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09-07-1994 LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION MP O ZATION TOWN OF MESILLA — CITY OF LAS CRUCES — DONA ANA COUNTY LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION PUBLIC NOTICE The following is the Agenda for the Las Cruces Metropolitan Planning Organization' s Policy Committee Meeting to be held on Wednesday, September 7, 1994, at 7 : 00 p.m. , in the Las Cruces City Council Chambers, 200 North Church St . , Las Cruces, New Mexico. The City of Las Cruces will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodation (s) for people with disabilities who wish to attend a public meeting. Please notify the City at least 24 hours before the meeting. Telephone 526-0000 or TDD number, 526-1222 . I . CALL TO ORDER II . REVIEW OF MINUTES III . NEW BUSINESS A. Amend the Bylaws of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Las Cruces MPO concerning membership, quorum, and attendance requirements - Resolution 94-009 . B . Amend the Las Cruces MPO Transportation Plan to address the Traffic Congestion, Public Transportation, and Intermodal Management Systems as required by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 - Resolution 94-010 . IV. DISCUSSION/OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST V. ADJOURNMENT Publish: Sunday, August 28 , 1994 • :14 x, P.O. DRAWER CLC LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO 88004 PHONE (505)/526-0620 LAS CRUC METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORIZATION POLICY COMMITTEE ACTION FORM FOR MEETING OF: September 7 , 1994 AGENDA ITEM: REVIEW OF MINUTES ACTION REQUESTED: Review and Consideration of Minutes - Policy Committee Meeting on August 10 , 1994 . SUPPORT INFORMATION: 1 . Policy Committee Meeting Minutes for August 10, 1994 . DISCUSSION/OPTIONS: None . �I 1 2 3 4 5 LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION 6 MEETING WEDNESDAY. SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 7 The following is the Agenda for the Las Cruces Metropolitan Planning 8 Organization's Policy Committee Meeting held on Wednesday. September 7, 1994, at 7:00 p.m. , in the Las Cruces City Council Chambers, 200 North 9 Church Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico. NQS PRESENT: Tommy Tomlin, Chairman- (City of Las Cruces) 10 John Haltom (City df Las Cruces) Herculano Ferralez (City of Las Cruces) 11 Ray B. Luchini (Dona Ana County) Edward Southworth (Town of Mesilla) Thad Box (Town of Mesilla) 12 NQS ABSENT: Kenneth Miyagashima (Dona Ana County) 13 Michael Cadena (Town of Mesilla) STAFF PRESENT: Brian Denmark, MPO Officer 14 Michael Parks, city Planning David Carpenter, City Planning 15 Minerva Sanchez, Recording Secretary 16 CALL TO ORDER Mr. Tomlin called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. There was a 17 quorum. 18 APPROVAL OF MINUTES Mr. Tomlin said, the first order of business is approval of the 19 minutes. I ' ll entertain a motion. 20 Mr. Southworth moved for approval of the minutes. Mr. Luchini seconded. There was no further discussion and the minutes were 21 approved unanimously (6--0) . NEW BUSINESS 22 Mr. Tomlin said, the next item under New Business is Amend the Bylaws 23 of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Las Cruces MPO concerning membership, quorum, and attendance requirements - Resolution 94-009. If you recall, we asked staff to bring_ us some options. They forwarded 24 those options to us, and now, if Mr. Denmark would like to go over those and the justification for them. The Committee can ask any 25 questions that they may have. 26 Mr. Denmark said, thank you, Mr. Chairman. As Councilor Tomlin mentioned, we did bring this issue up at the last Policy Committee Meeting due to our concern with the lack of the ability to have a _ 27 quorum at the TAC level . In doing so, we suggested that possibly the Policy Committee should review the operating policy and By-laws in 28 which the establishment of the TAC is identified, as well as the voting and non-voting status of the members. Currently, we have a fairly large group that would be considered a part of the TAC. It not only 29 includes Las Cruces. Dona Ana County, Town of Mesilla, and New Mexico State University, but it also includes Las Cruces Public Schools, Las 30Cruces Planning and Zoning Commission, EIZ Commission, Flood Control Commission, Las Cruces Traffic Safety Board, EBID, and Dona Ana Utility 31 Council . In addition, we have non-voting members which represent BLM, NM State Land Office and the Las Cruces Area Transit. What we have 32 done is prepared some options for the Policy Committee's consideration 1 _ LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 and discussion. Included with those options are exhibits that would -_ outline changes necessary within the Sy-laws established for the Technical Advisory Committee. We have passed out corrections or 1 changes to you tonight of things we noted. We have also included a copy of the Joint Powers Agreement. Based on some research staff did 2 after a question was raised by Councilor Haltom about whether or not we would need to change the Joint Powers Agreement in addition to the By- 3 laws, the 1985 Joint Powers Agreement would have required not only a change to the By-laws but to the Joint Powers Agreement. However, there was an amendment to that particular agreement, in 1989 which 4 gives the Policy Committee the authority to establish the voting procedures for the Technical Advisory Committee. 5 The first option listed within your packet, changes the characteristics 6 between voting and non-voting members. There is some confusion in the By-laws where there's wording that lists not only voting members but it also mentions active and non-active members. So, obviously, one thing 7 that we're suggesting is that we clarify that particular language and identify those that are voting members and non-voting members. Under 8 this particular option, we are limiting the voting members to only seven members. Two each from the City of Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, and Town of Mesilla: then one representative from New Mexico State - 9 University. We would then suggest that you separate the non-voting members from the remainder of the current particular Technical Advisory 10 Committee which includes everything from BLM to the Dona Ana Utility Council . There's a couple of asterisks at the bottom that you' ll 11 note. The Dona Ana Utility Council , it is our understanding has not been very active and they have not participated in the Technical Advisory Committee. We would suggest that they be removed from this 12 particular board. We have received a request from the Mesilla Valley Traffic Safety Council in which they would like to participate. So, 13 this particular option and all those others are suggesting that we eliminate Dona Ana Utility Council and add Mesilla Valley Traffic 14 Safety Council . Mr. Haltom said, Mr. Denmark, what is the Mesilla Valley Traffic Safety 15 Council made up of? Are they entirely Las Cruces, or do they include - Dona Ana County as well? 16 Mr. Carpenter said, it is our understanding that they include both the 17 City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County. - Mr. Denmark said, and they are appointed. 18 Mr. Haltom said, in some instances aren't they ex-officio? People hold 19 that position if they hold a certain position with the City or the County. 20 Mr. Carpenter said, I think there are some members of the public that are also on that board. We haven't officially received their request 21 in writing for them to participate, but they were informed at the August TAC meeting to submit their request in writing. 22 Mr. Haltom said, I just wanted to know what their official status is. 23 That's the matter that concerns me, and how they were chosen. Mr. Tomlin said, they do have an education program. Some of the local - 24 spots for teenage drinking and driving on TV are sponsored by the Mesilla Valley Safety Council . I think they receive some funds from 25 the Traffic Safety Bureau and do some community work. Mr. Haltom said, it would be logical to strike the Dona Ana Utility 26 Council, and add the Safety Council to the non-voting members. I would think. If nobody has ever attended from the Utility Council , then 27 there's no point in having them on the list. Their function is quite different anyway. 28 Mr. Denmark said, the advantages to this particular option is that it allows everyone that is currently participating through the TAC process 29 to continue. So, we won't be hurting someone's feelings that they're 30 -2- 31 32 � 4 �i LAS CRUCES MEIROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 not being considered part of the planning process. At the same time, it eliminates or mitigates the problem we're having with a quorum. The 1 voting members are the ones that are typically going to the meetings the majority of the time, so we feel this particular option from 2 staff's point-of-view makes it a lot easier to have a quorum. Mr. Ferralez said, Mr. Chairman on page two of the existing policy, I 3 see on Part B, we have eliminated the sentence "non-active members shall not be counted in determinining a quorum. " So, that means that 4 under the new one, a non-voting member could be counted toward a quorum. Is that correct? 5 Mr. Denmark said, currently everyone on that list with the exception of BLM, NM State Land Office, and Las Cruces Area Transit are considered 6 active voting members, meaning they have to be there to accomplish a quorum. So, we need eight members to get a quorum, now. The problem 7 is we're not getting eight members at the meetings. It really became evident when we had to approve the Transportation Plan, which was a major project, and we needed a lot of participation. We just weren't 8 getting it. What this would do is eliminate voting status, but still allow the non-voting members to continue to participate but they 9 wouldn't affect the quorum at the meeting. The quorum would come from the actual voting members. They could participate, provide some input 10 and comments, but they wouldn't be an official voting member. Mr. Ferralez said, so, previously a non-voting member could have been 11 considered a member as part of a quorum? 12 Mr. Denmark said, everybody on the list with the exception of the first three under non-voting were considered a part of the quorum 13 requirements. Mr. Ferralez said, and under the new one, option one, they would not 14 be. 15 Mr. Denmark said, right. We would still send them a packet and still consider them as part of the TAC, but they would not have that official 16 status. They would not be required to be there for quorum purposes. Mr. Ferralez said, won't that defeat the purpose of trying to get 17 people to attend so that you do have a quorum? 18 Mr. Denmark said, what this does is places the responsibility on the voting members, which would be City of Las Cruces, Town of Mesilla, and Dona Ana County. They're the ones that participate the most anyway. 19 We usually don't have a problem getting them to participate, because they obviously have an active role in this process. So, under this 20 particular option, that's one of the advantages because we should be easily able to accomplish quorum with the seven members that would be 21 required to participate. Mr. Ferralez said, okay, I can understand that. Previously there had 22 to be one member from the non-voting membership? 23 Mr. Denmark said, we needed a total of eight voting members to make a quorum. 24 Mr. Haltom said, on page three (Option 1) , under "Active Member", you use the term active again and you include "Active Member", and I 25 thought the intent was to eliminate "active and non-active" entirely. If you're trying to get at attendance, you could do what we do on our 26 Boards and Commissions here in the City. That is if a member doesn't attend 75% of the meetings,, then they are automatically struck from the membership. I think that would be a way to handle this. And then when - 27 a person loses membership, then the authority that appointed him could then be informed that the member has been removed and should be 28 replaced by somebody else. I think that's what you're getting at. Mr. Denmark said, an "active member" would be everyone, either voting 29 or non-voting. 301 - - 31 32 - i f 0 LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 Mr. Carpenter said, if they're not participating then staff would be able to stay on top of getting them reappointed. 1 Mr. Haltom said, then why not remove that designation because they're 2 going to get confused if you carry it over. Simply say attendance instead of active member on Part B, and say "attendance is required at all TAC meetings. If any member has not attended 75% of the meetings in 3 a 12 month calendar period, shall automatically be removed from the Committee". That's what we have on our boards and commissions. We 4 could establish a procedure for removal . As you stated now, it doesn't indicate. . . .wait a minute as I need it, you don't even need Part B. 5 You can just remove Part B. Mr. Southworth said, why do you want to do that? If, for instance, the 6 member from the M Commission didn't attend 75% of the meetings, we would notify the Commission that they have to appoint another member. 7 Mr. Haltom said, it's covered in Part C. We can remove Part B because 8 it serves no purpose. Removal is covered in Part C. Mr. Denmark said, we could strike all of Section B. 9 Mr. Haltom said, while we're still on procedures, if you go back to 10 three (Membership) , this states that it should be determined by the most recent Joint Powers Agreement. I think it should be changed to reflect the most recent Joint Powers Agreement which states membership 11 will be determined by the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee. We can determine membership by resolution. I went back and 12 looked at my copy of the Joint Powers Agreement which I thought was the most recent copy and it stated that the Agreement had to be amended in 13 order to change the membership. However, the new Joint Powers Agreement which is in effect, states that the change can be made by resolution by the MPO's Policy Committee. 14 Mr. Tomlin said, are there any other questions on Option 1? Okay, 15 let's go to Option 2. Mr. Denmark said, Option 2 essentially is the same as Option 1 except 16 that we've added yearly appointments for two non-voting members. The advantage to this is that it gives the non-voting members a feeling 17 that they are an important part of the Committee and not just considered non-voting status and the Policy Committee does not care 18 about their input. Obviously that raises the number of voting members and the voting quorum goes up by one. If the voting members are selecting two appointments, then they are most likely going to pick two 19 appointments that are participating a lot, and are really active. The rest of it is basically the same. The other advantage is that both of 20 the options do is it puts BLM and the State Land Office and Las Cruces Area Transit on equal status with all the other committee members. 21 Mr. Tomlin said, could you go over the procedure whereby the two appointments from the non-voting block to vote during that year would 22 be accomplished. 23 Mr. Denmark said, it's my understanding that during their annual meeting, usually in January or the first meeting thereafter, the voting members would be responsible to select two appointees for that year 24 from the non-voting block to serve as voting members for that particular year. 25 Mr. Tomlin said, the voting members would select them? 26 Mr. Denmark said, I'm sorry, the non-voting members would select them from their block. 27 Mr. Carpenter said, the advantage to that is if the member who is 28 appointed to the voting position is absent, their alternate may substitute and vote, or the TAC Chairman may appoint a non-voting 29 member just for that meeting to substitute. 30 - 31 32 - I LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7. 1994 Mr. Southworth said, it would affect the quorum? 1 Mr. Tomlin said, yes, but since a non-voting member who was there at the meeting could be appointed by the Chairman, then it would be easier 2 to make up the deficiency in a quorum situation. I personally like this option a lot. I think that it maintains a real close tie with the people that are in the non-voting section to the process and certainly 3 with the list we have from the Flood Commission, EBID and the Traffic Council , their input is important. I really like this option and I 4 think if the Chairman can appoint someone from the group that's there means they will have an opportunity to participate. 5 Mr. Denmark said, this was our recommendation. Our impression from the discussion last month was that we really didn't want to eliminate the 6 input we've been receiving from various groups. We still want them as part of the process, but we don't want them to affect the process in 7 trying to get things done. This allows them to feel that they're still part of the process. 8 Mr. Haltom said, I agree with you, and I don't see any point in going through the third option because that essentially continues the 9 existing system and we all agreed that it needed to be changed. I suggest that we select Option 2 and that we strike the Dona Ana Utility 10 Council from the list and retain the remainder as presented to us. I so move. Mr. Southworth seconded the motion. 11 Mr. Tomlin said, so, what we have is a motion to pass Resolution 94- 009, with Option 2 inserted in order to outline the membership of the 12 TAC Committee and the procedures. 13 Mr. Haltom said, Mr. Chairman, if I might amend that motion to include the modifications in the procedures which we made while discussing Option 1. Mr. Southworth seconded the amendment. 14 Mr. Box said, Mr. Chairman, I'm wondering why we don't leave the non- 15 voting membership open and flexible instead of naming the members; just have these that are currently members but as time goes on we may have other groups that may want to come in or others with additional 16 expertise that we may want to add. Why not leave that open-ended with language in there that says "as appointed by the MPO" or something like 17 that? 18 Mr. Southworth said, Mr. Chairman, I think that's a good idea because the topics that are hot at any given time do change with time and 19 require different expertise. Mr. Haltom said, don't we have something about this in here. 20 Mr. Box said, I didn't see it in there, but I might have missed it. It 21 seems to me that since it is an advisory committe and we have different problems coming up at different times, that it might be beneficial to leave it open. 22 Mr. Haltom said, it's in the new Joint Powers Agreement. 23 Mr. Denmark said, the Joint Powers Agreement states that the Policy 24 Committee can make changes by resolution. Mr. Haltom said, we can do it by resolution, so that would take care of 25 it. 26 Mr" Denmark said, we're always being asked about that, but staff believes that it should come from the Policy Committee. We prefer it 27 that way. Mr. Tomlin said, so that takes care of it. The only other thing you 28 might want to do would be to make it less cumbersome and have approval my minute action rather than having to draft a resolution. I don't 29 know whether that would help cut down staff time or not. 301 -5- 31 - 32 i LAS CRUCES MEIR(IPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 Mr. Denmark said, I think eventually we're going to have to review the - Joint Powers Agreement and make modifications. 1 Mr. Tomlin said, any other comments or questions? 2 Mr. Haltom said, Mr. Chairman, we need to vote on the amendment first. - 3 Mr. Tomlin said, I think, that we have that all in one exhibit, so that takes care of the option that you're placing in there. All those in 4 favor, say aye. All opposed? The motion carried unanimously. _ 5 Mr. Tomlin said, the next item is Amend the Las Cruces MPO Transportation Plan to address the Traffic Congestion, Public Transportation, and Intermodal Management Systems as required by the 6 Interodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991- Resolution 94- 010. I ' ll entertain a motion for approval . 7 Mr. Haltom said, Mr. Chairman, so moved. Mr. Luchini seconded. 8 Mr. Tomlin said, the floor is open for discussion. 9 Mr. Denmark said, Mr. Chairman, this is a minor amendment to the - Transportation Plan. As most of you are aware, we have always been in 10 the process over the past few years of collecting data for the decision- 10 process. That not only includes traffic count information but also different types of transportation information that we use either 11 for analytical purposes or modeling or just plain old analysis in decision-making. In technical terms we refer to it as our Congestion 12 Management System which we've had in place. What we need to do is make sure that the appropriate language is included in the Transportation 13 Plan so that we show that we are meeting ISTEA requirements and that we are collecting the data that's necessary in order to conform to all appropriate rules and regulations. With that, we've included the 14 proposed language that would be added to the Transportation Plan. Mr. Parks is the one that provided the language so if you have any 15 questions, he would be glad to address them. - Mr. Haltom said, Mr. Chairman, I have no questions. I think he's taken 16 care of it very handily. 17 Mr. Tomlin said, if there's no further discussion, all those in favor signify by saying aye. Any opposed? The motion carries unanimously. - 18 Mr. Tomlin said, under Other Items of Interest, we have some representatives from the Highway Department and they are prepared to 19 make a presentation on the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan. 20 Mr. Denmark said, I'd like to introduce Mr. Jim Kozak, State Highway Transportation Department. He is responsible for what we have just 21 completed which is the MPO Transportation Plan but he goes beyond that and covers the entire state. He is now getting out and soliciting 22 input from the various communities throughout the state. Mr. Kozak said, thank you. This is Roy Cornelius of my staff. I'm the 23 supervisor of the Special Studies Section of the Planning Division of the State Highway and Transportation Department. I'm here tonight to brief you on our 20 year plan for the state. Essentially what I want 24 to do is tell you why we did a 20 year plan, how we did it, what we've found, and some of our goals and objectives that are being proposed. 25 Why we did it is because of the Intermodal Surface Transportation - Efficiency Act of 1991. This Act was a very significant piece of 26 federal legislation. It changed the manner in which the separate states related to the federal government in a variety of ways. A few of the key factors for this is that it mandated long--range multi-modal 27 planning. Most states have had individual modes involved in their departments of transportation. This piece of legislation for the first 28 time mandated that the states exam the relationships, the linkages between several modes and how they could be fostered and improved. Within that piece of federal legislation which is well over 1,000 pages 29 long, there was only one position mandated that each state must have 301 -6- 31 32 � s LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 and that's a Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, and there's a very strong message there. That message is alternative transportation. For the 1 first time, a bill that funds highway departments and transportation departments now recognizes other modes of transportation. Here in New 2 Mexico, we have actually established an Advisory Group to the New Mexico Highway Commission. It's a Bicycle, Pedestrian, Equestrian Committee. We think this is the only one in the nation. We have had 3 on our State Laws for a number of years language which has said that we have to consider bicycle and equestrian with any project that involves 4 state funds, so we've tried to formalize that. Now we're finding out that there's quite a bit of interest. Thirdly, ISTEA makes more roads 5 eligible for federal funds and makes the funding more flexible. Essentially what the federal government has done is approach the states with a block grant. There is, in essence, two pots of money. One if 6 for the national highway system or the interstates and primary highways, and then the rest of the money is for everything else. The 7 federal government has said we will not make decisions for the states on where your projects will be located: here's the money, you guys make the decision. I= emphasizes planning cooperation. For a number of 8 years we have had MPO organizations in the state in each of the metropolitan areas. Now, we are also moving out into the rural areas 9 with Rural Planning Organizations. This cooperation is becoming more and more important, and I' ll touch on this a little bit more as we. go 10 on. When ISI'EA emphasizes planning cooperation, it's exactly what you gentlemen are doing this evening. This is what the RPOs do. As funds become more scarce, because as I said earlier that more roads are 11 eligible for federal funds—local roads, and rural minor collectors—as we increase the number of roads, we're not particularly increasing the 12 money. So, if we are going to have an impact on a local area, it's critical that the local area be in a position to advise the state as to 13 where those scarce monies are spent. I= also provided a new category of funds. Enhancement Funds. I 'm sure all of you are familiar with Enhancement Funds. In the past, highway administrators used to 14 talk about projects being within the driving lane, between the stripes, on either side of the driving lanes or on the right-of-way. That's 15 where we worked. Now, we can actually fund projects that are not on a road. There's ten different areas that IS'TEA funds through Enhancement Funds. Landscaping or streetscaping, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, 16 archealogic studies, historic building preservation: it's a whole new ballgame. Finally, the one point we wanted to bring up is that ISTEA 17 proposes a national highway system and a national transportation system. The national highway system is the federal government's way of 18 saying the interstate era is over. They want to expand that so that all interstates are included and certain key highways, primary highways within the state, are included. Each state in the nation was given an 19 allotment of miles, both urban and rural, and in combination we have approximately 2700 miles to deal with, and I worked on that project. 20 We worked with other states to make sure that we could have connections. Overall, the National Highway System which is currently 21 in front of Congress for their consideration in January will be composed of 159,000 miles. The National Highway System will be the backbone of the national transportation system. The National 22 Transportation System, at this time, is very unclear. We do not have a clear understanding of what the federal government means by a national 23 transportation system. We., New Mexico, in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain States and the Western Association of State Highway Administrators of WASHTA have supposition papers that they we will not 24 take a definite stand on a national transportation system until we can completely understand what is being proposed. There is a fear that a 25 great deal of monies will be concentrated in high population areas at the expense of low population areas, so we're trying to keep an eye on 26 that. So that's why we're out here and why we're doing a 20 year plan. 27 Let me go through the process that the State of New Mexico has been following. First, there was an Intermodal Planning Conference. This 28 was held in Albuquerque, and was sponsored by the Alliance for Transportation Research, the Federal Highway Administration and the State Highway and Transportation Department. The Alliance for 29 Transportation Research was awarded one of six grants in the nation for 30 -7- 31 32 C �I LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEM7EMER 7, 1994 - the development of models for other states to use in long-range planning. Essentially what this conference did was to seek input from 1 those people who are primarily not heard from in the more traditional sense such as we have here tonight. We then developed and published a 2 public involvement procedure. This document was required by I= to explain how the state would involve people in the whole planning process at key points in the process. This had to be published 5 days 3 prior to any public meetings we had. During that time, while this public involvement procedure was out for review we asked the various 4 modes in the Highway and Transportation Division to develop a 20 year plan. This is aviation, bicycle/pedestrian, highways, international, 5 rail and transit. We then, took those plans had 10 public meetings throughout the state. The one we had here in Las Cruces was a very successful one. There was a very good turn out. We asked the citizens 6 in these meetings to comment on each individual mode and the linkages that they could forsee or how could those linkages could be improved. 7 We had a total of 125 people attend these meetings. This is not a great number, however public involvement by the State Highway Transportation Department is a new endeavor as it is for the citizens 8 to be involved with us. We. will continue this process and we fully anticipate more input. We asked the citizens to comment and we gave 9 them a variety of ways to do it. They could talk directly to a modal representative. They could mail in there comments. We gave them a 10 questionnaire and a comment sheet and a stamped envelope. We established an 800 number, so they could call us. We had a court reporter at each of these meetings. We ended up with a 22.5% response 11 rate which isn't bad. That's above average and I' ll touch on those findings and comments a little later. We then took those citizen 12 comments to 20 year plans and edited those down into an Intermodal Plan. This is the plan that each of you has received. It incorporated 13 the public comments and also comments that we received from elected officials, from the planning organization, other state and federal agencies. We currently have close to 400 copies of this document out 14 for review and input. We're holding 10 additional meetings. This the fourth of the second round of 10 meetings that we've held. We' ll be 15 making this same presentation to each of the MPO/RPO policy groups. We anticipate that our final draft will be ready for submission to the State Highway Commission for their consideration as a regularly 16 scheduled meeting in October, and as per their approval of that plan at their December meeting. This will allow us to submit it to FHWA on 17 January 1, 1995 in accordance with I=. 18 As I mentioned, we received 22.5% response rate. A few of the things that we found in traveling around the state and in the citizen comments included that the citizens feel that the highways are in good shape. 19 As a matter of fact, we asked them to rank the highways as being excellent to poor. If you look at that distribution of responses. from 20 excellent to poor, from interstate to local, it follows exactly the funding pattern. Interstates are great and local roads need work. We 21 had a definite indication from the citizens of the support for public transportation, but not a willingness to use it. All of the citizens want more transportation alternatives, and they would like for those 22 alternatives to be funded with dedicated taxes. That may be a comment on today's government. They were very clear. They wanted specific 23 money to go to specific processes. We believe that the highways of this state will be the predominate form of transportation into the future; low population; large geographic areas. There are major 24 barriers currently to intermodal development of air and rail facilities at both the state and local levels. We can not fund construction of 25 rail facilities because of the anti-donation clauses in the state constitution. We can fund some minor rehab projects and some planning 26 studies, but until that is changed we cannot enter into a partnership. With the Federal Aviation Administration, their funds for improvement of airports flow directly to individual airports not through a state 27 agency. Because of that, there tends to be a lack of coordination. There's a lack of priority and also a lack of timing which would allow 28 development of airports into city developments. Public transit tends to be . rimari an urban needand in. hose areas c ve clusters f communitclusters o communities I guess a�' htie besfexamp�e 29 of that would maybe. rxoswe.11 . Cay lobad, Arteoia, ard thof-m-, i}-ttaro: in 301 -8- 31 32 I f LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 the more rural areas, there were absolutely no comments on any form of public transportation. In Clayton, I asked a gentleman at the meeting 1 what he thought of public transportation. He responded with, "he had it, it was parked outside. " They have long distances to go. There's 2 no commuting range. There needs to be greater coordination between state and federal agencies. As an example, we read a transportation study done for the City of Farmington. There are 17 organizations 3 providing transit of some form or other in Farmington. Clearly, there needs to be some better cooperation and coordination. There needs to 4 be better coordination in the private transportation industries. Frankly, this is the weakest link in the whole partnership concept of - transportation in the state. We don't have a good relationship. In fact, we don't even have a bad relationship. We have no relationship. We don't have a good understanding of what their goals and objectives 6 are. This is something that we will be working on. Funds to develop and maintain all transportation facilities do not exist and they never - 7 will . We will never have enough money to do what everyone wishes us to do. This is why it is so essential to have cooperation and planning for prioritization of projects. It is absolutely critical . 8 Alternatives to state and federal funds must be developed. We cannot rely on state and federal funds. There has to be other ways. In other 9 states there's a great move now for toll roads. There is not a great demand for toll roads in this state, but there must be other sources of 10 funds. Long-range planning will be a continuous process. That's not a finding, that's a fact. We will be going through this process 3 years from now. We think that will be a good timeframe for us. We have come - 11 up with some suggested goals for this state. One, to provide a transportation system that is safe and efficient for its users to the 12 greatest extend possible. Two, provide for a wide variety of transportation opportunities from among transportation modes that are 13 integrated and connected in a reasonable and efficient manner to the greatest extent possible. Notice that I said greatest extent possible twice now. Those extents tend to be funding and other nonfinancial 14 constraints. Three, provide appropriate transportation opportunities for all areas of the state. Four, improve all facets of the state 15 transportation system to the extent of physical and other constraints allow. Modal plans have also produced several general goals and objectives which the Department hereby affirms and will endeavor to 16 meet in the short and long term. I ' ll touch on that a little bit more - in a moment. And lastly, to provide access to transportation planning 17 and project initiation process for all interested parties; and that's exactly what's going on here tonight. So, essentially what we're 18 talking about is efficiency, safety, improvement, access and involvement. There are a number of common objectives; what we call modal objectives that kind of cross all boundaries. We want to insure 19 that all transportation facilities that are provided or regulated by the state meet minimum safety and access standards. We wish to provide 20 access to transportation in remote areas of this state. We need to be sensitive to the needs of commercial interests. We will work with 21 private transportation providers to improve services. We will develop or plan for linkages between modes where they do not currently exist or are inadequate. We will promote useage of transportation modes other 22 than single occupancy vehicles. This is primarily an urban issue. We will encourage the participation of all interested citizens in 23 transportation planning process. We will support the MPO/RPO process. We will establish and integrate mandated management systems and implement as a planning tool including a data base including all 24 existing transportation facilities. This is a part of what you were addressing tonight with your management system. We are also developing 255 computer bases now that can integrate with all of those. Those systems should go a long way in the future in helping to guide us towards 26 better decisions. We will preserve and enhance where reasonable existing transportation facilities including rights-of-way, with future transportation potential . We will pursue new and innovative methods to 27 enhance financing the state's transportation system. And finally, we will implement specific projects delineated in the State Transportation 28 Improvement Program, the Aviation Division Capital Improvement Plan and the Public Transportation Planning Bureau Program. Those are some of our comments. Let me emphasize to you that what you have received is a 29 very preliminary draft. It was a difficult exercise to take close to 30 31 32 Y � Y i 0 0 LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING iiRGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7. 1994 500 pages and mold those into a document. This document right now is being reviewed by a working group in Santa Fe. We've had two 1 meetings. Our idea is to kind of smooth it out by making sure the language is consistent and also to make sure we've hit all of the right 2 points. At our next meeting we will be inviting representatives from each of the MPOs and the RPOs to comment on the planning prior to it being finalized into a draft that's presented to the Commission in 3 October. I 'm not here to ask for any type of approval from you. but I' ll be glad to receive any comments that you might have. 4 Mr. Box said, I was just listening to your objectives and several times 5 you mentioned financial restraints. Nowhere in your presentation did I hear you mention environmental quality, cultural diversity, maintenance of historical ambience—many of the things that are near and dear to 6 New Mexico's heart. Does that fit in anywhere? 7 Mr. Kozak said, absolutely. 8 Mr. Box said, where in your plan and objectives does it fit? Mr. Kozak said, all of those issues are mentioned within the plan. 9 They weren't mentioned specifically in those items that we chose to - discuss tonight, but they are there. I think that's an excellent 10 Point. Mr. Box said, it didn't show in your presentation. It comes through as 11 here's another highway engineer building a road without considering the people that are around the road. 12 Mr . Kozak said, es, I understand what y you're saying. As a matter of _ 13 fact, I think that when we looked at one of our goals, when we said improve all facets of state transportation system to accept the physical and other constraints allowed. Within the plan we did talk - 14 about air quality, water quality and quality of life. So your point is well taken. 15 Mr, Haltom said, I have a question on page 41 where you have a number - of cities, the legend indicates New Mexico Transit, you have some 16 stars, solid stars, circles, some stars that aren't solid, but no legend, so I have a hard time figuring out what that means. 17 Mr. Kozak said, we had a problem in getting this draft out and not only 18 with a map like you're looking at, but with all of the maps. The maps in the final version will be color coded so you will see when and where 19 things will be happening. - Mr. Haltom said, yes, but you' ll need to designate what the colors 20 mean. 21 Mr. Kozak said, with 400 copies we elected to go with black and white. In the final draft, all of these illustrations will be greatly changed. 22 Mr. Haltom said, I was just curious. 23 Mr. Kozak said, the circle means Section 9, urban preliminary transit, - the star is a Section 18, rural public transportation system, the solid 24 star is Section 16, which is elderly and disabled. Mr. Tomlin said, are there other questions or comments? 25 Mr. Ferralez said, this doesn't necessarily deal with what we're going 26 through now, but in the 60's when Interstate 25 and 10 were being planned for Las Cruces. We dealt with an agency called the Bureau of Public Roads. The reason why we dealt with them was because there 27 seemed to be a lot of hesitation of planning and engineering and there was some bickering between agencies. Eventually the Bureau of Public - 28 Roads was the one that did the best job in helping communities plan those roads. What ever happened to that agency? 29 Mr. Kozak said. the Bureau of Public Roads became the Federal Highway 30 -io- 31 - 32 I f LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7. 1994 Administration. So, they are still there but they have a different name. 1 Mr. Ferralez said, so they consolidated some of those projects. 2 Mr. Kozak said, the Bureau of Public Roads became the Federal Highway Administration. Now the Federal Highway Administration is a part of 3 the Department of Transportation. So, they've consolidated all forms _ of transportation including the highway side of things. 4 Mr. Denmark said, Mr. Kozak, when are you planning on having the 5 meeting with MPO representatives so that they can provide some input? Mr. Kozak said, we're really struggling to get this done by January 1, 6 and get everything into good shape. I think it is tentatively set for the 21st of this month. We also hope to have a new version to you 7 prior to that meeting. Mr. Tomlin said, I would suggest that we all take a look at the 8 document and pass along any comments that you might have to Mr. Denmark so he can pass them along. 9 Mr. Kozak said, I would appreciate that very much. The whole point of 10 this tour is to receive comments. We also have an 800-827-5514, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 11 Mr. Tomlin said, any questions or comments? 12 Mr. Haltom said, I don't know what other funding sources are. The local governments certainly don't have the tax sources. Even if we 13 exhaust our taxing authority, we cannot handle the kind of expenditures that are involved in the enhancement of all modes of transportation. The state is not going to undertake it; and the - 14 federal government is not going to undertake it. I wonder where the revenue is going to come from. 15 Mr. Kozak said, there are going to be some very difficult choices to be made. Within our plan we talk about, on the highway side of it, four 16 different alternatives. The first alternative is to do maintenance only with no improvements; just safety and maintenance. In 20 years we 17 have just enough money to take care of what we have today, if we don't build anything else. So, I think what we're talking about, the 18 scarcity of funds, the desires of citizens for alternatives, we're talking about a trade-off. If we want to have better local transit systems, how does that affect your roads; how does that affect rail 19 travel . Right now we're working on the Denver to E1 Paso line. How does that affect air, and with every decision we make within the role 20 of transportation, we must have a look at the impact it will have on the other forms. There will never be enough money. 21 Mr. Haltom said, when we're at City Council meetings and we talk about enhancement, when you don't have enough money to build and maintain 22 highways and streets, you have to wonder how much enhancement can you afford to do. We're required under ISTEA to have enhancement, so if 23 you spend a half million dollars enhancing the appearance of the entrance to a City, for example, then what you're saying is that amount is not going to be spent on either reconstructing existing streets or 24 building new streets that are needed. I think we've got a great deal of planninng, we've got great ideas on intermodalism, but we don't have 25 enough money to do what we already know we need. 26 Mr. Kozak said, the issues that you've raised have been made throughout the country. How can we can spend money on enhancement when we can't take care of what we have. The other side of the coin, too, is dealing 27 with the quality of life and trying to improve that quality of life. 28 Mr. Haltom said, another point is, you raise the gasoline tax and you don't use the money for transportation improvement and you use it for 29 the general services of the state. That doesn't make any sense to me. 30 -11- 31 32 1 s LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SEPTEMBER 7, 1994 Mr. Kozak said, as representatives of the State Highway and Transportation Department, I decline to comment. 1 Mr. Tomlin said, my comment as I sit here listening to you is that we 2 talked about a great deal more flexibility about where the money is spent, but if we don't prioritize, and I know there's some requirements in the legislation that we must meet and address, my concern is again, 3 that we will have to take what funds we do have and spread them out thinly and we really haven't done adequate enhancements, and we do not - 4 have roads that are smooth enough or wide enough nor are they - maintained. I know that's always going to be a problem and I'm b wondering if the State Highway Department and other groups that are - providing input., have thought about going back and suggesting amendments to the Act in Congress after we've now been dealing with it - 6 and trying to jump through all of the hoops, of where there might be some improvements to address these issues. - 7 Mr. Kozak said, that's a good point. ISTEA expires in 1997-98, and there are interest groups throughout the country who are now proposing 8 changes and working towards those. We, the state, are members of both AASHTO and NASHTO, which are the national associations. We can 9 certainly receive your comments and pass those on. We'd be delighted to do that. 10 Mr, Tomlin said, I think from a state's level , from the National Governor's Conference, for example, we're talking about a political 11 concept to a great extent that we in the state need to work through the Governor's Office in trying to make sure that message is relayed to our 12 congressional delegation in a coordinated effort. 13 Mr. Kozak said, I think that's absolutely appropriate. IS`IEA is mandating that we cooperate among ourselves to make the best decisions. I don't know why that wouldn't extend throughout the nation 14 as well . 15 Mr. Tomlin said, we appreciate you folks coming down here with this information. We' ll have a representative there at the meeting with our 16 comments. Mr. Denmark said, Mr. Chairman. we do have a question. May MPO staff 17 draft a letter for the Chairman's signature explaining to the TAC what has happened tonight and how we will proceed changing the By-Laws and 18 an explanation of what's going on would be appropriate. The Policy Committee directed staff to proceed with the drafting of a letter to the TAC. Mr. Denmark said, Mr. Chairman, we have another issue. The 19 MPO staff is requesting direction on the Engler Road project. If you recall through the MPO transportation process, there was a lot. of 20 comments received by those residents along Engler Road and their concern about a specific alignment. At the meeting, where this was 21 discussed it was recommended by the Policy Committee that we wait for a policy to be developed in the North Valley by the ETZ Commission to address land use issues and primarily focus in on density and land use 22 intensity and the need for developing an arterial . If you recall the US 70 Frontage Road Study establishes a need for an arterial to be 23 north of the highway to address the growth for the future. The only way to combat that is to reduce or manage and mitigate the development that is currently happening in the North Valley. At this particular 24 time, it is our understanding that the County Planning Staff has completed a draft Comprehensive Plan for the County. We are within the 25 central planning area and we do not see any policy that would address or specifically mitigate development in the North Valley, at least to a 26 Point that would make a specific alignment necessary at this time. Mr. Tomlin said, I'm disappointed that the ETZ Commission did not. take 27 any action on this important issue. I think that we need to have the support of the County Commission on this issue because they will have to take the flak from their constituents from any decision that is 28 made. I 'm sure that there will be political ramifications from this issue. 29 301 -i�'- 31 32 I LAS CRUCES METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION SElPTEMBER 7, 1994 Mr. Denmark said, the ETZ Commission decided to wait until the completion of the Comprehensive Plan. Since they did complete the Comprehensive Plan, perhaps staff will now be in a position to make 1 recommendations concerning Engler Road. 2 Mr. Luchini said, I think it would be a good idea for both the City and County Planning staff to look at this and then go to the Dona Ana 3 County Commission with some specific recommendations. Mr. Tomlin said, that seems like a good plan. We can also have staff 4 come to the Policy Committee after meeting with the County Commission. s Mr. Ferralez said, at the public hearing it was determined that some people did not get notification about the proposal . Was that taken care of by staff? Also, what is the recommendation of staff as far as 6 the best alignment? 7 Mr. Denmark said, yes, we got the names of all those people who needed to be notified. As far as staff's recommendation., our original g recommendation stands. We do not see the growth stopping in the area especially since there's really nothing in the new Comprehensive Plan to mitigate that growth. 9 Mr. Tomlin said, there's always going to be opposition to any form of 10 an alignment because people view it as a north bypass. The point I made at the public hearing that if we could reduce density, then it would be possible that an alignment might not be necessary, and I 11 thought that the ETZ Commission would consider that option. A large portion of the North Valley has been rezoned to 3/4 acre minimums and 12 if that pattern continues, then we're definitely going to have to have an alignment and we're going to have to make a decision as soon as 13 Possible before we don't have a choice about where the alignment goes because new development will have occurred. - 14 Mr. Luchini said, you can't let people dictate these decisions when difficult decisions have to be made. We have to look at the future and 15 what's going to be better in the long run for everyone. Mr. Southworth said, we've actually gone through three cycles on this 16 alignment. We discussed it and made a recommendation on an alignment to Dona Ana County Commission which they approved. It was heard in a 17 public hearing. Then we sent it to the ETZ Commission. The ETZ Commission had a meeting but they refused to limit development and they 18 also did not agree on an alignment. There was a lot of opposition at the meeting but it seemed to be more from developers. 19 Mr. Tomlin said, I believe we should give the Dona Ana County - Commission one last shot before we move forward with any action. MPO 20 staff should meet with the County Staff before going to the County Commission. The other Policy Committee members were in agreement. 21 Mr. Denmark said, it's going to be difficult because the County staff - realizes that this is going to be difficult and they don't want to go 22 forward with this matter, but the MPO staff agrees that it needs to be addressed before it's too late and that's why we've asked for your 23 direction. 24 There was no further discussion and the meeting adjourned. INUTES SUBMITrqFf. 25 26 Min rva Sanchez, Secret Las Cruces Planning Department 27 MINUTES APPROVED BY: 2s Tommy Tomlin, Chai29 - Las Cruces Metro an Planning Organization 30 -13- 31 - 32