Albuquerque city council approves new noise cameras, domestic violence commission

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque city councilors discussed multiple issues Monday night that could impact you in a handful of ways, from public transportation to new “noise cameras.”

Monday night’s meeting started with a handful of people asking the city council to keep the zero fares bus program in place. But, as the meeting continued a lot of issues on the agenda were deferred until next month’s meeting, including two bills that deal with the city’s transit system. 

City Councilors Dan Lewis and Klarissa Peña are sponsoring a proposal that would take away the zero fare for all program, and start charging bus riders $1 — unless they filled out paperwork to get a free bus pass.

Peña is also introducing another bill that would require the transit department to put together a report documenting all calls for service on buses, or at bus stops. 

Safe Outdoor Spaces

Councilor Brook Bassan wrote up a bill to remove all references to Safe Outdoor Spaces from city documents. This will stop the process of creating new spaces for the homeless population – it passed 5-4.  

However, any Safe Outdoor Space already approved will move forward. 

“Since the passing of this ordinance with the Safe Outdoor Spaces, two have been approved there’s a potential for three more. So for those people who say we need to try something, we are trying something being that two are going to happen at least,” said Bassan. 

Three other Safe Outdoor Spaces are still on the table and could be approved.

Domestic violence and sexual assault commission

Two years ago, Mayor Tim Keller appointed a domestic violence and sexual assault task force to study the needs of victims in the city. 

Recently, the task force recommended the city create a permanent commission to address community needs.

Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn is one of four sponsors of that bill that passed Monday night. This bill would have the commission meet four times a year to improve services, and create preventative strategies to help domestic violence, and sexual assault survivors. 

“Domestic violence is real, and it is sad if there is anyone out there that is watching, that is in need, please know you are not alone,” City Councilor Renne Grout.

The commission will be put together in the following weeks. 

Noise cameras

On Monday night, the council approved the installation of noise cameras, that work like speed cameras.

The bill is a part of the city’s effort to crack down on drivers with modified exhaust systems who lead to “unnecessary noise pollution.”

Similar to the speed cameras, these cameras would be able to capture vehicle information based on noise levels as the cars drive by.

The legislation says it can ease the burden for police officers to focus on higher-priority calls while still cracking down on the city’s noise ordinance.

Now that it’s approved, the city will start testing the technology and gather further data.