Transit villages in the works in NM

New Mexico state planner Ken Hughes is staffing Gov. Bill Richardson’s Livability Task Force, which this spring will begin establishing the criteria for transit-oriented development at each station of the Albuquerque area’s commuter rail service. Hughes says that if all goes well, by 2009 a traveler will be able to arrive at the Albuquerque airport, take a trolley downtown, and catch a train to Santa Fe. The state has appropriated $1 million to help municipalities and counties plan and developer TOD projects.

The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority will be asked to provide funds for workforce housing in transit village planning areas. Private developers may be offered tax incentives to situate projects within walking distance of train stops. Hughes said local governments will be encouraged to establish districts with mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly design in these areas.