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Mayor Tim Keller, City Leaders Unveil Vision Zero ABQ 2040 Action Plan at Bike to Wherever Event

Plan puts Albuquerque on track for zero roadway fatalities and injuries by 2040

May 21, 2021

Mayor Tim Keller and city leaders released the Vision Zero Action Plan today during the Bike to Wherever event, which will put Albuquerque on track for zero roadway fatalities and injuries by 2040 on the annual Bike to Work Day, which this year is being deemed as Bike to Wherever Day. Bike to Wherever Day is the City of Albuquerque’s nearly post-pandemic way of saying to get out on your bicycle and enjoy your city.

Albuquerque’s Vision Zero Action Plan is a comprehensive, multi-agency and community effort to reduce the amount of traffic deaths and injuries that occur on the roadway every year in Albuquerque. Hundreds of people in New Mexico are killed or seriously injured every year in crashes when driving, walking or riding their bikes on New Mexico roads.

“Far too often we see tragic crashes on our roadways,” said Mayor Tim Keller.  “We are putting this plan forward to make sure that at the City we are doing all that we can to prevent these incidences from happening—looking at everything from speed management to how we design our roads.”

The City of Albuquerque Vision Zero Action Plan highlights the importance of prioritizing areas of our city with high populations of vulnerable road users; which include walkers, transit riders, seniors and children, motorcyclists, and people with disabilities. 

Albuquerque’s commitment to traffic safety in the Action Plan is organized around six thematic goals that Vision Zero in Albuquerque will strive to achieve:

  • Engineering & Design – Prioritize the safety of all road users and use Complete Streets design principles when designing, building and reconstruction roads.
  • Safe Speeds – Lower speeds save lives!
  • Policy, Regulation & Practice – Establish and advocate for proactive and equitable policies, regulations and practices that center safety for all roadway users.
  • Education & Encouragement – Promote a culture of safety and care among all road users.
  • Walking & Rolling – Increase opportunities for people throughout the city, particularly in vulnerable communities, to safely walk, ride a bicycle and use mobility devices.
  • Data & Transparency – Use data to make decisions, prioritize funding, and evaluate traffic safety projects to ensure that Vision Zero initiatives are equitable and transparent. Document and incorporate people’s lived experiences as data to ensure that community perspectives are considered.

Riding the trail is the best way to ride your bike to Balloon Fiesta Park this year,” said District 2 City Councilor Isaac Benton. “Vision Zero and Complete Streets is a major step toward slowing down traffic and making our roadways better for everyone.”

“Transit is a crucial component in keeping our city connected and helping make our streets calmer, safer places,” said ABQRide Director Danny Holcomb.” We are glad to be a Vision Zero partner and pride ourselves on moving people around our great city.”

“We know that 40% of Albuquerque’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and we listened to residents who want better access to safe and sustainable transportation during our Climate Action Planning process,” said Kelsey Rader, Sustainability Officer. “Improving traffic, cyclist, and pedestrian safety will help lower our carbon footprint, while also enhancing our air quality and personal health.”

In addition to the 6 goals to increasing traffic safety, Vision Zero also comes with a call to action for all roadway users:

  • Respect all other road users – We are all going somewhere, and we all have the right to get there safely.
  • Slow down – Lower speeds save lives!
  • Eliminate distractions – Focus on the road and look for other people.
  • Stop at lights and stop signs – Make a complete stop and look for other people walking, riding a bicycle and driving before proceeding.
  • Yield to others – Particularly those walking and riding a bicycle; be extra cautious near crossings.
  • Consider walking or biking for short trips – It’s good for your health and the environment, reduces congestion and may help raise the visibility of people walking and riding bicycles.

The Vision Zero Task Force met regularly for over a year and during the pandemic to create an Albuquerque specific action plan. The task force will continue to collaborate to make immediate strides in improving traffic safety. Continued outreach through the Vision Zero Task Force will build on existing partnerships and expand engagement with communities most impacted by traffic violence.

The City of Albuquerque and local partners, with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) Program, conducted a Pedestrian Road Safety Assessment (RSA) on Louisiana Blvd. between Gibson Blvd. and Lomas Blvd. This RSA built on many years of advocacy among residents of the area, including the development of a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan with the Healthy Here Initiative and efforts made to illustrate traffic safety opportunities through ABQ CiQlovía. This RSA will bring short- and long-term traffic improvement opportunities to the communities along Louisiana Blvd.

Mayor Tim Keller and City Council also passed the updated Complete Streets ordinance which calls for roadway design that efficiently serves all road users. This approach incorporates best practice design standards that are successful in other cities around the country.  These roadway design improvements include:

  • Traffic calming techniques
  • Wider sidewalks
  • Protected bicycle lanes
  • Protected mid-block crossings
  • Bulb-outs or sidewalk extensions
  • Street trees
  • On-street parking
  • Lighting Improvements

Mayor Tim Keller and City Council have led the charge in road and pedestrian safety, installing over 500 street lights in less than four years, encouraging safe cycling and free bus fares and recently completing the new Indian School Bicycle Notch along the N. Diversion Channel which allows bicyclists and walkers to take the entire N. Diversion Channel trail from UNM North to Balloon Fiesta Park without interacting with traffic.

The Vision Zero 2040 Action Plan was developed as an interdepartmental and interagency working group and consists of many city departments, local agencies and community partners from across the city and state. To view the entire action plan and partnering organizations please click here.