I strongly oppose the $69 million dollar A.R.T. bus project grant for Albuquerque contained in the Transportation Department Budget. Federal and State lawsuits have been filed and it is anticipated that a "preliminary injunction" hearing will be held in the first weeks of July before Federal Judge Ken Gonzales. It is clear to me that the Berry Administration mislead the Federal Transportation Administration in its application for the grant saying the project would not be controversial. The City failed to secure environmental impact studies, and the bus design violates historical designation laws and ordinances. The City Administration insists ART will increase bus usage up and down Central Avenue. It will not. The overwhelming majority of the demographics it is targeting rely too much on their own vehicles to travel to and from work all over this entire city and a mere ten mile stretch of A.R.T. is not going to reduce people’s reliance on their vehicles. The truth is, the City already has spent millions on the “Rapid Ride” system up along Central which is just as effective if not more as A.R.T.. A.R.T. is an expensive and glorified version of Rapid Ride but with a dedicated lane and canopies down the center of central. A.R.T. will destroy all of the median improvements made in the ten mile stretch and eliminate street front parking. A.R.T. will destroy all the progress that has been made along Central with millions spent to destroy the medians. The A.R.T. project will destroy thriving businesses especially in the East Downtown (EDO) and Nob Hill areas. There are 150 businesses opposing the A.R.T. bus project along the Central within the 10 miles affected. The Berry Administration has described proposed mitigation efforts to lessen the impact of construction on businesses, including offering “bridge loans”, which are not at all compelling nor convincing. A.R.T. is not an economic development project as argued by the Berry Administration, but nothing more than a construction project with very short term economic benefits to the City.

Pete Dinelli, A.R.T. opponent