NMDOT BOTCHES HIGH ROAD TO TAOS
NEW SHOULDERS UNSAFE FOR BIKES; PAVING CONTRACTOR IGNORES PLANS, SAVES SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!
NM 41 in the Galisteo Basin: A Bicycle Advocacy Success Story in the Making?
“Partial Paving:” BCNM’s effort to stop the systematic destruction of bicycle facilities on New Mexico’s state highways
Prepared for National Bike Summit, Washington DC, March 8-11, 2011
ISSUE: In the past decade, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has institutionalized the practice of applying partial overlays on New Mexico’s state highways. Today it is difficult to find a highway shoulder in New Mexico that does not have one or more seams posing a significant hazard and inconvenience to bicyclists and other highway users. These seams, along with the failure to maintain shoulders and the frequent use of “rumble strips” that fail to leave sufficient space for use by bicyclists, are a violation of NMDOT’s requirement to provide for multi-modal transportation along highways under state and federal law.
Report for August 17, 2010 Board Meeting
“Clear shoulders at last?” on our web site describes June 7 meeting with Gary Gironand Max Valerio of NMDOT. Sec. Giron offered that maintenance overlays would goedge to edge throughout state highway system. Only exceptions may be Interstates andInterstate-like highways. Article also submitted with photos to NM Bicyclist.
Follow-up:Engineering committee met in August. Diane Albert has e-mailed Sec. Giron askingwhen and where we will start to see maintenance overlays edge-to-edge. In response toinquiries regarding Old 66 and Tramway, District 3 has stated that they have received nodirective on this. Once we hear back from Sec. Giron we will ask BCNM members tovolunteer to follow up at the District level, coordinating through the BCNM Engineeringchair.
Regarding new construction, Chris Tough is to contact District 5 public informationofficer regarding current reconstruction of High Road to Taos to ensure that finalpavement will go to edge. He also may inquire about maintenance projects andabout “GRIP” project underway on US285. Some segments of this GRIP project arecomplete and have either not included the shoulder in reconstruction at all or haveintermittently rebuilt the shoulder, but with the final layer of pavement on the travel lanesonly. The intermittent treatment is very ugly, for bikes it’s no worse than not treatingthe shoulder at all but shows how low a priority shoulders are for NMDOT in general,and specifically how unimportant consistent shoulders are to NMDOT in the “valueengineering” analysis, even though consistency the key to a proper bicycle facility.
Some of the US285 and all of the High Road to Taos (NM76) project are in Rio ArribaCounty. Chris and Diane may inquire with Rio Arriba County Commissioners to seeif a resolution might be passed requesting complete paving, similar to City and Countyof Santa Fe resolutions on NMDOT’s “partial paving” techniques. Diane is also tospeak with BikeABQ to see if there is interest in pursuing similar resolutions by City ofAlbuquerque and Bernalillo County.
Clear Shoulders at Last? NMDOT Secretary Vows to End Practice of Partial Maintenance Overlays.
BCNM Board members met with Gary Girón, Secretary of the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation, and Max Valerio, NMDOT’s Deputy Secretary for Programs and Infrastructure, in Santa Fe on July 7, 2010. The meeting came in response to a follow-up inquiry from BCNM Board President Diane Albert to the Office of Gov. Richardson. It was noted that BCNM’s letter to the Governor on the topic of improving paved shoulders on state highways was already a year old and, despite clear direction from the Governor’s Office, there had been no action to date on NMDOT’s part. Central to the discussion as usual was NMDOT’s practice of “partial paving” – not fully including paved shoulders in construction and maintenance overlays. As pointed out in BCNM’s letter of June 26, 2009, this now-standard practice has led to a statewide proliferation of pavement edges within the very space that is most needed for safe and convenient bicycling on New Mexico highways.
BCNM Letter to Governor Richardson
Follow the link below to a letter written to Governor Bill Richardson in 2009.
A Letter from NMDOT 01/27/2009
Follow the link below to the PDF version of a letter that was written in early 2009.
BCNM PRESS RELEASE: Mon., July 27, 2009
Local governments take steps to ban hazardous paving technique by NMDOT; State bicycle coalition pushing to eliminate practice statewide.
NMDOT Has Entered Into a Two-Year, $64,000 Agreement With a Bike Advocacy Group to Have the Group Provide Safety Trainings Across the State
The state and a bicycle advocacy group are working together in an effort to increase the number of bicycle safety trainers in New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Transportation announced Thursday.
NMDOT said in a news release that it has entered into a two-year, $64,000 agreement with the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico to have the group provide League of American Bicyclists' safety trainings around the state.
NMDOT Secretary Gary L.J. Giron said the safety trainings will target schools and law enforcement agencies as well as Scout and 4-H leaders.
Diane Albert, president of the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, said, "Simply knowing how to ride a bike is not the same as knowing how to operate a bike safely and legally. This joint effort with NMDOT will provide teachers and students the tips, tools and techniques for safe bicycling throughout New Mexico."
The NMDOT news release said the trainings will be offered in several communities in New Mexico outside of the Albuquerque metro area. The city of Albuquerque has had a successful bicycle-safety program in place for more than a decade, according to the news release.
Content reported by the ABQ Journal.