A brief history of ABQ the Plan
In 2010, Mayor Richard J. Berry wanted to find out how other cities had invested in themselves. He visited several cities such as, Indianapolis, Denver and Chicago to learn their best practices. In November of 2010, he introduced the concept of the Plan in his State of the City Address. In that speech, stacks of city plans were brought in to demonstrate that though the City had a lot of plans; there wasn’t an overall plan for the future of Albuquerque.
In 2011, ABQ the Plan began to take shape. Numerous committees were assembled to create a vision for the Plan and compile a list of project ides for public consideration. In total, the Mayor attended over 100 events, reaching over 40,000 citizens, including community groups, business organizations, government functions, town halls and summer festivals. ABQ the Plan information was also shared on the City’s website, Facebook and Twitter.
In 2012, large projects were moving forward, with $50 million in funding for Paseo del Norte at I-25 and $20 million for the Convention Center Facelift. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Alternatives Analysis considered options for a Central BRT system. Planning efforts began for the Rio Grande Vision, 50-Mile Activity Loop and the Route 66 Action Plan.
In 2013, progress continued on the Paseo del Norte at I-25 Interchange Reconstruction project, and the BRT Alternatives Analysis was complete. The Convention Center renovation work was underway and the 50-Mile Activity Loop and Rio Grande Vision plans were completed with design work in progress. Planning work continued on the Route 66 Action Plan which was destined to City Council for final adoption.
Infrastructure projects completed in 2014 include the Paseo del Norte at I-25 Interchange Reconstruction Project and the Convention Center Facelift. In addition, 4th Street was converted from a pedestrian mall to a street to provide better circulation in the Downtown.
In 2014, the City executed the Rail Yards Master Development and Disposition Agreement (MDDA) and adopted the Master Development Plan for the 27.3-acre site. Interim uses for the site were also implemented.
The Route 66 Action Plan was adopted by City Council and progress was made on the 50-Mile Activity Loop design of the Nob Hill to Uptown section.
Environmental monitoring was conducted in the Bosque to describe existing conditions and to establish baselines to measure future changes for the area from Central Avenue to Montaño. Public comments have been received, compiled, and are being evaluated to guide future activity in the area.
Next steps / 2015
Projects moving forward include Albuquerque Rapid Transit / ART, Innovation Central, Innovate ABQ, the Rail Yards, and the Imperial Building. Also moving forward is the Central Avenue Digital Backbone project to create a high-speed broadband, digital backbone along Central.
Redevelopment projects include the El Vado/Casa Grande project to rehabilitate the historic El Vado and build new apartment units on the Casa Grande site; the De Anza Motor Lodge and the 1st Street and Central Avenue Downtown Entertainment Hub.
Planning for improved parking and access, public amenities such as benches and shade, signage, education materials, and trail design is ongoing. Trail improvements are expected to start early in the year.
ABQ the Plan is an ever-evolving plan to continue progress for the future of Albuquerque. Funding opportunities will continue to be sought in order to make these dreams a reality.