July 2016 - Issue 60
Monthly Transportation News from and for the Region 
Taking the Wheel: Getting ABQ from here...to there

Taking the Wheel: Getting ABQ from here... to there is a recent report released by MRCOG in partnership with the Urban Land Institute's New Mexico District Council. It was written with the intent of bringing the national discussion about how shifting demographics are shaping housing and transportation trends at the local level. The report draws upon new survey information from
MRCOG and the City of Albuquerque, along with a wealth of national research.
The report highlights several key findings:
  • The majority of people living in the Albuquerque metropolitan area desire to live in areas that are walkable, close to shopping and entertainment, and possess other key elements commonly associated with urban areas.
  • While most pronounced among Millennials, a preference for more urban living is a common sentiment across all age groups.
  • Albuquerque residents drive 10 percent fewer miles per day on average than they did 10 years ago. Meanwhile, over the same time period transit ridership has doubled.
  • The report finds that similar to national trends, Millennials in the area take fewer trips, go shorter distances, and are more likely than previous generations to bike, walk, and use transit.
To be clear, generational preferences are not universal (not all Millennials want the same things) and single family homes and personal vehicles will continue to be a vital part of how we live and get around. However, even small shifts in preferences can have dramatic impacts, and the report demonstrates that these shifts are real and likely to persist. This raises some important questions: as Millennials continue to enter the housing market and many Baby Boomers choose to downsize, will the Albuquerque area be able to offer what they want? Will it provide convenient choices when it comes to getting around? The report concludes with a set of policy options and strategies that may be effective in getting ABQ from here... to there.

Celebrating 10 Years of Service

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is turning 10 this July! To celebrate a decade of service, Rail Runner employees, along with several of our Smart Business Partners, will have information tables and giveaways at various stations along our corridor from July 18-22. Stop by and pick up some fun anniversary goodies. 
Free Senior Wednesdays are Back

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is excited to announce that our promotion inviting seniors age 62+ to ride free on Wednesdays is back this summer. From July through September, all Wednesday trains after 8 a.m. will be free for seniors, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to explore locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque using public transportation.

American Planning Association-NM Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The APA-NM annual conference is being held in Downtown Albuquerque this fall on September 29th and 30th. This year the APA-NM Board has elected to develop a short but impactful two day conference for members, partners, and other interested parties.
Have something important to share with your peers and can do it in short order? Interested in tapping your creative community development talents through your media of choice? This year's invitation for 10-15 minute short sessions are intended to provide participants with a snapshot of planning efforts around New Mexico that will leave a lasting impression.

The deadline for submissions is August 5th at 5pm. Email submissions to ejaune@santafenm.gov.
For questions contact Erick Aune at 505-955-6664. More details on proposals and the conference can be found here . To further entice those who may be interested, the Board will award the top three presentations reimbursement costs for attending the national APA conference in New York City next May.

In addition, there is a specific call for short and sweet 'Complete Streets and Beyond' presentations for a special session at the conference. Presentations can be about Complete Streets projects around the state and also any Complete Streets "big dreams and ideas." The deadline to submit those presentations is also August 5th, 5pm. Send any questions and submissions to cthomas@mrcog-nm.gov.

MRMPO Says Goodbye to Beloved Transportation Planner and Welcomes a New Staff Member

Julie Luna, Transportation Planner, will be leaving MRMPO in mid-July after eight years at the organization. The good news is Julie will be staying in the region and we can still benefit from her transportation and land use development knowledge, statistical and data analysis skills, and her awesome public presentation skills (the list goes on, believe us). MRMPO is grateful for all her accomplishments while here, especially the Long Range Transportation System Guide that provides roadway design guidance for safer and more complete streets and networks. We wish Julie all the best in her new position with Bernalillo County's Public Works Department. Among the many things we will miss about Julie is her infectious laugh. All the best to you, Julie!

The same week that Julie is leaving, Willy Simon starts as a new staff Transportation Planner with MRMPO. Willy will be collecting and analyzing data of Albuquerque's most congested corridors as a part of the MPO's Congestion Management Process. Willy grew up in Albuquerque, about six blocks from MRCOG's offices in fact, and attended Lew Wallace and Sandia Preparatory School. After high school, Willy moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to study Geography at UBC, and then moved to Dublin, Ireland to complete an MSc of Sustainable Development. Willy interned with Dublin City Council's Environment and Transportation Department during his masters. At DCC he completed diverse tasks, from responding to planning applications to participating in the design process of Bus Rapid Transit routes. After school Willy stayed in Dublin and worked as a journalist for the Dublin Inquirer until his visa expired and was kicked out of the country. Willy has been home for three months now and is happy to settle back in the Burque. Welcome, Willly!

July Calendar

Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting
Friday, July 15 (10-11:30am)
MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Board Meeting
Friday, July 15 (12pm)
MRCOG Board Room
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Webinar: Performance Measures to Evaluate New and Established Practices
Wednesday, July 20
MRCOG First Floor Conference Room

This graphic provides an interesting comparison between gender in all bicycle trips within the MRCOG region and gender of BICI bike share users within the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area. The 2014 MRCOG House Travel Survey found that more men (67%) use a bicycle for trips than women (32%), but interestingly more women (54%) use BICI bike share than men (45%). Additionally, recent data analysis found that 65% of BICI bike share users are from New Mexico, while 35% are from outside of New Mexico.

Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization | 505.247.1750 |  www.mrcog-nm.gov