The Mid-Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MRMPO) has begun work on the region’s long-range transportation plan, Futures 2040.
Futures 2040 is the update to the 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and will include projections and forecasts of what Albuquerque's metropolitan area will look like in 20+ years from now in terms of population, employment, housing, number of vehicles on roadways, and other considerations. The plan will evaluate how we should invest in our transportation system to maintain and improve mobility, safety, and economic growth by determining what roads need to be built or improved, where transit investments should be made, and how to best provide bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The plan supports coordinated transportation and land use planning to make the region as livable and sustainable as possible.
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Three Futures 2040 public kickoff meetings were held on November 5th, 6th and 7th in Los Lunas, Bernalillo, and Albuquerque. Information from those meetings (both from the presentation boards and the PowerPoint presentation) are now available here: Futures 2040 Public Kickoff Presentation
Informational boards on topics covered in the MTP were presented at our kickoff meetings. Copies of those boards are available in PDF format here:
Futures 2040 will include two important new elements: scenario planning and a Long-Range Transportation System Guide, which is an update to the Future Albuquerque Area Bikeways and Streets (FAABS). The Long-Range Transportation System Guide will provide guidance on right-of-way widths, roadway access and multimodal and context-sensitive design.
In an effort to develop a more robust analysis of potential growth in the region, MRMPO is integrating scenario planning into Futures 2040. Scenario planning is a tool to evaluate the tradeoffs of different development patterns and measure the impacts of how we are growing or could potentially grow on our region's transportation network, land consumption, environmental quality, and economy.
Scenario planning considers:
For example, one scenario could target job and housing growth around existing and future transit lines and measure the impact of that targeted development on vehicle trips and congestion across the region.
Why do we do scenario planning?
For more information about the FHWA scenario planning program and to see the materials developed and presented at the workshop, see links below.
An important first step in the scenario development process is to receive feedback from stakeholders about where we want to go as a region and what our future might look like. We envision three stages in our outreach.
MRMPO is currently reaching out to groups to discuss our regional challenges and needs. Areas of particular interest are water resources, economic development, and active living. The success of this effort depends on broad participation and collaboration, and we encourage you to contact us and stay involved with this effort.
MRCOG was recently selected to participate in a study to consider how climate change analysis can be integrated into the long-range transportation and land use planning process. The Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project will assess the costs and benefits of a series of growth scenarios to determine how best to manage congestion, reduce emissions, and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project will assess the costs and benefits of a series of growth scenarios to determine how best to manage congestion, reduce emissions, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It is important to note that these are the same scenarios that will be utilized for the 2040 MTP. The region was selected in part due to its arid climate that is vulnerable to droughts and wildfires and air quality concerns related to mobile-source emissions.
The project is a partnership between MRCOG, the Federal Highway Administration, and federal land management areas including the Bureau of Land Management, National Parks Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and will build upon the analysis conducted as part of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Futures 2040. The project also provides funding support for developing and analyzing potential alternative growth scenarios and incorporating environmental and natural resource variables into MRCOG’s modeling environment.
The first step in the project will be to build off of a recent Upper Rio Grande Basin Study completed by the Bureau of Reclamation to consider future climate conditions in the region. In particular, the project will consider the ranges of potential changes in temperature and precipitation levels, and whether those changes will make the region more vulnerable to events such as droughts, wildfires, and flooding. Potential climate futures may include conditions remaining more or less constant or becoming hotter and drier over time.
Through the study the MRCOG region will serve as an example for the other metropolitan areas by considering ways to improve air quality and mitigate the effects of climate change through greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies as part of our long-range transportation plan development process. Transportation results in almost 30 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. and there are significant opportunities to improve conditions locally by reducing vehicle miles traveled through various strategies or encouraging less energy-intensive forms of transportation. The region currently experiences relatively high levels of particulate matter emissions, as well as ozone or (O3), which forms when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) – common vehicle emissions – are exposed to sunlight.
The study will consider the impacts of climate change on New Mexico with particular emphasis placed on both the supply and potential demand for water resources over the coming decades. Water resource levels may vary greatly depending on changing precipitation and temperature levels throughout the Rio Grande Basin (for more information see the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Rio Grande Basin Study. What is more, the level of growth that is projected for the four-county region (about 500,000 new residents by 2040) may increase the strain on water supplies. Analysis will be performed on how best to adapt to potential changes in water supply in the region, as well as how consumption patterns may vary depending on the forms that development takes within the region.
The Climate Change Scenario Planning Project will be conducted alongside Futures 2040 and will be completed by winter 2014/2015.
Futures 2040 MTPDevelopment scenarios that will be utilized for Futures 2040 will be subject to additional analysis related to climate change impacts. All results will be summarized and integrated into the MTP.
Climate Change Action PlanThe Federal Highway Administration will author an Action Plan for the region that will outline strategies to respond to projected water resource availability, manage growth to reduce water and energy consumption and protect vulnerable lands and resources.
GuidebookThe FHWA will document the process employed in the MRCOG region and outline how it could be reproduced in other areas around the country.