Issue 103 | February 2020
An accurate 2020 Census is critical for communities across New Mexico
Critical because the distribution of public goods and services are based on decennial census results, I Count NM, the State of New Mexico's campaign for an accurate census, emphasizes that "every voice matters." These data gathered from the 2020 Census are essential for the long-range transportation plans created by MRMPO in addition to our calculations for project prioritization. Simply put, the census tells us who we are as a community, how we're changing over time, and where we should make improvements to better connect everybody in our region.

Likewise, an accurate count supports the work of our peer agencies and Metropolitan Transportation Board members. According to I Count NM , "data from the census are used to divide over $800 billion dollars" for other government project ranging from "schools, libraries, food stamps, and healthcare." The 2020 count is also used "to divide up political representation in Congress, in the state capitol, and in cities and towns across New Mexico." The private sector depends upon census data as well to understand new markets and forecast growth.

The Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is committed to fair and accurate results. We support I Count NM and encourage you to join local efforts. The United States Census Bureau has also created resources for community groups to promote the 2020 Census. Promotional videos are available in a range of languages online. For more details on how to get involved, contact Paige Best , NM Census Coordinator with I Count NM in Santa Fe, or Veronica Arzate , Partner Specialist NM with the U.S. Census Bureau.
Los niños siempre dicen la verdad. Kids always tell the truth. (Jan 14, 2020): Los niños siempre dicen la verdad. Y ellos saben que contando en el Censo de los EE. UU. es la posibilidad de un mejor futuro para ellos y para nosotros. El censo ya viene, es seguro y por ley nuestra información personal está protegida. Dale forma a tu futuro. EMPIEZA AQUÍ.
Updates on the draft Connections 2040 MTP
The draft Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the Connections 2040 MTP , aims to lay out a multi-modal transportation network, including roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and transit, that is well connected and works for everyone.

Recognizing that transportation needs are highly inter-connected with other regional aspects, this Plan also examines land use, economic development, environmental resiliency, public health, and environmental justice.
Over the past month, MRMPO planners met with community members at three public meetings across the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area to discuss how effectively the Plan meets these goals.

Our staff had a frank conversation about the current and new river crossing in Los Lunas, and residents shared their concerns about pedestrian safety along busy roadways. In the Town of Bernalillo, several people reiterated the need to ease commercial truck traffic congestion so that Westside residents are able to travel efficiently between home and activity centers. This point is underscored by our socioeconomic forecasts showing a sustained jobs/housing imbalance over the next twenty years, a condition that influences time residents are spending on their commutes.

Because this is the community's plan, we are welcoming public feedback through Thursday, February 6, 2020 . Please share your thoughts by 5 PM for consideration in the plan and for inclusion in our report to the Metropolitan Transportation Board. Any questions or comments on the plan can be sent to .
Regional Transportation News
(pictures link to articles)
Recent News Coverage on the Draft MTP
MRCOG releases draft 20-year road project wish list
KRQE (1/17/20)
Community input sought on long-range transportation plan
VC News-Bulletin (1/16/20)
Join the conversation at public meeting for Connections 2040 MTP
KRQE (1/23/20)
Transportation News from across Metro ABQ
Eastbound Rio Bravo to be closed 3 weeks for bridge repair
ABQ Journal (1/26/20)
Rio Rancho bond election to address issues w/ roads, safety
KRQE (1/25/20)
Improved access to public transportation opens possibilities
ABQ Journal, opinion (1/12/20)
ABQ RIDE to offer free rides on National Transit Equity Day on February 4!
Albuquerque, N.M. (KRQE) - This celebration is to honor the late civil rights icon, Rosa Parks.

Updates from Rio Metro Regional Transit District
Bike share is celebrating five years in Albuquerque!
Originally piloted in Downtown Albuquerque, the PaceABQ bike share program has grown to 50 stations and 250 bikes across the Central Avenue corridor. Over 12,000 users have taken nearly 40,000 trips since launching in 2015.
“To celebrate five years of bikeshare in our region, we’re adding more stations near UNM, Old Town, and the International District, among others” said Tony Sylvester, RMRTD Planning and Development Manager. “Our team is working diligently with community partners throughout 2020 to make this happen.”

The Pace Bike Share app is available in the App Store or Google Play. Rides start at just a dollar. 
Transportation Day at the Legislature
Rio Metro, along with several other transit agencies throughout New Mexico, will be participating in Transportation Day at the NM State Legislature on Wednesday, February 12. Transportation Day provides an opportunity for legislators and the public to speak directly with transit agencies and learn about public transportation. Visit us at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM. 
Presidents' Day Schedules
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express and Rio Metro Buses will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday, February 17, Presidents' Day.
Meet the MPO Alumni Edition - Andy Gingerich, Transit Coordinator with Mesa County RTPO
Check out Andy's Conversation about Transportation on KAFM, Grand Junction's Community Radio!
During his interview on KAFM's Mobile Mesa County:Transit , Andy Gingerich, former MRMPO planner and UNM alumnus spoke about the benefits of public transportation options in rural and suburban communities.

"Public transit vehicles -- trains, subways, buses, good old buses -- are the most efficient way to move bodies, and that's just a matter of volume, physics," Andy notes. "You can squeeze the most amount of people onto one vehicle."
He also discusses the environmental benefits and highlights his personal experience using the bus network in Albuquerque to commute from home to work.

You can listen to the full interview on the KAFM website.
February Calendar

  • Friday, February 7 (1:30-3:00 PM): Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting, MRCOG Board Room
  • Monday, February 17: MRCOG Offices Closed
  • Thursday, February 20 (9:30-11:30 AM): Rural Transportation Planning Organization Committee Meeting, MRCOG Board Room
  • Friday, February 21 (10:00-11:30 AM): Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting, MRCOG Board Room
  • Friday, February 21 (12:00-1:30 PM): Rio Metro Board Meeting, MRCOG Board Room