The Mid-Region Council of Governments marked another year of regional successes by hosting its 2018 Annual Luncheon on September 13, 2018. Several attendees representing central New Mexico came together to recognize the accomplishments of collaborative efforts from across the region.
As I reflect upon the past year, I realize how vision coupled with determination can transform an idea into reality. Whether it is spurring our regional economy with transportation planning, improving our bike share program, or reaching out to our youth with career guidance - all are opportunities and challenges we face together at the Mid-Region Council of Governments.
This year, the blend of challenges in the region ran the gamut. We saw the development of a Regional Transportation Safety Action Plan in response to being singled out for our high rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. The plan targets safety improvements from policy to enforcement to design - for all roadway users.
We also saw Rio Metro launch the next generation of Bike Share! This expansion took bike share from 75-bikes to 250! Additionally, we are one of the first areas in the U.S. to establish ourselves as a visionary community on the forefront of urban mobility.
Speaking of mobility, we also witnessed our elected officials come together and rally around the effort to meet a federally mandated$50-million dollar price tag requiring the implementation of PTC – or “Positive Train Control” in the Rail Runner corridor. PTC is a technology that can prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments, and other unforeseen mishaps on the tracks.
And while we consider the safety of moving people through the region by rail, we are also setting our sights on the economic development aspect of moving freight – specifically, the region-wide Transportation and Logistics Hub Study, which recommends that we move forward in the areas of rail cargo, air cargo, and policy development to boost our regional economy. This is an exciting time for us as we take the study to the next level.
On the Workforce front, we partnered with community leaders and elected officials to connect our soon-to-be high school graduates with local businesses in Sandoval County to help increase the career development of young people. We are also completing the second year of the TechHire Program in which we expect to provide training and job opportunities for more than 400-high tech jobs in our region.
We have many people to thank for the accomplishments of the past year—our governing boards, elected officials, member agencies, and certainly our dedicated COG staff, whose tireless work has provided the formula for success for our region.
As we go forward, we must continue to collaborate on a regional level—while keeping an eye on what’s important to us locally—and work to create opportunities for all.
Dewey V. Cave
MRCOG Executive Director
Read the MRCOG 2018 Annual Report (PDF)