Save the Rail Yards Market! Save the People's Market!

Save the Rail Yards Market! Save the People's Market!

December 19, 2014
Petition to
The City Government of Albuquerque: the Mayor, the City Council, the Employees of City Government.
Petition Closed
This petition had 1,142 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Toby Younis

We, the People of Albuquerque, petition the Mayor, the City Council and the Employees of City Government to save, enable the growth of, and eliminate the barriers to the growth of the Rail Yards Market.

On November 14, 2014 RYM staff met with Rebecca Velarde, Metropolitan Development Director with the City, and Bree Ortiz, Events Supervisor for Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Division. The staff was informed that if RYM wished to operate a 2015 season, the City would be raising the weekly venue rental costs by 25%, cutting the number of hours the staff could operate, and only allowing us to operate the market two Sundays per month. The staff was informed that these were non-negotiable terms.

For the volunteers who have donated literally thousands of hours of their time, this came as a shock. The real issue, however, is that despite a phenomenal first season, the Rail Yards Market needs to grow, not shrink, in order to be a continued success.

During the season, the staff bumped up against the City bureaucracy several times. Before the staff opened the doors in May, a number of Albuquerque’s most talented muralists offered to install semi-permanent public art on the site for market-goers to enjoy during the season. Despite our persistent attempts, the request was shuffled from department to department and finally to the developer, Samitaur Constructs, for approval. Ultimately, the proposal was shut down.

We experienced similar delays around on-site storage. Nearly one month before our opening day on May 4, the good folks at Malloy Storage in Albuquerque offered the market the use of a forty-foot shipping container to store our materials on site. Despite the fact that an on-site shipping container was the City officials’ own idea, the approval process took four months to complete. The staff spent the first fourteen market Sundays schlepping truckloads of our gear to an off-site storage facility generously donated by Ron Romero of the Barelas Community Coalition.

When Albuquerque-based, fiber optic internet provider, CityLink Telecommunications, offered to blanket the entire Blacksmith Shop in ultra-fast wi-fi from their network, and install livestream webcams at their own expense, the proposal again dragged through the bureaucracy and ultimately died.

When our partners at Osceola Energy, the local solar installer that powers our Community Stage with their little solar trailer every Sunday, offered to hook up one of the nine giant evaporative coolers that are still attached to the Blacksmith Shop walls, the offer was frowned on by city officials, despite it coming at no cost to the taxpayers and being performed by licensed and bonded tradesmen.

All of these proposed improvements were offered by community members, people who are excited to see one of Albuquerque’s most iconic and historic spots activated in a way that energizes our city and adds momentum to Downtown’s hesitant renaissance. The small changes would have redounded to the benefit of all who used the space.

For RYM's 2015 season to be the unfolding success that it can be, the staff must urge the City to honor the full two-year season agreed upon and allow our community to build something truly great in the heart of our City. The staff envisions not just public art and access to wi-fi, or first steps at mitigating the building’s heat during the summer’s height, but also at least a few steps towards bringing more green to the site. With the support of our community, a garden, some grass, maybe even a shade tree or two are not wild fantasies but real and concrete next steps that the staff can take together, in advance of the market re-opening in 2015.

Have you ever contemplated the giant circle and cross that towers over the Rail Yards site, nearly 10 feet tall and engraved in stone on the building facades? Among the many things that symbol represents is the concept of a crossroads.

We’re at a crossroads, Albuquerque. Act. Act now. ACTION!



Petition Closed

This petition had 1,142 supporters

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Decision Makers

  • The City Government of Albuquerque: the Mayor, the City Council, the Employees of City Government.