Last updated 12:33AM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
NW NM Bike/Pedestrian Plan Moves Forward
(2008-08-04)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A year long process to plan for improved bike and pedestrian travel in the Tri-Cities area of Northwest New Mexico is bringing results.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports:

VICTOR: People often talk of having the ability to safely walk or ride a bike on dedicated safe pathways and roads between Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio and elsewhere.
Aztec, Farmington and San Juan County New Mexico elected officials will be asked starting this week to adopt a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan that would allow exactly that, for throughout the Northwest Corner of the state.
Bloomfield elected officials adopted the plan last month.
It's the result of a year of work by the Farmington MPO, or Metropolitan Planning Organization.
MPO Planner Joe Delmagori guided the process.
He says it actually began two years ago when the need for such a plan was identified as part of the MPO's long range plan.
DELMAGORI: WE WANT TO PROVIDE A BETTER MODE CHOICE FOR PEOPLE SO THEY HAVE THAT OPTION TO WALK OR BIKE WHERE THEY NEED TO GO RATHER THAN JUMPING IN THEIR CAR ALL THE TIME.
Gordon Glass, a biker and walker, belonged to a public committee providing input on the plan for the past year.
Glass, a 25 year Farmington resident says there's been a lack of vision for bike and pedestrian needs as the Northwest New Mexico area has grown and developed.
GLASS: WHERE WOULD IT BE NICE TO HAVE ROUTES THROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS SO THAT THEY COULD CONNECT TO SCHOOLS, THEY COULD CONNECT TO THE RIVER CORRIDOR, THEY COULD CONNECT TO THE GLADE AREA WHERE PEOPLE LIKE TO BIKE AND DO OTHER OUTDOOR SPORTS. THAT WASN'T REALLY PART OF THE PICTURE TO A GREAT EXTENT AS THOSE PLANNING PROCESSES WENT THROUGH IN PREVIOUS YEARS.
The Bicycle Pedestrian plan, Dalmagori says, has four parts.
First, it identifies walking and biking connections in the tri city area.
DELMAGORI: AS A WAY TO CONNECT THE THREE CITIES AND THEN TO ALSO LINK SOME OF THOSE LARGER PROJECTS TO LOCAL DESTINATIONS SUCH AS NEIGHBORHOODS, SCHOOLS, AND BUSINESSES.
The plan identifies policies and standards for building the improvements.
DELMAGORI: HOW TO BUILD THE WALKING AND BIKING FACILITIES AT THE SAME TIME THAT NEW ROADS ARE CONSTRUCTED. AND THEN THE STANDARDS GIVE OPTIONS TO THE ENTITIES AS TO HOW THESE FACILITIES WILL LOOK, SO TYPICAL SIDEWALK WIDTH, BIKE LANE WIDTHS AND THE PARTICULAR SIGNAGE THAT YOU WOULD ADD TO THE PROJECTS AS THEY ARE CREATED.
It identifies funding sources to the plan.
DELMAGORI: ON THE LOCAL LEVEL ARE WE GOING TO GET FUNDING THAT'S DEDICATED TO THESE PROJECTS. AT THE SAME TIME THE MPO WOULD WORK WITH THE ENTITIES TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE LARGER PROJECTS.
And it suggests actual implementation strategies, such as the MPO prioritizing larger projects while local entities dedicate funds and plan for smaller local efforts.
The projects identified in the plan have a total estimates cost for materials of just over 10-million dollars, 1-point-5 million in Aztec alone.
And Delmagori says that's not the total cost.
DELMAGORI: AT THIS TIME WE DON'T HAVE ANY CONCRETE COSTS FOR RIGHT OF WAY ACQUISITIONS OR ANYTHING RELATED TO THAT.
All in All, Gordon Glass says he's happy with the results of the year of work.
GLASS: I THINK IT CAME OUT AS WELL AS CAN BE EXPECTED. IT TAKES SOME PATIENCE FOR CITIZENS TO GO TO MEETINGS THAT ARE PRIMARILY DESIGNED AROUND PLANNING RATHER THAN ACTUAL BUILDING OR CHANGING THINGS.
Glass says it's important the plan is followed up with action quickly.
GLASS: IDENTIFY FOUR OR FIVE PROJECTS THAT ARE DOABLE, MAYBE NOT TOO EXPENSIVE, AND IMPLEMENT THEM AND SAY HERE'S WHAT COMES OUT OF A YEAR OF PLANNING THAT INVOLVES CITIZEN, VOLUNTEER TIME. SO THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME INCENTIVE FOR PEOPLE TO BE INVOLVED IN THE PLANNING PROCESS, THAT THINGS ACTUALLY START TO HAPPEN.
In addition to helping cut down on traffic, save people gas costs and improve accessibility, Glass says the bike and pedestrian system could be a drawing card for the area.
GLASS: IN THE WINTER TIME PEOPLE LIKE TO COME DOWN HERE FROM THE DURANGO AREA AND GO MOUNTAIN BIKING, BUT I THINK FOR NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO IT ENHANCES WHAT ARE MANY OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES.
You can find a link to the complete Farmington Bicycle Pedestrian plan by going to farmingtonmpo.org.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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