ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s a double whammy for the city in its fight to re-do Central for a new bus system.
Following the filing of a state lawsuit, now a federal lawsuit from businesses is trying to put the brakes on the planned ART project.
The owners of Flying Star Cafe are suing the city of Albuquerque and federal government in federal court.
Five businesses or business owners and a group of concerned citizens filed the lawsuit Monday afternoon. It’s the second lawsuit over the controversial $120 million Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.
Current plans would set up dedicated bus lanes for an upgraded system on 10 miles of Central, reducing driving lanes and left turns in places.
The mayor’s administration says the new system will be good for Albuquerque businesses and commuters in the long run, but both suits claim that the plans would disrupt or destroy local businesses and create a traffic nightmare. Another claim is that the city severely understated the opposition to ART and misled the feds on an application for funding. The mayor’s office denies that and says this lawsuit is no surprise.
“We more than expected this. We are certainly confident that our team put together the rigor and accountability necessary to make our application suitable for the federal government,” said Gilbert Montano, Mayor’s Chief of Staff.
The project is slated to start in July, but if a judge decides the lawsuit has merit, that could all be put on hold.