New Mexico Business Weekly

Original Article by Damon Scott – Editorial Researcher
October 18, 2012 – Thursday (7:05 AM MDT)

Albuquerque officials were in Cleveland this week in the hopes of gathering ideas that will improve and expand the city’s transit system.

City directors and business people toured Cleveland’s bus rapid transit system Oct. 17. The transit system in Cleveland, is also known as The HealthLine. It began operations in 2008. (6.6 mile route distance is HERE.)

[See: Healthline BRT Station in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, so much like Route 66 in Albuquerque?]

The HealthLine comes within a half mile of more than 200,000 employees and 58,000 households. In three years its ridership increased more than 60 percent over the regular bus routes that formerly ran along the corridor.

[See: How within seven (7) years the BRT system has all but eliminated ALL car traffic, and most pedestrian traffic, and all bicycle traffic, on the BRT corridor HERE – August 2015 Google image.]

[See: At the same intersection pictured above, the “FOR LEASE” signs for empty businesses in 2015 in downtown Cleveland are very evident HERE.]

[See: So many empty businesses after 7 years of BRT in downtown Cleveland – HERE, and HERE.]

[See: How the Federal Express and UPS trucks entirely block the only car traffic lane while they “do their business.” HERE. Note: There is so little traffic left that nobody cares if cars use the “BUS ONLY” lanes left in Cleveland now.]

“We believe that The HealthLine and a potential future bus rapid transit system in Albuquerque could share many commonalities,” Bruce Rizzieri, director of ABQ Ride said in a news release. “An Albuquerque [bus rapid transit system] running along Central [Avenue] could help revitalize this corridor — similar to the revitalization [in Cleveland] and could provide more timely transit service … ”

Some of the attributes of the system include dedicated lanes and strategically located stations, not just stops, according to officials.

The HealthLine has also helped spur new developments in the form of the rehabilitation of old buildings into housing and retail centers, as well as major expansions of a nearby university, museum and hospital.

“I’m really impressed with the renaissance of this area of Cleveland … and the revitalization,” Kurt Browning, an Albuquerque developer/builder said. “And I think there’s probably opportunities like this along Central Avenue — [on] old Route 66 in Albuquerque.”

The trip is part of ABQ Ride’s “Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit” study. Beginning November 20, ABQ Ride will schedule a series of six public meetings to get ideas and opinions from the public about the project.

Details of the time and locations of meetings are not yet available.

Note: Reproduced here as a vital document pertinent to public knowledge and discourse pursuant to the expenditure of very large amounts of public money.

Bruce Rizzieri – Director, City of Albuquerque Transit Department (aka: ABQ Ride).

Kurt Browning – Chief Development Officer, Titan Development.

Note: So many of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project images used on the brtabq.com website are images picked up on this 2012 visit to Cleveland (Ohio). The demographic description of Cleveland is HERE. Cleveland has a declining population, is 53% African American, 10% Hispanic, and has virtually no Native Americans. The city is 325 miles east of the starting point of Route 66 in Chicago.

The claims that “BRT” is behind the $3.5 billion “reinvestment” in Cleveland is spurious. Even if it were true, the reality is that in the last two years most downtown “investment” schemes in Cleveland have stopped or stalled, as the photographs of today’s Cleveland (linked above) clearly show and demonstrate.

Why would anyone with reasonable intelligence think that the wet, “water city” of Midwest Cleveland is anything like the very dry “desert city” of the West, Albuquerque?