lost the Scorpions who couldn't make it work at Tingley or Rio Rancho. Imagine crowded downtown Albuquerque restaurants and bars on T-Bird and Scorpion game nights. Imagine many fans taking Rail Runner from as far as Belen and Santa Fe. Image if this image of a proposed downtown Albuquerque arena became reality.

Friday, February 26, 2010

New French Bistro on Gold and 3rd

Cool looking new restaurant coming to Gold and 3rd.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Red Light Runner Mayhem

Red light runner causes accident on Paseo Del Norte just east of Wyoming Blvd.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pocket Park Coming to 207 Gold Avenue

According to the Downtown Action Team Students from Gordon Bernell Charter School will design urban mini park.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Downtown Thoughts After a Rail Runner Trip

Took Rail Runner downtown from Journal Center at 12:48 pm today. It has been awhile since I have left from that station. I was surprised to see not only a full main lot, but a full new lot across the street. It is pretty clear that Rail Runner is catching on. I suspect it will only become more popular once gas prices begin to rise. There is much to like about what is happening downtown (Andaluz, new green housing at home of old Greyhound Station and just to the west, and a vibrant downtown charter high school-Amy Biehl). It is also so painfully obvious that the downtown will never truly flourish until it attracts large amounts of people on a regular basis. A major opportunity to do this was missed when Isotopes Stadium was built on the site of the old Duke's stadium. That's a 25-year mistake in my opinion. I can only hope that if Rail Runner would have been in place the decision to locate downtown would have been without controversy. The latest opportunity to attract large amounts of folks downtown on a regular basis is the proposed events center. For the economic sake of the downtown and the region, lets hope this happens. I was in a peer city (Boise) not too long ago and was impressed with the vibrancy in an around their downtown events center on the evening of a minor league hockey game (packed restaurants, streets, and a well attended hockey game). I believe their NBA D-league team also plays there. We used to have a minor league hockey team and reportedly we have an NBA D-league team. The possibilities are so evident...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Downtown Big Box Stores Doable

When other cities were erecting warehouse-style retail outlets in the hinterlands, Vancouver built its Costco right downtown -- the first urban Costco in the world, with four 40-story residential towers rising from the top. There's a boutique Home Depot not far away and a Safeway that squats on a second floor, above smaller street-level shops (source: LA Times). Locally we have great example with the REI adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot Rail Runner stop.