Local bicyclists hold meeting to discuss future improvements to Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More than two dozen bicycling enthusiasts got together at “Bike In Coffee” near Old Town Saturday morning to begin plotting a unified path to city hall and the Roundhouse.

“There’s a general consensus that we need to have better bike infrastructure and better ideas for how to move forward,” said Patrick Martin, advocacy chair with BikeABQ. “If every person goes about it in their own individual way, nothing is going to get done. And so, events like this are great to get everyone on the same page to look at what everyone else is doing, so we can move forward in the same direction.”

Martin and Susan Gautsch with BikeABQ believe that unified direction could help transform Albuquerque into one of the best biking cities in the nation.

“The number of people who bike in the city is about triple the national average. So we are definitely, like we have a good solid core of bicycling, but there definitely is a lot of room to grow,” said Martin. 

They know exactly where city councilors and state lawmakers should begin.

“We’ve got survey after survey, after survey that tells us this, that the number one impediment that we have here in Albuquerque for people cycling, is they don’t feel safe,” said Susan Gautsch, board president of BikeABQ.  

New Mexico was ranked worst in the nation for pedestrian deaths in 2022. 

A recent survey from the City of Albuquerque found nearly three-quarters of bicyclists want more space from cars on the road.

“Getting protected lanes, separated lanes, protected in intersections, lowering speed limits in areas where bicycles are going to be popular. All of that is stuff that is really important to making people feel like they can bike around the city,” said Martin. 

They know convincing city and state leaders to commit to those infrastructure projects takes a lot of support.

“There’s both the sort of ‘Build it, and they will come,’ As well as, you know, get the impetus behind it, so that we can build it,” Gautsch said. 

“We have a lot of great ability to make this a good biking city,” said Martin. 

The newly-formed coalition is finalizing their legislative agenda. 

People can learn more about their plans at another community meeting next Saturday at Canteen.