Plan to make SF a more walkable city - Albuquerque Journal

Plan to make SF a more walkable city

They may not go as far as building a yellow brick road, but people working with Creative Santa Fe plan an experiment next month with a painted path, new signs and friendly humans to help visitors find their way between the Plaza and the Railyard.

“The votes are still out” on the color of the temporary stripe, but top contenders are yellow to an orange-red, said Cyndi Conn, executive director of Creative Santa Fe.

The idea behind the program is to make downtown Santa Fe friendlier to pedestrians, helping them discover how to find various cultural attractions on foot – along with the businesses they might pass along the way.

“They can discover more restaurants, more shops, and have a huge impact on the economy,” Conn said.

The project is a follow-up to the August appearance in Santa Fe of Jeff Speck, author of “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time,” she said.

“He said one of the key issues, which is simple and really inexpensive, is clear signage,” Conn said.

Amy Parrish, who with her husband owns Bon Marché in the Railyard, thinks the program could be wonderful – especially if it helps draw people to her part of downtown.

“There are more activities, more stores … but it’s quiet during the week, with very few people coming in,” she said of the Railyard. “It’s imperative for us, from a business standpoint, that has to change.”

People who arrive on the Rail Runner tend to migrate to the shuttles at the north end of the Railyard, then head toward the Plaza (or their jobs in government buildings), without noticing the park and shops south of the train stop, she said. And visitors on the Plaza don’t have a clear idea of exactly where the Railyard is and how long it would take to walk there, Parrish added.

“Santa Fe is such a walkable city, but that piece (signs for pedestrians) seems to be missing,” she said.

Scheduled for a Halloween kick-off, the Walk Santa Fe project will include temporary signs pointing the way to various attractions, as well as estimated walking times to them. A QR code – a code you can scan with your mobile phone – on the signs will connect to a Google map and give detailed directions to certain destinations, Conn said.

A kick-off party will be held noon-6 p.m. Oct. 31 at Bon Marché, with street performers and food from Flying Star, she said. Participants will be offered wristbands that will give them discounts or freebies at some attractions along the path, she added.

The monthlong project also includes walking ambassadors scattered through the area – “We hope to have five to 10 a day,” Conn said – who can welcome visitors, offer advice and help them find their way.

“Every Saturday we will have different events,” she said. One example, set for Nov. 9, is a Garden to Garden Walk from the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on Museum Hill to the Railyard Park – about three miles, she estimated, with a shuttle to take people back to the start. “Someone will be talking about places of interest along the way, and maybe there’ll be a picnic lunch,” Conn said, noting that the events haven’t been finalized yet.

Feedback from business owners and others will be presented to city government to see if there’s support to make the project permanent.

“I think it’s a really creative, inexpensive approach to find a way to tap into our natural visitors,” Parrish said. “It helps them understand the proximity of the Railyard, Canyon Road, parks … . The more information a visitor can have, the faster they can get around town.”

The ease of getting around town and the friendliness of people they encounter can influence visitors’ decisions of whether to come back again, she added. “We’re looking for repeat visitors,” Parrish said.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Plan to make SF a more walkable city


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire now largest wildfire in state ...
ABQnews Seeker
The teams battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits ... The teams battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire said Monday morning that the blaze has grown to more than 298,000 acres, making it the ...
2
Zanetti leaning on military lessons in governor's race
ABQnews Seeker
NM should pursue both high-, low-tech ... NM should pursue both high-, low-tech solutions to economic challenges, says GOP hopeful
3
As winds relent, fire grows by 9K acres
ABQnews Seeker
Officials: Chance for thunderstorms Monday Officials: Chance for thunderstorms Monday
4
Attorney General's Democratic primary pits two heavy hitters
2022 election
Torrez is a career prosecutor; Colón ... Torrez is a career prosecutor; Colón promotes his relationship building
5
'A great loss' in education
ABQnews Seeker
Wildfires force students from their homes ... Wildfires force students from their homes as semesters end
6
Crews working 'day and night' to keep blaze from ...
ABQnews Seeker
Officials say flames hadn't made much ... Officials say flames hadn't made much headway on Saturday
7
Ronchetti embraces outsider label in GOP primary
2022 election
He has significantly outraised his four ... He has significantly outraised his four rivals for this year's nomination
8
Crews find time to feed abandoned pets while battling ...
ABQnews Seeker
Firefighters also record the animals' locations ... Firefighters also record the animals' locations for later rescue
9
More wildfire resources sought
ABQnews Seeker
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire crews to ... Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire crews to split into north, south strategy