Bike Ban Averted in Albuquerque, City Moves to Add Bike Lanes Instead

Albuquerque is a League of American Bicyclists certified “Bronze-Level” Bike Friendly Community. So everyone was a little taken aback when it looked like the city was pursuing a bike ban on a popular thoroughfare last week.

A cyclist bikes past a "no bicycling" sign on Chappell Road in Albuquerque. The signs will be covered and bike lanes will be added after a campaign by the local cycling community. Photo: KOAT Albuquerque

No more. This New Mexico city redeemed itself in the eyes of bike advocates when city officials said Friday that not only would they take down the “No Bicycles” sign on Chappell Road, but they would be adding two bike lanes on the road to improve cycling safety.

On Saturday, Los Alamos Bikes posted a thank you to Michael Riordan, the city’s Director of Municipal Development, who ordered the change.

Meanwhile, in a email to local officials, Khalil J Spencer, a Los Alamos-based LAB-certified cycling instructor, said “I’m happy the city turned this decision around so fast, but my main concern from here in the hinterlands is that the process does not repeat itself.”

Credit is owed to some quick organizing by local cycling advocates, about 20 of whom met with city officials to voice their concerns last Wednesday. Among them was Jennifer Buntz, president of the Duke City Wheelmen Foundation, who reminded the ABQ Journal that cyclists have the same rights to the road under the law as motorist. She added: “Cyclists are capable of deciding the best route for their travels. We do that every time we are on our bicycles. We can and do make choices with our ‘life, health and safety in mind.’ We do not need the city to do that for us.”