T-Board discusses street standards

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By Jennifer Garcia

The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s planned improvements for NM 502/DP Road may be on hold for a couple more years, but the Los Alamos County Community Development Division is still working on a plan for complete streets.

The topic of Downtown Street Standards was on the agenda at the last Transportation Board meeting. At that meeting, the Board met with the Downtown Street Standards Committee to discuss the possible endorsement of the Downtown Street Standards Committee’s vision, goals and objectives.

The DSSC’s goals are as follows:

Goal 1: Street standards will seek to provide safe, pleasant energy efficient and convenient travel for all users and all modes of transportation appropriate to the street type;

Goal 2: Street standards will positively contribute to downtown Los Alamos and the Downtown Master Plan as adopted by County Council;

Goal 3: Street standards will anticipate and accommodate future development and modes of transportation and provide adequate levels of service for all users; and

Goal 4: The planning process will be comprehensive and include a thorough level of public involvement.

CDD Director Rick Bohn attended the T-Board meeting and said the joint meeting was held after Councilor Robert Gibson asked what the goals and objectives for Trinity Drive were, since ideas regarding the street were being tossed around.

“They decided to have a meeting on goals and objectives for downtown streets. They decided to be more formal and let the T-Board have a meeting to discuss their goals and vision,” Bohn said.

He said the two entities had a very good discussion and several good points of view were expressed. In fact, the T-Board passed a motion advising the council to adopt the Downtown Street Standards Vision, Goals and Objectives document, which will be applied to all new projects, renovations and major modifications. The motion also stated that in goal 1(b1), a target of space for three walkers side by side shall be set. They also advise that the best engineering practices will always be used and customized on a case-by-case basis.

Bohn said the Sustainability Board also got very interested in the downtown street standards because they said people should be offered a convenient way to park once and cross the street, rather than having to drive to each destination because of unsafe street crossing conditions.

“The Sustainability Board was at the meeting and supported the goals and objectives,” Bohn said. He also said there was a lot of discussion regarding bike lanes, islands, trees and various other aspects associated with the idea of complete streets.

“The people who came had really great thoughts,” Bohn commented. “We really appreciate the T-Board putting this on their agenda.”

Those who wish to receive information about complete streets can contact County Planner Paul Belson at paul.belson@lacnm.us.