ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It's a part of the city that just about everyone uses at one point or another, a five-mile stretch from University and Menaul to the Albuquerque Sunport.
In between is UNM Hospital, the main campuses for UNM and CNM, University Stadium, Isotopes Park and The Pit.
But Augusta Meyers with the Mid-Region Council of Governments says right now, the area has a key transit flaw that sets it up for traffic and congestion issues.
"There are a lot of east-west connections to the area but nothing that links one continuum going north and south of all the institutions in the area," said Meyers. "It's an issue because there are 74,000 trips into that area each day and it's not going to get better as time goes on."
So, MRCOG has been working on a transit study of the University corridor for the past couple years and have come up with a $60 million proposed solution.
The draft plan calls for a bus rapid transit route from University and Menaul that goes south on University, turns onto Lomas and heads South through UNM's campus before meeting back up with University. The buses would then turn onto Avenida Cesar Chavez and drive a small stretch before taking Yale south to the Sunport.
The bus rapid transit idea would involve dedicated stations served by bus lanes in the center of the road for much of the proposed route. That would allow buses to move efficiently through the area. To cut down on parking congestion, the route would have several park & ride lots along it, allowing people to park and hop on the bus system.
The hope is to pay for most of the proposal with federal funding, up to about $48 million if possible. The rest would be paid by local sources.
"The vision is better access for everybody whether you live in the area or you work in the area the access will be much better and much more convenient," Meyers said.
The proposal is similar to a bus rapid transit line the city is looking at that would run along Central Avenue from one side of Albuquerque to the other. A feasibility study for that idea had an estimated price tag between $65 million and $103 million.
Both plans would take about four to five years to complete if the money is found for them.
MRCOG is holding a series of public meetings this week to discuss the draft plan in more detail. The meeting schedule is listed here.
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