Cuba Miles and NM 126, Sandoval County 13 Pedestrian/Bicycle Path

 

The Village of Cuba and its Step Into Cuba partners have created an active transportation and outdoor plan consisting of interconnected present and future sidewalks, paths, and trails.

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A central feature of that plan is planning for an approximately one mile route connecting US 550, Cuba’s main street, with its village park and public school campus. About onehalf of the distance would take advantage of a network of recreational trails in the park.

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The project is being planned and implemented in three stages:

·       Stage 1: construction of a network of surfaced park trails, funded by the NMDOT Recreational Trail Program for FFY 2016-2017

·       Stage 2: construction of a NM 126 walkway/bikeway from the park to US 550 sidewalks

·       Stage 3: construction of a Sandoval County Road 13 walkway/bikeway from the park to the Cuba Public Schools campus and trails

 

Stage 1 Status

A design and engineering agreement has been executed between NMDOT and the Village of Cuba. Consultation was obtained by the Village through an application for technical assistance from the US National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance program. The Village selected a design, engineering andconstruction oversight consultant - Morrow, Reardon, Wilkinson and Miller Landscape Architects - through a competitive bid process.  A 30%designplan was presented for further community input at a public meeting held 7/27/2016. A topographic survey is currently being performed by Terrametrics, Inc. under an agreement with the Village.  The project will follow the rest of the NMDOT T/LPA Handbook process and hopes to have final plans and specifications ready for a construction bid packet by early 2017.

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Stage 2 Status

A project feasibility form for a NM 126 pedestrian/bicycle way has been submitted, approved and prioritized by the Mid Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) Regional Transportation Planning organization (RTPO). A Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) application for FFY 2018-2019 is being prepared for submission to the RTP) by 11/18/2016. A survey of all adjacent property owners for property improvement and easement possibilities will be conducted by Step Into Cuba volunteers following their identification from Sandoval County Assessor Office public tax records.

The NM 126 project will take advantage of a wide shoulder created on the north side of the highway.

The NM 126 project will take advantage of a wide shoulder created on the north side of the highway.

Stage 3 Status

A meeting of key stakeholders in planning the rest of a safe route to school was held 9/27/2016 at the Cuba Public Schools.  Participants including the Village of Cuba, Sandoval County, NMDOT, MRCOG, Cuba Schools and Step Into Cuba. Strategies for adding safety features to the existing roadway as well as planning extension of the pedestrian/bicycle way to the school campus were discussed and preliminary responsibilities assigned. 

The roadway has been measured by the Sandoval County road planner, and a survey of all adjacent property owners for easement possibilities will also be conducted by Step Into Cuba volunteers following acquisition of Assesor Office records.

Public Information Tool

Step Into Cuba is discussing the possibility of preparing a short (3-5 minute) YouTube video to show to landowners adjacent to proposed pedestrian/bicycle ways on NM 126 and Sandoval Coubnty 13 as part of its interviews. The purpose is to educate about the importance of pedestrian/bicycle safety, community pedestrian/bicycle connectivity, active transportation, and potential to improve private property frontage through voluntary easement acquisition. 

 

In attendance:

NMDOT: Marticia Holiday, JoAnn Garcia

Sandoval County: Fred Marquez, Mark Morales, Jason Clark

Village of Cuba: Mark Hatzenbuhler, Gilbert Dominguez

MRCOG: Maida Rubin

Cuba Schools: Tony Archuleta, Donna Lovato

StepInto Cuba: JoAnne Hughes, Dick Kozoll

A preliminary plan for a non-motorized corridor from US 550 to Cuba Schools campus was presented (see second attached document).  Attendees discussed possibilities of more immediate safety improvements of County Road 13, and a longer term new walkway/bikeway.

Possible short term safety improvements

Current speed bumps near “triangle” installed after a previous pedestrian collision. They are not optimal. Other measures include more signage, speed feedback devices, road striping and warning, rumble strips, additional crosswalk(s).  Sandoval County will investigate these measures.

Easements

Prescriptive easement is practically determined by County as width of road corridor actively maintained.  Sandoval County measuredCounty 13 roadway corridor, will investigate existing easement, and suggest next steps.  Adjacent landowner easements would be desirable in many places, especially along west side of road (to avoid a crosswalk before the school property). Step Into Cuba will inventory and interview adjacent landowners to explain proposed project and assess availability of easements.

FY 17/18 LGRF and MAP Funding 

The Village of Cuba and Cuba Schools are elgible for this direct state funding for improvements related to transportation to/from school, such as new bus parking and walkways on the campus. JoAnn Garcia provided contacts for this: Jill Mosher, Engineer (Jill.Mosher@state.nm.us) and Ricardo Garza (Ricardo.Garza@state.nm.us).  Dick Kozoll has contacted them to request assistance, copying Village and School representatives above.

Safe Routes to School Funding

Status of this Federal program in New Mexico was clarified by MRCOG. Its funding has been integrated into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). An application for FFYs 2020-2021 for the long term walkway/bikeway is a possibility. This might best come from the Village with evidence of strong County support. Matching funds (or a hardship waiver for these) would be needed. Feasibility of an application will be determined by the Village and County after preliminary easement work is completed.