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Mayor Keller, Vision Zero Team Announce First Active Street Closure

New active streets initiative creates safe open space during COVID pandemic

Sept. 4, 2020

Effective today, Bell Avenue SE from Alcazar Street SE to San Pablo Street SE has been converted to an Active Street. This is the first implementation of the Active Streets initiative established by Albuquerque City Council Resolution R-20-59 to help residents participate in COVID-safe outdoor recreation.

“This year has brought many challenges but it has also given us a chance to reimagine what coming together as a community looks like,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The Active Streets Initiative creates outdoor spaces to bring our residents together in a way that is safe, innovative, and accessible.”

The goal of this initiative is to facilitate safe, socially distanced outdoor recreation and active transportation opportunities on neighborhood streets during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Resolution directed City staff to identify an initial set of roadways to convert to Active Streets. The Vision Zero Task Force helped guide the identification of these streets to ensure that Active Streets in Albuquerque help provide safe and equitable access to outdoor spaces for exercise, recreation, and safe community interaction. The choice of streets considers community support, equitable access to open space, transit service, the type of roadway, residential densities, and maintaining access to homes and businesses.

City staff have worked with Vision Zero Task Force partners and other community organizations, including the Bernalillo County Community Health Council Healthy Here Initiative, Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, Look For Me (a travel safety campaign partnership between the UNM Center for Injury Prevention, Research and Education (CIPRE) and New Mexico Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Division), and the International District Healthy Communities Coalition to encourage safe use of the Active Street on Bell Avenue, including organizing a community cleanup and regular walks in small groups for neighborhood residents.

Additionally, staff is working with communities on three other Active Streets in the Southeast Heights/Victory Hills neighborhood area, the Downtown/Barelas area, and one in partnership with a local school to allow students to safely walk between multiple school facilities on either side of the street.

The Vision Zero Task Force also encourages community members to take the Albuquerque Safe Streets Pledge here and learn more about the City of Albuquerque’s commitment to Vision Zero by visiting cabq.gov/vision-zero.

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Vision Zero is a commitment to create safer streets for all, whether walking, biking, driving or taking transit, and regardless of age or ability. It is used around the world to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.