The busy interchange of Central Avenue and Interstate 40 is the intersection of the past and the future. Central Avenue was once Historical Route 66, the glorious "Mother Road" for those traveling cross country. Thus, the completion of Interstate 40 in 1959 was a blow to roadside culture: motorists gave up gave up the slow, romantic journey through the "enchanting" state of New Mexico to travel to their destinations at high speed.
Nowadays, Interstate 40 is probably the most important arterial highway through Albuquerque. No one would accuse I-40 of having much individuality -- if it weren't for the shape of the landscape and the color of the license plates, travelers could easily imagine themselves to be in Texas or Idaho. But the highway is fast and efficient.
I-40 zooms off to the west, toward the town of Grants, NM. To the east, Central Avenue makes its colorful way into Albuquerque proper. A long road to the north, the Paseo del Volcan, leads to the extinct volcanoes which make up part of the Petroglyph National Monument. Lastly, the majestic Chihuahua desert sprawls out to the south.