BANDELIER REGIONAL MULTI-USE PATH PROJECT
Vision and summary statement of the overall project goal:
This project envisions a safe recreational alternative to road-riding for individuals and families who would bike, walk, cross-country ski, roller-blade, or run between the communities of Los Alamos, San Ildefonso, White Rock, Bandelier National Monument, Santa Fe National Forest, and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The overall project goal is to create a multi-use trail that would primarily be separate from State Routes 4, HW 501, and 502, bringing increased visitation to the area. It would also provide locals with a more fluid and enjoyable connection between the cultural, economic and natural assets in the area.
Tangible outcomes of the project (i.e. recreational opportunities developed, plan creation, development of ideas and goals, miles, acres):
The multi-use path would create an approximately 30-mile loop of mixed off-road and road shoulder that could be available for walking, biking, cross-country skiing, roller-blading, and marathon-distance running. Working together, Bandelier and the gateway communities will be able to solidify a written plan for this project and develop the ideas and goals in finer detail. The project has been agreed upon on a broad level but a working committee is needed to elaborate on the goals and responsibilities of the involved parties.
Project accomplishments to date:
The project has received coverage by the Los Alamos Monitor and local blogs. The multi-use path has also been presented at the Transportation Research Board conference (Washington, DC January 2014), the UNM Engineering Department's Paving and Transportation Conference (Albuquerque, NM January 2014), and it will be presented at TRB Transportation and Federal Lands Conference in Washington, DC in September 2014. Bandelier has also presented this project to Los Alamos' Transportation Board, Environmental Sustainability Board, and Parks and Recreation Board. All of the involved agencies including Santa Fe National Forest, Department of Energy, San Ildefonso Pueblo, and Los Alamos County have held individual discussions about the prospect of a multi-use path and each of these entities is represented at the LANL Trails Working Group which participated in a Visioning and Opportunities workshop on the project.
Support: governmental/organizational support/recognition;endorsements from elected officials and boards, etc.:
To date, the project has received verbal support from the Transportation Board, the Environmental Sustainability Board, and the Parks and Recreation Board in Los Alamos, as well as from Santa Fe National Forest, and the Department of Energy (landlord for LANL).
Community benefits that would result from implementing the proposed project (i.e. recreational opportunities in areas with little to no recreational access):
Los Alamos region has more to offer than most visitors expect. A transportation study being done by Bandelier shows that of the 275,000annual visitors to the Los Alamos region of New Mexico, about 150,000come just to see Bandelier National Monument. Studies of visitors and tourists to the region show that the majority (87%) spent less than 24 hours in Los Alamos County, with about half (55%) spending between just three and hour hours in the region, entirely within Bandelier.To address this imbalance, the gateway community of Los Alamos has enhanced their tourism and economic development strategy by expanding awareness of the region. The multi-use path would connect the local communities and create a central feature by which to access the multitude of trails, museums, cultural sites, and interpretive sites that characterize this unique landscape. This feature would distribute the visitors to the region, introducing them to features that they would not otherwise explore and perhaps bring them back for multiple trips.
For more information contact Lucy Gent Fomae-mail us
2012, estimated from data provided by Los Alamos Visitor Bureau
Visitor Bureau data
Bandelier Visitor Study, 1995 Report 76 Visitors Services Program, National Park Services