Farmington — Regional planning experts say they've reached a small milestone in an ongoing effort to make San Juan County's roads more friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization completed a set of core values and goals for its ongoing "complete streets" project, which aims at designing a roadway to accommodate all modes of travel, including walking, bicycling and public transit.
Although the work has not yet ended, planning officials say they are closer to establishing an overall framework for the program.
"We want to get design guidelines in place," said Joe Delmagori, planner at the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization. "We're getting the buy-in."
Beginning around November 2012, Delmagori and Duane Wakan, an associate planner with the organization, have been making presentations to city and county governments in San Juan County, to local businesses and community groups.
It could be about one year before the planning organization is prepared to present a comprehensive design plan to local governments, Delmagori said. At that point, it will be up to each elected body whether to implement the plan's guidelines.
In addition to making roads safer, planning officials hope that it will help promote economic development in the region by promoting smart transportation flows, future development patterns and pedestrian access to local businesses.
But implementation could be a challenge in some areas, said Mary Holton, Metropolitan Planning Organization Officer and director of Farmington's Department of Community Development.
"The issues will be in retrofitting," she said.
The complete streets concept is easier to implement on new road projects rather than in more fully developed areas, Holton said, but aspects of the concept can always be built into existing roadways.
"I think it's a great project," she said. "To me, it's a work in progress."