Transportation systems are increasingly required to respond to a variety of needs from addressing congestion to improving roadway safety and supporting the development of thriving public spaces. In response to these challenges, MRMPO developed the Long Range Transportation System Guide (LRTS Guide) which is updated with each new Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The LRTS Guide presents design guidelines for roadways that incorporate all modes of travel where possible and that are in harmony with the adjacent land use. The latest update includes recommendations on green infrastructure. Local governments in the AMPA are encouraged to use the LRTS Guide in the design, maintenance, and/or rehabilitation of their transportation systems if they do not have local complete streets design guidance available.
The LRTS Guide first and foremost provides recommendations on better integrating planned land use into the roadway design process by making sure that existing and future planned land use is considered when building new roadways or retrofitting existing roadways. Future costly changes to the street can be minimized by better managing expectations around how the road will function in the future.
Ensuring Complete Streets
The LRTS Guide provides recommendations for improving roadway connectivity to reduce congestion, and for designing streets that safely accommodate as many users as possible. The Metropolitan Transportation Board MTB passed a Complete Streets resolution in 2011 that directed the creation of new policies and roadway design guidelines. Complete Streets practices ensure roadways are designed for the comfort and safety of all users of all abilities. In other words, infrastructure for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users are integrated where possible, including where to consider road diets to improve roadway safety.
The LRTS Guide is consistent with the Guiding Principles and Regional Activity Centers of MRMPO’s Target Scenario, which sets forth a vision for regional travel and the location of activity centers that currently have a regional draw, and that are expected to in the future. The Target Scenario Guiding Principles were developed to help minimize travel demand through more compact and mixed land uses, provide more jobs west of the Rio Grande, and enhance travel options, particularly for transit. Activity Centers prioritize pedestrian accessibility and are targeted for higher intensities of mixed-use development and enhanced transit connections.