Colorado Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

Better accommodation of active transportation is playing a tangible role in Colorado’s economic health. Providing more varied and appealing access to Colorado’s rich history and natural beauty by enhancing bicycle access to Scenic Byways, for example, is boosting the state’s vital tourism sector. Providing better and safer access to Colorado’s schools is helping reduce childhood obesity, as well as creating more alert students who achieve more in the classroom and beyond. Providing affordable access to jobs is having a positive effect on Colorado’s economy. Preserving and enhancing the outdoor and active recreational lifestyle of Colorado residents through bicycling and walking facilities is creating widespread benefits. Enabling a mode shift to bicycling or transit confers three times the benefits in: congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions; increases in households’ disposable incomes; and the ongoing promotion of community health. Perhaps more so than for any other state, the investment in bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs has a huge multiplier effect on economic benefits for Colorado, for both short and long term outlooks. It is within this setting that CDOT initiated the first phase of the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning. They have been significantly assisted by Landis Evans + Partners’, formerly Sprinkle Consulting’s, leadership in this collaborative statewide plan. The key objective of this Plan was to create and implement an approach to evaluating competing projects that is consistent, defensible, and reflective of the needs and perspectives of various stakeholder groups. This builds on the methodological foundation and process used by the state’s metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and transportation planning regions (TPRs):

  • A Plan vision and broad statewide goals achieved through bicycling and walking activity, as well as the central role that the public and stakeholders had in shaping the goals and subsequent Plan elements;
  • A snapshot of the current setting to establish a general baseline for tracking progress; and

Investment decision criteria to evaluate candidate infrastructure projects and programs, alongside specific performance measures to also track statewide progress toward achieving the goals. The Plan also identifies tools for change, originating both from within CDOT and from larger national initiatives, which collectively bolster the standing of bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Finally, the Plan identifies appropriate next steps to ensure that CDOT’s many bicycle and Pedestrian Planning efforts remain responsive, flexible, and viable throughout the coming decades.