Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint Initiative

Denver skyline

Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint Initiative

Transformative forces are rapidly changing mobility, affecting our everyday lives and the types of projects that transportation agencies need to deliver. 

In the Denver region, state and regional public-sector transportation agencies and private-sector organizations collaborated to develop a Mobility Choice Blueprint. It’s the only partnership effort of its kind in the United States, with major transportation agencies and the business community collaborating to prepare for the new mobility future. The goal was to understand and identify the best ways to prepare for the emerging technology that is revolutionizing transportation mobility. The Colorado Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation District, Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce selected HDR to lead the Mobility Choice Blueprint development.

The study assessed technology from hybrid and electric vehicles to self-driving cars, using in-depth community ethnography interviews — a series of intensive discussions with residents — and scenario modelling to gauge the technological impact on mobility and transportation. The findings recommended aligning policies and programs to direct strategies and actions that maximize the region’s future mobility, enhance community livability, and help organize and identify opportunities for public-private pilot projects and partnerships. 

Aligning regional transportation policies and programs with technology transformation on a unified regional basis is a new concept. It requires an approach and methodology based on comprehensive research and an interactive process with all stakeholders. 

Our approach integrates the expertise of a multidisciplinary technical team with an extensive community engagement campaign and draws on the knowledge that comes from our prior experience working with the four entities. As lead consultant, we facilitated collaboration with agencies, private organizations and the community; informed the critical decision-making process; and manage the changes as new ideas and concepts were brought forward. 

A comprehensive and cohesive communication and outreach program supported the technical study. By including the community in scenario development, we balanced the requirements of technology with the need to preserve and enhance the quality of life in the region. In addition to the community ethnography, our digital engagement approach let us reach a much broader audience. The interactive website connected more than 1,000 participants and 70 “mobility ambassadors” to inform each decision milestone. One product was an online survey that resulted in mile-high traveller personas and identified quality of life priorities that advised alternative scenario modelling. This allowed us to take technology, community and transportation forces into consideration to arrive at a long-term vision of mobility for the region. 

Phase one gathered input from the public, stakeholders, transportation agencies and global mobility experts regarding the mobility forces of change. Gaps were identified and used to develop various future mobility scenarios. Phase two further developed and comparatively evaluated scenarios. During phase three, the actual Mobility Choice Blueprint was developed. It outlined recommendations, strategic steps and incremental decisions through 2030. 

Looking toward the future, the Mobility Choice Blueprint set the vision and provided strategies for local agencies to integrate emerging mobility systems that result from transformative technologies. Along with promoting mobility and supporting livable communities, the Blueprint identified options for public policies and programs to guide integration, suggested public-private pilot projects to demonstrate concepts and indicated joint-funding partnership opportunities for implementation.

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Colorado Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Denver, CO
United States