Station Area Plans
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Station Area Planning & Development

Town of Bernalillo Plan

The Town of Bernalillo is a small, historic community located approximately 18 miles north of Albuquerque.  Town residents value the community's authenticity and style of life, though the area is experiencing increased real estate market pressure due to its proximity to Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.  

Recognizing this pressure and the opportunities the Rail Runner presents, in September of 2006 the Town of Bernalillo adopted a moratorium on building permits in areas near the community's two rail stations:  the downtown Bernalillo station and the Sandoval County US 550 station.  At that point, a planning effort -- including a 4-day design workshop -- was initiated to develop land use and transportation concepts for the areas near both stations.

A Community Vision for Transit Oriented Development was adopted by the Town of Bernalillo in October of 2007.  The plan includes goals and objectives for the areas near the stations, circulation recommendations (including new streets, street improvements, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities), and public space and park recommendations. Land use concepts in the plan include commercial and residential uses, and the plan contains building design recommendations that reflect transit oriented development principles.  Downtown BernalilloAdditionally, the plan identifies a number of housing types that are consistent with the Towns heritage and architectural style while being consistent with TOD principles. For more information:

Downtown Bernalillo Rail Runner Station Area

Downtown Bernalillo
Perspective looking east from Camino del Pueblo to the Downtown Bernalillo Station

The plan extends the vibrancy of Camino del Pueblo through a lively shopping street to the Downtown Bernalillo Station. Those not using the train may choose to visit the area to stroll the shaded sidewalks, to browse the shop windows or to meet with neighbors. A safe and inviting station will greet rail passengers, who will immediately recognize Bernalillo's rich history and character.

This vision is not far from what Bernalillo is today. But, in order to achieve this, in the time of big box stores and sprawling residential development, some important improvements have been identified:

  • A lively shopping street connecting the station to Camino del Pueblo, providing public space for outdoor dining, performance areas, farmer's market, retail storefronts and places to simply relax.
  • Safe, lighted and shaded sidewalks connecting the Rail Runner station to homes, local businesses and Camino del Pueblo.
  • Additional parking to serve local businesses and other destinations near the station.
  • New roads and pathways to ease circulation and provide safe and convenient routes for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • New commercial and residential development that will be "neighborhood sized" and will look and feel like those found along Camino del Pueblo.
  • Revitalized acequias and historic trails to provide vital links to residential areas and community open spaces.
  • New housing that offers maximum choice in size, type and price that is designed to reflect Bernalillo's architectural styles and sustainable building practices -- all within a convenient walk to the station.

Sandoval County US 550 Station Area

multipurpose_path.jpg
An example of a multi-purpose path linking the Town of Bernalillo Rail Runner stations to surrounding neighborhoods

Located where some say the state's wine industry started, this station blends Bernalillo's historic characteristics with the more modern, active setting of the US 550/I-25 corridor. This station will have an increasingly important transportation role by providing connections between the Rail Runner and numerous bus and shuttle linkages -- and will soon serve as the gateway station for future Rail Runner service north to Santa Fe.

For residents, the station area plan encourages a feeling of real community - instead of simply a parking lot and a place to catch the train. Stores and offices -- lined with active sidewalks and pedestrian paseos - inspire a vibrant "sense of arrival" for visitors to the area.

Pedestrian paths, some along the acequia, will make for a comfortable and relaxing walk between the station and nearby houses, businesses, schools and of course, the annual Bernalillo Wine Festival.

To achieve this vision, improvements identified for the station area include:

  • Mixed-use development and new residential development on vacant parcels within walking distance of the station.
  • Bike routes that will connect the station area to a network of existing and future bike lanes.
  • A pedestrian and bike connection under US 550 that will safely and comfortably bring people to the high school and north.
  • Creation of "sense of arrival" through landmark architectural elements, direct views of the Sandia Mountains and the addition of trees and a vineyard-themed parking lot.
  • New parks, public open spaces and enhancements to the historical trails and acequias to reflect the vineyard and rich agricultural history of the area.

See also: 

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