• Roadmap to creating a safe, inclusive, thriving and fun urban core in Albuquerque


ALBUQUERQUE – In an effort to create a safer, more vital downtown, Albuquerque has come up with a 7-step program.

Good news for Rio Rancho residents who work in Albuquerque, and now and then might want to enjoy a ‘safe’ night on the town.

The plan, called “Downtown Forward” plan, will highlight safety measures, activate street-level vitality and launch projects “that will attract economic investment and private partnership in the downtown core.”

Public safety and crime reduction are key to revitalizing the area, according to the announcement of the new project.

Already the new Downtown Public Safety Center at Central and Fourth Street is open; a visible, street level police presence will be prominent during work and entertainment hours; and APD’s Downtown TEAM (Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring) reallocates resources to the downtown area, it said.

“Downtown Albuquerque is the economic and cultural heartbeat of the state and we need the fundamentals in place for it to succeed,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “A safe downtown creates a safe Albuquerque. A vibrant downtown will ignite a vibrant New Mexico. Creating a healthy urban center benefits us all.”

In addition to increased safety measures, downtown-focused projects are included in the plan’s funding.

Albuquerque has earmarked $15 million for the Albuquerque Rail Trail, which will increase bicycle and pedestrian connectivity to the Rail Yards, Alvarado Transit Center, Convention Center, Sawmill District and Old Town. An additional $10 million to the project has been earmarked by state funding, and $11.5 million has been awarded through the USDOT RAISE grant, bringing the  investment to $36.5 million.

The Downtown Forward Plan steps in to complement the city’s ongoing initiatives on housing and homelessness. Housing Forward ABQ aims to create 5,000 new units of housing by 2025. In downtown, several housing projects are already in the pipeline and to further this growth, MRA has established incentive tools for housing and commercial projects investing in designated Redevelopment Areas.

The Gateway Center is another key component in the Downtown Forward initiative to safely relocate unhoused community members out of downtown and provide them with the resources they need.

A full copy of the Downtown Forward Plan can be found here.