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Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
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Issue: 51
October 2015
MRMPO and MRCOG Transportation News

Road Safety Audit on San Mateo at Central Avenue

Albuquerque has been identified as a focus city and New Mexico as a focus state for pedestrian and bicycle safety by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), due to the high number of pedestrian and bicycle fatal crashes. As a part of this effort FHWA provides technical assistance to local jurisdictions to conduct Road Safety Audits (RSA) and develop a Safety Action Plan . A multi-disciplinary team from several agencies has been conducting Road Safety Audit's in places where there are a high number of pedestrian crashes around the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area.
An RSA was recently conducted at the intersections of  Central Ave and San Mateo Blvd because it has the highest number of pedestrian crashes in the region and is also in the top 10 most dangerous intersections for severe type crashes in the region (2007 to 2011 data). In addition, crash density maps using 5 years of data indicate that Central has more concentrated pedestrian involved crashes than any corridor in the region. Central Ave and San Mateo Blvd also have the top two most frequently traveled transit routes and their intersection is located along the proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit route.
The  NM Complete Streets Leadership Team   (NMCSLT), a group of government, private, and non-profit members are working together to support Complete Streets in New Mexico and hope to see Central Avenue become a prime example of Complete Streets best practices. Some members of the NMCSLT participated in the Road Safety Audit and have put together an interactive story map for others to learn more about the audit's results.
Click here to check out the interactive story map.
MRMPO at the Downtown Block Party Asks Attendees About How They Travel
  One of the key ways to address congestion and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce the distances that people travel to reach their destinations. At the 516 Arts Downtown Block Party on September, 12, MRMPO staff asked attendees to place stickers on a map identifying where they live (red), where they work (yellow), and where they go grocery shopping (green). The resulting map helps indicate patterns in travel behavior and sheds light on the average distances Albuquerque area residents travel on a daily and weekly basis. Ultimately, reducing emissions will require creating more transportation options, changing individual behavior, and decisions regarding land use and transportation.
Salt Missions Trail Wayfinding Signs Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On September 18th in beautiful Arthur Park in Estancia, a ribbon cutting ceremony heralded in the installation of wayfinding signs along the Salt Missions Trail Scenic Byway. Senator Ted Barela and Mid-Region Council of Governments Executive Director Dewey Cave led the ceremony, attended by many of the dedicated individuals who helped make the colorful signs a reality. In total, 51 signs will be installed along the 150-mile historic byway. 
The celebrated Byway lies approximately 30 miles east of Albuquerque in the central part of New Mexico connecting Old Route 66 with the Abo Canyon Trail along the roadway loop that runs from Moriarty south to Willard, west to Mountainair, north to Tijeras, and east to Moriarty. The Byway also includes links west to the Abo Mission ruins and south to Gran Quivera, connecting a number of historic farming and Spanish land grant communities in the area. The transportation, trade, and use of salt from the salt lakes in the Estancia Basin provides the common link between these various points celebrating the communities and Spanish Missions along the way.

Follow the goings on along the Byway on the Salt Missions Trail Facebook page 
Albuquerque Metro Area Ranks #15 for Largest Decrease in Auto Commuting from 2006 to 2013, but There's More to the Story
The Census Bureau recently released transportation data from the 2013 American Community Survey showing that Albuquerque made the list of top 15 metropolitan areas in the country for the largest declines in the percentage of workers commuting by automobile. The report compares recent data to 2006, the first year for which full ACS data is available, and found that the percentage of Albuquerque area workers commuting by private vehicle fell from 91.4 percent in 2006 to 89.3 percent in 2013.
T he decrease in auto commuting appears to coincide with other shifts in travel behavior; however, the full story is more complicated. To supplement the Census Bureau report, MRMPO analyzed Census data for non-auto modes and for counties and citi es within the metro area. MRMPO found that use of alternative modes for commuting purposes did increase in some areas, including an increase in bicycle commuting in Bernalillo County and an upswing in commuting by transit for residents of Sandoval and Valencia Counties. Yet the decrease in auto commuting appears to have as much to do with a decrease in carpooling as an increase in commuting by other modes. In fact, the percentage of people driving alone to work increased in all counties, while the percentage of people carpooling decreased in all counties.
Other local data sources indicate a higher share of non-work trips made by non-auto modes. By contrasting commuting behavior with other local transportation data and findings from the recently conducted Mid-Region Household Travel Survey, the report contributes to our increasingly nuanced understanding of traveler behavior in the metropolitan area. Read the MRMPO report here.
Other Transportation
 Related News

CiQlovía 2015

On Sunday, September 20, from 10am-3pm, one mile of downtown Albuquerque streets were closed to cars and opened up to people to walk, ride, play and re-imagine our streets as places! The second annual ABQ CiQlovía connected Civic Plaza to the Rail Yard Market via historic 4 th street. The event was a success with yoga in the street, music and art on Civic Plaza, food trucks, a bike rodeo, climbing wall, two roadway safety murals, a protected bike lane demonstration and other fun activities. Families, couples and singles could be found walking or bicycling at the event, which promotes health, local businesses and improved bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure. 

The ABQ CiQlovía Planning Committee is still collecting data about final counts of event participants, but regardless of the final numbers, one thing is for certain...the event was well-received and everyone is asking "When is the next ABQ CiQlovía!?" We're looking for feedback from you! Please take our short survey  here!

Planner of the Year
At this year's American Planning Association state conference in Las Cruces, NM, Claude Morelli was acknowledged as the 2015 planner of the year. Claude has served as project manager for the New Mexico Department of Transportation's New Mexico Transportation Plan for the past two years. During this complex and lengthy process, Claude remained patient, calm, and always professional, setting an example for us all.

While this award is typically given to a planner later in their career,  Claude was
chosen  due to the fact that his work  on this project  exemplifies the purpose of the APA-NM Awards program,  which is to recognize outstanding planners  and planning projects throughout New Mexic o,  and to encourage outstanding achievements in the application of planning principles and techniques to solve problems and improve quality of life.

(Photo: Tim Karpoff accepts the Planner of the Year award on behalf of Claude, who was unable to attend the award ceremony.)
ABC to Z Vision Document

As part of the ABC to Z project to update the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan, and create a new Integrated Development Ordinance for the City of Albuquerque, the Comprehensive Plan Vision was recently released.
Based on public, staff, and agency input in workshops and focus groups in May through July 2015, the Vision sets out guiding principles, a vision map, and key issues and goals that will guide policy updates in the full Comp Plan.  The project team will use these key goals as targets as it develops updated policies and implementation actions for each topic in the Comp Plan.  The City would like to hear from you whether these directions will get us to the future we want for our community!
View or print the document here.
Comments on the Vision document will be accepted up to Monday, October 5, although all comments will be accepted and rolled into future deliverables.

August Calendar

Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting 
Fri., Oct. 2, 2015
MRCOG Board Room
Rural Transportation Planning Organization Committee Meeting Thurs., Oct. 8, 2015
MRCOG Board Room
MRCOG Offices Closed
(Columbus Day)
Mon, Oct. 12, 2015

Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting 

Fri., Oct. 16, 2015

MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Regional Transit District Board

Fri., Oct. 16, 2015
MRCOG Board Room

MRMPO Staff Contact Information


Aaron Sussman, Senior Planner                       


Andrew Gingerich, GIS Analyst 


Barbara Thomas, Office Manager 


Caeri Thomas, Transportation Planner/GIS Coordinator                               


Chowdhury Siddiqui, Travel Demand Modeler/Land Use Modeler                          


Dave Pennella , Transportation Program Manager 


Julie Luna, Transportation Planner                                          


Kendra Watkins, Socioeconomic Program Manager     


Maida Rubin, Regional Planner


Nathan Masek, Senior Transportation Planner                         


Shohreh Day, GIS/Systems Analyst                                   


Steven Montiel, Transportation Planner/TIP Coordinator                        


Tara Cok, Transportation Planner                                   


Thaddeus Lucero , Director of Planning                           


Valerie Hermanson , Regional Planner