ART free parking causes confusion; some break the rules

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- The City of Albuquerque is trying to help businesses during Albuquerque Rapid Tranist construction with free parking along Central Avenue. But, many people haven’t realized it’s free and others are parking longer than the designated time limits.

“I think it’s actually really nice,” said one UNM student that wasn’t yet aware of the new parking perks. The city said meters are free as of October 17, along and near Central Avenue, east of Broadway.

They do stress you have to abide by the time limits marked on signs along Central.

“I’m happy about it cause I can just park my car across the street and not have to worry about UNM PATS leaving a ticket on the windshield of my car,” said Marcos Galvan another UNM student.

But as our KRQE News 13 crew noticed, many cars that had been parked for over the two hour limits, didn’t have chalked tires, nor were they given warnings or tickets.

But the main issue, most drivers, and shoppers said they had was not knowing free parking was even an option.

“The person that parked behind me, didn’t pay, just went, I don’t know how she knew, I didn’t know, it was only two bucks but hey, you know it would have been nice,” said one shopper who paid for a free meter.

The city said they are working to program messages on the meters to let drivers know which meters are free and which ones are not.

Suggested alternate routes include:
• Taking Lomas as a cross-town thoroughfare
• Taking I-40 to various north and south routes
• Taking I-25 to Lead/Coal and utilizing Lead or Coal as cross-town thoroughfares
• Taking I-25 to MLK for quicker access to downtown businesses and residences

They also said on the first day free parking was offered, they issued 12 warnings. They said soon they will be giving tickets, to cars parked longer than the time limits.

On Tuesday, the City offered alternate routes to navigate during construction. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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