Complete Streets Workshop aims to educate

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By Jennifer Garcia

As county and school officials wait in anticipation for the Trinity Site project agreements between Boyer and the county to be signed, another aspect of the downtown revitalization project is taking shape.

County Planner Paul Belson, in conjunction with LA Walks Co-Chair Janie O’Rourke, the Downtown Streets Standards Committee and members of the public, held an open house last month to help educate the public about the Complete Streets program, as well as plans for making Trinity Drive more user friendly.

On Friday, a workshop entitled “Complete Street Design Opportunities for Trinity Drive” will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5 p.m.

“The workshop is a follow up to the open house,” Belson said. “A couple from Portland will facilitate the workshop.”

The couple Belson is referring to be Vicki Dugger, of the Dugger Downtown Development Services in Portland, Ore., and Richard Zita of Bramare Landscape Architecture, also in Portland.

The following agenda will be discussed during Friday night’s workshop:

• Update on projects related to Trinity Drive/NM 502.

• Learn about design techniques in the national award-winning handbook, “Main Street … When a Highway Runs Through It.”

• Obtain new tools and ideas for making Trinity function better.

• Find out how other communities have successfully addressed streets similar to Trinity.

• Participate in roundtable discussions and problem solving design exercises focused on Trinity.

• Help identify the next steps for one of the most important roads in Los Alamos.

“We’re looking at how we can develop street standards for drivability and workability,” County Planner Martha Perkins said. “We’re looking at ways to keep the traffic on Trinity flowing and we’re trying to meet everyone’s needs.”

Belson said they will also review the current conditions.

O’Rourke said LA Walks was involved in the revamping that was done to the sidewalks and streets on Central Avenue and had a hand in getting people coming off of SR502 at 40 mph to slow down to 25 mph once they hit Central.

“We have older people trying to cross Trinity,” O’Rourke said. “There are very few crossing opportunities. Trinity does not meet federal requirements.”

She also said because Trinity is a state-owned road, they will foot three-quarters of the bill to fix the streets. “It’s an opportunity to get money through federal funds,” she said.

The members of the public who attended last month’s open house seem to be receptive to the plans for Trinity.

“We’re still getting input from the public,” Belson said. “People had a wide range of ideas about what we should do. They have expressed concern in changing the roadway.”

“People think that we’re going to slow traffic down,” Perkins said.

She pointed out that staff involved in the project is looking at the current traffic capacity.

The workshop on Friday is being funded from a grant from the State Department of Transportation Walkability Advocacy Group Program and is being hosted by LA Walks in cooperation with Los Alamos County.