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BikeABQ Candidate Survey

Teresa Garcia

State District 13 — Democratic Primary

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

While I personally am not an avid cyclist in New Mexico, I have acquaintances who enthusiastically engage in biking for recreational purposes, particularly in Albuquerque. We have active cyclists that use Dennis Chavez to bike, which is one of the major roads in District 13 however it lacks appropriate road markings to make sure cyclists can ride safely. As an active community member, I recognize the importance of biking as both a means of transportation and a recreational activity in our community.

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.

My vision for a healthy, safe, and equitable transportation system in the Greater Albuquerque Region prioritizes accessibility for all community members and emphasizes public safety when utilizing alternative modes of transportation. I am committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders and community members to introduce innovative initiatives that promote alternative modes of transportation and excite the community about sustainable options, such as offering bicycles to those who may not be able to afford them.

Transportation is often taken for granted, yet not everyone has access to a personal vehicle. It is essential that our transportation system is inclusive and equitable, ensuring that everyone can access essential services, employment opportunities, and recreational activities regardless of their mode of transportation. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and actively addressing barriers to transportation, we can create a transportation network that serves the diverse needs of our community while promoting health, safety, and environmental sustainability.

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 most significant barriers to encouraging walking, biking, and public transit over personal vehicles, particularly in my district, include inadequate infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike lanes, insufficient coverage of bus stops, and limited accessibility to alternative transportation options. As a priority, I am committed to securing funding to improve infrastructure, welcoming businesses to our district to reduce commute times, and advocating for enhanced public transit services to meet the diverse needs of our community.

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?

I am dedicated to fostering intentional dialogues with community members and stakeholders to address their concerns regarding transportation safety. Ensuring adequate illumination of our roads at night is paramount to enhancing visibility and promoting safety for both drivers and pedestrians. By installing stoplights in areas prone to speeding and incorporating speed bumps, we can effectively mitigate reckless driving behavior and encourage compliance with speed limits within our neighborhoods.

Furthermore, enhancing road infrastructure, including the maintenance of road markings and crosswalks, is essential for ensuring safe passage for all road users. It has come to my attention that several schools in District 13 lack adequately illuminated signs for crosswalks, posing a safety hazard for students and motorists. I am committed to prioritizing the installation of proper signage and lighting in school zones to enhance safety and prevent accidents.
One such priority identified by my constituents is the expansion of Dennis Chavez and 98th Street to accommodate the growing needs of our community. By expanding these roads to two lanes each way and incorporating bike lanes, we can alleviate traffic congestion, promote alternative modes of transportation, and enhance road safety.

Additionally, I will advocate for the expansion of 118th Street to alleviate traffic congestion and prevent accidents. The addition of bike lanes to these roads, particularly Dennis Chavez, will not only enhance safety for cyclists but also ensure their visibility to motorists. It is essential that these infrastructure enhancements are properly executed, with adequate lighting and signage, to promote safety and accessibility for all members of our community.

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?

While I am open to collaborating with stakeholders to widen Interstate 25 from Sunport to the Big I to alleviate traffic congestion, it is essential to consider the impact on surrounding communities and explore alternative transportation options. In addition to freeway widenings, I advocate for enhancements to Rio Bravo from Coors to I-25 to accommodate the growing needs of our community and prevent further traffic congestion. This comprehensive approach ensures that transportation improvements are inclusive and responsive to the evolving needs of our community.

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