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 Planning Process

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Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)


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A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a transportation policy-making organization made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities. It is the MPO's responsibility to plan, program, and coordinate federal transportation funds. This includes the preparation of short and long range transportation plans and programs.

In 1977, DRCOG was designated as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Denver region. This area included portions of Adams and Arapahoe counties as well as Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. DRCOG also serves as the Transportation Planning Region in developing plans for Clear Creek and Gilpin counties. In 2008, Governor Ritter approved a boundary change that added parts of Southwest Weld County to the region. In 2012, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) completed a Planning Certification Review of DRCOG.

The Statement Certifying the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process in the Denver Region states that the Denver Regional Council of Governments and its partners, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD), are addressing the major transportation issues facing the region. This includes all federally required activities, conducted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Today, DRCOG represents the perspectives of over 50 local government members, while coordinating planning efforts with various state and federal agencies.

Transportation Committees

DRCOG works with elected officials and the public through a committee system. Various transportation issues are discussed and recommendations are made. Current committees include the Regional Transportation Committee and the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Working groups and ad hoc groups are also created and appointed as needed. The calendar has dates for various council committee meetings. Agendas for these meetings are also available.


Transportation Planning in the Denver Region


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Transportation Planning in the Denver Region provides the details of how this continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process works.










Metro Vision Plan


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The Metro Vision 2035 Plan, adopted in February 2011, is the Denver region's plan for addressing the future growth of the metropolitan area. The plan provides a vision for how local governments want to see the region develop. The plan also provides a set of policies and implementation actions to achieve this.

The transportation element is expressed in the region's preferred transportation plan and networks of Metro Vision.


Regional Transportation Plan


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The 2035 Metro Vision Regional Transportation Plan addresses the challenges and guides the development of a multimodal transportation system through the year 2035. The plan was adopted by the DRCOG Board in Dec. 2007 and last updated in Feb. 2011.







Transportation Improvement Program


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The Transportation Improvement Program identifies all federally funded transportation projects in the Denver region over a six-year period.

The 2012-2017 TIP was adopted by the DRCOG Board on March 16, 2011. The TIP is amended and modified frequently.




Air Quality


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As the lead agency for regional transportation planning, DRCOG prepares transportation plans and programs associated with improving air quality.

The Regional Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program must demonstrate that they conform to air quality requirements.









Public Involvement


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As the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Denver region, DRCOG is involved in a host of federally funded transportation projects. Public Involvement in Regional Transportation Planning describes public involvement activities associated with the regional transportation planning process.






Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)


2007-2009 UPWP FY08-09 Cover


A Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is developed biannually to detail interrelated surface transportation and development planning activities to be accomplished by DRCOG, CDOT, RTD, and local governments where appropriate.







FY2014-15 Unified Planning Work Program
(October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2015)
FY2014-2015 UPWP - Adopted July 17, 2013


FY2012-13 Unified Planning Work Program
(October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013)
Amended UPWP - May 16, 2012
FY2012-2013 UPWP - Adopted July 20, 2011


FY2010-11 Unified Planning Work Program
(October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2011)
Amended UPWP - February 16, 2011
Amended UPWP - November 18, 2009
FY2010-2011 UPWP - Adopted July 15, 2009


2007-2009 Unified Planning Work Progam
(October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2009)

Amended UPWP - January 21, 2009
Amended UPWP - July 16, 2008
Amended UPWP - December 19, 2007
2007-2009 UPWP - Adopted July 18, 2007





More Information

For more information on the Transportation Planning Process, please contact Steve Cook at 303-480-6749.


Section Highlights

Transportation Short Course
Want to learn more about transportation planning in the Denver region? View the powerpoint presentation given at the transportation short course.

Selected Downloads

Transportation Planning in the Denver Region (Revised Sept. 2011)

2012 Federal Planning Certification Review for DRCOG

FY2014-2015 Unified Planning Work Program (Adopted July 2013)

DRCOG Region Map

Transportation Short Course (Jan. 2013)

Download PDF Reader

External Links

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Colorado Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

Federal Transit Administration

Regional Air Quality Council

Regional Transportation District

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