The streetcar would run along Central Avenue, then by Isotopes Park on its way to the airport.Previously, Marty was arguing that the trolley would service the throngs of mythical riders along Central Avenue and provide another way to get across the river. Now, he's arguing that tourists need a $130 MILLION way to get to the ballpark!
Adams said the project would help tourists get around the Rio Grande Valley without stepping into a car. They could fly in, take the streetcar to Downtown Albuquerque, then ride the Rail Runner to Santa Fe. Or someone from Santa Fe could come down for a ballgame without having to drive.
If you're a parent these shifting arguments probably sound familiar. Next little Marty will probably argue that "everyone else is doing it." Uh, wait... never mind, he's doing that too.
Chávez said cities across the country are launching rail projects. He predicted Albuquerque will join them, even if it doesn't happen while he's in office.Fortunately, there seem to be some adults on the council who have rightfully determined that the public isn't all that hot on the idea of spending over $130 MILLION to ferry tourists to ballgames.
"Unless somebody drops $300 million on us, it's going to go to the voters some day," City Council President Isaac Benton said in an interview. But "I don't see any immediate movement on it."Councilor Winter brings up a good point - one that we have maintained for some time. Even if $300 MILLION should fall from Obama on high, it should be spent on transportation issues like the Paseo del Norte I-25 interchange that services hundreds of thousands of Albuquerque taxpayers on a daily basis not some tourist trolley for people who don't pay to keep the city afloat.
Councilor Sally Mayer said her Northeast Heights constituents are "angry that we're even considering it." She said that even if the federal government gave Albuquerque $50 million, that wouldn't pay for two miles of track.
"This is extraordinarily expensive, and I don't see a need for it," Mayer said.
Councilor Brad Winter said the city should focus on other transportation needs, such as the reconstruction of the Paseo del Norte and Interstate 25 interchange.
"I don't think we need another study," Winter said of the streetcar. "It ought to be dead."
O'Malley said the route of the system shouldn't be "subject to somebody's whimsy. We're talking about millions of dollars."
Actually, we're talking about HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS not only to build it but to run it in perpetuity.
Even if Councilor O'Malley favors building a $400 MILLION money pit, errr... arena, she's got the right idea here. The Valley councilor is planning on introducing legislation to force the tracks of any trolley to go directly through the council chambers.
Any unnecessary expenditure that will obligate taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and operation costs should at the very least be approved by the people upon whom that obligation will be laid.
The Almighty Alcalde up on his perch on the 11th floor simply doesn't get it. It's unbelievable that an elected official would so blatantly ignore the wishes of his constituents. Of course, that can be fixed this October.