Friday, May 29, 2009

The Velodrome is rotted & ABQ has spent the money approved for it

marjorie says...

In the ongoing saga of the Buena Vista street residents and the BMX stadium, the coverage by television news has generally been pretty poor. Going back to 2007, when residents filed a suit against the city, television news never showed the actual physical reality of the situation. Instead, they'd do close-ups of the stadium or the neighbors.

KRQE's coverage a couple of nights ago changed that, and I recommend watching it. KRQE did some excellent reporting between that spot and one last week in which they informed us that the Velodrome intended for the same site as the bicycle park has rotted away and the bond money approved by the city to put it in place has been spent.

Richard Dineen, ABQ city planning director, told KRQE that the BMX stadium was administratively moved to its current location, after it was approved by the EPC for another spot, because it worked better for the overall plan of the site--which is largely about the Velodrome. And, he said, if he knew then what he knows now he'd have given neighbors more notice before moving the BMX stadium.

As KRQE reported, the Velodrome was acquired in 1999 by a non-profit and improperly stored. $2 million in bond money to install the velodrome was passed by voters in 2003. The city learned in late 2004 that the Velodrome was unusable due to rot. And the $2 million has been spent elsewhere.

(Yes, I bolded that to make sure it sinks in)

The city still moved the BMX stadium in 2005. And watching the KRQE coverage gives one a sense of ramifications for the neighborhood...which is why the City Council, led by Council President Ike Benton, is now proposing moving the stadium or somehow mitigating the problem.