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Transit and Place: National Bus Rapid Transit Institute Event being Held Thursday, February 21

ABQ Ride, MRCOG and the Urban Land Institute New Mexico will host the ‘Transit and Place: National Bus Rapid Transit Institute,’ a full-day session focusing on possible future roles for transit in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. National transit experts will present information on how transit systems across the country have evolved to address transportation needs while contributing to economic and community development. The agenda will include two case studies in the morning followed by a lunchtime presentation and a local panel. The event will be held on Thursday, February 21st, 2013 from 9am to 3:45pm at the Hotel Andaluz in Downtown Albuquerque. The event is free of charge but pre-registration is required through the ULI website. Seating is limited, so people are encouraged to register early. More information on the event can be found here.

2040 Population Projections for New Mexico Counties Released

2040 Population Projections for all counties of New Mexico have recently been released by the UNM Geospatial and Population Studies Group (GPS). The four -county MRCOG region is expected to grow by approximately 472,400 persons to reach 1.36 million in 2040. Bernalillo County will capture the largest overall growth, with a gain of 305,700 persons. The fastest growing county will be Sandoval County (101 percent) followed by Bernalillo County (46 percent), Valencia County (39 percent), and Torrance County (21 percent). The four-county region is expected to hit one million by year 2017. MRMPO will investigate the potential impacts of the new projections on future land use and travel demand forecasts. For more information, contact kwatkins@mrcog-nm.gov.

ITS Subcommittee Review of Proposed Projects

The ITS Subcommittee is reviewing and certifying projects proposed for the 2014-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for consistency with the Regional ITS Architecture. This effort promotes ITS planning and the integration of ITS into the transportation planning process in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area (AMPA). It also ensures that MRCOG member agencies seeking federal funding for their ITS project components are consistent with Systems Engineering Project Certification requirements from the NMDOT and FHWA.

Development of New FY 2014-2019 TIP

MRMPO is in the process of developing the first draft of the FY 2014-2019 TIP for the AMPA. Various member agencies within the AMPA have prepared and submitted project proposals for MPO staff to review and evaluate through the Project Prioritization Process as part of project selection for the TIP. Project proposals include transit enhancements and expansions, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, transportation demand management strategies, roadway improvements, park and ride facilities, Intelligent Transportation System enhancements, and studies/data collection. Project submittals can be viewed on the MRCOG TIP webpage on its website by early next week.

IMG_0612_crop.JPGFeedback Sought for Potential UNM/CNM/Sunport Transit Alignments

The third round of public meetings for the UNM/CNM/Sunport Transit Study kicked off on January 29 at Central United Methodist Church, with another meeting the following day at the UNM Student Union Building. The project team reviewed the study goals and objectives, examined existing transit and parking options, and presented a preliminary “long list” of potential transit alignments through the study area. Over 70 people attended the meetings and provided feedback. Another meeting will be held Tuesday, February 5 from noon to 1 pm at the CNM Student Resource Center, Room 204. To download the presentation and meeting materials, please visit the study website. To provide comments, you can fill out our online survey, or you may download a comment form from the website and mail it in. Over the next few months, the team will evaluate the potential routes based on numerous criteria, including public comments, and begin narrowing the list. For any questions, or if you would like to invite us to speak to your organization, please contact Tony Sylvester at tsylvester@mrcog-nm.gov or 247‐1750.

New 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) Estimates on the MRCOG Website.

MRCOG has updated its website to include one-year, three-year and five-year profiles from the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is an ongoing survey that produces select detailed data releases on a regular basis. It replaces the Decennial Census “long form” in an effort to provide communities with more timely data on how they are changing. The new 2011 detailed profiles (in PDF format) contain demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for each county and municipality in the region. To access the profiles go to www.mrcog-nm.gov, click on ‘Region & People,’ and then click on ‘American Community Survey’ or click here.

February Calendar (all events listed are open to the public; check the MRCOG website for any meeting cancellations)

WHAT

WHEN

WHERE

Metropolitan Transportation Board (MTB) Meeting

Fri., Feb. 15, 10:00am

MRCOG Board Room

Rio Metro Board Meeting

Fri., Feb. 15, 1:00 pm

MRCOG Board Room

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Webinar—Driving Deaths Down: Proven Countermeasures that Work

Wed., Feb. 20, 1-2pm

MRCOG First Floor Conference Room

Transportation News and Information

UNM School of Architecture + Planning Spring Lecture Kicking off on February 4

The UNM School of Architecture + Planning spring lecture series begins on Monday, February, 4 with Mike Lydon, Principal at The Street Plans Collaborative. Lydon is the author of Smart Growth, Tactical Urbanism I and II, the Open Streets Guide and editor of Living Urbanism and Pattern Cities. The lecture begins at 5:30pm in the George Peal Hall Auditorium on the UNM campus.

Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Departure from the USDOT

Ray LaHood announced on the USDOT Fast Lane blog last Tuesday that he will not serve a second term as Secretary of Transportation, but will stay in his post until a successor makes it through the confirmation process. Among some of the big issues focused on during his tenure were safety (particularly distracted driving), high speed rail, sustainable transportation, and increased investment in infrastructure. [MORE] (Accessed January 31, 2013)

A Disadvantage of One-Way Streets

A Penn State University civil engineer who studied the question of whether one-way or two-way streets work better from a traffic standpoint found that one-ways cause vehicles to use more circuitous routes, and therefore led to higher vehicles miles traveled, especially for short trips. He found the best performing roads, at least from a traffic standpoint, were two-way streets with banned left turns. [MORE] (Accessed January 31, 2013)

Active Transportation Found to be Just as Beneficial as Leisure Time Exercise

A survey from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that less than one quarter of U.S. adults use active transportation for more than 10 continual minutes in a typical week. In addition, the United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, likely caused by transportation policies that ignore walking and cycling and insufficient multimodal infrastructure. Benefits of engaging in active forms of transportation (walking, bicycling, skateboarding, wheelchairs, etc.) include a lower body mass index and a lower chance of hypertension. There was “powerful evidence” found that “active transportation is just as beneficial to health as leisure-time physical activity.” [MORE] (Accessed January 31, 2013)

Call for Sessions Proposals for Safe Routes to School Conference

The 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held in Sacramento, CA, August 13-15, 2013. The Call for Session Proposals (CFSP) for this national event is open through February 15.

MRMPO Staff Contact Information Aaron Sussman, Transportation Planner 505-724-3631 asussman@mrcog-nm.gov Barbara Thomas, Program Support Coordinator 505-724-3616 bthomas@mrcog-nm.gov Caeri Thomas, Transportation Planner 505-724-3604 cthomas@mrcog-nm.gov Daniel Jimenez, Transportation Planner 505-724-1707 djimenez@mrcog-nm.gov Dave Pennella, Transportation Program Manager 505-724-3621 dpennella@mrcog-nm.gov Eric Webster, Transportation Planner 505-724-3602 ewebster@mrcog-nm.gov Julie Luna, Transportation Planner 505-724-3639 jluna@mrcog-nm.gov Kendra Watkins, Socioeconomic Program Manager 505-724-3601 kwatkins@mrcog-nm.gov Nathan Masek, Transportation Planner 505-724-3620 nmasek@mrcog-nm.gov Shohreh Day, GIS/Systems Analyst 505-724-3608 sday@mrcog-nm.gov Steven Montiel, Transportation Planner 505-724-3633 smontiel@mrcog-nm.gov Tara Cok, Transportation Planner 505-724-3627 tcok@mrcog-nm.gov Terry Doyle, Rio Metro Regional Transit District Director 505-843-1701 tdoyle@mrcog-nm.gov Thaddeus Lucero, Director of Planning 505-724-3647 tlucero@mrcog-nm.gov