Active Transportation Planning - Bicycle & Pedestrian
The Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MRMPO) serves as a forum for active transportation planning activities throughout the region. Active transportation is human powered transportation, which includes, walking, bicycling, taking transit, and people with special needs. Providing people who cannot or chose not to drive with more and cheaper options for getting around independently to meet every day needs is essential for access to education, jobs, and medical care. Additional benefits of active transportation include positive health outcomes, increased safety for all modes of travel, social interaction, and pollution reduction.
Connectivity & Conceptual Design
Walking and bicycling serve regional transportation in a variety of ways in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area (AMPA). This may be a new concept for some, but when a person completes a long-distance trip on the train or bus, the ability to walk or bicycle to final connections makes these pedestrian and bicycling trips regionally significant. Bicycle trips, on average, in the AMPA, are a little under three miles. Although the trips are relatively short, given the minimal space needed for bicycle parking and the speed over walking, bicycle trips are ideal for larger, dense areas like UNM or Downtown.
The basis for making walking and bicycling safe, efficient, and easy, involves land use and environmental design that does not segregate people too far from destinations such as work, school, parks and recreational facilities, and shopping. Another important consideration is creating or retooling certain roadways to provide reasonably direct, connected, and comfortable routes to everyday destinations. The street pattern, connectivity, bicycle and/or pedestrian infrastructure, and public transit infrastructure and access can help to enhance the built environment for active transportation.
The principles of the Target Scenario (Preferred Scenario) address these land use components. The Target Scenario identifies locations that currently have or are planned to have connections to transit and a mix of land uses. These “activity centers” are ideal candidates for encouraging trips made by transit, walking, and bicycling. For people who travel to activity centers with a single-occupancy vehicle, there is a “park once” approach where people driving to these locations can park once and then walk or take bike share to a variety of destinations.
The second aspect of providing direct and comfortable routes is addressed in the Long Range Transportation System Guide. This guide provides recommendations on connectivity and conceptual design based on the surrounding land use.