ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – From far away, a backyard fence near Carlisle Place and Hermosa Drive, looks like any other in the neighborhood. But if you look closer, you’ll see it’s anything but. The southeast Albuquerque fence completely covers the sidewalk, or where the sidewalk should be, and apparently has for decades.
“If I were impaired walking, I’d have to step down into the street. Sometimes the streets have ice and snow in them, so that is not safe for pedestrians,” a nearby neighbor said.
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Behind the fence, there is a cement wall and behind that wall lives an elderly couple. When KRQE reported on this bizarre fenceline last year, the city said the couple didn’t have the means to make the changes. The city then said they would fix it and the project would be completed a few months later.
“They [the homeowners] have agreed to work with the city. Municipal Development has agreed to rebuild the sidewalk and actually restore it there because there is no sidewalk there right now,” said Rick De Reyes with the City of Albuquerque’s Planning and Zoning Department in October 2021.
But a year later, nothing changed. Some in the neighborhood have taken to 311 asking the city for years to push the fence back.
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“I think it’s a very fair request because who else has their yard, as it were, extended to the curb,” a neighbor said.
But not everyone in the neighborhood is bothered by the so-called “sidewalk wall.” In fact, some support it. Many said the home and trees were here long before the sidewalk was built.
“Doesn’t really bother me, it’s just been like that, so I figured [it’s] been there since they owned the house,” a neighbor said.
KRQE reached out to the city to see why the fence is still up. In a statement, they said because of the complexity of the problem, the city is still working to find a solution.