City of Santa Fe, New Mexico


  Cycling Infrastructure


Links to

City cycling office or resources


 Not readily available    
  City cycling map
City web site
 Not readily available

Updated - 2006-09-27



General Impressions - Cycling Facilities Encountered



Santa Fe


       Drivers seem to be very cooperative with cyclists. The number of egomaniac drivers seen to be a few. When cycling narrow two lane roads where the road widens upward or there are corners with limited visibility, drivers tend to stay back until good visibility is available before making a decision to pass. Sometimes it might be a few minutes before such opportunities present themselves. Even if the cyclist waves the drivers on, they tend to hang back.


  On wider roads then some example of impatience is evident.


  The road network for cycling seems to be incomplete. A base is there for improvement and for attracting people to cycle. Again, passing through the downtown is without cycling facilities. Also some roads with cycling facilities are not connected. New roads seem to be built with cycling facilities.


  The bus system is outfitted with bike racks. One can see evidence of the racks being used.


  There seems to be confusing in classifying facilities so that people can plan their trips and in understanding where motorists can expect cyclists. Roads with bike lane width paved shoulders seem to have Share the Road signs. Roads with paved shoulders the width of bike lanes are not marked as bike lanes.


  Maps are a shortfall in the cycling package. There is no city bicycle map in hard cover. There is an online bicycle map which seems to be out of date. The bicycle map provides information on usage of these roads but lacks information on type of facilities provided.


  There does not seem to be a county or region map that has all the counties roads with a classification of surface cover. Trip planning can be difficult. The State map does not go into sufficient detail to county road level.

       From the internet it is difficult to find out if there is a bicycle group within the city organization or if there is an advisory committee, which other sources seem to indicate that there is.


  From a scenery perspective, Santa Fe with its pastel pink adobe buildings, the mountain ranges to the east and the west, the soft pastel pink and rose soil, the scrub brush and short trees, the flowering weeds and bushes, the plateaus, the thin, clear air certainly is an enjoyable place for cycling. One has to remind oneself that this is a region of 100,000 people and one cannot expect facilities of a large metropolitan area.



The City



US Census 2000

Santa Fe Population

City 62,203

Urban Area (includes city) 79,100

Central Region 104,192

County 129,292

City size:

24,070 acres (37.6 square miles)
  Cycling Vision  not readily available    


 Bike Trails

Since 1990, the city has constructed 7.25 miles of paved, off-road Hike/Bike Trails and another 12 miles of designated bike routes have been established along Siringo Road, Old Pecos Trail, Don Gaspar Avenue, Galisteo Street, and Yucca Street. In addition, another 5 miles of roadway along Rodeo and Airport Roads have been striped to easily accommodate bicyclists.

During 2005, the city added 1.25 miles of paved off-road trails in Nava Ade and 2.3 miles of unpaved trails in Las Estrellas, formerly Santa Fe Estates, and in the Dale Ball Trail System., page 11
  Cycling Mode Share   not readily available    
  Master Cycling Program     Bikeways Master Plan
The 1993 Bikeways Master Plan sets out policies and
objectives in four areas - Facilities, Education, Promotion, and
Implementation and Phasing. The Metropolitan Transportation
Plan focuses on the “facilities” as well as the “implementation
and phasing” portions of the Bikeways Master Plan., page 23
  City Cycling Organizations   not readily available    
Police Approach to Bicycles


Feet, mountain type bike, and car, not too many places that this police officer cannot get to.

Officer had just completed his downtown beat on bike.

  Public Involvement – Cycling Advisory Committee  Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee   Story on the committee
  Advocacy Organizations

Bike Coalition of New Mexico
  Cycling Resources - Map      
    Hard Copy    
    Internet  Not available  
    Trip Planning – On-Line  Not available  
   Cycling Resources - Website      Not available  

Cycling Network

  Current Cycling Network      Not readily available  
  Future Network Plans  

  Not readily available

Existing network should be interconnected.

  Naming Convention – Cycling Facilities      

Bike Route Naming Convention -



Bike Route

Share the Road

There seems to be confusion in classifying facilities so that people can plan their trips and in understanding where motorists can expect cyclists. Roads with bike lane width paved shoulders seem to have ‘Share the Road signs’. Roads with paved shoulders the width of bike lanes are not marked as bike lanes.



For increasing the number of people that will cycle for transportation, cycling facilities need to be consistently designated so that people can decide which route to take that they will be comfortable on. Also, proper definition of cycling facilities will make drivers better aware of where to expect cyclists.



There is a need for a standard definition or word for cycling facilities, maybe ‘cycling routes’ which would generically include off-road facilities, bike lanes, bike routes, etc. Bike routes should also be defined as to what cyclists can expect on a road so designated. Will a road designated as a bike route only have signs indicating that cyclists may be present? Will a bike route designated road have cyclist-activated traffic signals at all collector, secondary, and arterial roads to facilitate safe crossing of cyclists front children to the oldest? Will such a road have traffic calming features to deter all but local neighbourhood traffic and encourage those to take an alternate road?



Cycling Infrastructure Design

  Bike Lanes      

Bike Lane - Bike lane width paved shoulder next to curb

  Bike Lanes called 'Road With Shoulder'

 People who wish to cycle wish to have designated space where they feel save from passing motorists. Road with shoulder designation does not support this need.

Road with shoulder does not attract non-cyclists to consider cycling for the next trip.



Bike Lane - Width paved shoulder next to curb

Bike Lane - Paved shoulder next to curb


Bike Lane - Width paved shoulder next to curb - New construction

  New arterial road constructions include bike lanes. It is encouraging to see new road construction to have bike lane width paved shoulders next to road curbs. Proper designation and signing as bike lane would be more constructive to attract more people to cycling.  
      For those, some physical barrier from posts to curbs to something more extensive would increase the appeal to potential cyclists and the young.  
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road – Not Separated  Not applicable  
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road – Physically Separated  Not applicable    
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road Shoulder – Vertically Not Separated

  Not applicable  
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road Shoulder – Vertically Separated

  Not applicable  
  Bike Routes    Previously commented on in naming convention  

Paved Shoulder - Wide paved shoulder on bypass highway #599

Paved Shoulders   Some suburban arterial roads still are built without paved shoulders or bike lanes. Considering the road network and that there are no options to these roads for cyclists, once developments increase along these roads and traffic builds up, the number of cyclists that will be willing to cycle on these roads will decrease.  

Paved Shoulder - Very narrow paved shoulder - less than 1/2 bicycle width


Paved Shoulder - 3 metres plus wide paved shoulder

Paved Shoulder - 3 metres plus wide paved shoulder - Uneven transition from new to old pavement

Paved shoulders on a bypass highway (599) Wide paved shoulders approaching or exceeding the width of traffic lanes are comfortable for most people, except for those that are sensitive to road noise or wish to be physically separated from motor vehicles.


Intersection - Bike trail entrance to road - Street name stencilled on pavement

Off-Road Paths or Trails    

Trail maintenance - bushes need to be cut back. Trail needs sweeping for goats thorns

Alignment - Next to canal

Signs - Warning signs advising of a left turn after the bridge

Signs - Street style signs at intersection with bike trail name

Amenities - Garbage pail at entrance of bike trail.

Intersection - Bike lane on road at trail intersection

Alignment - Bike trail next to canal


Intersection - With road, bike trail by active railway track

Trail Surface - Hard gravel base


Alignment - Bike Path Connecting two roads, avoiding connecting on road


Signs - Bike route sign

Signs - Trail name and destination signs

Intersection - Southbound bike lane, northbound right bend and then left turn on to trail

Signs - Do not enter sign fro bikes and cars

Signs - Bike trail route number and destination

Signs - Usage Priority - Cyclists yield to pedestrians

Path signage  

Alignment - Southbound bikes only lane

Signs - Warning - Bike wrong way sign

  City uses the same philosophy for cycling signage as is used for roads. This is exemplified by the wrong way sign for bikes.  

Alignment - Rail-Trail parallel to active railway early in the development stage

Rail-Trails    Rails-Trails in the current condition would attract only the mountain bike set. Roughness in the trail and goat thorns would repulse road cyclists.  

Trail Surface - hard gravel surface

  Bridges    Not applicable  
  Intersection Design      
    Signalized No comments  
    Not Signalized No comments    

Intersection - Dotted bike lane line on through lane side directing cars where to turn right

  Right Turn Traffic Lane and Straight Through Bike Lane


Intersection - Dotted bike lane line on through lane side directing cars where to turn right

    Primary objective is for drivers to know where to expect cyclists and to make cyclists aware of where their space is. Dotting the lines on both sides of a bike lane is a positive step towards that. Additional measures would include colouring the transition portion of the bike lane and placing as warning sign for motorists before the transition area advising that cyclists have the right of way and motorists must yield to cycling movement.


Intersection - Bike lane line interrupted through right turn section of road

     Cyclists feel most vulnerable where there is a conflict of movement of cars and bikes.  

Intersection - Bike lane lines dotted on both sides directing cars where to make right turn and keeping cars to the right of the combined bike lane and right turn lane

    Measures that define movement and priority of movement along with enforcement will encourage more people to use cycling for transportation.  
    Left Turn Bike Lane No comments   


Intersection - Roundabout - No cycling facilities provided within roundabout

  Roundabouts Well defined roundabouts which provide a clear path for cyclists through the roundabout and which make motorists aware of where cyclist will be will be best received by cyclists.


Intersection - Roundabout - Entrance to roundabout identified to road users with painted lines

Intersection - Roundabout - Lane width not sufficient for shared lane - bike and car

  Defining the start of a roundabout will assist in motorist recognizing that they must give way to cyclists, as per the rules of the road.  

Intersection - Bike and Rail - Rubber mat used to cross rail line

  Railway Crossing Railway crossing are a potential for making cyclists insecure and thus affect their desire to cycle. Ninety degree approaches to the crossing lessen the chance for an incident with the wheel getting caught in the track. Filling in the rail through the crossing with compressible material is a much better situation, especially in inclement weather and night cycling. Using a rubber mat also lessens the chance of slipping and makes for a better, more comfortable transition across the tracks.

  Cyclist-Activated Traffic Signals    Should be considered in Santa Fe  
  Pavement Markings      
    Cyclist or Bike Stencil  No comments  
    Bike Lane Line Width  No comments  
    Bike Lane with Car Parking Adjacent  No comments  
  Pavement Colouring    No comments  
  Signage   Signage, including destination, direction, information, and warning, was plentiful. The question is whether it is visible enough or can be easily missed when cycling by.  

Signs - Bike route number and destination signs

  Route Signs

Route number and destination.

People need to feel comfortable at all times when cycling or else they will go to other modes of transportation. If they feel lost or if they are uncertain as to where they should log next, then such discomfort may drive them from cycling.

Easy recognition of cycling oriented signs is important as cyclists' attention is drawn first to passing traffic.

Green signage does not show up as well as darker blue signs when competing against various background, lighting, and weather condition.

    Destination Limited destination signage is used in conjunction with route number. More destination sinage would be useful for the touring cyclists.  
    Direction Limited usage.   Would be useful for leading cyclists to cycling facilities and to bike or rail-trails.  
    Information  Would be very useful at the entrances to all bike or rail-trails.  
    Warning  Generally, warning signs similar to those used for cars.  
      Signage - Right Turn Lane and Straight Through Bike Lane  

Signs - Share the road sign on road with bike lane width paved shoulder.

Confusion - where should the cyclist be? On the road? On the bike lane width paved shoulder.?

  Share the Road Santa Fe's use of these signs is very confusing. has been previously commented on.  
    Grades No indication of usage of these signs. Considering the elevation and the thin air, grade signs would be useful for touring cyclists in planning their routes.   
  Lightning   No comments  
  Bike Parking      
    Post and Ring    

Bike Parking - One rack while more bikes are locked to posts and anything that can accept a lock. Insufficient parking provided.

End of Trip Facilities - Washrooms

  Bike Racks

For a weekly event, farmers market, a single bike rack is provided. Demand exceeds supply as bikes are parked and locked to sign posts and any other place where there is room. Bike parking is not conducive to encourage people to cycle to the market and do their shopping.


For bike parking to attract people to cycle to an event such ad this farmers market, there needs to always be available parking. Cyclists want to be secure that there will be a place for their bikes. 75% utilization of bike parking spots should be absolute maximum with 50% preferred.

    Bike Lockers   No information  
    Bike Stations   No information  
    Municipal Policy and Strategy, Target   No information  
  Cyclists Amenities      
    End of Trip Facilities   No information  
    Trip Facilities   No information  
Cycling Infrastructure Design
Standards and Directions
Cycling and Transit        
  Cycling Mode Share - Transit Ridership     No information  
  Cycling Mode Share - Rapid Transit Station Access     No information  
  Targets – Cycling and Transit Usage     No information  
  Programs     No information  
  Bus and Bikes      
    Bike Racks Bus Program  All buses have bike racks. Racks are used.  
    Bus Stops Access and Bike Parking    
  Streetcars and Bikes     No information  
  Rapid Transit and Bikes    Rapid transit is coming to Santa Fe in 2008. There was no evidence of planning to integrate bikes and rapid transit and promotion of bike and rapid transit intermodal commuting.  
    Rapid Transit Stops Access and Bike Parking   No information  
  Commuter Transit and Bikes - Regional      
    Rapid Transit Stops Access and Bike Parking   No information  
  Trains – Inter-Regional     No information  
  Cycling Friendly Transit Stops     No information  
  Home or Work to Station Collector System

  No information  
Marketing of Cycling      No information  
  Target Customers     No information  
  Marketing Plan     No information  
  Intermodal Commuting     No information  
  Communications with Cyclists     No information  
  Promotion     No information  
  Events    No information    
  Education and Safety     No information  
  Enforcement     No information  

Cycling Contribution to the Economy

  Cycling and the Local Economy

    Retail and Hospitality Services

 A touring cyclist will spend longer in a place and will take more time travelling through it so will spend more money on industries that use local labour.


While a cyclist may do 80 to 140 km per day, a driver will do 500 km.


Touring Cyclist - In downtown Santa Fe

  Touring Cyclists Contributions This city depends on tourism and is a destination for cyclists.  
  Contribution to Bicycle Industry    There are a number of cycling shops in Santa Fe and bike rental shops catering to tourists.  
Opportunities for Improvement

  City and Region Cycling Map  

 Up to date maps focused on cycling and people who wish to cycle's needs would improve usage of cycling for transportation.


This is a city of tourists and it would be beneficial to have cycling maps focused on the needs of tourists for the greater region.

  Clarity in Classifying Cycling Facilities    Many people will only cycle if they know that it will be on off-road trails or on bike lanes. Care should be taken to classify cycling facilities so that they will attract more people to cycle.  
   Bike Parking   There is a lack of bike parking facilities in the shopping and downtown areas.   

Bike Lane Maintenance - Loose glass on the pavement

Road Maintenance  

Cyclists really detest experiencing flat tires while on a trip. The inconvenience of having to fix a flat in any weather and darkness situations is a negative effect on people's decision to cycle on their next trip.

Road garbage such as glass, staples, nails, and wire tend to cause flats.

Santa Fe could use a road maintenance program to improve cycling conditions. Road garbage and uneven asphalt in the curb lane provides safety challenges to cyclists.