BY DAVE NORTH
Los Alamos County Transportation Board
Bicycling was the primary focus of the July meeting of the Transportation Board. Community Services Director Cory Styron outlined plans to improve and expand our County trails.
The county is considering a Skill Park below either the Aquatic Center or Olive Street. There seemed to be some preference for the Olive Street option, but this is a good time for interested parties to check out both areas and offer opinions. There are also plans to develop a Pump Track, which is something like a BMX setup. Sounds like a fun playground.
For getting around town, the County is looking at improving and connecting a cross-country route from San Ildefonso Road to the Aquatic Center, from which it may be a simple matter to connect with the Urban Trail that’s in the planning stage. There’s every reason to think this could make it possible to ride from Barranca or North Mesa all the way to the Los Alamos Co-op Market with minimal proximity to road traffic.
That also gives access to the road leading down into Pueblo Canyon, which is also being looked at as a starting point for an improved route down to the “Y.”
And of particular interest in that area is hope to develop some loop trails that would meet National Interscholastic Cycling Association standards. This growing organization encourages practice and racing on trails with similar conformation throughout the US.
Work is also being done on existing trails, including the Los Alamos Canyon Rim. The asphalt trail along SR4 in White Rock is also scheduled for repair, with many others to follow.
Another connector upgrade suggested was the stretch from Sherwood down to the White Rock Canyon Rim through to Overlook Park.
And Public Works is also cranking their way through about a 60-page application to keep our rating as one of New Mexico’s three Bicycle Friendly Communities, and hopefully advance to at least Silver Level from our current Bronze. There is some hope of jumping ahead to Gold or some other precious metal, but it’s not clear if that’s possible. And no, there is no Plutonium Level.
But it wasn’t all bikes. As anyone knows who uses the access from the stables area to Bayo Canyon, the trail is getting a bit challenging, maybe even a bit scary when riding a horse, so improvements are moving forward.
Board Vice Chair Natalie Morgan also raised a question we all wonder about: what’s with the potholes and general poor conditions on Rendija Road? The County does do some maintenance now and then, but the road is really in under two federal agencies (Department Of Energy and National Forest) and of course in two jurisdictions — part is in Santa Fe County. That’s without mentioning the part only available to San Ildefonso Pueblo. Neither of the federal agencies is doing much if anything to maintain the road. So it’s the usual inter-agency complications that so often dog efforts to get things done.
One other big change is coming. Sooner or later, Transportation Board meetings will be held in-person. The final decision rests on the County Council, but the T-Board indicated it is ready to go at the August meeting. Attendee Greg White quite rightly pointed out we should do our best to allow continued online participation by the public, which is our hope. All such meetings are currently held in Council chambers for technical reasons.
The T-Board has been short three members for quite some time. Those interested can come from any area of the County, but currently North Mesa, Western Area and Downtown/Eastern Area are not represented. If interested, start your quest at: