ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A group of Albuquerque citizens and business owners are suing to the city to put the brakes on the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project.
They claim it was illegally green lit and that the construction chaos and traffic from the fancy bus system will be a public nuisance.
If the mayor’s office gets its way, crews will start tearing up Central in July. The lawsuit aims to put a stop to those plans right away.
The $119 million ART project has stirred up debate for months.
A lot of people are worried that it’ll hurt business and cause traffic headaches on parts of a 10-mile stretch of Central that will see dedicated bus lanes, fewer lanes for cars and no left turns. That’s all spelled out in the lawsuit.
A group of businesses and residents also think the mayor’s office and the feds ignored the National Historic Preservation Act. The project will affect almost 50 registered historic landmarks along the Old Route 66, including places like the Monte Vista Fire Station, because streets and sidewalks will be torn apart.
One of the biggest complaints has been about traffic on Central during and after the construction, and more traffic being shifted to nearby streets like Lead and Coal.
The suit claims the Federal Transit Administration and the City “rammed this large-scale project down everyone’s throats,” and that the city understated the opposition to the new bus system when it pitched the plan to the feds.
There is no word yet on when a judge could make a decision on halting the ART project. The city hopes to break ground next month and have everything done within a year and a half.
The city has also predicted that within a year the ART will have twice as many riders as the Rapid Ride, the system it’s replacing.