The 2019 “Love is in the Fair” NM State Fair has packed and gone. The smell of candy apples and farm animals no longer perfumes the air. Fair attendees parking in our Fair West neighborhood, hoping to avoid parking lines or save parking fees, bypassing the free Park & Ride, or other options suggested by the Fair’s website (Ride Share, Bus or Bike), were greeted with no parking permanent signs.

The permitted parking signs went up just before opening day for most areas. As with all new projects, there was some adjustment need, such as signage for the 200-300 blocks of Cagua. Driving through that area of the neighborhood several times, checking the flow, compliance status, and the challenges was a great way to see the good and bad firsthand. The streets were transformed into an uncomfortably narrow parking lot. When the signs went up, and tickets started to sprout on cars, then the congestion let up noticeably. This transition confirmed the DMD’s prediction that when the full complement of signs are put up next year the problems will be alleviated.

Signs for the majority of Alvarado and Valencia went up after the fair, to the disappointment of many of our neighbors because they did not experience any problems without them. However, the parking survey outcome included these streets, and we would need to do another survey to take them down, and we would be responsible for the cost of the removal. The DMD is sure that if they were removed Expo attendees would identify the permitted parking areas and migrate to the unprotected streets. This opinion is based on experience with permitted parking installations and enforced the installation in other areas of the city.

Approximately 24 individuals attended the debriefing meeting on September 24th at the Sundowner. Several people expressed positive outcomes.

  • The absence of “No thoroughfare” signs
  • Less litter
  • Less traffic congestion
  • No parking on Copper
  • Less non-residence parking outside residences
  • Dialog with the fair
  • Advertising of permitted parking reduced traffic.
  • 3-4 cars were towed blocking driveways.
  • 428 citations were issued, 367 for parking enforcement, 61 by APD.

Several expressed areas for improvement

  • APD wants more staff to have 2 or more police service aids (PSAs) available when the Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO) go off duty at 7pm.
  • 242-Cops trained to tell how long the caller will be on hold and how long the response time to reported parking violation.
  • Put No thoroughfare signs around the neighborhood to keep out 18 wheelers.
  • Signs more evenly distributed and not obscured by foliage.
  • Allow business owners to have permitted parking if they have a grandfather exemption from the zoning requirement for parking.
  • Exempt the 300-700 blocks of Alvarado from permitted parking.
  • Allow tenants residence to have the same number of permits as owner residence.
  • Reduce or eliminate permitted parking enforcement except during Expo events and tell neighbors when parking will be enforced.
  • FWNA needs to communicate with the neighborhood about meeting better. Suggestions include Facebook, Website, Flyers. All of these methods were used. Create an email list with all interested neighbors included. If you want information, sign up for the blog on the website. Create a free app. Can anyone do this? Have a group of people make calls to those without access to any of the previously mentioned electronic or physically demanding options. Can anyone do this?
  • Late in November, Parking Enforcement is expecting to roll out a new permitting system that will connect each permit to its assigned license plate.
  • FWNA meeting needs to be held at times other than weekday evenings because many people work between 6:30 – 8:30 M-F. We are going to have a meeting on October 20 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. It will be held at Sundowner and open to all Fair West residents.

The next parking meeting will be held in the Spring after the Gathering of Nations, April 23rd, 2020. Email if you would like an invitation. If you don’t have access to the internet, ask a neighbor to sign up for you. We will put flyers in the information box, which is attached to the sign on the southeast side of the park.