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BikeABQ Candidate Survey

Marian Matthews

House District 27 — Democratic Primary

1. Do you bike in New Mexico? Describe your experience biking for transportation and/or recreation.

When I was younger, I biked in New Mexico. Even then I found ABQ not to be a particularly friendly place to bike. While there are trails and you can attach your bike to the front of a bus, almost always you eventually have to return to the surface roads, many of which are designed for motor vehicles, not bikes. It was undoubtedly a reflection of my limited skills biking, but our emphasis on the automobile impacted the frequency and the locations where i would bike

2. Describe your vision of a healthy, safe, equitable transportation system for the Greater Albuquerque Region and the roles walking, biking, and public transportation play in that vision.

I love the idea of the 30-minute city where you can reach a regional center in less than a half-hour by walking, biking or public transport. I heard recently Cleveland was working on a 30-minute plan. I don't know much about Cleveland, but it has tough winters.

Maybe if Cleveland could be a 30-minute city, we could make some strides here. One of the challenges for ABQ is the elevation changes. The elevation changes are also part of its charm, but this feature makes it harder for those who are not in the best of condition to walk or bike around the city. I'm not a city planner, but there must be a better way to accommodate walkers and bikers at major intersections then we now use. I am within a 15-minute walk to a shopping area, but seldom walk it because I have to cross major intersections and it's unpleasant.

3. What are the biggest barriers to getting people to choose walking, biking, and public transit instead of personal vehicles for daily trips, and what would you do to address these impediments?

The biggest impediment is that much of ABQ is built around the automobile. Public transit has its own set of issues, including safety. It might be interesting to see if vans could be used for short trips between (for example) Winrock and Coronado, along north Fourth or other places where people may be making frequent short trips and a giant bus is not needed.

4. New Mexico consistently has the deadliest streets of any state in the US, with approximately 400 people killed by vehicles each year while walking, biking, or driving, and another 12,000 people injured. What should New Mexico, and in particular the New Mexico Department of Transportation, do to improve traffic safety?

One of the things we perhaps should be looking at is reducing the distance between pedestrian walks. In my part of the city, it's a bit of a trek to get to the next marked pedestrian crossing. In the heat of the summer, those distances can be a deterrent to walking and crossing to get to the walk lights and signals.

5. The New Mexico DOT is currently pursuing a pair of projects related to Interstate 25, following the South I-25 Corridor Study that calls for the widening of Interstate 25 in Albuquerque from Sunport to the Big I, to 8 lanes from the current 6. Do you support urban freeway widenings, or how would you prefer NMDOT enhance transportation options in this corridor?

The wider the road in terms of number of lanes, the more intimidating it is to drive on it. That area is already congested. The road that runs along I25 on the west is a nice alternative route, but on the east side, the road is difficult. Improving those side roads, decreasing the number of exits and entrances in that area might be alternatives to adding lanes, along with having a better access to and from the airport traveling east or west. People take I25 to get to I40. We could relieve traffic on I25 by providing a better road system to get from the airport and base to I40 without using I25

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