The town of Albuquerque is stepping up cleanups within the downtown space
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – As the city of Albuquerque increases its police presence in the downtown area, they are also doing more to clean up all of the trash in the area. The city said as it begins revitalizing downtown and reopening businesses, it wants to make sure the area is clean and welcoming.
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Adam Campos has been cleaning shoes in the city center for over 20 years. “The city center is like home for me,” said Campos. “I really love downtown.”
Campos is the owner of Model Shoe Shine on Gold. Campos said it reopened in February following the pandemic. He said most of his customers were downtown workers who worked from home and the business was still down 70 percent. “It’s been horrible in the last year or so,” said Campos.
One thing he said doesn’t help bring people back is all of the trash downtown. “I often think that people are afraid to come here,” said Campos.
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Campos said that since the downtown area was a ghost town during the pandemic, more travelers moved in and left more rubbish. Patti Hoech, owner of downtown Patrician Design, said it had gotten worse. “There is alcohol, bottles, feces and so much that cannot be mentioned,” said Hoech. “It’s not even funny. We are appalled about it. ”
Now the city is trying to clean up the area. From August 1st, the city will be using a garbage and graffiti crew to clean up the streets and alleys of the city center. They’ll also add a street sweeper target alley on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when companies said the garbage is piling up the most. “Now that we have a dedicated crew here, they just keep walking around and can hit a particular street four to five times a day instead of just twice a day,” said Matthew Whelan, director of the city’s solid waste division.
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Campos said he hoped the cleanup would bring people back. “We have a really nice city center and we have to take care of it,” said Campos.
Street sweepers will also work with the Albuquerque Police Department to remove homeless camps and provide services to people they may need. The city is also investing more than $ 1 million to add or improve downtown lighting. This includes street lamps and the lighting of alleys in city-owned buildings.