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Farmington seeks input on 2045 transportation plan

Previous meetings stressed importance of freight and rail to economy
Recent renovations to downtown Main Street reflect changing transportation priorities in the city.

FARMINGTON – The Farmington Metropolitan Transportation Organization is hosting a virtual open house to get community input before releasing its draft planning document later this summer.

The transportation organization covers the cities of Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington and Kirtland, and portions of San Juan County. The second round of online meetings will be from noon to 1 p.m. or 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 13. The first open house sessions were held in late June.

To participate, community members should email fmpo@fmtn.org for computer or phone log-in details.

The transportation plan has to be completed and adopted by Sept. 30, with a draft version of the plan available for public comment by the end of the summer, according to the MTO.

The 2045 metropolitan transportation plan will study the existing transportation conditions, growth projections, funding analysis, a freight-use breakdown, a project list, performance measures and climate change analysis.

The document is a planning tool to identify future transportation investments and policies and goals for the region for the next 20 years. The transportation plan is required to be updated every five years and reflect population projections and travel patterns.

The 2040 plan, passed in September 2015, included public input on the importance of freight and rail service, the creation of bike and pedestrian-friendly paths and beautification efforts. Participants in public meetings emphasized the role freight rail has in the region’s economy, exporting mining goods and agricultural products, according to the report.

Yet, they stressed the importance of reducing the impacts of large trucks on the community by making sure they adhere to a truck route.

Recent changes to Farmington’s transportation landscape reflect the values the community expressed in the public meetings.

Construction continues in parts of downtown’s Main Street, where the city hopes changes like roundabouts, slower traffic speeds and fewer lanes will slow traffic in the corridor. Previously, it was common to see large freight and cargo trucks driving on Main Street.

In 2019, the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization adopted a plan to increase bicycle and pedestrian walkways. Since then, the city has expanded trail projects to link communities, provide access to parks, schools and businesses, and encourage more people to commute on bicycles.

The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation and local agencies supplied grants to conduct the analysis and draft a planning document. Red Apple Transit and the New Mexico Department of Transportation are also participating members of the organization.

lweber@durangoherald.com

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