intro ------->
the Camino
de los Marquez
pilot project

Booth Street
Cordova Road
Don Diego
Entrada Park
Whole Foods
Jimmy's Quick Stop
Santa Fe task force
McDonalds relocation

Traffic Calming In Santa Fe

The core of the city of Santa Fe, NM is old, compact, and well preserved. The scale and feel is almost European-like. The town is small enough that much of it can easily be reached on foot, or on a bike. The wonderful climate also makes it a potential pedestrian paradise.
It is somewhat surprising that in a town like this, the car is still king. Until relatively recently, there has been virtually no attention paid to pedestrians. When streets get re-done, it is clear that city engineers design exclusively with cars in mind, and sidewalks - if there are any at all - are just an afterthought. When it comes to traffic calming measures, Santa Fe is decades (3 or 4) behind European cities, and a smaller number of years behind many cities and towns on this continent.

Things have changed though since I started these pages (in the mid-1990's). For one thing, the General Plan, which lays out how Santa Fe should manage its future, has all the right words in it when it comes to neighborhood-centered activities, including the promotion of local pedestrian traffic, and traffic calming measures. In 1998 in fact, the mayor appointed a citizens task force which has produced a program that establishes a formal traffic calming program, applicable to new construction as well as existing streets and neighborhoods. Beginning in 2001, this well-funded program has started to make a visible impact in neighborhoods all around the city.

Also on this page are traffic-related projects we have been involved in in the Don Diego neighborhood.


Camino de los Marquez pilot project

This project was a precursor to the currently implemented program. We went through the same process as is now codified in the city's Traffic Calming Program, including design, consultation with city offices, and collection of signatures.

The pages whose links are just below are based on the the slides I showed at the May 3rd 1997 meeting of the Don Diego Neighborhood Association (DDNA). They are the result of a few early passes at the project we made.
The team working on this project: Laura Wilson, John Vavruska, Steve and Hope Counsell, Anna Richards, Karl Kregor, and myself.

At City Hall, Planing Division, we have help from Cyrus Samii, Carrie Lacrosse, Lance Tyson and Doug Stretch.

Last real update May '98

  1. intro - pilot project parameters
  2. traffic calming options
  3. example: current intersection of Don Diego and Marquez
  4. example: same intersection, reworked
  5. example: same intersection, different solution
  6. perspective view
  7. overview map
  8. larger scale, two sections
  9. detail map 1 - the West entry
  10. detail map 2 - Cordova Place
  11. detail map 3 - Marquez Place
  12. detail map 4 - the back of Osco
  13. detail map 5 - shopping center entrance
  14. detail map 6 - Don Diego
  15. detail map 7 - Don Cubero
  16. detail map 8 - the condos
  17. detail map 9 - more condos
  18. detail map 10 - Galisteo
  19. where we are now, and what to do next

This article appeared in the Albuquerque Journal's Journal North, on 16 September 1997.
The next day, the article was referenced in in this Journal North editorial.
In July 99, I gave a short presentation during the Leadership Conference.

Last update 27 July 99 - HvH


Booth Street project

Booth Street is a 2-block street, starting at Galisteo, crossing Don Gaspar and ending on Weber Street. Wood-Gormley elementary is along the second half of this street, with the buildings on the north side and parking and a large playing field on the south side. Right now (this was 1995-1997), the school is being remodeled, which means that there are some temporary portable classrooms placed on the field. More importantly, parts of the street have been torn up for gas, water and sewer hookups and things of this nature. The remodeling project will be finished in about a year, and when the dust settles the street certainly will receive some attention from the city.

The street is therefore a prime candidate to be redone at that time with traffic- calming measures in mind, paying special attention to the function of the street as a drop-off and pickup location. The street can be redone to make it clear that it is part of a protected pedestrian environment which includes the school on one side and the park on the other. The Booth and Weber street entries can be redone to reflect this. It gives the added opportunity to put a little narrow spot into Gaspar where it joins Booth, where there are many children from the neighborhood to the west of Gaspar crossing to reach the school. The same can be done on the other end, on Weber, where there also are many children crossing during dropoff and pickup hours.

Here are some pages with details:

  1. The current situation
  2. One proposed solution
  3. Alternative detail on Weber
  4. Alternative solution for Booth
  5. Current status, and what to do next
Last update: 12 March 98.


Cordova Road

April 1998: Cordova road is slated to receive some attention, and money to make it more pedestrian-friendly.
  1. Current situation
  2. a 1996 memo with neighborhood associations concerns and proposals
  3. Proposal now before the Finance Committee
  4. Recommendations from the DDNA traffic subcommittee (April)
  5. Recommendations from the DDNA (May/June)
  6. The June 8th '98 Public Works/CIP and Land Use Committee Meeting, and what to do next.
  7. May '99: engineering design is starting. The proposal to close off Galisteo Parkway is passed on to the local neighborhood association. If they run with this ball, perhaps the closure, or other traffic-calming entry treatment can be incorporated into the design.
  8. 10 April 2000: At a public meeting at EJ, a detailed design was presented, and plans are to start work in May or June of this year. Details of the meeting here.
  9. In the end, the tip of the Rose Park was extended, with no extra asphalt for a RH turn lane on Cordova for a turn into Galisteo southbound; Good! However, the residents of Galisteo Parkway passed up the opportunity to reconfigure the entry from Cordova, which is as wide as it ever was.
    The sidewalks got put in along Cordova, between Luisa and Galisteo. Nice result, though there were some complaints about the workmanship.
Last update: 10 April 2001.


Don Diego project

Don Diego is actually the street that is the major sore point in the Don Diego neighborhood. The city views it as an mionor artery (there are 4 possible types: residential, collector, minor arterial, major arterial), and as such it was connected on the north end to Cerrillos and Guadelupe with an enormous entry. At this end, Don Diego is more than 4 lanes wide. It then funnels down to 2 lanes, cutting the neighborhood in two with a large and fast volume of traffic, till it reaches Camino de los Marquez (see the section above). Most of this traffic has no business in the neighborhood, they just use Don Diego as a fast cutoff. The real plum for the neighborhood would be to be allowed to redo this street.

Here is the proposal for Don Diego which I wrote in 1995. It went to the city, where it more or less vanished.

Now (2001) that the Traffic Calming Program is in place, it's time to try again. A letter to the editor in September 2000 points out that things have gotten a lot worse in the intervening years.

In 2001, when the Traffic Calming Program kicked off, I submitted a version of the old proposal. We made it into the second round of accepted proposals, with the ranking driven by the high volume (~7000 vehicles/day), and high speeds seen on the trajectory.
Since then, we have had several meetings with neighborhood volunteers and from the city Carrie Lacrosse (Traffic Calming program director) and Jamie [lastname], traffic engineer. At the most recent one (19 June 2002) we converged on a design that would probably fit inside the $140K budget.

Look here for details, and a chronicle of events

Last update 1 June 2005


Entrada Park

At the intersection of Cerrillos and Don Diego / Guadelupe is a triangle of empty land, roughly 100x150'. Right now it is only dirt, and is sometimes used to park old cars on. Quite an eyesore. The parcel lies at the northern entrance to the Don Diego neigborhood, and also along a pedestrian route in and out of downtown, along Cerillos. Starting in the summer of 1998, we have been working to make this into a 'pocket park'. It would be a small sculpture garden, with 3 sculpture pads, where pieces of art get placed for a year at a time. In addition, there could be a marker or sign welcoming people to the neighborhood. The plantings will be chosen to provide as much shade as possible, and be drought-tolerant. The Calendar (see below) shows the whole history.
Current status: Groundbreaking is on Friday, October 18 at 2pm. Come join us for this celebration.
  1. Calendar, meetings, people, current status.
  2. Original proposal for the park
  3. Newspaper article on 31 Aug 98, in the New Mexican
  4. ..and an editorial on Sep 2nd
  5. We built a 3D model, and have engineering plans. Here are some pictures of the model.
  6. Here is the 1-page proposal to get it funded under CIP, and the accompanying cost estimates we did, based on the current plans.
  7. Reducing the lanes on Don Diego. We lost this one.
  8. Pictures of the groundbreaking ceremony, 18 October 2002.
  9. Pictures of the rock work, November 2004
  10. The planting plan

Last update: 22 February 2005.


Whole Foods on Cerrillos

Whole Foods is a national health-food chain which has decided to locate on Cerrillos Road, in the spot vacated by Houston Lumber (between Guadelupe/Don Diego and St. Francis). This is a very large site, approximately 5 acres, and the store's parking lot would have approximately 150 parking places. For comparison, Wild Oats has xxx places, and Alfalfa's has 79 places. These stores, by the way, are practically within shouting distance of the Houston Lumber site.
Clearly the traffic flow in and out of this site will be considerable. We have taken the current proposal (as we have it on 30 August 98), and consider the traffic flows under a few variants of this plan.
  1. September '98 proposal
  2. Some accident statistics in the area
  3. Do nothing
  4. Small island on Cerrillos
  5. Bigger island on Cerrillos
  6. One entrance, center lane
  7. One entrance, island
  8. Ranking and summary of the options
  9. Related issues
  10. Current status (February '99)

Whole Foods opened on the Fall of 2000, with traffic flow as we designed it. (See option 5). Impact on Gilmore has been pretty minimal, though not zero. One problem is that the WF parking lot is at times too small. Alfalfa's was driven out of business.
Last update: Fall 2000.


Jimmy's Quick Stop on Cerrillos

This concerns the lot on the South side of Cerrillos, in the block between Don Diego and Paseo de Peralta, that used to be Jimmy's Quick Stop, now a (mostly) vacant lot, paved with concrete. The historic acequia runs along the South side of the lot. The lot is 25388 square feet, about 1/2 acre.

  1. July 1999 proposal
  2. 2 Jan 2000 article in the New Mexican
This project seems to have gone dormant. The major proposed tenant has moved elsewhere.
Last update: 28 February 2001.


Neighborhood Traffic Management Task Force

This was a task force comprised of 2 representatives from each district, plus city staff. Some members were appointed by Mayor Larry Delgado as early as October 1998, and the last appointments were made in February 1999. The first meeting was held 23 Feb 99. The Task Force met every month for over a year. During this period, we studied traffic calming programs from many cities in the US and beyond, and put together a program tailored for Santa Fe. The last meeting was held in August 2000. The program sailed past the various committees, and finally City Council approved it unanimously on 12 October 2000. Money is available, so next comes hiring of staff and getting through the first pile of applications.
To the task force pages.

Last update: 12 October 2000.

McDonalds relocation

In Early 2006 the McDonalds franchise on Cerillos (next to Whole Foods) announced plans to move to a nearby location on St.Francis. This has potential impacts on the neighborhood to the east of this location.

Read more

Last update: 9 March 2006.

Some Traffic Calming Links

There is some good reading here - take your time.
(these links should be sorted, edited or annotated - any volunteers?)
SF New Mexican article on Portland, Oregon traffic
Traffic calming home page of Portland, OR
another New Mexican editorial
Press Release - Traffic Calming in West Sussex
-- Traffic Calming -- Suza's Traffic Update
Press Release - Traffic Calming Measures at Beeston Hill
A Review of Traffic Calming Techniques
Neighborhood Traffic Calming
Road Safety - Benefits of Traffic Calming
Traffic Calming
Bike Plan Source Library Traffic Calming
Traffic Engineering - Traffic Calming and Environmental Traffic Management
Road Safety - Traffic Conflict Procedure Manual - 2nd Edition
Project for Public Spaces: Shirley Secunda
Salisbury Farm-Corey Road
Neighbourhood (...) in the City of Victoria
GT Online Opinion -
Meet the KAI Staff
Clark County Trans
Typical Applications
Road Safety - Safety Benefits of Interchanges
PRIMAVERA Final Report
Road Safety - Corridor and Area Safety Studies
Signs of a slowing trend
BTM International
Welcome to TransAct
Report from The Vancouver Task Force on Tran...
'New Improved' Transport Top Ten
Le Monde @ Bicyclette: Accueil
Intersection calming
Local Sustainability Case Description 25
Prismo : Specialist Road Surfaces
Vancouver Cyclist: The Bicycle Network

Last update 14 October 2002 - Hubert van Hecke

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