March 2016 - Issue 56
Monthly Transportation News from and for the Region 
2016 Planning Commissioners Workshop being held this May

If you are a planning commissioner, planner, clerk or elected official, you will not want to miss MRCOG's 2016 Commissioner Workshop on Friday, May 13th! Refreshments will be served and questions will be answered. There is no charge for this workshop.
To RSVP, please email Maida Rubin,

Albuquerque Rapid Transit Video Released and Public Input Meetings being Held 

In conjunction with plans for the revitalization of historic Route 66 and Innovation Central efforts, the City of Albuquerque is planning to provide bus rapid transit service along Central Avenue. This project, called Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART), is intended to be a catalyst that helps bring more vibrancy to the neighborhoods along the route. ART can transport more people throughout the corridor while improving walkability and will help connect people and businesses spread out along the Route 66 corridor. The station stops and signage are designed to beautify and bring local flavor to the area while enhancing a sense of place.
To learn more about this project, check out a  short video on the home page that visualizes the potential of this proposed transit-oriented development (TOD) project. The video as well as additional ART information can be found on the project webpage at
Public input meetings are being held around Albuquerque today (March 2) and Thursday (March 3) as well as next Tuesday (March 8). More information on public input meetings can be found here
Photo source:

Traveler Information and Coordinated Roadway Operations: a Framework to Ensure Regional Coordination 

The emergence of advanced technologies for use in agency travel data collection, the widespread adoption of mobile communications and smart phones by travelers, and car manufacturers' inclusion of in-vehicle conditions apps that provide optimized routing options to one's destination have improved the traveler experience and improved safety on the roadways. Agencies that employ these technologies can better manage roadway operations and improve communications among traffic managers and first responders. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) - the use of these advances in support of better managing roadway operations and communication to drivers - is coordinated locally by the ITS Subcommittee. This committee is currently involved in the update of the Regional ITS Architecture that provides the policy framework for this coordination. 

This effort is being led by MRCOG and the NMDOT ITS Bureau in close coordination with the ITS Subcommittee which includes all member agencies of MRCOG. Also part of the discussions are area first responders and maintenance departments, which although are not members of MRCOG directly, are regional stakeholders with a shared responsibility to improve roadway safety and incident response to manage the transportation system more effectively. The update is expected to be completed in June of this year.

Several examples of ITS "services" are currently in use by local agencies. These include:
  • Dynamic message signs - the overhead message boards that alert drivers in "real time" of expected travel times or upcoming hazards to avoid. Surveys have shown that they have been proven invaluable to drivers to alert them of speeds, expected travel times, or crashes downstream to assist in better decision making or improved safety and accident congestion avoidance.
  • Advanced Traffic Signal Optimization and Adaptive Signal Control deployments allow agencies to actively manage traffic signal timing based on current conditions. Improvements in travel speeds and reduced delays have been experienced on the corridors where they're deployed. 
  • HELP Courtesy Patrol Trucks on select interstates and arterials provide roadside assistance to stranded motorists but also support first responders on-scene with mobile message boards and crash clean-up to shorten incident duration and reduce the time an incident blocks the roadway.
  • Traffic Management Centers allow local agencies to view, in realtime, the actual travel conditions on the roadways they maintain thus allowing operators to update travel conditions information shown via the message boards mentioned above. These centers also operate as a central repository for roadway information with connections to first responders dispatch to bridge the gaps between the roadway managers and emergency crews.
A map of these ITS Services was included in the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and is shown below:

New Mexico Rail Runner Express Offering Two March Promotions 

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is offering two great promotions during the month of March. 

$1 One Way After 1 p.m. Saturdays

The weather is warming up and spring is just around the corner. It's the perfect time to experience the art, culture and beauty of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express wants to help you do just that. Every Saturday during the month of March, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express is offering $1 rides after 1 p.m. Ride anywhere in the corridor for just $1 each way, and let the New Mexico Rail Runner Express connect you to the amazing dining, shopping, art, and entertainment that our state has to offer.

Free Senior Wednesdays Extended Into March

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is excited to announce that their promotion inviting seniors age 62+ to ride free on Wednesdays has been extended into March. Now, all trains after 8 a.m. will be free for seniors, giving people from south of Albuquerque, including Los Lunas and Belen, more opportunities to take the train to Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Webinars being Shown from 1-2pm every Third Wednesday

In last month's blurb about the free viewings of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals webinars at MRCOG, information about the start time was not listed. The following webinars will be shown at MRCOG on the third Wednesday of every month (except December) from  1pm-2pm . Feel free to join us! 

If you would like to receive e-mail notices about the webinars please contact Sarah Ijadi at .

The 2016 series includes the following topics:
  • Understanding the Funding Process (March)
  • Shared and Separated Off-street Paths (April)
  • Aspects of Equity (May)
  • Economic Impacts of Street Design Decisions (June)
  • Performance Measures to Evaluate New and Established Practices (July)
  • Street Design and Planning in Suburban Contexts (August)
  • Pedestrians and Cyclists in a Suburban Context (September)
  • Intersections that Work for Pedestrians and Cyclists (October)
  • Transitions between Bikeway Facilities (November)
  • Tips to Demystify Traffic Analysis (December)
If you would like to see the webinars from your own desktop you can sign up here.
March Calendar

Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting
Friday, March 4-CANCELED
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Webinar: Understanding the Funding Process

Wednesday, March 16

Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting

Friday, March 18 


MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Board Meeting
Friday, March 18 (noon)
MRCOG Board Room


Welcome to the new Travel Times feature, the Graphic of the Month! We at MRMPO realize that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and so we're committing to exploring new and innovative ways to showcase information each month. The reader (that's you) benefits from getting a break from plain text, and the staff (that's us) benefit from delving into new visualization tricks and techniques. Feel free to let us know what you think!

As the central region of New Mexico emerged from the Great Recession, the broad services industry class grew to 71.3 percent of all jobs in the region in 2013. 1 In 2006, services accounted for 63.9 percent of all jobs. Much of the growth occurred in the healthcare and social assistance industry sector, which grew from 12.3 percent of jobs in 2007 to 16.9 percent of jobs in 2013. By comparison, the share of jobs in the goods producing class steadily declined each year from 16.7 percent in 2006 to 10.8 percent in 2013. 2 The share of jobs in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry class declined from 19.5 percent in 2007 and 2008 to 17.9 percent in 2013. 3

Industry classes are groups of industry sectors as defined by the North American Industry Classification System. The classes are organized into the following three groups.

1 Services: Information; Finance and Insurance; Real Estate and Rental and Leasing; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services; Educational Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Accommodation and Food Services; Other Services [except Public Administration]; and Public Administration.
2 Goods Producing:  Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction; Construction; and Manufacturing.
3 Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Transportation and Warehousing; and Utilities.

The data source for this analysis is the U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics' (LEHD) Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) program. New 2013 LODES data were released with the OnTheMap data tool version 6.4.1 in August of 2015. To use the OnTheMap tool, go to

  You can also download a PDF of the  Industry Class Employment Map here.
Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization | 505.247.1750 |