Ditch near Old Town causing a stink

[anvplayer video=”5041724″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The picturesque Old Town Farm is a hidden jewel of Albuquerque’s urban landscape.

However, just off a trail, between I-40 and the Old Town Farm, is a ditch that is filled with trash.

"Until enough people complain, nothing happens," said Lanny Toning, owner of Old Town Farm. "It’s not on anybody’s to-do list."

Lanny Toning uses their property as a wedding venue, but when COVID shut down large events, they leaned on their Bike In Coffee business to continue bringing in revenue.

"I hear from the bicyclists coming in – what is with all that garbage? What can I tell them? Somebody needs to clean it up," Toning said.

Kimberly Gallegos, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, said the ditch is managed by the state, and the trail is managed by the city.

"It looks like the last time this was cleaned up was August of 2019," Gallegos said. "So, our crews did get in there and then, unfortunately, COVID happened, and our essential workers were still working, but we were working to keep the main lines open."

Gallegos said the state’s goal is to clean the ditches once a year.

"We’re doing our best to keep up with daily maintenance," Gallegos said. "We have crews of 10-12 people per crew that our expected to take care of 700-800 lane miles. So we have a lot of room to cover, and I would just ask for their patience during this time."

Gallegos said the ditch is on their to-do list, but they are waiting for the weather to cooperate before starting the task.