January 4th, 2006

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Planning, or lack of it...

Sometimes the lack of planning that goes on in Albuquerque, and for that matter New Mexico kills me. I think that some people have a image of what used Albuquerque to be (A Small Slow City), and want it to remain that way. Well, I have news for these people; It’s not going to stay that way. Weather people like it or not, Albuquerque is a fast growing city and so is the metro area that surrounds Albuquerque. Now is the time to not only plan for the impending growth, but to also build infrastructure ahead of the growth, and not after which as been the defacto standard for Albuquerque

So, being the dork I am some days of the week, I was looking at the "2025 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)" which is created by the "Mid-Region Council of Governments", because I wanted to see where some projects were at in terms of status on when they were planned to be built. What I found is really disappointing. Now I should start by telling you all what the "2025 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)" is if you have not figured it out from the title yet.

The 2025 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)"is a long range transportation plan that paints a picture of what a metropolitan area will look like 20 years from now in terms of population, employment, number of vehicles on roadways, etc. It also recommends transportation planning activities that need to take place to accommodate the anticipated growth: what roads need to be built or improved, what transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities need to be developed or improved, and how all these different projects and modes of transportation will work together." (Taken from http://www.mrcog-nm.gov/mtp.htm)

The MTP covers the period from 2003 to 2025, so some of the projects have been started and/or completed. Also with the start of GRIP (Governor Richardson's Investment Partnership), some of these projects in the MTP, have been moved up like the Coors / 1-40 Interchange, which had been schedule for 2011 to 2115 and the I-25 / Tramway interchange which had been scheduled for 2016 to 2025. Other projects have been moved up due to private funding and other things.

So, when I started to look at the MTP I was shocked to see where some of the project area in the timeline and which projects do not even exist in this MTP. For example, Paseo Del Norte, is one of the major east/west connections from the east side of Albuquerque to the west side. From Coors Rd to just before Jefferson, its all Freeway style, but there still is a traffic light at Paseo & Jefferson and also at Paseo & I-25, which causes lots of backup during rush hour not only on Paseo but also on I-25 and the surrounding roads. So I went looking for when the Paseo & Jefferson interchange project was scheduled for, and found that it is currently scheduled for 2016 to 2025. So that means, that at a minimum for the next 10 years there will be no relief in sight, unless there is a change to the current MTP. So, next I went looking for Paseo & I-25, and never found it. So, unless they rolled it into the Paseo & Jefferson project, there is no hope at all for I-25 and Paseo Del Norte again, unless there is a change to the current MTP.

When I was looking at the DRAFT 2025 MTP Fall Amendment, I saw a number that made my jaw drop. The number, 12,500 is the average increases in number of vehicles seeking to cross the Rio Grande each year. So, that means that each year, on average 12,500 more cars cross the Rio Grande at any of the 7 river crossings in the city, no wonder rush-hour feels like its getting worse when I go to my parents house in Corrales.

There are other things that make me wonder if these people have there heads screwed on right. Right now, with few exceptions, the interstates & freeways in Albuquerque are 3 lanes each direction. A lot of the focus on highway / freeway construction in the city right now is on I-40. They are rebuilding the bridges that cross the freeway, which I will admit is needed, as some of these bridges are 40 years old. But, they also want to widen I-40, which I know is there outlook on the future and I understand that. But, also, I-40 moves very well during rush hour, where as I-25 does not. I-25 has major gridlock problems during the rush hour time period. There are some short term fixes that they could do to help fix this problem, but I have yet to see any movement on these. Also, again with few exceptions, there is little in the MTP talking about upgrades and/or improvements to I-25 corridor.

So, I know the old saying "It’s got to get worse before it can get better", but I wonder how much worse it HAS to get, before it will get better? Also, there are a lot of people who are bitching about leap-frog development on the Westside. Leap-frog development is when one development leaps over a current area, and starts in a new one. If you look at the Westside of Albuquerque there are plenty examples of this. Well, I think if the city had invested in infrastructure out on the Westside, we would see a lot less of the leap-frog developments, as there is more incentive to build where the roads and everything else has been already put in. But, instead the city relies on developers to put in the roads, and thus has lead to a cookie-cutter road system out on the Westside. Some roads are built 4 lanes, but have only 2 lanes hooking into them on each side. Others start, and then go no where. It’s really just a crappy system, which again promotes leap-frog development.

Also, there are some people who use the claim "If you build it, they will come", in regards to roads. These people think that if you build a road, it will not help congestion, it will just create more traffic. This is very wrong. If this was true, and assuming zero growth, then this would mean that cars are just materizing on these roads, which last time I checked the rules of physics, just could not happen. So, now we mix growth into our equations, and using that 12,500 number from above, we can see where all of these cars are coming from. So, in the 2 years it takes to physical construct a river crossing (which was one of the examples I saw in a presentation on the "If you build it" theory) in Albuquerque, with out legal stuff mixed in, you could have an extra 25,000 cars a year crossing the river.

I will write more on this subject, for now you can all ponder what I have said.
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Some people make me sick!

WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE IN THIS POST! READ ONLY IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT.


Looking at CNN.com tonight, which is one of the first places I check for news, I see a headline that catches my eye. Police: Pups get sitter, kids left home alone. Now when I saw this headline, I said to myself "What The Fuck?" as I went to click the link.

So it turns out a newlywed couple in Manteca, California left there 9 year old son, in charge of there other son, 5 years old as they went out town for a five day trip where they celebrated the new year in Las Vegas. Now here is the kicker and the part that made me say "WHAT THE FUCK!", they found a dog sitter for their new puppies.

They found someone to watch there fucking dogs, but not there own children? What in the fuck were these people thinking. What makes this worse is this is not the first time they have left the two kids alone. Last fall they kept the 9 year old boy out of school for a week so he could watch his younger brother. I want to find these parents (who since have been arrested), and just hit them and yell at them, WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU STUPID ASSHOLES THINKING?

I do not think these parents should ever be able to care for children again! They even have quoted the older boy in saying "I thought they loved them more than us", with regard to the parents caring more for the dogs then there own kids. Even Joshua, the 9 year old, said "They shouldn't leave us alone", so if 9 year old knows that they should not be left alone, what does that say about his parents?

I think the worse part of this is that its not like they couldn’t afford to pay someone to watch there kids, they just picked not to. Hell, both of the parents are cosmetic dentists in Santa Clara, CA. So they got the fucking money to find someone to watch there kids! I mean, if you are going to Vegas to ring in the New Year, really how much more would it cost to find a baby sitter? Also, what just kills me is they got someone to watch there damn puppy’s. Now do not get me wrong, I am not saying they should have left the dogs alone or even with the boys, but what they hell, you get someone to watch your dogs but not your own kids? DAMN!

My heart goes out to the two boys, cus shit at age 9; I do not know what I would have done with my self if my parents left me home alone with a younger brother. I mean, what this kid must have felt, and be feeling is above anything I would know.

I am going to shut up about this subject now before I get really pissed of at these 2 people, and want to do something more about it. I hope they get a really stiff penalty and do not get off with a slap on the wrist.
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Wow, now that is a game.

Yes we loss, I accept that fact. But, as Pete Carroll said, "It has to come to an end sometime" and that sometime was tonight. It was a really good game and a real nail bitter down to the last seconds. Sure some of the calls could have been better, but we lost and now its time to move on.

I think it admiral that Longhorns Coach, Mack Brown, took time to recognize USC and Pete Carroll for the 34 undefeated games, and 2 national championships that USC won. I think it will be fun to watch USC as a team next season, and see who heads to the championship game next year!