Issue 105 | April 2020
TRAVEL TIMES
MRCOG Suspending In-Person Services Until Further Notice
Mid-Region Council of Governments suspends in-person services in accordance with NM public health orders caused by COVD-19.

Originally posted: March 27, 2020.
 
As a precautionary measure and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) is suspending in-person services until further notice.

The Mid-Region Council of Governments is a governmental agency that covers Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia counties in central New Mexico as well as parts of southern Santa Fe County. As some of the services provided by MRCOG are deemed essential, many of our staff will be working remotely and available to respond to inquiries .

Contacting Transportation Planning:
Traffic Count inquires:  npmasek@mrcog-nm.gov
MTP inquires/comments:  MTPpcomments@mrcog-nm.gov
TIP inquiries:  TIPcomments@mrcog-nm.gov
All other MRMPO inquiries:  dpennella@mrcog-nm.gov
Regional Transportation News
Arriving by ART: Public Transit Yields $500 Million in Private Development along Central
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MRCOG) -- The New Mexico Chapter of the Urban Land Institute hosted "Arriving by ART" on March 5th to showcase how placemaking unlocks the potential of transit-oriented-design to accelerate new development in the urban core. 
 
Over 50 developers, architects, and public officials filled two ART buses from One Central to the De Anza, and back through Nob Hill Place to the Country Club Plaza.
 
“This event was about turning the story from a dozen fender benders to celebrating how a public investment of $130 million activated over $500 million in private development along the historic Central Avenue corridor,” noted Todd Clarke, ULI NM programs chair. “ART opens up new, innovative lifestyle choices for all New Mexicans.”  
 
Attendees learned that public transportation is 10 times safer than traveling by car and the chance of being involved in a crash is reduced by 90 percent when commuters switch from driving to transit. 
 
Rapid transit, urban development, and an innovation economy also anchor Albuquerque’s strategy to attract and retain millennials in the region. Public transportation allows young professionals to work as they travel, a trend noted by 40 percent of those polled by the Urban Land Institute.
 
In 2013, the Urban Land Institute New Mexico first toured BRT systems in peer cities but members wondered if dedicated bus lanes would have the same positive impact along Albuquerque’s historic Route 66. “New construction was challenging after the recession,” said Jay Rembe, developer of the Country Club Plaza, who found that rethinking roadways for pedestrians and transit has become “really great for our community.” 
 
The Mid-Region Council of Governments is a member of the Urban Land Institute New Mexico. The most recent Socioeconomic forecasts by the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization indicate or point toward continued growth along the Central Avenue corridor over the 20-year planning horizon. Multi-modal placemaking strategies are a key priority of the Final Draft Connections 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The F i nal Draft MTP is available for public comment through April 8th.
Updates from Rio Metro Regional Transit District
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express has suspended service through April 30, 2020. 

This decision comes as New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a directive to all state agencies to temporarily adjust, and in some cases suspend, certain functions in order to minimize public health risks in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

While the Rail Runner will not be transporting passengers, testing and implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) will continue in the corridor as scheduled. PTC is a $50-million federal safety enhancement designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, high-speed derailments and other catastrophic events on the railway.

Some Rio Metro bus services have also been suspended or adjusted.  Click Here  for Rio Metro bus updates.

Rio Metro Customer Service office hours have been adjusted and representatives are available at 866-795-RAIL (7245) and 505-245-7245 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
April Calendar

  • Friday, April 17 (10:00-11:30 PM): Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting.
  • Friday, April 17 (12:00-1:30 PM): Rio Metro Board Meeting.

Please see the Mid-Region Council of Governments website for details and the full calendar of meetings.