New Mexico Could Require Protected Bike Lanes With Road Projects

A proposed bill would require larger towns to add protected bike lanes to any new road improvements and direct state funding to applicable projects.

1 minute read

March 6, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of black traffic light with green bike symbol lit up and blurry urban scene in background

Daniel Krason / Green bike traffic light

A bill proposed in the New Mexico state legislature would require some municipalities to install protected bike lanes when making other roadway improvements. The bill would also create a $5 million annual fund to help finance bike lane projects, explains Michael Brady in Smart Cities Dive.

The bill would require cities of over 10,000 people to include bike lanes protected by “permanent physical barriers” such as “raised curbs, bollards, flexible delineator posts, trees or vegetation, and materials like concrete and granite” in any new road projects, in keeping with the Complete Streets approach. The bill, introduced in the House Transportation and Public Works Committee, was put on hold until the next legislative session.

Complete Streets, which centers pedestrian safety and supports multimodal transportation, got a boost from the federal government with a provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that mandates spending on Complete Streets initiatives. “According to Smart Growth America, governments in 37 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have produced more than 1,700 Complete Streets policies in the U.S.”

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