Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor by dffhrtcv3

VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 22

									Long Range
Major Transportation
Investment Study
Albuquerque to
Santa Fe Corridor
October 2001




                       Sponsoring Agencies

                                 New Mexico State Highway
                                  and Transportation Department


                        in cooperation with
                                 U. S. Department of Transportation,
                                 Federal Transit Administration
                                 and Federal Highway Administration

                        Consulting Engineers and Planners
MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                                                              Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor


                                                                  Table of Contents


Introduction...................................................................................................................................................... 1
   Background .................................................................................................................................................... 1
   Summary of Findings..................................................................................................................................... 3

The Corridor .................................................................................................................................................... 3
   I-25 Corridor .................................................................................................................................................. 3
      Existing Conditions.................................................................................................................................... 4
      Development Patterns and Land Ownership.............................................................................................. 4
      Transportation System ............................................................................................................................... 4
      Travel Characteristics ................................................................................................................................ 9
      Future Conditions .................................................................................................................................... 10
      Potential Transportation Improvements................................................................................................... 11
   NM 14 Corridor ........................................................................................................................................... 13
    Existing Conditions.................................................................................................................................. 13
    Development Patterns .............................................................................................................................. 13
    Transportation System ............................................................................................................................. 14
    Travel Characteristics .............................................................................................................................. 15
    Future Conditions .................................................................................................................................... 16
    Potential Transportation Improvements................................................................................................... 16
   NM 41 Corridor ........................................................................................................................................... 17
    Existing Conditions.................................................................................................................................. 17
    Development Patterns .............................................................................................................................. 17
    Transportation System ............................................................................................................................. 17
    Travel Characteristics .............................................................................................................................. 18
    Future Conditions .................................................................................................................................... 19
    Potential Improvements ........................................................................................................................... 19

Recommendations .......................................................................................................................................... 19


List of Tables
Table 1 – Average Number of Accidents -- 1985 Through 1999 ..................................................................... 6
Table 2 – Albuquerque Area to Santa Fe Area Work Trips............................................................................... 9


List of Figures
Figure 1 – Albuquerque/Santa Fe Corridor Study Area .................................................................................... 2
Figure 2 - Middle Rio Grande Region ............................................................................................................... 1
Figure 3 – I-25: US 550 to NM 14 Accidents, Fatalities, and Injuries – 1985 through 1999............................ 7



October 2001                                                                                                                                           Page i
MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                        Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor


INTRODUCTION
This report identifies the strategic transportation facilities within the Albuquerque/Santa Fe Corridor of
the Middle Rio Grande Region (see Figure 1) and makes recommendations regarding future
improvements. It is concerned only with the major transportation linkages between the Albuquerque area,
including the East Mountain area and the Moriarty area, and the Santa Fe area and not transportation
issues internal to those areas. This study is a portion of the Middle Rio Grande Long Range Major
Transportation Investment Study (LRMTIS) initiated by the New Mexico State Highway and
Transportation Department in 1998.

BACKGROUND
The Middle Rio Grande Long Range Major Transportation Investment Study (RMIS) is intended to fulfill
the need for a long range high-capacity transportation plan for the rapidly urbanizing Middle Rio Grande
region. The goal of the initial phase of the study is to identify a long-range, multimodal transportation
strategy that delineates strategic corridors within the study area and a set of reasonable alternatives within
each of those corridors. The Middle Rio Grande Region, as shown in Figure 2, extends from the City of
Belen on the south to the City of Espanola and Los Alamos County on the north. This area included
portions of six counties, Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance, and Valencia and the
municipalities and tribal entities within them. Because of the complexity and diversity of the overall
study area, it was divided into three Subareas:

    Middle       Rio      Grande     Subarea
    This area extends from the City of Belen
    on the south to the Town of Bernalillo on
    the north, and from the Rio Puerco west of
    the City of Albuquerque to the City of
    Moriarty to the east.

    North     Central    Region     Subarea
    This includes the portion of Santa Fe
    County north of the Burlington Northern
    Santa Fe Railroad alignment, all of Los
    Alamos County, and the City of Espanola.

    Albuquerque - Santa Fe Corridor
    This corridor connects the two Subareas.


The work for the Middle Rio Grande Subarea
study, included as part of the Middle Rio
Grande Connections study, has been
completed and is awaiting local government
review. A high-capacity transportation system                                   Figure 2
was identified and recommended as the                                 Middle Rio Grande Region
backbone system for the subarea. The study
for the North Central Region was completed in June 2001. A transportation deficiency report was
prepared in February 2001 and presented to the Management Team for the subarea. A Draft Final Report
has been completed and is under review.

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MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor
                                                                                                                                                           SANTA FE
                                                                                                                                                                                                SANTA FE




                                                                                                                      SANDOVAL CO.
                                                                                                                                                          NATIONAL                   Santa Fe




                                                                                                                                     SANTA FE CO.
                                                                                                                                                             FOREST                   Airport

       JEMEZ PUEBLO                                                                        COCHITI PUEBLO



                                              ZIA PUEBLO

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Santa Fe                              INTERSTATE


        San Ysidro                                                                                                                                                                                             Southern                              25
                                                                               SANTA DOMINGO                                                        INTERSTATE
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Railroad
            Je
              me
                z
                                                                                     PUEBLO
                                                                                                                                                    25




                                                                                                 nde
                                                                                             Gra
                      River

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Lamy




                                                                                             o
                                                                                                       Budaghers




                                                                                          Ri
       ZIA PUEBLO
                                           SANTA ANA
                                            PUEBLO
                                                                                                                                                                                   Cerrillos
                                                                       SAN FELIPE
                                                                        PUEBLO
                                                                                                                                                                  Madrid
                                                                                                                                                                                                B.N.S.F.          Galisteo
                                                                                                                                                                                                Railroad
                                                            Algodones




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SAN MIGUEL CO.
                                                                                    Placitas
                                              Bernalillo
                                                                                 CIBOLA
                                                            SANDIA
                                                            PUEBLO
                                                                              NATIONAL
                                                                               FOREST
                                                                                                                                                                 Golden
           Rio Rancho              Corrales
    SANDOVAL CO.                                                                                          La Madera
    BERNALILLO CO.
                                                                                                                                             Cedar Grove
                                                                                                              Sandia Knolls
                                                                                                            San                                                                                               Stanley                       LEGEND
      PETROGLYPH
        NATIONAL
                                                                                                            Antonito
       MONUMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                                 BERNALILLO CO.
                       ALBUQUERQUE                                                  Cedar Crest                                                                                                                              National Forest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TORRANCE CO.




                                                                                                                                                                      INTERSTATE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             State Land
                                                                                                        Tijeras                                                       40
                                                                                          CIBOLA                                            Edgewood                                                       SANTA FE CO.      Bureau of
                                                                                          NATIONAL
                                           Albuquerque     KIRTLAND                       FOREST                                                                                                                             Land Management
                                           International                                                                                                                                                   TORRANCE
                                           Airport
                                                           AIR FORCE                                                                                                                                                                       Clines Corners
                                                             BASE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Indian Reservations
                              INTERSTATE


                              25                                                                                                                                                       Moriarty

                                                                                                         Figure 1
                                                                                          Albuquerque/Santa Fe Corridor Study Area
October 2001                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Page 2
MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                      Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The following is a summary of the analysis of the strategic transportation system within the
Albuquerque/Santa Fe Corridor:
       The existing infrastructure – I-25, NM 14, and NM 41 – as currently planned, should
       accommodate future travel over the next 20 years within the corridor based on preliminary sketch-
       level planning analysis. However, should additional capacity be needed in the I-25 corridor,
       expansion of I-25 can be accomplished without major reconstruction of all but two of the existing
       structures. As maintenance and reconstruction of I-25 occurs, especially as it relates to bridges,
       interchanges, and drainage structures, provisions should be included to accommodate any need for
       increased capacity.

       Existing ridesharing opportunities should be encouraged and expanded to increase the efficiency
       of the transportation system.

       Commuter rail service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is not considered to be a viable mode of
       travel in this corridor in the foreseeable future.



THE CORRIDOR
The study area for the Albuquerque/Santa Fe Corridor, as shown in Figure 1, has been expanded to
include the transportation facilities directly linking the East Mountain and the Moriarty areas to the Santa
Fe area. The corridor is a triangle shaped area with the base formed by I-40 from Albuquerque to
Moriarty, the two sides formed by the Rio Grande on the west and NM 41 on the east, and the apex being
Santa Fe. This area is one of sharp contrasts. It contains three of the four largest cities in New Mexico as
well as many smaller municipalities and communities. Many square miles of sparsely populated
rangeland and tribal lands as well as national forest and other public lands separate these communities.
The corridor has experienced substantial growth over the past years and is anticipated to continue to
experience growth in the future.

Development continues to radiate from the larger communities as segments of the population seek a more
rural life style while generally continuing to be employed in the more urban areas. The major
transportation system serving these areas is relatively sparse as can be seen on Figure 2. There are four
transportation corridors connecting the Middle Rio Grande Subarea and the North Central Region: I-25;
NM 14; NM 41; and BNSF railroad.


I-25 CORRIDOR
I-25 is of international importance extending north from Mexico through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado,
and into Wyoming where it terminates at I-90. The first travel in the I-25 corridor many hundreds of
years ago, prior to the existence of either Albuquerque or Santa Fe, was by Native Americans traveling
from one settlement along the Rio Grande to another. Later Spanish explorers used the corridor as their
link between Santa Fe, other Spanish settlements in the corridor, and Mexico City. Much later, travelers
used it as part of their journey across the United States. Highway designations within this corridor have
included El Camino Real, the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, NM 1, U.S. 66, U.S 85, and I-25.




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                                                                      Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

Existing Conditions
The importance of the corridor for this study is in the fact that it connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe and
not in the development located within the corridor. The Albuquerque urban area, the largest urban area
and the finance, commercial, and manufacturing center of the State, has an estimated population of
approximately 600,000 people with over 325,000 jobs. The Santa Fe urban area, the State capitol, has an
estimated population of over 79,000 with an employment base of over 58,000. Government and tourism
account for a large percentage of the employment in the area.


Development Patterns and Land Ownership
Population and employment within the corridor north of the Town of Bernalillo is sparse with population
concentrations in the Sandoval County portion located between the interstate and the Rio Grande in the
Native American villages of Santa Ana, San Felipe, and Santo Domingo, and the community of
Algodones. Populations in Santa Fe County are located in sparsely settled subdivisions along I-25 on
both sides, and the community of La Cienaga to the west of I-25. The largest employers within the
corridor are the sand and gravel operations near Algodones, the San Felipe Hollywood Casino about 10
miles north of Bernalillo at the I-25 San Felipe exit, the recently opened Traditions shopping area at the
I-25 Budagher exit about half way between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and the New Mexico State
Penitentiary, National Guard Armory, and PNM maintenance yard at the northern end of the corridor
between I-25 and NM 14.


Land ownership in this corridor is important since over half of the land traversed by the transportation
facilities in this corridor is owned by tribal entities. With the exception of the communities of Algodones
and Budagher, the land on both sides of I-25 and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad within
Sandoval County is part of either Santa Ana, San Felipe, or Santo Domingo Pueblos.


Transportation System
The existing transportation system in the corridor consists of both highways and alternative modes of
travel. As would be expected, the single occupant automobile is the predominant mode of travel,
although there is a substantial amount of ridesharing in the corridor during peak hours.

Highways
Currently I-25 is the only continuous highway linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe having replaced US 85
several decades ago. The trip is approximately 59 miles by highway from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It is
approximately 35 miles from the boundary of the Albuquerque urban area at the Bernalillo US 550 exit to
the Santa Fe urban boundary at the Cerrillos Road exit.

Highway Description
I-25 from US 550 to NM 14 is located for most of its length in 330 feet of right-of-way (Greater right-of-
way exists at the interchanges). It is a controlled access, four-lane divided freeway with two lanes in each
direction. Typical sections vary throughout its length.




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MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                     Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

From the U.S. 550 exit (MP 242) to just south
of La Bajada Hill (approximately MP 263),
the typical section has 12 to 15 foot outside
shoulders and 5 foot inside shoulders. The
median is about 40 to 50 feet wide and is
either paved or dirt.

On La Bajada Hill (approximately MP 263 to
just south of MP 267), the typical section
                                                                I-25: North of Bernalillo
includes an addition lane northbound
(climbing lane), has 8 to 10 foot outside
shoulders and 5 foot inside shoulders. The
median width is approximately 25 feet and is
paved. There is a short segment of concrete
barrier in the median south of the Cochiti exit
(MP 266).

From just south of MP 267 to the Cerrillos
Road exit (MP 279), the typical section has 8
to 10 foot outside shoulders and 5 foot inside
shoulders. The median is about 85 feet wide                        I-25: La Bajada Hill
and is dirt.

Current Traffic Volumes
I-25 traffic volumes in 1998 range from about
30,000 vehicles per weekday just north of
Bernalillo to approximately 25,000 vehicles
per weekday near La Bajada Hill and back up
to about 30,000 vehicles per day just south of
the Cerrillos exit. Peak period travel on I-25
reflects the commute from the Albuquerque
area to the Santa Fe area for work.
Northbound traffic near Bernalillo in the AM             I-25: North of La Bajada Hill
peak hour is approximately 1,400 vehicles per
hour during the weekday with the southbound AM peak occurring about one hour later with a volume of
around 900 vehicles per hour. During the PM, the predominant direction of traffic is southbound with
about 1,600 vehicles southbound in the PM peak hour and about 1,000 vehicles per hour northbound
around the same peak hour.

While current peak hour traffic is the result of weekday commuters between Albuquerque and Santa Fe,
tourist/recreational traffic during the weekends is increasing substantially in the corridor. As the
population increases in the Middle Rio Grande area, travel to the numerous recreational/tourist
opportunities in Santa Fe, North Central New Mexico, and part of southern Colorado is anticipated to
increase. Since I-25 is the only route from the Albuquerque area leading to these areas, the increase will
have an impact on I-25.

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MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                            Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

Traffic Accident History
Traffic accident data are available for 1985 through 1999. During those 15 years there were a total of
2,558 reported accidents on I-25 from the US 550 interchange at Bernalillo to the NM 14 interchange at
Santa Fe. That is an average of 170 accidents per year for the 38-mile stretch of interstate. The highest
three years were 1997 (260 accidents), 1996 (230 accidents), and 1992 (220 accidents). It is interesting to
note that the year with the second lowest number of accidents was 1999 (117 accidents) even though
traffic has generally increased over the 15-year period. The year with the least number of accidents was
1985, as should be expected because of the low traffic volumes, with a total of 88 accidents. There were
a total of 110 fatalities and 1,882 people injured in the accidents over the 15-year period. That is an
average of about 7 fatalities and 125 injuries per year. The deadliest year was 1992 with 12 fatalities
followed by 1988 and 1989 with 10 fatalities each. Table 1 shows annual averages for interchanges and
annual averages per mile for segments between interchanges. The graph on the following page shows the
total accidents, fatalities, and injuries by mile post.

                                                 Table 1
                             Average Number of Accidents – 1985 Through 1999
                                                   Average           Average       Average         Average
                  Location                        Accidents/        Accidents/    Fatalities/   Injuries/Mile/
                                                    Year            Mile/Year     Mile/Year         Year
 US 550/Bernalillo Interchange                       7.1               7.1          0.13              6.2
 US 550 to Algodones                                27.5               4.6          0.19              3.7
 Algodones Interchange                               5.8               5.8          0.47              4.8
 Algodones to San Felipe                             8.5               2.8          0.04              2.4
 San Felipe Interchange                              5.9               5.9          0.13              3.9
 San Felipe to Budagher                             15.2               3.8          0.28              3.3
 Budagher Interchange                                3.3               3.3          0.47              2.9
 Budagher to Santo Domingo                           1.7               1.7          0.07              1.8
 Santo Domingo Interchange                           3.9               3.9          0.27              2.8
 Santo Domingo to Cochiti                           15.8               4.0          0.17              2.5
 Cochiti/La Bajada Interchange                       3.7               3.7          0.13              1.7
 Cochiti to Waldo                                    6.7               3.3          0.23              4.3
 Waldo Interchange                                   7.1               7.1          0.40              5.2
 Waldo to La Cienaga                                15.2               5.1          0.13              3.3
 La Cienaga Interchange                              5.1               5.1          0.00              3.7
 La Cienaga to NM 599                               18.9               4.7          0.22              3.7
 NM 599/Santa Fe Bypass Interchange                  7.5               7.5          0.27              3.5
 NM 599 to NM 14                                     3.3               3.2          0.13              3.1
 NM14/Cerrillos Road Interchange                     4.3               4.3          0.20              1.7
 Total – US 550 to NM 14                            170.5              4.5          0.19              3.3
Source: Division of Government Research, University of New Mexico


In terms of accident location, Table 1 shows the annual average for accidents by interchange and
segments between interchanges. Interchange rates are calculated using all accidents on I-25 within a one-
mile segment from ½ mile north to ½ mile south of the interchange. Also shown are the average



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 MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                                   Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

                                                  Figure 3
                                           I-25: US 550 to NM 14
                          Accidents, Fatalities, and Injuries – 1985 through 1999

160


140


120


100


80


60


40


20


 0
   1


         3


               5


                     7


                           9


                                 1


                                       3


                                             5


                                                   7


                                                           9


                                                                  1


                                                                         3


                                                                               5


                                                                                       7


                                                                                             9


                                                                                                   1


                                                                                                         3


                                                                                                               5


                                                                                                                     7
 24


       24


             24


                   24


                         24


                               25


                                     25


                                           25


                                                 25


                                                         25


                                                                26


                                                                       26


                                                                             26


                                                                                     26


                                                                                           26


                                                                                                 27


                                                                                                       27


                                                                                                             27


                                                                                                                   27
                                                          Mile Post

                                            Total Acc.         Fat. Acc.      Inj. Acc.



 accidents, fatalities, and injuries per mile in order to make the data more comparable. Rates per million
 vehicle miles could not be calculated since adequate traffic volume data was not available. As shown in
 the table, the location with the highest average number of accidents per mile per year is the NM 599
 Interchange with a 7.5 rate followed by the US 550 Interchange at Bernalillo and the Waldo Interchange
 both with a 7.1 rate. In terms of non-interchange segments, the approximately 3 mile segment between
 Waldo and La Cienaga had the highest number of accidents per mile per year with 5.1 followed by the
 segment from La Cienaga to NM 599 (4.7) and US 550 to Algodones (4.6). Mile Post (MP) 242
 immediately north of the US 550 interchange was the highest non-interchange location with an average
 rate of 9.2 accidents per year followed by MP 263 near the bottom of La Bajada Hill with a rate of 7.3
 accidents per year.

 The most severe accidents occurred at or near the Algodones Interchange with an average number of
 fatalities per mile of 0.47 and an average number of injuries per mile of 4.8, the Budagher Interchange
 with a 0.47 fatality rate and a 2.9 injury rate, and the Waldo Interchange with a 0.40 fatality rate and a 5.2
 injury rate. The non-interchange segments with the most sever accidents were the San Felipe to Budagher
 segment with a fatality rate of 0.28 and an injury rate of 3.3, the Cochiti to Waldo segment with a fatality
 rate of 0.23 and an injury rate of 4.3, and the La Cienaga to NM 599 segment with a fatality rate of 0.22
 and an injury rate of 3.7. For non-interchange locations, MP 246 south of Algodones and MP 253 north
 of San Felipe had the highest fatality rate with an average of 0.4 fatalities per year. MP 242 with the most
 accidents also had the highest injury rate at 6.9 injuries per year followed by MP 253 north of San Felipe
 with 4.4 accidents per year. The most common causal factor listed in the data was related to speed with
 “excessive speed” and “speed too fast for conditions.”
 October 2001                                                                                                      Page 7
MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                     Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

Transit
Bus transit service is provided by three private companies that operate shuttle bus services between the
Albuquerque Sunport and various hotels/motels and the airport in Santa Fe. There are a total of 8 to 9
runs per day providing service to an average of about 150 passengers daily.

Rail service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is
provided by a combination of the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe (BNSF) rail line and the Santa Fe Southern Rail
Line. The BNSF occupies the corridor between the Rio
Grande and I-25 from Albuquerque to about 12 miles
north of Bernalillo where it turns east, crosses under I-25,
and continues to Lamy (the closest mainline stop to Santa
Fe) 14 highway miles southeast of Santa Fe. The BNSF
track is Class 3 and 4, signalized to modern standards that
could allow operating speeds of up to 79 m.p.h. BNSF
provides only freight service. The Amtrak passenger
service (one trip each way per day) connecting Chicago
                                                              Rail station at Lamy where Santa Fe
and Los Angeles provides stops at Lamy and                   Southern rail line joins BNSF mainline
Albuquerque.       Northbound Amtrak service departs
Albuquerque at 12:45 p.m. daily and arrives at Lamy at 1:45 p.m. Southbound Amtrak service departs
Lamy at 2:45 p.m. daily and arrives in Albuquerque at 3:45 p.m. From Lamy, a shuttle bus can be
scheduled for the trip to Santa Fe.

An additional connection between Lamy and Santa Fe is the recreational excursion train that originates in
Santa Fe and is operated by the Santa Fe Southern Rail Line. The schedule varies with the season and is
intended to provide a round trip lunch or dinner trip from Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Southern provides
additional service between Santa Fe and Lamy for the movement of freight. This line runs through the
Eldorado subdivision southeast of Santa Fe and the South Capital complex before terminating at the depot
in Santa Fe about one-half mile east of the Capital. The Santa Fe Southern track is a lower class than the
BNSF track allowing speeds of up to only 25 m.p.h.

Other transportation services
While the single occupant vehicle is
often thought to account for 90% or more
of the trips in the corridor, a recent
survey conducted on I-25 south of the
Bernalillo/US 550 interchange showed
that during the 3-hour morning and 3-
hour evening peak periods, single
occupant vehicles accounted for less than
78% of the passenger vehicles using that
segment of interstate.                        Informal park and ride lot on vacant state property near
                                                            the I-25/US 550 interchange

Other alternative transportation services operating within this corridor that account for this modal mix
include informal car pools and formal vanpools. One indication of the interest in car pools and vanpools
is the number of vehicles parked on the vacant NMSHTD property in the southwest quadrant of the
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MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                               Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

I-25/US 550 interchange. A recent survey at that location conducted for the NMSHTD by Taschek
Environmental Consulting indicated that approximately 90 vehicles are parked on the lot on a typical
weekday. Over 95% of the 45 respondents to the survey indicated that they traveled from the
Albuquerque urban area to the Santa Fe/Los Alamos area. About 2/3 of them were destined to the Santa
Fe area.

The survey at the Bernalillo park-and-ride lot also indicated that over 70% of the respondents traveled in
a van with 4 or more people. Many of these people were most likely participating in the State Employee
Commuter Association (SECA) vanpool program. SECA, a nonprofit organization, operates a formal
weekday vanpool commuter service for Albuquerque/Rio Rancho/Bernalillo residents that are employed
in Santa Fe. SECA currently utilizes 18 14-passenger vans for the service between the Albuquerque area
and Santa Fe as well as one van from Santa Fe to the Albuquerque area.

Scheduled air passenger service between the Middle Rio Grande Subarea and the Capital Region Subarea
is provided from Albuquerque International Airport (AIA) to Santa Fe Airport. On July 1,2001, Rio
Grande Air began providing two daily flights from Santa Fe Airport to AIA and one daily flight from
AIA to Santa Fe. The company provides additional service from AIA to Santa Fe Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday. Charter air service is provided between AIA and Santa Fe and Los Alamos airports
as well.

Travel Characteristics
Most of the travel in the corridor during the peak travel periods is the result of Albuquerque urban area
residents commuting to employment opportunities in the Santa Fe area and returning home. At least a
portion of this commuting is the result of many jobs in the Santa Fe area being State government jobs
with moderate salaries while much of the housing in the Santa Fe area is rather expensive. Table 2 shows
that there were over 2,500 commuter trips using the corridor between the Albuquerque urban area and the
Santa Fe urban area with about one-half of them during the peak hour. This is based on 1990 Census
work trip data published in Regional Park and Ride Study completed in 1995 by Wilbur Smith Associates
for the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe County Transportation Development District. It is interesting to
note that single occupant vehicle work trips account for only 66% of the total work trips in the corridor.

                         Table 2 – Albuquerque Area to Santa Fe Area Work Trips
                                                                            Single       Peak Hour     Single
                                                        Total Work
        Residence                Workplace                                 Occupant        Work       Occupant
                                                           Trips
                                                                           Vehicle         Trips      Vehicle
      Albuquerque/                Santa Fe                 1,904             45%            993         58%
       Rio Rancho
      Albuquerque/              Los Alamos                  202              58%                 41    100%
       Rio Rancho
        Santa Fe               Albuquerque/                 443              79%             294        87%
                                Rio Rancho
       Los Alamos              Albuquerque/                  33              100%                9     100%
                                Rio Rancho
                               Corridor Total              2,582             52%            1,337      66%
      Source: Regional Park and Ride Study, Wilbur Smith Associates, based on 1990 Census data



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MIDDLE RIO GRANDE LONG RANGE M AJOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT STUDY
                                                                       Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor

The park and ride study also contained information related to major destinations of all commuter type
trips to the Santa Fe/Los Alamos area. Of the 2,106 trips from the Albuquerque urban area to the Santa
Fe/Los Alamos area, 1,172 commuter trips are to major activity centers. The major destination by far was
the College of Santa Fe which accounted for 550 or almost 47% of the commuter trips from Albuquerque,
Bernalillo, and Rio Rancho to those centers. Los Alamos National Laboratory was the second most
popular activity center with 208 trips from the Albuquerque area. Santa Fe Community College and the
NMSHTD were next with 173 and 103 respectively. Those four activity centers were the only ones in the
Santa Fe/Los Alamos area that had over 100 commuter trips from the Albuquerque urban area according
to the study.

Future Conditions
Recent releases of 2000 census data indicate that both the Albuquerque area and the Santa Fe area
experienced population growth over the last 10 years. Future-year forecasts indicate that growth is
expected to continue over the next few decades.

Population and Employment
Growth within the corridor is anticipated to be limited in the future. Part of this is due to the fact that
over half of the corridor is on Indian reservations and not available for private development. Because of
this, travel within the corridor is anticipated to continue to be largely a function of the relationship
between the Albuquerque urban area and the Santa Fe urban area. The current relationship of the
Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area providing housing for many Santa Fe workers is anticipated to continue in
the future, although probably not in the same proportion as today. Moderately priced housing growth in
the Santa Fe area is tending to occur to the west and southeast of Santa Fe, and not to a substantial degree
along I-25 between the Santa Fe and Bernalillo areas. It is assumed that that pattern will continue.
Consequently, population growth within the corridor is not anticipated to be of sufficient magnitude to
impact the need that will largely result from the Albuquerque to Santa Fe commute.

Employment in the Santa Fe area is expected to grow in the future. Data used by the Santa Fe MPO for
modeling future travel show that employment in the Santa Fe area is expected to grow by about 20,000
jobs by the year 2020 which is a 40% increase from their 1994 base year. Because of this employment
growth and the lack of moderately priced housing in the Santa Fe area, it is assumed that there will
continue to be commuting from the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area to Santa Fe to work.


Traffic Forecasts
Unadjusted travel forecasts by the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments show that by the year
2020, AM peak hour traffic can be anticipated to increase to about 2,500 vehicles per hour northbound
and almost 1,000 vehicles per hour southbound on I-25 just north of the US 550 interchange. PM peak
hour traffic at the same location is expected to increase to just over 2,000 vehicles per hour southbound
and almost 1,700 vehicles per hour northbound. Total AWDT for that location is forecasted to be just
over 44,000 vehicles per weekday. Data compiled for the “Transportation Deficiency Report” for the
North Central Region indicates that the PM peak hour traffic volumes for I-25 south of Cerrillos Road
are anticipated to be almost 2,500 vehicles southbound with about 1,400 vehicles northbound. Traffic
volumes for I-25 between the Cerrillos Road exit and the U.S. 550 exit at Bernalillo are anticipated to
vary widely as they do today. The larger volumes can be anticipated to occur south of the San Felipe
exit because of the potential development in the Algodones area and north of the La Cienaga exit just
south of Santa Fe because of the development that is likely to occur in that area. Traffic volumes such as
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those forecast for I-25 should not cause a four-lane controlled access freeway to operate over capacity.
However, should these forecasts be too conservative or should the weekend recreational travel increase
substantially, improvements within the corridor may be needed.


Potential Transportation Improvements
The volumes of traffic currently projected for I-25 should be able to be accommodated within the
existing transportation system. However, there are several unknowns that are not included in these
projections that may be worthy of consideration and contingency planning. These include potential
growth in weekend traffic from the Albuquerque area to the recreational opportunities in Northern New
Mexico and southern Colorado and a second access to I-25 from the Placitas area or the Rio Rancho
area. In addition, the portion of the corridor in Santa Fe County could experience more growth than
currently anticipated.

Typically, traffic projections focus on am and pm peak hour traffic. These peaks are usually the result of
workers commuting from their place of residence to their place of employment. However, as the
Albuquerque urban area grows, weekend traffic on I-25 is likely to increase since all traffic to most of
the recreational opportunities in northern New Mexico must use I-25 to Santa Fe. Recreational traffic
also has a greater mix of vehicle types with higher percentages of large slower moving motor homes or
towed vehicles causing more opportunities for conflict with the high-speed autos and pickup trucks. This
situation should be monitored and forecasted to determine if it may warrant expansion of I-25.

A second access for Placitas traffic and/or Rio Rancho traffic would have opposite effects on I-25. The
current configuration of the US 550/NM 165 interchange with I-25 meters the amount of traffic from
both Placitas and Rio Rancho that can access I-25. A second access for Placitas traffic either through a
connection with the Algodones interchange or a new interchange on Santa Ana land would allow more
traffic per hour to access I-25. This would particularly increase the southbound am peak period traffic
and the northbound pm peak period traffic on the segment south of Algodones. While it is assumed that
I-25 will be widened to 6 lanes south of US 550, the 4-lane segment north of that interchange could
experience some congestion under these circumstances. However, if a new interchange were constructed
on Santa Ana land that also would connect to US 550 at the proposed Paseo del Volcan and provide
access to the Santa Ana resort hotel, gaming, and recreational opportunities, traffic at the US 550
interchange and particularly some conflicting movements at the interchange would be reduced.

Near Santa Fe, the Indian owned Santa Fe Downs redevelopment into a casino or other economic
development activity with increased employment opportunities could generate more peak hour traffic.
Additionally, the location of one or more major employers in the corridor would also result in increased
traffic. This could impact the entire length of I-25.

Alternative Modes
As noted above, there are substantial vanpool and ridesharing activities occurring within the corridor.
These should be encouraged and expanded to the degree appropriate. Activities could include
modifications and improvements to the existing informal ridesharing lot in Bernalillo and the
establishment of other formal lots in the I-25 corridor to encourage more ridesharing. Increased financial
support should be provided to the vanpool operations to the degree possible under federal and state
regulations for expansion of that type of service to the major activity centers.

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Commuter rail is not recommended for this corridor. Despite continuing interest, previous studies have
identified substantial hurdles that would need to be overcome before such service might be a reality. For
example, high-class rail exists in only part of the corridor resulting in a need for new trackage out of the
Rio Grande valley that would significantly increase the capital costs. In addition to operational, physical,
and financial difficulties identified in the studies, travel times would not be competitive with either the
private automobile or most vanpools that can operate legally at 75 m.p.h. over most of I-25. Although the
existing BNSF rail can allow speeds up to 79 m.p.h., these speeds and any additional trains are considered
objectionable to the Native American communities through which the tracks pass. There is also concern
that fares on the train could not be competitive to other modes of travel without large subsidies that
currently have not been identified.

A review of the previous nine projects related to the provision of commuter rail service between
Albuquerque and Santa Fe was conducted in November 1993 by the Rail Planning and Projects Unit of
the NMSHTD. The findings of the review entitled “Rio Grande Rapid Rail Position Paper” were that the
Rio Grande Rapid Rail project “has not been established as a reasonable alternative to the growing
transportation concerns between Santa Fe and Albuquerque”. That study also recommended increased
support of vanpools and transit as a means for addressing any future congestion on I-25. Regardless of
opinions on the subject of passenger rail service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, nothing to date has
convinced any public or private organization to undertake implement of such service.

Scheduled passenger air service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe has been an “on-again-off-again”
proposition for many years. It is assumed that such service would be in competition with the bus shuttle
service that has operated routinely for many years between Albuquerque and Santa Fe rather than private
automobile travel. It would therefore have little impact on highway traffic operations. Scheduled daily
air service could reduce the demand for future commuter rail service if that were ever initiated.

Improvements to I-25
As noted previously, I-25 is located on Indian lands for approximately one-half of its distance between
Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The sovereign Indian nations have been reluctant to have additional land on
their reservations used for expanded freeways. Consequently, additional lanes to I-25 must be
accommodated within the existing right-of-way. However, this should not be a problem. As noted, I-25
is on 330 feet of right-of-way; more than adequate to accommodate a six-lane controlled access facility.

An initial evaluation of the existing I-25
facility indicates that expansion of the
highway can be done without substantial
reconstruction of the existing facility and its
related structures. There are eight bridges
over I-25 from the Bernalillo north exit to the
Cerrillos Road exit at Santa Fe including the
one at the U.S. 550 exit. All but one are part
of existing interchanges.      A preliminary
review shows that all existing bridges can          One of two bridges over I-25 that would require
accommodate additional lanes. Most of the           reconstruction prior to roadway widening
over crossings are either 2-span structures         because of bridge supports near the travel lanes.


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with one bridge support in the median or clear spans with sufficient clearance for two additional lanes.
Two bridges near mile post 270 and 271 are 5–span bridges with dual column supports in the median.


In addition to the structures over I-25, there are 7 bridges on I-25: 3 crossing large arroyos; 3 crossing
highways as part of an interchange; and one crossing the BNSF tracks. There also are numerous culverts
under I-25 for drainage purposes. Adding capacity to I-25 would require that these structures be widened
to accommodate the additional lanes. None of the existing conditions presents formidable obstacles to the
expansion of I-25 in the future should it be needed.


NM 14 CORRIDOR
This corridor has been an important connection between the East Mountain area and Santa Fe for over
100 years. Early activities in the corridor centered around mining operations in the nearby hills and
mountains that resulted in the export of minerals that included extraction of gold, silver, and coal. With
the demise of the mining operations, activities throughout the corridor slowed until recently. Currently
the major function of the corridor is to provide residents access to the employment opportunities and the
goods and services of either Albuquerque or Santa Fe. People who work in the Albuquerque area but
desire a more rural lifestyle are finding the East Mountain area of Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and Sandoval
Counties an attractive location. NM 14 also is designated as a National Scenic Byway, the Turquoise
Trail, and provides tourist access to local attractions such as the revitalized former mining communities of
Madrid and Cerrillos.


Existing Conditions
NM 14 begins in Tijeras at NM 333 just south of I-40. It continues north for about 46 miles to Santa Fe
where it intersects with I-25. North of I-25 it is also designated as Cerrillos Road, a major access into
Santa Fe. This corridor in conjunction with NM 344 also provides access between the recently
incorporated Town of Edgewood in Santa Fe County and the Santa Fe urban area.


Development Patterns
The corridor can be generally divided into three areas: the East Mountain area, the Edgewood area, and
the historic communities area. The East Mountains includes the area from I-40 at the Village of Tijeras
north to just past the Sandoval/Bernalillo County line. Low-density residential development is occurring
on both sides of NM 14 throughout this segment. The communities and large subdivisions of Cedar
Crest, San Antonito, Sandia Park, Sandia Knolls, Paa-Ko, La Madera, and San Pedro Creek Estates are
located in this area. It is estimated that there were as many as 9,000 people living in eastern Bernalillo
County and southeastern Sandoval County in 1995. Although not yet available, it is anticipated that the
2000 census will show that the area has grown substantially since 1995. This area is generally considered
a bedroom area for the Albuquerque area to the west of the Sandia Mountains. Although employment
along NM 14 is increasing, it continues to be highway commercial and service industry type employment,
with the majority of workers employed in the Albuquerque area. The grade school at San Antonito is the
largest employer in the area.


The Edgewood area, almost 30 miles east of Albuquerque, is a more recent growth area. On the western
edge of the Estancia Valley, people have moved to the Edgewood area to take advantage of lower cost
land as ranches have been subdivided into large residential parcels. Also largely a bedroom community
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to the Albuquerque area that is easily accessible via I-40, the area has grown rapidly over the last decade.
The population in this area in 1990 was over 3,000. Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments
estimates for 1995 indicate that there may have been over 4,000 people in the area in that year.
Preliminary 2000 census data indicated that the recently incorporated Town of Edgewood, only a small
part of the overall area, had a population of 1,893 indicating that the area as a whole is continuing to
experience growth. Employment in the area is limited largely to the service and roadside businesses
focused at the Edgewood interchange on I-40.


Farther to the north along NM 14 in Santa Fe County are the historic mining communities of Golden,
Madrid, and Cerrillos. Population in this area in 1990 was almost 2,500. Unlike the other two areas, this
area is focused towards Santa Fe rather than Albuquerque. Residential development is occurring along
NM 14 for several miles south of I-25. Within the historic communities, employment is related to
tourism activities and, as such, is not extensive. Just south of the NM 599/NM 14 intersection is the New
Mexico State Penitentiary which is the largest employer in the corridor. PNM has a large
maintenance/construction yard in this area as well.


Transportation System
The only continuous transportation facility in the corridor, as shown in Figure 2, is NM 14. It extends
northeast from NM 333 and I-40 at Tijeras approximately 6 miles where it is intersected by NM 536/306.
NM 536 extends northwest where it connects with NM 165 extending to I-25 at Bernalillo on the west
side of the mountains. NM 165 is closed during the winter months. NM 536 also provides access to the
Sandia ski area, Sandia Peak, and the Cibola National Forest. NM 306 extends east and provides access
to residential developments in that area including the community of Sandia Knolls.


Approximately 7 miles northeast of the NM 14/536 intersection, NM 14 is intersected by NM 344.
NM 344 runs southeast to the community of Cedar Grove and then south to Edgewood providing the
linkage between Edgewood and Santa Fe.


From the intersection of NM 344, NM 14 continues northeast through the communities of Golden,
Madrid and Cerrillos for about 29 miles where it intersects with NM 599. NM 599 connects to I-25 about
1,500 feet to the west of NM 14. The NM 599/I-25 interchange is the southern terminus of the Santa Fe
Relief Route that bypasses Santa Fe to the west and connects with US 285 at the northern edge of Santa
Fe. NM 599 also provides access to the Santa Fe Airport.


The character of NM 14 changes considerably
throughout its length.       The segment of
highway from NM 333 and I-40 to NM
536/306 at San Antonito is a 4-lane roadway
with about a 10 foot painted median. There is
2 to 4 feet between the driving lanes and the
curb extending along both sides of the
roadway. Right-of-way in this section is 120
feet. The shoulder is a designated bike facility
(route).                                                        Nm 14: South of San Antonito


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                                                 At San Antonito, NM 14 becomes a rural two-lane
                                                 roadway for the rest of its length until just south of the
                                                 NM 599 intersection. The highway consists of 2 lanes,
                                                 generally without shoulders. Shoulders of 1 to 3 feet are
                                                 present in some locations. Right-of-way in this section of
                                                 the corridor is generally 150 feet although there are some
                                                 short segments where it is as little as 80 feet depending on
                                                 the location.



          NM 14: South Of Madrid


From about MP 32 south of NM 599 to I-25 the typical
section is 2 lanes with 8 to 12 foot shoulders. There are also
short segments where there are left and right turn bays or 4
lanes to accommodate intersections or local business access.
Fence-to-fence right-of-way in this section generally
measured 200 feet.          Right-of-way through the I-25
interchange is listed in NMSHTD records as 100 feet south
of I-25 and 200 feet north of I-25.

                                                                              NM 14: Near MP 32


Approximately 2 miles north of NM 599, NM 14 intersects with I-25 at the edge of Santa Fe. NM 14
becomes Cerrillos Road at that point and provides one of the major accesses into Santa Fe providing
access to Villa Linda Mall, College of Santa Fe, the South Capital Complex, the Capital, and the
Downtown.

Although during the mining era there were several railroads in the corridor, there are virtually no
alternative transportation services in the corridor. No formal transportation services exist in the corridor
to the Santa Fe area. However, carpools and vanpools operate from the East Mountain and Edgewood
areas to the Albuquerque area, especially to Sandia National Laboratories.

Current Traffic Volumes
Current traffic volumes range from a high of over 14,000 vehicles per weekday just north of I-40 to about
1,700 vehicles per weekday south of Golden. Traffic volumes just south of the NM 599 intersection near
Santa Fe are about 9,000 vehicles per weekday.


Travel Characteristics
Although the corridor is not explicitly identified, an interpretation of 1990 Census data indicates that there
are few work trips from within the corridor to Santa Fe. According to the Regional Park And Ride Study
referenced previously of the few persons in the corridor commuting to the Santa Fe area 61 (87%) are
from Cerrillos with almost all (60) traveling to the Santa Fe Community College. Residents in the East
Mountain area and the Edgewood area largely depend on the Albuquerque metropolitan area for jobs.


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The majority of commuter trips to the Albuquerque area are single-occupant auto trips although
approximately 20% of the workers are ridesharing according to the 1990 census.


While commuter traffic is generally the type of traffic that is considered in examining traffic needs since
it is usually the highest volume, bicycle traffic, often on weekends, is a type of traffic that should be
considered because its characteristics are so different from auto travel. This is especially true on scenic
highways such as NM 14.


Future Conditions
The southern portions of the corridor are anticipated to continue to experience growth. This is largely
because of the relatively lower cost of land and the desire of people to live in a more rural atmosphere.

Population and Employment
The growth that will occur in this corridor is widely speculative. While population and employment
forecasts are not available for the northern portion of the corridor, growth is not anticipated to be of such
magnitude as to affect transportation decisions in the corridor. The southern portion of the corridor,
however, has been projected to experience substantial growth depending on the forecasts used. The
MRGCOG adopted forecasts, published several years ago, assumed continued aggressive growth and
projected that almost 35,000 additional people could be expected to live in the East Mountain/Edgewood
area by the year 2020. More recent planning activities, particularly Focus 2050 that was adopted as
overall policy for the region indicates that the growth by the year 2025 will not be as aggressive.
Preliminary forecasts for the year 2025 indicate that the additional growth may approximate 25,000 new
residents. While that is still a substantial number, from a transportation perspective that growth will more
directly impact the I-40 corridor since both the East Mountain and Edgewood area residents must
eventually use I-40 into the Albuquerque urban area. This assumes that the majority of jobs for these new
residents will continue to be in the Albuquerque urban area and not in the Santa Fe area.

Travel Forecasts
MRGCOG traffic forecasts for the year 2020 indicate that future traffic volumes may be as high as 24,000
vehicles per weekday just north of I-40 to about 5,000 vehicles per weekday south of Golden. This
assumes the more aggressive growth contained in the adopted dataset. Traffic projections using the
revised assumptions of the Focus 2050 plan have not been completed, but it can be assumed that the
volumes will be less than those projected for 2020. Future traffic just south of the NM 599/NM 14
intersection is expected to almost double to about 15,000 based on Santa Fe MPO 2020 forecasts.


Potential Transportation Improvements
Based on the existing traffic projections, widening of NM 14 is not considered to be necessary within the
next two decades. Safety improvements could be made to the existing highway however, such as the
improvements scheduled for a winding 9.5-mile segment of NM 14 beginning just north of the
community of Madrid. It was determined that a two-lane facility would meet the needs of the area but
that the existing geometry of the road should be changed to improve safety. Consideration should also be
given to shoulder widening improvements to current standards throughout the corridor north of San
Antonito to accommodate the increasing number of bicyclists, and in some locations pedestrians. It is
also possible that there may be a need for selected intersection improvements, especially in the Bernalillo
County portion of the corridor where the growth in traffic will be greatest.

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Ridesharing activities as part of the Albuquerque urban area’s TDM/TSM program should be supported.
Park-and-ride lots should be developed as appropriate to support ridesharing. This may reduce some of
the demand in the Bernalillo County portion of the corridor and the Edgewood area for travel to
Albuquerque. While not necessarily impacting NM 14, these activities would be beneficial for I-40.


NM 41 CORRIDOR
NM 41 connects the northern part of the Estancia Valley to the Santa Fe area. During the early part of the
last century, it was an important rail corridor for the distribution of agricultural products (particularly
pinto beans) from the Estancia Valley farms throughout the United States. The rail line, New Mexico
Central (the “Pinto Line”), intersected the BNSF mainline (then the AT&SF) at Kennedy (just west of
Lamy) before continuing into Santa Fe. It was dismantled several decades ago with the demise of the
pinto bean production.


Existing Conditions
This corridor begins at I-40 in Moriarty. The corridor extends almost due north into Santa Fe County
(about 2 miles north of I-40) for almost 34 miles before joining US 285 just south of Lamy about 14 miles
south of Santa Fe. US 285 intersects with I-25 about 7 miles east of Santa Fe.


Development Patterns
The corridor is rural with some large lot subdivisions north of I-40 near Moriarty and large ranches in the
remainder of the corridor. The population within the corridor is sparse. Once outside of Moriarty, the
only other population groups are in Stanley, Galisteo, and Lamy (small unincorporated communities) with
Galisteo being the largest. However, houses in these communities are estimated to be from 10 to perhaps
40 in number. Outside of Moriarty, employment is equally as sparse as population, being predominantly
agricultural or other home occupations.


The MRGCOG estimated 1995 population for the Moriarty area was almost 3,000 with slightly more than
1,000 jobs. The preliminary 2000 census shows the population of the City of Moriarty to be 1,765, a 26%
increase from 1990. Employment is largely associated with the tourist/travel/transportation industry with
numerous motels, restaurants, and travel/truck centers located in the city.


Transportation System
Although a rail line traversed the Estancia Valley
several decades ago, NM 41 is currently the only
major transportation facility in this corridor. It
extends from Moriarty north for about 9.6 miles
to the community of Stanley (MP 38.3) and its
intersection with NM 472. Continuing north it
passes through the community of Galisteo about
17.7 miles (MP 56) from Stanley. NM 41
intersects with U.S. 285 approximately 4.1 miles
north of Galisteo and almost 1 mile south of
Lamy. US 285 continues from the NM 41                          NM 41: At the I-40 frontage road
intersection about seven miles, past the                                 at Moriarty


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community of Eldorado, to intersect with I-25 seven miles southeast of the Old Pecos Trail interchange
into Santa Fe.

NM 41 is a two-lane rural highway throughout its entire
length. From I-40 for about 17 miles (MP 45.7) it has
8-foot shoulders (the shoulders are used to create a
4-lane segment for less than 100 yards through Stanley).
Lane width in this segment is generally 10 feet. Fence-
to-fence right-of-way was measured at 100 feet.

From MP 45.7 to the terminus of NM 41 with US 285
there are no shoulders. Lane width in this segment is 10
feet. Right-of-way in this segment is approximately 120
feet.
                                                                         NM 41: North of Stanley

US 285 is a recently reconstructed 4-lane highway from NM 41 to I-25.

Traffic Volumes
Traffic on NM 41 is light ranging from about 3,300 vehicles per weekday just north of I-40 to 1,600
vehicles per weekday near Stanley. Traffic on US 285 north of the NM 41 intersection ranges from
almost 4,500 vehicles per day near Lamy to almost 11,000 vehicles per day north of Eldorado. None of
these volumes are approaching the capacity of either NM 41 or US 285.

Transportation Services
There are no public transportation services in the corridor from Moriarty to Lamy. From Lamy to Santa
Fe there is the limited recreational passenger and freight rail service operated by the Santa Fe Southern
Rail Line as discussed above in the I-25 Corridor section. Shuttle bus service is also available from the
train station at Lamy to Santa Fe on an on-call basis.


Travel Characteristics
There is little information available on the characteristics of travel of the residents in the corridor. At the
southern end of the corridor, about one-half of the workers living in the City of Moriarty worked outside
their county of residence according to the 1990 census. Based on travel times provided in the census, it
can be assumed that almost all of them worked in the Albuquerque urban area. Assuming the
characteristics of the area surrounding Moriarty are similar to those of Moriarty, few travelers at the
southern end of the corridor are using NM 41 on a daily basis. Based on the characteristics of the
corridor, it can be assumed that travel on NM 41 is related to non-work travel such as shopping for goods
or conducting business in either Moriarty or Santa Fe. Since Santa Fe is the county seat for most of the
corridor, some travel in the corridor to Santa Fe is undoubtedly related to county government business.
Just to the north of the corridor on US 285, travel characteristics change dramatically with peak travel
related to the commuter travel between Eldorado and Santa Fe. The regional park and ride study
indicated that there were about 1,900 work trips from Eldorado to Santa Fe in 1990 with almost 80% of
those trips via single occupant automobile. Travel from Eldorado to Santa Fe, including by alternative
modes, is being addressed in the Capital Region Subarea (North Central Region) portion of the LRMTIS
as noted in the Introduction.


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Future Conditions
All available information indicates that the corridor (Moriarty to Lamy) will remain rural for the next few
decades. Farming and ranching will continue to be the dominant activities within the corridor in the
future, although forecasts by the MRGCOG for 2020 indicate that there will be some residential growth
between Moriarty and Stanley and to the west of NM 41 toward the Edgewood area.

Population and Employment
The most substantial growth in the corridor is projected to be in the Moriarty area. As noted above, the
population in the City of Moriarty has grown about 26% over the last decade according to recent census
data. MRGCOG year 2020 forecasts published March 2000 in SPR-280 “Road Network Evaluation for
Northwest Torrance County and Southern Santa Fe County” indicate that the population along NM 41
north of I-40 in Torrance County is anticipated to grow from an estimated 757 people in 1995 to 3,000 by
2020. This is the result of the continued growth anticipated in the overall Moriarty area. Employment in
the same area is anticipated to increase to 390 by 2020 from an estimated 1995 employment of 36. It can
be assumed that some of this employment will be related to typical development associated with an
interstate interchange.

Travel Forecasts
MRGCOG traffic projections included in SPR 280 indicate that 2020 traffic on NM 41 is anticipated to
increase to about 5,300 vehicles per day just north of I-40 and 2,700 vehicles per day just south of
Stanley. The draft “Transportation Deficiency Report” recently completed for the North Central Region
by TransCore includes traffic projections for US 285 from Lamy to Santa Fe. PM peak hour traffic on
US 285 is anticipated to grow about 66% (segment average) from 1998 to 2020. Traffic of these
magnitudes is within the capacity of the existing roadways.

Potential Improvements
Traffic forecasts for 2020 do not indicate that there is a need to increase the capacity of NM 41 or
US 285. As traffic increases on NM 41, there may be a future need for safety improvements such as
wider lanes or shoulders since most of the highway is narrow (10-foot lanes exist in some segments) and
has no shoulders. Shoulder improvements should also be considered to accommodate the increasing
number of recreational bicyclists using the more rural scenic highways, especially on weekends.
However, adequate right-of-way exists throughout the corridor for such improvements. US 285 has just
recently been widened to 4 lanes. Ridesharing from Eldorado to Santa Fe should be encouraged to help
alleviate potential future congestion of US 285 as that area grows. Park-and-ride lots should be
developed as appropriate to encourage ridesharing.


RECOMMENDATIONS
The transportation system within the Albuquerque to Santa Fe Corridor is adequate to accommodate
anticipated growth over the next 20 years. This is based on the sketch-level analysis included in this
report. However, long range population and employment projections for both the Albuquerque and Santa
Fe urban areas are uncertain at this point in time. Consequently, the following recommendations include
some contingency planning.
       Alternative Transportation Modes – The use of alternative transportation modes should be
       encouraged where possible.    However, consideration of passenger rail service is not
       recommended. Support should be provided for efforts by both the Albuquerque and Santa Fe


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  urban areas related to ridesharing. Encouragement should be focused principally on the I-25 Corridor
  and, to a lesser degree, the NM 14 Corridor and northern NM 41/US 285 segment. This should
  include the development of park-and-ride lots, where appropriate, and providing financial support as
  appropriate in the provision of vans in order to encourage ridesharing.

       Highway System
   –   I-25 Corridor – Current traffic projections indicate that the existing highway system should be
       able to accommodate the magnitude of traffic forecasted for 2020. However, should additional
       capacity be needed because of more intense peaking or higher volumes of heavy commercial
       vehicles, it can be accommodated as noted previously. Accommodation of additional lanes
       should also be considered in any reconstruction of the bridges or culverts on I-25.
   –   NM 14 Corridor – The existing highway system capacity in the NM 14 Corridor, in general,
       should be adequate to accommodate future projected growth. However, there may be some
       intersection improvements necessary as traffic increases on highways intersecting with NM 14
       and at I-40. Consideration for such improvements should be included in any future
       reconstruction of the intersections. Additional right-of-way may be needed at those locations.
   –   NM 41 Corridor - Even the most optimistic projections for the NM 41 Corridor do not indicate a
       need for an increase in capacity for the transportation system in this corridor. However, as traffic
       increases, safety improvements should be considered. Lane widening and construction of
       shoulders should be considered in any future major maintenance activities in the corridor to the
       degree possible.




October 2001                                                                                       Page 20

								
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