Farmington focuses on Complete Streets

Hannah Grover
Main Street as seen Tuesday in Farmington.
  • The city of Farmington has several Complete Streets projects planned
  • An engineering firm is designing construction blueprints for the downtown Complete Streets project
  • Other Complete Streets projects include 20th Street and Foothills Drive

FARMINGTON — Over the past few years, the city of Farmington has looked at ways to make roads safer for people who are riding bikes or walking.

During a Tuesday night meeting, the City Council approved a contract with Occam Engineers, Inc. for construction blueprints for phase one of the downtown revitalization "Complete Streets" project as well as 30-percent complete interim construction documents that include above ground and underground information for the rest of the project. The city will pay the engineers $384,000 plus tax. It has allocated about $415,000 for the project.

Once prepared, these documents will allow the city to get bids for the construction of phase one, which is a section of Main Street between Miller and Orchard avenues. The Complete Streets project is currently unfunded, but the designs will allow it to be shovel ready when the funding is secured. The entire project is estimated to cost up to $12 million.

Main Street as seen Tuesday in Farmington.

Downtown is one of several areas the city wants to make safer for pedestrians and bikes.

"We want to promote multi-modal forms of transportation," said city councilor Nate Duckett, who also chairs the policy committee for the Farmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, when reached by phone today.

The MPO is hoping to have local government embrace the idea of Complete Streets.

Duckett said the redesigned streets will promote a healthy community and bring residents away from the 1960s idea that the only way to get from one place to another is using a car.

Already, the city of Farmington is working on a project on 20th Street. Duckett said the visual clutter of electric poles and wires will be removed as the electrical lines are buried. The project will also improve the sidewalks and place a buffer between the sidewalks and the streets. Another project the city has planned is the Foothills Enhancement project, which will include bike lanes and walking paths.

Duckett, who grew up in Denver, recalled biking on paths located off of the roadways.

"You felt safe as a kid riding a bike in those areas," he said.

The city hopes its downtown revitalization project, which includes Complete Streets, will also encourage businesses to locate in downtown. The Complete Streets project could help encourage business development by providing a sense of place and a safe setting with a plaza-like feel that will attract people, according to Mayes.

Occam will be paid through funds in the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency's account. Mayes explained that the city sets aside a certain amount each year into a fund that is similar to a savings account. The money in this fund is earmarked for projects related to the revitalization of downtown Farmington. The fund, after paying Occam Engineers, has a little more than $1 million.

"These are funds that have already been set aside," Mayor Tommy Roberts said during the council meeting.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.