Dear Rio Grande Boulevard Neighborhood Association Member: I

Dear Rio Grande Boulevard Neighborhood Association Member:
I am sending you a copy of a letter that former State Senator Dede Feldman sent
to members of the City Council regarding recently appointed City Councilor
Roxanna Meyer's attempt to veto the proposed roundabout at Rio Grande
Boulevard and Candelaria. Senator Feldman gave me permission to share it
with you.
The letter is a reminder that the process leading up to the recommendation to
install a roundabout as the best solution to slowing high-speed traffic on Rio
Grande has been a long one.
More importantly Senator Feldman highlights some serious concerns about the
precedent that would be set, both in terms of public input and also professionally
conducted traffic and engineering studies, if Councilor Meyer's is successful in
her attempt to terminate the roundabout.
Jack Taylor
On behalf of the Rio Grande Boulevard Association Board
To: Albuquerque City Councilors
As a former NM State Senator who represented the area encompassed by City
Council District 2 for 16 years, I urge you to think twice about Councilor Roxanna
Meyers’ sudden move to return and reallocate state, federal and city funds
designated for a speed calming devise on Rio Grande Blvd.
The problem of high-speed traffic on Rio Grande Blvd. was a concern that
was brought to me and other legislators over five years ago by a number of
neighborhood organizations. We were able to obtain some state funding to study
the problem, hold public meetings and propose structural solutions. Another series
of public meetings and design charrettes organized by city departments, featuring
outside traffic experts and extensive public participation was also held. The upshot
was an engineering design and construction drawings for a “roundabout” at Rio
Grande and Candelaria—now opposed by Councilor Meyers. But here are larger
issues than just the pros and cons of a roundabout in this case.
Before you rush to return federal highway funds for use elsewhere in the
state or reallocate funds that were approved by voters in a bond issue and obtained
through the efforts of elected officials like me over numerous years—I ask you to
consider the precedent this sets for your own neighborhood projects. Using the
logic of Councilor Meyers’ reversal, every neighborhood project that has gone
through the painstaking process of obtaining public input and funding for multiple
sources is now on the table. It is subject to termination based on the most recent
objection, or if there is turnover in the council or mayor’s seat. Is that the kind of
message we want to send?
You will be sending other messages too, if these funds are returned for use
outside of District 2, including:
• A decline in credibility of the City of Albuquerque’s capital outlay requests
to the state, since state funds are wasted when projects are terminated or
local officials say “Never Mind,” give that money to another project on the list.
In recent years competition has been keen for state funding, which goes to
projects that ready to spend funds rapidly before they need to be
• A slap-in-the-face to citizens and other officials who spent hours studying
the issue and coming up with a solution. Why would citizens want to engage
in other planning efforts when they can be undone at the last minute—
wasting the time spent by citizens who thought their participation was
valued? Civic engagement is something we need to foster, not
Thanks for hearing these concerns. I urge you to take a deep breath
and delay any reversion or reallocation of funds for this project, pending
further discussion and public input.
Dede Feldman.
Former NM Senator, District 13