March 2017 - Issue 68
Monthly Transportation News from and for the Region 
Updated 2040 Population Projections for New Mexico Counties

Updated 2040 population projections for every county in New Mexico have been released from UNM's Geospatial Population Studies Group. These projections remain preliminary at this time. MRCOG is very interested in these projections as they are used in a variety of ways to inform our planning activities and serve as the basis for our next Metropolitan Transportation Plan update.
The updated projections reveal more modest growth in New Mexico and the MRCOG region than previously expected. This is due to several factors that include sustained out-migration numbers that exceed in-migration, as well as a continued decline in birth rates.
In summary, the projections show:
  • The 2040 population projection for the MRCOG region has changed from 1.36 million to 1.11 million people.
  • The expected number of new people in the region between 2015 and 2040 has changed from 387,837 to 197,952.
  • The anticipated pace of population growth in the region between 2015 and 2040 has changed from 40% to 22%.
The magnitude of expected growth varies between the individual counties in the region, with Bernalillo County seeing the largest gains (+120,000 people) and Sandoval County seeing the fastest pace of growth (54 percent) between 2015 and 2040.
A slower pace of population growth is sure to have far-reaching impacts on our regional outlook as it pertains to transportation, the economy, housing, and a plethora of other topics. A summary of the projections and their relationship to metropolitan transportation planning are described in the attached paper
Los Ranchos Station Improvements Public Information Meeting

The Rio Metro Regional Transit District is conducting a public information meeting to present the  future parking, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements at the Los Ranchos/Journal Center Rail Runner Station, to be constructed immediately west of the rail road tracks in late spring 2017. The meeting will take place at the North Valley Library in Albuquerque on March 9 from 5-6:45 p.m.

MRMPO's Annual Listing of Obligated Projects and Funds for Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Now Available

Pursuant to federal regulations, the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MRMPO) has compiled the Annual Project Listing of Federal Obligations and Awards for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2016.  Federal Regulations require the state, public transportation operators, and the metropolitan planning organization to produce an annual listing of obligated projects and funds (improvements/dollars committed for expenditure) within a metropolitan planning area no later than 90 days following the end of the fiscal year. The following information is required in the report:
▪ for each project with funds programmed in the year, the amounts of federal funds requested (programmed);
▪ for each project with funds programmed in the year, the amounts of federal funds obligated;
▪ for each project, the amount of federal funds remaining and available in subsequent years;
▪ each project's description, termini, length, scope and phase of work; and
▪ the lead agency responsible for carrying out the project.
Attachment A of the report satisfies these requirements. In addition to the required listing, the Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization conducts various analyses (see Attachments B and C) of the information to use in evaluating and improving the management of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
 View the FFY 2016 Federal Obligations & Awards-Annual Project Listing

MRMPO Welcomes Two New Staff Members
In February, two new staff, Forest Replogle and James Kolberg, joined MRMPO.

Forest spent his childhood years in the Sawmill neighborhood, near where his grandfather once worked at the Duke City Lumber Mill, less than two miles from the MRCOG offices. Attending Longfellow Elementary and Washington Middle School before his family moved to Los Lunas, Forest returned to Albuquerque after high school to begin part time classes at UNM. After switching majors a few times without settling on a career direction that felt right, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and started a family. Trained as an Electronics Technician and stationed in Virginia, Hawaii, and California, Forest became interested in how cities take shape and affect people's lives through his experiences visiting diverse port cities along the west coast, Central America and Asia. After having served eight years, Forest was honorably discharged from active duty in 2009 and returned to UNM, intent on becoming an Urban Planner.  Having earned a BA in Environment Planning & Design with a Minor in Economics, he went on to graduate from the University of Arizona's Master of Science in Planning program, where his studies focused on the use of Geographic Information Systems in Environmental & Regional Planning. Summer internships with the New Mexico Land Conservancy and Santa Fe County Planning Division helped further prepare Forest for his new position as a Transportation Planner for the MRCOG. Forest is happy to be part of the team and living the dream.

James also grew up in Albuquerque and went to Albuquerque High. He attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR where he received his BA in Economics. New Mexico's weather, food, and plethora of outdoor activity opportunities drew him back a little more than a year ago. He spent the last year working at UNM designing and supporting databases that collect data on early childhood educators for CYFD. He has been hired by MRMPO as a Socioeconomic Analyst and is excited to work in a role that combines his background in economics and his experience working with data. James spends his free time writing music, bicycling, camping, hiking and backpacking.
MRMPO is very happy to have both new faces on staff. Welcome, Forest and James! 
Books on the Train!
Starting March 6th, passengers on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express will see a new addition to the interior of the train cars. Each car will now feature a brightly labeled pocket containing children's books near the entrance. These books are part of Reading on the Rails, a new program being offered by the Rail Runner to provide children and families with a meaningful and educational experience while riding the train.
New Low-Floor Buses Now Serving Valencia County

In January of this year, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District introduced four new low-floor buses to the Valencia County fleet. The buses are equipped with an air ride system, allowing the driver to safely exit the bus through the passenger side to assist individuals in wheelchairs, and to lower the bus closer to the ground for passengers to get on and off.
People for Bikes Community Survey

People for Bikes recently launched a community survey  that will run from February 14th
 through April 15th with the aim of creating a ranking of best cities for biking and cities that have improved the most for release in fall 2017. The survey is asking for input from the general public and also from City employees and elected officials about bike riding in their community, and whether or not the survey-takers bicycle does not matter. If you'd like to provide input on local bicycling conditions, click here to take the survey. The survey is pretty short and sweet and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
March Calendar

TCC Meeting
Friday, March 3rd, 1:30pm
MRCOG Board Room
Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting
Friday, March 17th, 10am
MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Board Meeting Friday, March 17th, 12pm MRCOG Board Room
Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization | 505.247.1750 |