A new walking and running trail that would slice through a part of downtown Albuquerque is currently the subject of talk among city officials.
As envisioned, the trail would stretch for roughly half a mile, running adjacent to existing railroad tracks between Central Avenue and Lomas Boulevard.
Five tracks crossing Central gradually merge, becoming two tracks at Lomas, and allowing for more space for the proposed walking and running trail.
According to a feasibility study put together by Albuquerque’s Planning Department, construction of the trail would also include the creation of a buffer space, with a built barrier between the path itself and the tracks.
The walking and running trail could even extend to a crossing over Marquette Street, which runs in the same direction as Central and Lomas.
How much it would cost to build the trail is not yet known.
But Albuquerque officials have contacted the New Mexico Department of Transportation regarding the right to use the adjacent train track space for the project.
The development and construction of walking and running trails adjacent to existing railroad tracks has become a national trend, with more than 2,000 miles of such trails now completed, up from only 300 in the late 1990s.
A Washington-based group called the Rails to Trails Conservancy additionally estimates that the number of new trails built on swaths of land where train tracks are no longer in operation currently equals more than 24,000 miles.
By Garry Boulard
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