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Traffic Test....

So one of our local TV news stations, KOAT, did a test to see which route is faster from the Westside to downtown. Now I am sure what ever route they said was best probably had the most traffic on it today then at anytime in the past. They have done this test 2 other times before back in 2003 and 2005. But I must say I have to take issue with there little test.

Being someone that grew up with the scientific method in there family, I find great fault with this test. First off, they only run the test once for that year period. The whole point of the test is that I can repeat the test with the same results. Now I am not saying what they have done is complete shit, but really they should have run the test everyday for one week, then avg'ed the time. If they ran the same test for every weekday for one week, and came out with the results they did, then I would have much less issues then I do.

Another problem I have, is one of the routes they took had a good amount of road construction on it, which is part of the reason why it did not come in with a good time. In the past and with this years test, they never have taken road construction in to account for road times. When big road projects are running, most people try to avoid the area best they can, which puts pressure on other parts of the city, thus increasing drive times thru out the city.

Second, the test was done with 4 different people, which means you have 4 different driving styles to deal with. Every person does not drive the same, even if they are told to drive the same way. It is built into our minds how we drive and that is a very hard thing to break. So one person might let other people in, another might not. It all could effect the time.

Also, they only did the morning rush hour drive. Why not do the evening rush hour and show us how bad all directions are? Also, since they only ran the test once, they started at 7:30am. What about seeing if it makes any difference to start at 7 or 8am or something like that? There are many different things that can affect your commute.

These things are what piss me off about the tests that KOAT has done for the past few years. Now I also think it speaks volumes about our rush hour traffic that we have to have a TV news station do this. I think if everything built out to the traffic volumes that we have, then we would have no need for this type of test. Now granted, nothing in this city is built out to traffic volumes it should be except in a few places. In the 80's and early 90's there was a massive increase in infrastructure building. The 80's saw someone with vision who thought up Paseo Del Norte. At first it was only 3 lanes in each direction from Coors to 2nd street, and then 2 lanes each direction from 2nd street to Jefferson. Now in 20+ years, the only thing to happen to Paseo west of the river was bridge over 2nd street, and adding one lane each direction from 2nd to Jefferson.

Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? Also in the past 20+ years we have only added one new river crossing when growth on the west side has expanded at ever incrasing rates! There are days when I think this city did a better job of planning with no planning office. Before the 1970's, the City of Albuquerque did not have a planning office, which just amazes me some days. But when you look at the parts of the city that grew with out a planning office (East side) and the part of the city that has grown with a planning office (west side), its just hurts my mind.

Anyway, so that is my bitch for today. Yep, still on this planning kick....

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Kevin Murray

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