Social Equity in Multimodal Corridor Planning

APA Colorado Chapter


Thursday, October 5, 2017
1:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. MDT

CM | 1.50

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What if we planned our transportation systems through the lens of social equity? If we strived to provided everyone – regardless of age, income or disability – with accessible and affordable transportation options? Learn from Front Range communities that are developing complete streets to offer a variety of safe and reliable travel choices. Planners from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins will share innovative performance measures and outreach tools aimed at investing in equitable transportation solutions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Ideas for meaningfully engaging typically under-represented communities, neighborhoods and organizations in planning for complete streets.

2. Tools to develop transportation performance measures that equitably consider all modes of travel, including people walking, biking, using transit and driving.

3. Approaches to balancing the needs of diverse user groups who all want safe and convenient travel, but are ultimately competing for the use of limited public right-of-way.


Charlie Alexander (session moderator) will introduce each of the three speakers who will present case studies from their respective communities. Main topics points for each presentation are as follows:

East Arapahoe Corridor Plan (Jean Sanson, City of Boulder)

  • Corridor context and need for complete streets transportation improvements
  • Developing multimodal performance measures to evaluate the equity of transportation alternatives for diverse user groups
  • Engaging hard-to-reach communities in the transportation planning discussion, including teen moms, high school students, service workers, transit dependent people, and people with disabilities 

Lincoln Corridor (Amy Lewin, City of Fort Collins)

  • Developing and implementing transportation projects that support the needs of a variety of nearby land uses (e.g., office, commercial, light industrial, and residential)  
  • Honoring history and promoting community through unique transportation projects in established neighborhoods
  • Working with diverse groups of neighbors from historically underrepresented areas to support project implementation and rebuild relationships

Federal Boulevard Corridor Study (Karen Good, City and County of Denver)

  • Reaching out to the community through existing community activities and coordinating with high schools to engage students to reach out to their families and neighbors, gathering insights from people who would be unlikely to attend a traditional public meeting.
  • Using the planning process to vet ideas from RTD for service changes and allowing all segments of the community to provide input on service planning prior to RTD outreach.
  • Creating an Implementation Task Force comprised of community leaders that continues to meet after the plan has been completed to prioritize projects and advocate for them with one common voice.

The session moderator will use the remaining time for Q&A, with the following prepared questions to kick off the discussion:

  • Cities and counties typically undertake corridor planning efforts for a variety of reasons: because of competing modal priorities on a corridor, to address operational or safety concerns, to affect land use change on a corridor, or to identify long-term visions for transit that require federal funding. When cities or counties are considering corridor studies in their communities, what desired outcomes do you recommend they consider before beginning the process?
  • Equity is measured in myriad ways. Oftentimes geographic equity is important within the cities and counties that we work; other times equity is examined according to populations affected by a particular project (such as low-income, youth and seniors and non-Caucasians). How does your community measure equity and what community values are causing you to look at it that way?

When working on transportation projects that address equity, there is an expectation for “political correctness” that may be more typical for the media and decision makers than it is for planners. What lessons learned or recommendations do you have for city or county staff who are trying to maintain the right level of political correctness in their planning efforts and project communications?

CM Criteria:

1.  The proposed panel session meets the planning-related objective of communicating the importance of integrating social equity into transportation planning and the methods by which communities are planning multimodal corridors that meet this objective. Panelists are city staff who represent their respective agencies and are unbiased and non-promotional. The objective of the panelists is to clearly communicate and share innovative approaches and lessons learned with other planning professionals.

2.  All panelists and the panel moderator are professional transportation planners and subject matter experts in project management, multimodal corridor planning and community engagement. The presentation format followed by audience Q&A is a proven an effective way to educate and receive meaningful dialogue on the topic. The entire 90-minute panel session will meet CM criteria by allowing for education and information sharing amongst subject matter experts and participants.

APA Colorado will be responsible for recording attendance and administration of the CM activity. 


Jean Sanson, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Jean Sanson is a Senior Transportation Planner with the City of Boulder. She has 19 years of experience in transportation and land use policy planning in both the public and private sectors. She has led interdisciplinary multi-modal transportation projects in Boulder, the metro-Denver area, as well as in Dallas-Fort Worth ... Read More

Amy Lewin

Confirmed Speaker


Karen Good, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Karen Good has been with the City of Denver for over 10 years and has worked on a variety of transportation projects including Brighton Boulevard Corridor Planning, City coordination for CDOT's I-70 East EIS, Federal Boulevard Corridor Plan, and Federal Boulevard NEPA process and the 14th Street Project. Her ... Read More

Contact Info

Shelia Booth,