Want to weigh in on the future of transportation in region? Virtual open houses planned

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A new roundabout at Orchard Avenue and Main Street was part of the Complete Streets renovation.

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization is inviting the public to learn about the transportation plan for the next 25 years and weigh in on the draft document.

The draft 2045 transportation plan can be viewed at farmingtonmpo.org.

The MPO consists of San Juan County, the City of Farmington, the City of Aztec, the City of Bloomfield and the Town of Kirtland. It is tasked with regional transportation planning.

Every five years, the MPO updates a metropolitan transportation plan looking at least two decades into the future. The 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan examines regional transportation issues and creates a roadmap for meeting those needs.

Members of the public can learn about this plan during a virtual open house from noon to 1 p.m. or from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. Registration is required in advance by sending an email to fmpo@fmtn.org by Aug. 12 to receive the login information. The email should state which of the two sessions you plan to attend.

Input gathered in the public meetings will help develop the plan.

The second phase of the Complete Streets project is underway in downtown Farmington. The Main Street renovation was one project identified in previous metropolitan transportation plans that is now coming to fruition.

The plan has been in the works since fall 2019 and the contractor, Bohannon Houston Inc., began by hosting a series of public meetings to gather input last fall prior to drafting the document that is now available for review.

More:As San Juan County population declines, transportation plans change from growth to outdoor rec

One project that has been identified in previous transportation plans was the downtown Farmington Complete Streets renovation, which aimed at revitalizing Main Street and making it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

More:First phase of Complete Streets project enters home stretch in downtown Farmington

That project is currently underway and the draft 2045 plan calls for a similar project in downtown Aztec on Main Avenue.

The downtown Farmington Complete Streets renovation focused on creating a more pedestrian-friendly corridor, pictured on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. The draft 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan calls for a similar project in downtown Aztec.

The plan looks at all modes of transportation including automobiles, public transit, bicycles, pedestrians, aviation and freight. It also lays out how to best utilize federal funding to achieve those goals.

Transportation may look different in 25 years as more electric vehicles and possibly autonomous vehicles come onto the road and as more people begin working from home, the draft plan highlights. Additionally, the region is looking to increase outdoor recreation. These three factors will be considered as the region develops projects in the future.

A map is placed on a table, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, of the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization boundaries.

The draft document further calls for increased connectivity of bicycle and pedestrian trails.

The MPO will likely adopt the plan in September. Additional information is available on the project website.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e