N.M. 502 study maps vision for Trinity Drive

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By Kirsten Laskey

Things are starting to heat up along Trinity Drive and more activity is in the offing for the busiest stretch of road in Los Alamos.
Should the county’s negotiations with North American Development Group prove successful on the Trinity Site project, then Trinity Drive will get even busier once construction actually begins.
In order to craft a consistent vision for the roadway, a N.M. 502 Corridor Study is underway.
A public hearing will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday at Crossroads Bible Church regarding the study. Prototypes or design alternatives of what the corridor could look like will be presented for the public’s input.
The prototypes were developed from the public’s input as well as from baseline data. The data includes existing lanes, existing land uses, traffic intersections, existing geometry and site pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks and crosswalks.
The next step after the public meeting is to select prototypes for the final study. The results of the study are expected to go before the county council in January.
The planning study focuses on the 4.2-mile stretch of road from the Los Alamos County line to Diamond Drive, which is a heavily used roadway, Engineering Project Manager Betsy Lucido said. “Anybody who lives in Los Alamos uses that road. The street really affects people in town,” she said.
Because of the heavy traffic, Trinity Drive is a magnet for major projects so it will be helpful to make sure these projects blend and fit together, Lucido said.
Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman said, “There are projects that are on-going: Trinity Site Redevelopment, the Los Alamos Plaza project, there is the state project … it will be good to have a consistent view of what Trinity will look like in the future.”
The study also serves another purpose: it will be a reference for the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s work on the roadway from Tewa Loop to Knecht Street, which is slated to begin in 2013.
The county council directed that the study be conducted in order to have a seamless plan for the
MIG, a consulting firm, along with an engineer from CDM, were hired to perform the study.
There have been a number of public meetings, the most recent one was in October and 60 people attended the event. Lucido said more pedestrian crossings were frequently mentioned. Therefore, all the prototypes show upgraded pedestrian facilities such as ADA compliance and the addition of more pedestrian crossings.
She said so far the study was running smoothly. “I think … the people who have shown up have given us good ideas,” Lucido said.