Everything We Knew is Now Wrong: Looking Back/Forward at the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

Long, long ago in a truly different era, around 30 of us sat in a room at the Mesa Verde Community Center discussing the area’s draft 2040 Long Range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).

That was January 30, 2020.

So very long ago.

I recall repeatedly thinking during the session: “This draft is largely worthless, because the economic and transportation changes wrought by the new Netflix invasion will make this draft and subsequent final document obsolete.”

As I was saying, so very long ago.

This morning, 48 days that seem 48 years, if not decades, later, I’m trying to see if anybody has yet tried to estimate the hyper-recent drop in that standard transportation metric, vehicle miles traveled. No luck a-Googling to this point, but you/I can definitely see it empirically, if we ourselves ever leave the house.

Amid all this, the folks at MRCOG are again asking us to comment on another draft of the plan due for final submission in June. It’s not their fault; they have a report due to the Feds. It’s actually somewhat soothing to think the slow wheels of bureaucracy might continue churning amidst all this, and you can do your self-isolation, social distancing, work-at-home part to help it turn.

Besides, many of us don’t have much to do these days, aside from manic weeding and obsessive looks at “the” counter. Imagining the area’s transportation landscape in 2040 might be a pleasant diversion, depending, of course, on your personal level of anxiety and dread.

mind the gap
No, that is not an bottomless abyss of hopelessness the young woman is staring into. Why would you think that?

Here’s a link to the latest draft. Comments are due here by April 8th, right around the time K-12 schools in New Mexico are currently scheduled to re-open. If interested, here are a some comments BB made regarding the earlier draft.

Keep in mind those comments were written eons ago on February 6, 2020, when the world was a very different place. As Better Burque always tries to be “solutions-based,” perhaps we can look at our comments to this latest draft as our view of the possible world 20 long years from now, one in which the drop in vehicle miles traveled experienced now is made permanent, replaced by transportation alternatives of our choosing.

Heck, many of us have time on our hands. Why not day-dream a bit instead of hitting that counter over and over and over.

Stay safe out there, everybody.





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