Top three things for Denver Regional Council Scenario Planning

I was privileged to participate as an expert panelist in Denver Regional Council’s  Scenario Planning Workshop earlier in the month. During my 20 minute presentation to the “public” group session, I stressed three points–further demonstrated by the below slides.

1. As it relates to urban planning and future scenarios, we need to scrutinize trends (socio-demographic, travel consumption, etc) prior to hanging one’s hat on those trends that favor particular outcomes.

2. Accessibility should unquestionably be a guiding “Measure of Effectiveness” for scenario planning.

3. There might be a large potential by aiming to increasing land use mix and density in certain key areas around Denver to better “internally capture trips and maximize likelihood for cycling.

DRCOG Metro Vision 2040 Kickoff

This coming June 7 & 8, I will be participating in:


Thursday, June 7, 12:30-5:00pm – History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Martin Room, 4th floor, Denver

Metro Vision is the Denver region’s plan to protect and enhance quality of life by guiding growth, transportation and environmental quality into the future.  The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) adopted the original one-page vision statement that is the foundation of the Metro Vision plan in 1992. Now 20 years later, DRCOG is conducting a major update of the plan to address new challenges and opportunities facing the region.

At the June 7 kickoff event, you will:

  • Get an overview of the two-year process for developing Metro Vision 2040
  • Learn the preliminary results of the Metro Vision 2040 Listening Tour – DRCOG is conducting a series of focus groups, interviews and an online survey to identify key issues the Metro Vision 2040 plan should address
  • Hear commentary from a panel of national experts on regional planning and scenario analysis, including Reid Ewing, University of Utah, Paul Waddell, University of California at Berkeley, Uri Avin, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Kevin J. Krizek, University of Colorado.
  • Help DRCOG design alternative future scenarios to explore for the Denver region
  • Network with Federal representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration

This workshop is being supported by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, and is part of the Denver region’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.

Land Use Impacts of Transportation Revenue Mechanisms

On June 5, I will be participating in the below:

Land Use Impacts of Transportation Revenue Mechanisms
Urban Land Institute | Transportation Policy and Finance Project  Expert Workshop

June 5, 2012
ULI offices, Washington, DC

Workshop goals
‐ Explore, through structured small and large group discussions, the impacts of
various transportation revenue options—including tolls, vehicle miles traveled
(VMT) taxes, and congestion pricing—on land use, development patterns, and
societal equity.
‐ Elevate the importance of land use as various transportation policy and
revenue choices are debated at the federal, state and local levels over the
coming decade.

Background: Almost 60 years ago, the U.S. began building a world‐class, nation‐spanning, expressway system—the Interstate Highway System—funding this system with taxes on the
consumption of motor fuels. But what if tolls had been chosen instead? Would it
have made a difference for U.S. cities and metropolitan land use patterns?
Today, policy makers are facing a similar decision point. Taxes on motor fuels
are a declining revenue source, and the use of tolls and other alternate funding
mechanisms is on the rise. Revenue‐generating mechanisms, such as variable
tolls, appear to promote economic efficiency by better matching price to demand.
By changing the link between the travel and costs, these mechanisms may also
have impacts on land use and development patterns.   This workshop and other related activities are designed to explore these impacts, and their implications for equity, and to suggest directions for future research and exploration.

Participants Invitees have been carefully selected for their land use and transportation
expertise. Expected workshop attendance is 14‐16 people.

Outcomes Workshop conclusions will be combined with other research in a widely
disseminated report targeted at policymakers.

Its getting easier being green

Last month I suggested it is not easy being green, for a bike lane. Apparently, it is getting a lot easier–especially if you are one of the 6 focus cities for the new green lane project…though, this effort is a bit more than putting down a bunch of paint. Even the USA Today is on board, complete with a photo of Kelly Clifton (colleague and fellow bicycle researcher) riding alongside Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.



This is how we ride….quite a rousing endorsement from Byrne

In case you missed it, the NYTimes gave David Byrne (yes, of the Talking Heads) some prime real estate in the Sunday Review section (May 27) writing about bikes and the NY bike sharing system.

He was pretty emphatic. It was good to read.

He claims that bicycling provides “emotional gratification” and this is the primary reason for riding (I suppose that is true if you are not really time constrained and have most of your destinations within a few miles; how many people does this apply to?).

In the end he writes: “Look around you. Bikes are everywhere: in glamorous ads and fashionable neighborhoods, parked outside art galleries, clubs, office buildings. More and more city workers arrive for work on bikes. The future is visible in the increasing number of bikes you see all over the urban landscape. This simple form of transportation is about to make our city more livable, more human and better connected; New Yorkers are going to love the bike-share program; culturally and physically, our city is perfectly suited for it.”

With big-time celebrity endorsements like this, he might be right.