Station Area Plans
In communities across the country, commuter rail stations attract business, housing, and public uses and help make station areas valued community and economic development centers. New Mexico Rail Runner Express stations now present these opportunities to New Mexico communities.
The MRCOG is assisting local governments to identify how the Rail Runner can help meet their current and future goals. Using Transit Oriented Development as a framework, the MRCOG's station area planning efforts emphasize each community's unique character to help achieve these opportunities.
The Town of Bernalillo Station Area Plan, the Los Lunas Station Area Plan, the City of Belen Station Area Study, and Bernalillo County / Sunport Station Area Plan in Albuquerque's South Valley are made possible by a 2006 legislative appropriate "to plan, design and improve land facilities located near transit stop." The local jurisdictions, area residents, consultants, and MRCOG are all collaborating in the planning efforts. The plans provide local staff a guide for how development in the station area should occur, and inform future land-use and policy decisions made by elected officials, outside agencies, and developers.
Transit Oriented Development: Creating Vibrant & Inviting Public Spaces
Transit oriented development (TOD) is a mixed-use area located within close proximity to a transit stop or line. This type of development often includes:
- A core commercial area
- Development that is pedestrian friendly and encourages people to walk or bike between transit stations and local businesses, offices, homes and other destinations
- Mixed use development, such as residential, commercial and public space, which create an inviting area that attracts residents, employers and visitors
Transit Oriented Development often focuses on 1/2-mile around the transit station, which is generally considered to be walking distance.
With smart planning and leadership, transit oriented development benefits may include:
- Better health and quality of life for residents
- Cost savings for local jurisdictions from reduced infrastructure needs
- Increased housing options -- more styles and price options
- More transportation options for an aging population
- More transportation options for local and regional trips
- Opportunity for area residents to spend less money on transportation
- Parks, plazas and public spaces
- Vibrant, safe, areas that are enjoyable to walk in