Rail Runner Station Area Planning and TOD Zoning

Greater Albuquerque, New Mexico

Community Design + Architecture led a team in developing station area plans and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) zoning overlays for two commuter rail station areas along the New Mexico Rail Runner Express corridor in the greater Albuquerque/Santa Fe region. Commuter rail along the congested I-25 corridor creates a major opportunity to catalyze redevelopment and revitalization in both core urban areas and outlying communities. Community Design + Architecture provided long range planning, policy recommendations and design guidance for public and private investment near the stations.

Building upon existing local, county and regional land use and transportation policies as well as extensive public participation and direct outreach to local landowners and development interests, the plans provide:

  • detailed recommendations for appropriate land uses and development densities, including mixed-use projects;
  • improved pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between neighborhoods, schools, parks, area businesses, and transit;
  • guidance for enhanced aesthetics and comfort through high-quality architectural and urban design; and
  • implementation and capital improvement recommendations to assist jurisdictions in realizing the station area plan.

In 2008, the Village of Los Lunas, a rapidly growing small town within easy commuting distance of Albuquerque, adopted two TOD zones developed by Community Design + Architecture as part of its station area plan. The immediate core of the station area, where a new multi-modal transit center was recently completed within an area where many surrounding properties remained vacant or underutilized was zoned for more intensive TOD. An overlay zone allowing higher-density residential uses in exchange for better pedestrian design, is available to most of the surrounding area within one-half mile of the station. Bernalillo County adopted a TOD overlay zone developed by Community Design + Architecture for the largely vacant area around the station serving the Albuquerque International Sunport airport. Located along a busy arterial roadway in Albuquerques South Valley, where heavy industry has long coexisted with agricultural and residential uses, the 175 vacant acres under single ownership around the Rail Runner station can become the nucleus of a walkable, mixed-use development. The Station Area Plan lays out land uses, urban design and a circulation system to guide this development in accordance with the communitys vision and market demand.