May 2017 - Issue 70
Monthly Transportation News from and for the Region 
May is National Bike Month
May is National Bike Month! Fingers crossed we're in for some lovely weather, which is the perfect opportunity to dust off that bike and get outside. Bicycling can save money, preserve health and the environment, and help to create a better connection to our community. And of's fun! Bike to Work Day is on May 19. Pedal with a pal and be sure to check out one of 12 cycle stops throughout the Albuquerque region where you can grab coffee, fruit, a t-shirt, and other fun gear for bicycling. Additional information including the locations of Bike to Work Day stops, is here. Pedal Power!
Regional Safety Action Plan being Developed

The Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently working on a Regional Safety Action Plan that will address the need to balance vehicular traffic flow and level of service with traffic calming and safety interventions. Problematic spots for drivers are often unsafe for all modes, and by addressing safety issues for bicyclists and pedestrians (the most vulnerable modes) we can provide improvements in safety for all modes.
Safety over speed is the motto of the plan, and its emphasis is to identify priority safety issues, locations, and strategies for urban, suburban, and rural areas. Through the analysis of crash data and outreach to stakeholders, the project team plan s to develop clear implementation startegies such as design treatments, educational programs, and funding mechanisms.
The plan is currently in the intial phase of outreach and input is being sought regarding the public's transportation safety concerns. Please provide us with feedback using this survey , which is only one page and should take less than three minutes to complete.

In addition, MRMPO launched a crowdsource map where people can provide feedback about safety impediments for bicyclists and pedestrians. This is an opportunity to share barriers like a pole that is in your way on a sidewalk, crashes that happened while walking or bicycling, and facilities that you love. You can also share common bicycling and walking routes that you may take.  Check it out!  

Please contact Caeri at if you would like to be more involved in this  plan ning process.
New Mexico Complete Streets Leadership Team Meeting Hosting a Special Meeting Open to all on May 24th

The New Mexico Complete Streets Leadership Team is an organization that works to support the implementation of Complete Streets and Complete Streets policies in the state of New Mexico. The Team holds monthly meetings. For its May meeting, the Team will be hosting a special meeting with guest presenters who will discuss an upcoming Complete Streets project and the recently released NMDOT Road Diet Guidelines. There will also be a presentation on MRCOG's current GIS road diet analysis. The meeting will be held from 11:30am-1pm at MRCOG in the Board Room. Bring a lunch and join us! For more information or questions, contact Caeri at

Zia Road Station Now Open/New Schedule

The Zia Road Rail Runner Station is now open. Located at the intersection of Zia Road and St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe, the station primarily serves local residents and destinations. This is a "kiss-and-ride" station, meaning parking is not available. However, passengers can be dropped-off and picked-up, or may walk or bike to the station. There are two van accessible ADA spaces for drop-off and pick-up only next to the station platform.
In order to accommodate service to the new station, the Rail Runner schedule has been adjusted. There are only minor adjustments of one to two minutes to the weekday schedule. Service on the weekends now begins 20-30 minutes earlier than our previous schedule.

Free Senio r Wednesdays Continue through Summer
May Calendar

TCC Meeting
Friday, May 5th, 1:30pm
MRCOG Board Room
Bike to Work Day Friday, May 19th, 6:30-8:30am Various places
Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting
Friday, May 19th, 10am
MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Board Meeting Friday, May 19th, 12pm MRCOG Board Room
Graphic of the Month

The University of New Mexico's Department of Geospatial & Population Studies (UNM GPS) recently released an updated 2040 population projection. The projection is compared to their 2015 population estimate to visualize the expected pace of growth within New Mexico.  The counties that make up New Mexico's four Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs are used by the Census Bureau to define areas with relatively high population density) are projected to increase in population by 21.2% while the rest of the state will only grow by 0.8%. Sandoval County (54.0%) and Doña Ana County (26.1%) are projected to grow the fastest while many of the rural counties in the state are projected to lose population.
View the interactive map here
The Future is Here: Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Series

Over the next several months, Travel Times will be featuring a series of short articles with links for further reading on connected and autonomous vehicles. What once may have sounded like science fiction or at least somewhat futuristic is now a reality and only years away from wide-scale deployment. This series is an attempt to shed light on this emerging technology and to look at what it means for the traveling public, consumers, and our region. We start with an introduction to the subject of connected vehicle technologies and applications and the new platform for connected and autonomous vehicles (ACVs). Future articles over the next several months will include real-world deployment of ACVs, examples of states and industries that are adopting ACVs and how these transformative technologies can affect our future mobility, economic opportunities, and the impacts of the built and natural environment. Are we prepared? If not, how do we prepare? What roles for the public and private sectors are in play? We hope you find this series informative, and we invite you to share any thoughts or comments on this topic on our Facebook page where we will be hosting an online conversation related to our Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Series.
What are Connected Vehicles?

The USDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (JPO) defines connected and autonomous vehicles as those that employ advanced technologies that "enable cars, buses, trucks, trains, roadway infrastructure, and our mobile communication devices to "talk" to one another", to improve safety and mobility. Testing has shown that connected vehicles could dramatically reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by accidents on our roads and highways.  Combined with the widespread adoption of smart-phones, c onnected vehicles capitalize on new technologies now appearing in many vehicles, such as radar, lidar, cameras, and other sensors.  For example, the applications of c onnected vehicle technologies allow you to receive alerts of hazardous roadway situations much earlier, providing more time to react and prevent an accident. Advanced connected vehicle technology doesn't depend on "line of sight" communications to be effective. So if a car ahead of you is braking hard on the other side of a hill due to an obstruction, you would receive notification even though you can't see and aren't aware of the dangerous situation developing. Emerging c onnected vehicle technology is also less expensive to install than the radar and camera equipment that has been deployed in vehicles over the past several years . This will enable it to become standard equipment in the future in practically all vehicles, not just luxury cars.
In addition to the tremendous safety potential of connected vehicles, the technology also promises to increase transportation options and reduce travel times by making roadway conditions and travel options available in " real-time ."  Travelers are made aware of downstream conditions, and t raffic managers will be able to control the flow of traffic more easily to prevent or lessen developing congestion. This could have a significant impact on the environment by helping to cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions. It will take time for local agencies to adopt these technologies as resources are spread thin in a balance of maintenance needs and new innovation to improve flow, however, the benefits can ultimately outweigh the costs in terms of safety, reduced delay, and improved operations of the transportation system.
In many ways, t he 'connected vehicles' future is preparing us for the ultimate integration of driverless (or autonomous) vehicles. As you may know, driverless vehicles are currently being tested, and some estimates are that we could have a mix of autonomous vehicles operating with all other vehicles as early as 2020-2025.  For a brief introduction to the Future of Transportation, click on this video link .
Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization | 505.247.1750 |