I know I keep saying, "They have done it again!" Well, they have.
New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque are complicit in the destruction of an iconic highway and a pierce of Americana. Buzz Murdoch and Todd Stiles would role over in their graves if they could see what happened to their famous Route 66. But the television series "Route 66" got to them first when they killed the series. Now, there are only memories of the drive Americans used to make.
There are a few remaining business enclaves trying to survive on Central Avenue aka Route 66, but they are suffering and it remains to be seen how long they will last. Who has the deeper pockets and the stronger will to fight? What happened? Very simple. Politics and lack of leadership. The same old story for New Mexico. If you want to know the story of Route 66, you will not get it here. Get a book and read it. Or if your too lazy to go to the library, Look on the internet. But please don't Google. Try another search engine, anything but Google. You'll find it.
From the minute tourists come over the rise on Interstate 40 in the east mountains and make the turn onto Central Avenue expecting to now experience a visual history of America Highway, they are greeted with derelict businesses, homeless wanderers, gypsies, tramps and thieves. Any of them will dance for the money you throw. From Tramway to the west side of Albuquerque, the road is a sideshow, a freak show. A display of how to take a potential cash windfall and work double hard to smash it into the ground.
Central Avenue has always been a challenge. The potential has always been there. But, Albuquerque just can't bring it on themselves to get professional help. There are any number of success stories throughout this country. Places and cities that have taken failed areas and turned them into commercial and urban successes. Did anybody go out and look? I can't imagine they did.
Why would you take a 4 lane road, 6 lanes if you count the street parking and turn it into one lane on each side to accommodate busses that no one rides. The riders of these busses are not stopping along Central Avenue and supporting those local businesses. It was always hard enough to find parking and navigate the traffic on Central, but now with the non-electric busses that were supposed to be electric, but are now gas because the city was cheated and had to revert to what they wanted to replace in the first place, having their own special lane and totally messing up the traffic patterns on Central Avenue, nobody wants to go there!
Well, almost nobody. There are plenty of gypsies, tramps and thieves, dancing for the money you throw and sellin' a couple bottles of doctor good. Yes, the word is out around the country, where to come for the winter. Or the summer. I sympathize with any business owner on Central Avenue. Bless you. I don't know how or why you do it. I could find many metaphors for what is going on there. The tail wagging the dog? The crazies running the asylum? For sure no one is in charge who really cares.
You can be sure if I owned a business on Central and had my life invested there, I would be going completely out of my mind by now.
Hello! Are there any leaders out there? Anywhere?
Every time we try to drive to some of what used to be our favorite places, they are surrounded by bars, (steel ones), closed, or it is so complicated with the traffic, that it is easier to drive to LA for dinner. It's too late to place the blame for this complete disaster, but someone, anyone, needs to try and unwind it. At the very least take it back to the way it was to start over.
A good start would be to unwind Mayor Keller. And in case you are wondering, I voted for him.
As the sayin' goes. You're outta' here! I can actually think of a number of reasons for him to go, but let's start with this one. I'm selfish and I wanna' go back on Central to shop.
So if you want to have a bus line on Central Avenue, have 2 stops, one to pick up the gypsies, tramps and thieves and one to take them to the state line and drop them off.