ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – For many residents of Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, the Hahn Arroyo is far more than just a flood canal.
At least it is now after the city and AMAFCA invested more than $3 million in 2011 into fixing up a stretch of the ditch between Comanche and California near Montgomery Park.
That overhaul not only helped flood control efforts in the area and improved irrigation in the park, but also fixed up the bike path and added benches and public art.
With all of that money invested, the hope was that it would be well maintained.
“I thought they would take care of it,” said Dawn Wright, who lives next to the canal.
Although there was plenty of trash in the arroyo following a recent storm, Wright told KRQE News 13 on Tuesday that she and other neighbors have been more bugged by the overgrown weeds next to the bike path. In the worst spot, tangled vines crept well over the paved pathway.
“I’m afraid somebody’s going to get hurt… a biker or somebody going over that, they’re going to wipe out and I don’t want that to happen,” Wright said.
So News 13 took the neighborhood concerns to the city Parks and Recreation Department, who’s responsible for maintaining the path.
The department’s spokesperson, Paul Hyso, declined to make himself or anyone else from the department available for an on-camera interview but Hyso did admit that maintenance workers hadn’t been out to that stretch of trail in two months, longer than the city would like.
On Wednesday, that changed.
Hyso says 19 workers are responsible for maintaining more than 350 miles of trails, medians and streetscapes during the summer months. Despite that daunting task, Hyso says the lack of attention at the Hahn Arroyo was not because of staffing issues.
The trash in the arroyo isn’t the city’s responsibility but AMAFCA’s. An AMAFCA spokesperson tells News 13 that after a storm, the group tries to clear the trash from those arroyos as soon as possible.