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 are collaborating to develop a Mobility Choice Blueprint. It’s the only regional 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 is to understand and identify the best ways to work together 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 development of the Mobility Choice Blueprint.

The study involves technology assessments that range from hybrid and electric vehicles to self-driving cars, using in-depth community ethnography interviews — a series of intensive discussions with residents — and scenario modeling to gauge the technological impact on mobility and transportation. The findings will result in recommendations for aligning policies and programs to direct strategies and actions that will 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 intimate knowledge that comes from our prior experience working with the four entities. As lead consultant, we facilitate collaboration with agencies, private organizations and the community; inform the critical decision-making process; and manage the changes as new ideas and concepts are brought forward. 

A comprehensive and cohesive communications and outreach program supports the technical study. By including the community in scenario development, we are better able to balance 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 lets us reach a much broader audience. The interactive website connects more than 1,000 participants and 70-plus “mobility ambassadors” to help inform each decision milestone. An early product is an online survey that results in a mile-high traveler persona and identifies quality of life priorities that inform alternative scenario modeling. This allows us to take technology, community and transportation forces into consideration to arrive at a long-term vision of mobility for the region. 

Phase one involved gathering input from the public, stakeholders, transportation agencies and global mobility thought leaders regarding the mobility forces of change. Gaps were identified and used to develop various future mobility scenarios. Phase two involves further developing and comparatively evaluating scenarios. During phase three, the actual Mobility Choice Blueprint will be developed. It will outline recommendations, strategic steps and incremental decisions through 2030. Phase three is scheduled to be completed by December 2018.

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

Denver skyline
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Regional Transportation District (RTD), the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (DMCC)

Denver, CO
United States