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Influence of current transportation decision processes on modal outcomes

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Title:
Influence of current transportation decision processes on modal outcomes three Colorado cast studies
Creator:
Shannon, Diana Elizabeth
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Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, 469 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
1900 - 1999 ( fast )
Choice of transportation -- History -- Colorado -- 20th century ( lcsh )
Transportation -- Planning -- History -- Colorado -- 20th century ( lcsh )
Choice of transportation ( fast )
Transportation -- Planning ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
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History. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
History ( fast )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 437-469).
Thesis:
Design and planning
General Note:
College of Architecture and Planning
Statement of Responsibility:
by Diana Elizabeth Shannon.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
62785495 ( OCLC )
ocm62785495
Classification:
LD1193.A735 2005d S42 ( lcc )

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Full Text
INFLUENCE OF CURRENT TRANSPORTATION DECISION PROCESSES ON
MODAL OUTCOMES:
THREE COLORADO CASE STUDIES
by
Diana Elizabeth Shannon
B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, Harpur College, 1976
M.S., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1988
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Design and Planning
2005

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This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
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degree by
Diana Elizabeth Shannon
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Shannon, Diana Elizabeth (Ph.D., Design and Planning)
Influence of Current Transportation Decision Processes on Modal Outcomes: Three
Colorado Case Studies
Thesis Directed by Professor Fahriye Sancar
ABSTRACT
This study focuses on transportation decision processes that drive modal
outcomes. A conceptual planning model is developed from existing literature and
used to examine major Colorado transportation projects.
Due to increasing travel demands, major Colorado highway corridor users
experienced severe congestion and high accident rates during the 1990s. In their
pursuit of transportation solutions, government, community, business, and special
interest groups formed coalitions to realize various goals. The composition,
function, motivation, and effectiveness of these coalitions differed across the case
studies.
An analysis of planning theory indicates that coalitions comprised of
government, business, and special interest groups would be the most influential in
major urban decision-making. The literature also indicates that coalitions of the
past perpetuated reliance on the automobile and thus shaped our urban and suburban
environments. This in turn furthered automobile dependence.
To better understand Colorado transportation decision-making processes, the
study included an examination of three major transportation projects. Archival
research uncovered the chronology of events, significant decisions, and major actors
influencing the modal outcome. Interview research delved into the inner
workings of the decision processes. The research evaluated the factors that most
m


i
i
influenced decision-making, including regulatory framework, transportation
corridor needs, government institutions, cost and funding, business and special
interests, and the public involvement process. The power relationships of the
govemment-business-special interest group coalitions were also examined.
The case studies validated the hypothesis that these coalitions drive modal
outcome. However, the study revealed that the composition and motivation of the
coalitions varied significantly as did the modal outcome. In two of the cases,
government transportation officials acted with little direct involvement of business
and special interest groups. The study also found that the power relations
functioning within the coalition differed from case to case.
The research sheds light on planning theory, confirming that regimes of
different construct and function vary in their influence. The study also informs
planning practitioners of the inner workings of coalitions that control major urban
decisions. The study findings help practitioners anticipate modal outcomes and
possibly guide decisions toward solutions that are more sustainable for our
communities.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Fahriye Sancar
IV


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to our mother. She would have been so proud of all her
children and grandchildren.
In loving memory: Jeanne Elizabeth (Franklin) Shannon, 1923 1977.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those who were instrumental
in the completion of this dissertation. I am grateful to the committee members:
James Charlier, Brian Muller, Raymond Studer, and Thaddeus Tecza, for their
guidance, critiques, and encouragement. My sincere thanks go particularly to my
advisor, Fahriye Sancar, for her unwavering support and insightful comments that
shaped my research and dissertation over the years. I am grateful to all interview
participants and the many people who helped me access documents for the archival
research.
I would also like to extend my gratitude to my family and friends for their
continual support and encouragement. I acknowledge our Ph.D. program director,
Willem van Vliet, for his unending encouragement, and to Kim Kelley for her
support and optimistic attitude. I also appreciate the help from the other Ph.D.
students and staff and faculty of the College of Architecture and Planning.


CONTENTS
Figures..................................................................xii
Tables...................................................................xiv
Chapter
1. Introduction...........................................................1
1.1 Purpose of the Study.................................................1
1.2 Significance of the Study............................................2
1.3 Problem Statement....................................................3
1.3.1 Accident and Injury Concerns.........................................4
1.3.2 Environmental Issues.................................................4
1.3.3 Transportation and Land Use..........................................6
1.3.4 Paved Surfaces.......................................................7
1.3.5 Energy Consumption...................................................8
1.3.6 Social Equity Issues.................................................9
1.3.7 Cost Debate.........................................................10
1.3.8 Funding Transportation..............................................11
1.3.9 Public Health.......................................................13
1.3.10 Traffic Congestion
13


1.3.11 Livable Communities
14
1.4 Concluding Remarks....................................................17
1.5 Overview of the Dissertation...........................................17
2. Review of the Literature................................................19
2.1. Research Questions.....................................................19
2.2 Environmental and Transportation Planning Context....................21
2.2.1 Brief History of Environmental Policy and Transportation Planning....21
2.2.2 Relevant Laws, Regulations, and Policies.............................24
2.2.3 Institutional and Regulatory Framework...............................27
2.2.4 Concluding Remarks...................................................29
2.3 Planning Theory and Processes.........................................30
2.3.1 Planning Theory Overview..............................................31
2.3.2 Traditional, Normative, and Related Planning Theory..................33
2.3.3 Power, Reason, Rationality, and Communication........................38
2.3.4 Regime Theory........................................................41
2.3.5 Transportation Planning Studies......................................49
2.3.6 Concluding Remarks...................................................54
2.5 Colorado Transportation Planning Process..............................56
2.5.1 Transportation Planning Context.......................................56
2.5.2 Planning Theory......................................................58
2.5.3 Transportation Planning Model........................................63
viii


2.5.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure.............................68
2.5.5 Concluding Remarks..................................................70
3. Research Strategies, Methods, and Hypotheses...........................71
3.1 Research Strategies...................................................71
3.2 Research Methods.....................................................72
3.2.1 Initial Archival Research...........................................72
3.2.2 Case Study Archival Research........................................73
3.2.3 Interview Research..................................................75
3.2.4 Ethical Treatment of Research Subjects..............................78
3.3 Hypotheses and Research Factors......................................79
3.3.1 Research Hypotheses.................................................79
3.3.2 ResearchFactors.....................................................81
4. Case Study Results and Discussion.....................................87
4.1 Southeast Corridor Case Study.......................................87
4.1.1 Archival Research Summary of Events and Major Decisions...........90
4.1.2 Archival Research Key Actors.....................................101
4.1.3 Interview Research.................................................104
4.1.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion.................................119
4.1.5 Concluding Remarks.................................................130
4.2 Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study............................130
4.2.1 Archival Research Summary of Events and Major Decisions..........134
ix


4.2.2 Archival Research Key Actors....................................178
4.2.3 Interview Research................................................181
4.2.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion................................195
4.2.5 Concluding Remarks................................................209
4.3 South I-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South 1-25) Corridor Case Study.......210
4.3.1 Archival Research Summary of Events and Major Decisions.........213
4.3.2 Archival Research Key Actors....................................248
4.3.3 Interview Research................................................250
4.3.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion................................264
4.3.5 Concluding Remarks................................................273
5. Conclusions..........................................................275
5.1 Case Study Comparative Analyses.....................................276
5.1.1 Decision-making Procedure and Context.............................278
5.1.2 Key Actors and Power Distribution................................285
5.1.3 Role of Knowledge.................................................289
5.1.4 Comparative Analyses Conclusions..................................291
5.2 Research Limitations...............................................292
5.3 Future Research....................................................293
5.4 Enriching Planning Theory..........................................295
5.5 Guidelines for Planners............................................299
5.6 Closing Remarks....................................................302
x


Appendix
A. Interview Questions............................................304
B. Interview Letter And Consent Form..............................306
C. Human Subjects Research Committee Approval.....................311
D. Human Subjects Research Committee Approval Extension...........312
E. Case Study Chronology: Southeast Corridor......................313
F. Case Study Chronology: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82...........351
G. Case Study Chronology: South I-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South 1-25)
Corridor.......................................................404
Bibliography..........................................................437


FIGURES
Figure
2.1 Elements of the Environmental and Transportation Planning Context...57
2.2 Traditional Rational Transportation Planning Model...................64
2.3 Colorado Hypothetical Transportation Planning Model..................65
2.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure..............................69
4.1 Project Description with Selected Alternative: Southeast Corridor Case
Study................................................................89
4.2 Timeline of Major Events: Southeast Corridor Case Study..............91
4.3 Transportation Planning Model: Southeast Corridor...................121
4.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure: Southeast Corridor.........122
4.5 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen,
Highway 82 Case Study............................................132
4.6 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen,
Highway 82 Case Study............................................133
4.7 Timeline of Major Events: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case
Study...............................................................136
4.8 Transportation Planning Model: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82........197
4.9 Project Description with Selected Alternative: South 1-25 Corridor
Case Study..........................................................212
4.10 Timeline of Major Events: South 1-25 Corridor Case Study............214
4.11 Transportation Planning Model: South 1-25 Corridor..................267
xii


4.12
Transportation Planning Power Structure: South 1-25 Corridor.
268


TABLES
Table
4.1 Interview Summary Matrix: Southeast Corridor Case Study.........106
4.2 Interview Summary Matrix: Entrance to Aspen Case Study..........184
4.3 Interview Summary Matrix: 1-25 Corridor Case Study..............252
5.1 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Decision-making Procedure and
Context Factors.................................................280
5.2 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Key Actors and Power
Distribution Factors............................................287
5.3 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Role of Knowledge Factors.......291
G.l Summary of Travel Times by Mode: South 1-25 Corridor Case Study ..421


1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose of the Study
Our transportation systems shape the built environment and help define the
character of neighborhoods, communities, towns, and regions. Our transportation
choices, specifically the decisions to continue automobile dependence, significantly
impact our health and degrade the air, land, and water. These transportation choices
can also displace homes and businesses. Alternatives to the automobile, particularly
public transit systems, offer numerous environmental, social, and health benefits.
Transit systems can also change our urban and suburban land use patterns. In
addition, transit systems provide mobility to the young, elderly and those who
cannot afford a car.
This study focuses on critical transportation decision processes that drive
modal outcomes. The research examines policies, processes, and people that shape
transportation decisions in Colorado. This study is intended to help answer
questions about how and why transportation decisions are made, particularly those
that promote continued reliance on automobile travel. The purpose of the research
is to develop and test a planning model that describes current urban transportation
decision processes. The model is developed through an extensive analysis of
previous environmental, transportation planning, and planning theory literature.
The literature reveals factors that drive decisions, including federal and state
transportation funding, regulatory requirements, and prominent actors. These
factors and the planning model are tested and evaluated through case study research
involving archival and interview methods.
1


1.2 Significance of the Study
This study is significant because the mode of transportation we select for our
communities has many negative social, environmental, and economic impacts.
Moreover, large transportation projects have ramifications beyond the immediate
locale. The three Colorado cases studied in this investigation have impacts that
ripple across the region. These projects result in more than a few hundred jobs, new
businesses moving in, or construction of convention centers or jails. The mode of
transportation selected for the Southeast Corridor, one of the cases studied in this
research effort, affects roadways and transit systems across the metropolitan area.
In addition, large transportation projects bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the
regional and state economies. In the case of the Southeast Corridor project, the
estimated costs of the initial, primarily transit, proposal was approximately $510
million and the cost of final alternative chosen was over $1.2 billion. And even
more than this significant boost to the economy, the selection of highway expansion
versus rail transit will shape the regions land use patterns and most likely its future
transportation systems for decades to come.
Because of the significance of the mode of transportation selected for major
corridors, the research focuses on the inner workings of Colorado transportation
decision processes. This deeper understanding of the actual decision processes will
help transportation planners shift toward decisions that have fewer negative impacts
on our communities. In addition, the in-depth case studies employed in this
research will build upon the broad body of knowledge, thus aiding planners with
other urban decision processes they encounter.
This in-depth examination of decision processes entails identifying the
factors that most influence the modal outcome. Planners can use these results to
shape the built environment toward more positive social, environmental, and
2


economic outcomes. Planners can also use these results to predict certain outcomes
based on a better understanding of the most influential factors.
1.3 Problem Statement
An extensive body of literature describes the significant health, economic,
social, and environmental impacts of auto dependence in the United States. On the
other hand, many benefits are associated with the automobile, including the
convenience of getting in a car and driving wherever the roadways go. The
automobile also opened up the landscape for residential and business development.
However, the benefits of alternative modes of travel to our society far outweigh the
benefits of continued automobile dependence. A brief summary of the negative
impacts of continued auto dependence is presented below.
Over-dependence on the automobile has significant negative effects on
health and the environment and exacerbates social inequities. Our countrys heavy
reliance on automobile travel began early in the 20th Century with mass production
of automobiles and dismantling of the streetcar companies. In the 1950s and 60s,
the impacts of highway construction, air pollution, and congestion became more and
more evident and a backlash against the automobile began. Over the last 50 years,
concerns over auto dependence have continued to grow as more social,
environmental and economic concerns arose.
The following sections provide more information regarding the negative
impacts of automobile dependence. Where the literature revealed differing views
about automobile impacts, alternative perspectives are overviewed. This is to
provide as balanced a problem statement as possible. Where the literature review
identified information relevant to Colorado, it was included in the summary.
Information about Colorado will help frame the context for the case study research.
3


1.3.1 Accident and Injury Concerns
There is no doubt that one of the major concerns with automobile travel is
injury and death. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports the
notable decline in deaths since the high in the late 1970s; however, in 1999, over
41,000 people died on our nations roadways (USDOT, 2000a, p. 3-6). In contrast,
250-300 people die each year in transit accidents (USDOT, 2000a. p. 3-32).
Pedestrian accidents are a particularly critical concern. In the United States,
almost 5,000 pedestrians died in accidents in 2001 and about 78,000 were injured.
The Surface Transportation Policy Projects research indicates that the most
dangerous areas are those with lower density development patterns with higher
speed and wider roads with fewer crosswalks and sidewalks (Surface Transportation
Policy Project, 2002, pp. 7-11).
Colorado reports a similar trend in traffic-related deaths, decreasing slightly
from 1995 to 1998 due to impairment and aggressive driver programs, improved
roadway design and traffic enforcement, and vehicle safety improvements (CDOT,
2000c, p. 70).
1.3.2 Environmental Issues
The body of literature describing the environmental impacts of
transportation projects is extensive. This section is an overview of a few of these
sources to provide a picture of the environmental concerns. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an extensive assessment of the
environmental consequences of automobile travel in its 2001 report: Our Built and
Natural Environments -A Technical Review of the Interactions between Land Use,
Transportation, and Environmental Quality. A brief summary is presented below.
4


The degradation of air quality is a significant environmental and health
concern. Vehicle emissions contribute to photochemical pollution, called
smog. The emissions also impair visibility, damage crops, and impact
human health. Vehicle tailpipes comprise 40% of hydrocarbons and
nitrogen oxides and two-thirds of the carbon monoxide of all air pollution
sources. Vehicles also contribute 21-40% of other hazardous air pollutants.
The impairment of water quality from air deposition of emissions, referred to
as acid rain, impacts water bodies and forests. Water pollution also results
from drainage of automobile fluids, road sanding, and de-icing salts. The
extensive paved roadways also disrupt the flow of streams.
Greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate destabilization, have major
impacts on human society. Cars and trucks are the two largest sources of
carbon dioxide emissions, the primary greenhouse gas.
Increased traffic noise disturbances, particularly along transportation
corridors, are a significant concern.
Oil spills affect oceans as well as streams and lakes, and fuel storage
contributes to groundwater pollution through leakage of above and below
ground tanks.
The loss of open space and wetlands results from roadway construction and
sprawl development and leads to reduction and fragmentation of plant and
animal habitat.
Hazardous and other wastes are produced during the manufacture of
vehicles and when vehicles are disposed (USEPA, 2001, pp. 11-14 and 25-
33).
Transportation environmental issues are also highlighted locally by the
Denver metropolitan planning organization, the Denver Regional Council of
Governments (DRCOG), in the Metro Vision 2020 Regional Transportation Plan.
5


Automobiles are described as a major contributor to air pollution with transportation
sources contributing 81% of carbon monoxide, 71% of small particulates (PM 10),
and 49% of nitrogen oxides in the winter. The report notes that though the region
did not violate national ambient air quality standards in the mid-1990s, the growth
in auto travel is expected to be an increasing concern. According to the report,
roads and transportation facilities also cause run-off that affects water resources
(DRCOG, 1998, p. 11).
1.3.3 Transportation and Land Use
To some, transportation planning and land use are inextricably linked in a
dual causal relationship. As population and development increase, congestion
increases on existing roadways. This increased demand has generally led to more
road building that in turn raises land values and encourages more development.
From this perspective, it follows that transportation and land use decisions should be
closely coordinated, but this has not been the case in all situations. In the less
satisfactory case, the highway engineers tend to think in terms of meeting demand
rather than a combination of meeting demand and shaping the future of land use.
(Levy, 1997. p. 210).
Newman and Kenworthy argue that the transportation, economic, and
cultural priorities of cities are the dominant forces that shape our cities (Newman
and Kenworthy, 1999b, p. 29). The authors describe how cities initially evolved,
first as walking cities, then as predominantly transit oriented, and finally as auto
cities. The mode of travel determines a citys size, its density, and its shape
(Newman and Kenworthy, 1999b, pp. 29-31). With the auto, low-density housing
prevailed and distances traveled to work increased dramatically. Particularly after
World War II, the proliferation of the automobile and bus lines transformed the
6


shape of cities. It became possible to develop in any direction, first filling in
between train lines and then going out as far as 50 kilometers. (Newman and
Kenworthy, 1999b, p. 31).
The Sierra Club, a national environmental organization, recently issued a
study condemning sprawling development patterns. It found that sprawling
development of our suburbs and cities is forcing us to drive farther and more often.
The report grades Americas 50 largest cities on transportation-related smog, the
amount of investment in public transportation, and the amount of time drivers spend
on the road. The report shows the linkage between land use and transportation
systems and air quality. States receiving passing grades were generally those with
good transit systems, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Illinois (Sierra
Club, 2001, pp. 1-3).
1.3.4 Paved Surfaces
High levels of auto dependence and the related sprawling land development
patterns result in large amounts of paved, impervious surfaces. The EPA describes
the negative impacts on waterways in its January 2001 report. These impacts
include greater storm runoff volume and increased velocity leading to larger and
more frequent local flooding. Stream bank erosion and increased sedimentation also
occur and lead to impacts on aquatic organisms, accumulation of pollutants and
adverse effects on fish and shellfish. Faster runoff also reduces percolation into the
ground that feed streams between storm events. This reduced stream flow may
affect aquatic habitat and allow toxic spills to stay concentrated longer. Greater
impervious surfaces also reduce groundwater recharge affecting drinking water
supplies (USEPA, 2001, p. 15-6).
7


1.3.5 Energy Consumption
Consumption of energy, particularly fossil fuels, is one of the most
significant issues surrounding our dependence on the automobile. A recent
transportation planning textbook identifies motor vehicles as the largest single
consumers of petroleum in the United States and Canada. Since the foreign oil
embargoes of the mid-1970s, transportation energy consumption has been an
important national issue: In 1973, transportation accounted for 51% of the U.S.
consumption of petroleum products; by the mid-1990s this use had reached 67% of
the total consumption (Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 122).
The national policy reaction to the increasing use of petroleum has generally
focused on vehicle technology improvements. Modem automobiles are far more
fuel efficient than in the 1970s. In 1975, passenger car fuel economy was 13.5
miles per gallon (mpg) and this has increased to 28-29 mpg in 1999. The authors
note this increasing efficiency leveled off due to heavier and higher powered
vehicles entering the fleet in recent years (Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 123).
The U.S. Transportation Department, in its recent report, The Changing
Face of Transportation, also echoes concern for transportation-related energy use:
Transportation cannot occur without energy, which is a major
concern for the transportation industry because of the environmental
consequences of using energy and because the worlds resources of
petroleum, on which most modem transportation systems rely, are
limited (USDOT, 2000a, p. 5-18).
This national report highlights the U.S. economic impacts resulting from past oil
price shocks and estimates that, a single future shock could cost hundreds of
billions of dollars. It also references the significant transfer of wealth from U.S. to
foreign oil producers as a concern (USDOT, 2000a, p. 5-22). So, we see that heavy
8


reliance on the automobile consumes enormous amounts of fossil fuels and
threatens our economy.
Low density, sprawling land use development patterns with their lack of
mixed uses do not support transit, bicycling or other alternatives to the automobile.
These land use patterns also result in high consumption of energy to power single
occupant vehicles. Kenworthy and Laubes study of energy use in 47 international
cities shows the automobile is the least energy efficient mode of transportation. The
study also revealed American cities use over eight times more energy in private
passenger transportation than Asian cities, the most energy efficient cities included
in their global study (Kenworthy and Laube, 1999a, pp. 23-48).
1.3.6 Social Equity Issues
The Surface Transportation Policy Projects report concludes that the cost of
transportation impacts poor more than the higher income households. Using an
estimated annual cost of $6,300 for an average household to purchase, maintain and
operate a car, the study found this was only 14% of the highest income households
(those making more than $60,500), while it was 36% of the income of the poor
households. That is, for every dollar spent by these poorer households, 36 cents
goes to providing transportation. This report demonstrates the greater impact of
automobile use on poorer families, highlighting just one of the social issues
surrounding automobile dependence (Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2000,
pp. 10-11).
Bemick and Cervero believe social injustices are some of the more troubling
effects of an increasingly auto-dependent society:
Those who are too poor, disabled, young or old to own or drive a car
are effectively left out of many of societys offerings. For the inner-
9


city poor, this means isolation from job opportunities. For older
Americans, it can mean loneliness and inadequate attention to
medical needs (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, p. 46).
These authors emphasize that regardless of technology innovations that minimize
other impacts of the automobile, such as traffic flow technologies and cleaner and
more energy efficient cars, none of this reduces the physical and social isolation of
auto-dependence. The authors reference several studies supporting these
conclusions (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, pp. 46-48).
Harrigan and Nice also point out the social concerns caused by the
imbalance in our transportation system: Perhaps a third of the population is too old,
too young, too disabled, or to poor to own and drive an automobile. Probably a fifth
of all households do not own an automobile (Harrigan and Nice, 2001, p. 406).
Colorados transportation planning report, published in 2000, provides
similar concerns in its socioeconomic portrait. It states that people over 65 and
those under 17 make up 13% and 23% of the population, respectively. The report
refers to this subpopulation, comprising 36% of the states population, as
transportation dependent. As a result, it declares, Public transportation is critical
to meeting the accessibility of the elderly, as well as those too young to drive.
(CDOT, 2000c, p. 27). The report also states that 7% of Colorados occupied
housing units are without a vehicle, according to the 1990 Census (CDOT, 2000c, p.
29).
1.3.7 Cost Debate
Many drivers in the United States dont believe the cost of driving is high.
For example, the driver who pays $1.70 for a gallon of gas and gets 25 miles per
gallon only sees a low cost of 7 cents per mile for travel. From this perspective,
driving alone seems like a great deal. However, the American Automobile
i
10


Association combines the cost to buy, fuel, and maintain a car and estimates that it
costs 44 to 62 cents per mile. A recent study indicates that where you live also
determines the cost of transportation. Sprawling metropolitan areas with limited
transportation choices have higher transportation costs (Surface Transportation
Policy Project, 2000, pp. 9-10 and 9-17).
Perhaps not so surprising, there is growing interest in assessments of the full
cost of transportation. Traditional assessments of user costs include vehicle
financing, insurance, fuel, maintenance and repair, parking, transit fares, travel time
and user accident costs. The City of Boulders study also includes government
costs, such as roadway investments, municipal (police, fire, and justice) costs, costs
government incurs for accidents, and societal costs (parking, accidents, pollution,
and noise impacts). The report found that when taking into account the full cost of
transportation, automobile travel costs about $1 per mile. One of the reports major
findings is that using transit in Boulder is more cost-effective than driving alone
(Boulder, 1996, pp. 1-7).
The Conservation Law Foundation study found that driving alone costs 54 to
94 cents per mile and the cost of commuter rail is almost always less (ranging from
29 to 64 cents per mile). For a typical suburb to city-center commute, the study
shows carpooling costs $5.15, commuter rail $6.13, and driving alone significantly
more at $10.60 per person (Burrington, 1994, pp. 4-5).
1.3.8 Funding Transportation
The previous section of this report is an overview of how much it costs to
travel. The financing side of transportation also includes who subsidizes
transportation and by how much. John Levy presents a traditional view. He
concludes in his urban planning text that automobile transportation is paid primarily
11


by those who drive. Levy identifies the direct costs borne by the car owner and the
indirect costs paid through highway taxes and license and registration fees. He also
refers to the hidden costs associated with the auto such as air pollution, deaths and
injuries on our roadways, and the increased costs of sprawling land use patterns,
though he doesnt attempt to quantify these costs. Levy concludes: One might
argue that suburbanization is a cost the automobile has imposed on America. In
contrast, most costs associated with transit are subsidized by public funds, primarily
federal monies. The author cites 1992 showing public transit systems costs were
$16.5 billion and only $6.2 billion was collected in fares. He asserts the cost
difference was subsidized by the government (Levy, 1997, pp. 206-7).
The Conservation Law Foundations study contrasts Levys perspectives of
subsiding transit. The study examined not just the cost of highway construction and
maintenance, but also the costs to government for police, fire, and court expenses,
public parking expenses, and tax breaks for employer-provided parking. The report
finds that government subsidizes solo driving as much as it subsidizes commuter rail
and subway travel. In addition, from the perspective of how much travelers pay
relative to the costs they impose, commuter rail riders in Boston pay 47% of the
cost, while solo drivers pay a mere 14% of public costs (Burlington, 1994, pp. 23-
4).
When we turn to a Federal Highway Administration officials view we also
see a negative perspective of the costs drivers pay. Patrick DeCorla-Souza recently
wrote about options to charge drivers for highway driving, referred to as value
pricing. He reports that average highway construction expenses amount to 30
cents per vehicle mile driven: however, fuel taxes collect only 2 cents per mile. The
author states that the bargain price charged to motorists for use of this expensive
capacity increases demand, and congestion returns soon after lanes are added.
Because of these high costs and low assessment of fees to highway users he
recommends value pricing, via tolls, for road use that vary based on the amount of
12


traffic congestion (DeCorla-Souza, 2002, p. 22). From this summary it is clear that
users do not pay the full public cost of either form of transportation. And most of
the public costs are borne by state and local governments.
I. 3.9 Public Health
Transportation-related health impacts were recently reported by Dr. Richard
J. Jackson, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health of the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention. Jackson found air pollution causes more deaths
than traffic accidents. In addition, he found that it has increased asthma attacks.
For children with asthma this is particularly significant since they are more sensitive
to air pollution. The author reported that 25% of American children live in areas
that regularly exceed ozone standards and more than 25% of ozone comes from
vehicle emissions (Jackson, 2001, pp. 6-7).
Jacksons report links extensive use of the automobile and the design of our
sprawling suburban environments to a decrease in physical activity and obesity, and
high traffic volume is associated with increased pedestrian and cycling injuries
(Jackson, 2001, p. 11).
1.3.10 Traffic Congestion
No overview of auto-dependence should conclude without a look at traffic
congestion. At the national level there has been a significant increase in congestion
in recent history. From 1982 to 1997, travel under congested roadway conditions
doubled. The U.S. Transportation Department report also cites large delays
nationwide in driving (USDOT, 2000c, p. 2-9). In 2000, the National Governors
Association (NGA) declared that traffic congestion is the number one quality-of-
13


life complaint of Americans (NGA, 2000, p. 7). The NGAs report also noted
vehicle miles traveled had increased 125% in the last 30 years. This is four times
the population growth rate. Congestion costs over $72 billion annually in lost time
and wasted fuel (NGA, 2000, p. 10).
In Colorado, we see similar traffic congestion concerns. The states
transportation plan found, Traffic congestion was the most frequently mentioned
concern named by 40% of the [survey] respondents (CDOT, 2000c, p. 3).
1.3.11 Livable Communities
The concerns described in this research problem statement affect how we
feel about the places we live, work, and recreate. Clean air and streams, safe streets,
and the ability to travel without significant delay are just of a few of the
transportation-related attributes that attract us to an area. The literature review
identifies a number of authors who focus on how transportation systems can help
create more positive living environments. The USDOTs 2000 report,
Transportation Decision Making, Policy Architecture for the 21st Century, describes
Vice President Gores efforts to encourage livable communities. This report
highlights the important relationship of transportation decisions to the quality and
character of our communities. The report touts a number of efforts including ways
to preserve green space, ease traffic congestion, restore a sense of community,
pursue regional smart growth strategies and enhance economic competitiveness
(USDOT, 2000b, p. 13).
A study of two California cities provides a practical illustration of the
concept of livable communities. Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen examined how
oil development and a major highway project affected the character of the Santa
Barbara and Ventura. In Ventura in the late 1950s, there was little opposition to
14


reconstruct Highway 101 in a manner that created a barrier between the downtown
area and the beach. When the authors conducted their research interviews in the
1990s, it was clear that the highway design caused problems not conducive to
attracting tourism.
The decision to depress a portion of the freeway created a canyon
effort for cars coming through the heart of the city, meaning that
neither the beach nor the historic Ventura mission can beckon to
travelers (Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, p. 808).
The highways off-ramp created a dangerous environment for pedestrians and the
freeway obstructed the ocean view (Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, p.
808). On the other hand, in Santa Barbara citizens and city officials expressed
strong opposition to the states highway upgrading proposal and construction was
delayed for years. The final compromise involved a heavily landscaped, partially
elevated freeway through downtown with an underpass for autos and pedestrians
linking the city center to the beach. Though critics still oppose the reconstructed
freeway in Santa Barbara it supports the character of a vibrant downtown linked to
its beachfront, in contrast to the resultant highway design in nearby Ventura
(Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, pp. 809-810).
Bemick and Cervero highlight aspects of transit villages, modeled after
the railroad and streetcar suburbs of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in
the U.S. These early transit villages were situated outside the industrial and
commercial city centers and linked by rail lines (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, p. 15).
The authors emphasize the pedestrian-friendly streets, human scale of the buildings,
mixed income housing, compact design, location near transit stations, and mixes of
shops and residences (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, p. 7). They also found other
positive attributes, including arrangement of buildings and streets that encourage
meeting people and interacting, as well as the provision of public spaces for
gathering and celebration (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, pp. 5 and 7). The railroad
I
15


suburbs studied by Bemick and Cervero generally have surrounding green belts that
help define the towns boundaries, thus creating a defined edge that instilled in its
residents a sense of place. (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, p. 32). Similarly,
Calthorpe defines aspects of transit oriented development to include mixed use
developments with moderate to high density, walkable environments, and transit
services (Calthorpe, 1993, p. 410).
In the 1990s, another effort arose that also associates transportation decision
outcomes with community design is Smart Growth. The International City/County
Management Association (ICMA) refers to smart growth as development that
encourages economic health, diverse housing and jobs, clean environment, and a
variety of transportation alternatives (ICMA, 2002, p. 1). The transportation
component of smart growth focuses on providing multimodal solutions that are
linked to land-use patterns (ICMA, 2002, p. 62). Other terms, such as
neotraditional development and new urbanism, have evolved that also
incorporate many of these positive community attributes of compactness, mixed
uses, pedestrian and transit-orientation, etc., (Bemick and Cervero, 1997, p. 5). And
a residential design concept that has shown increasing success in Denmark, Sweden,
Great Britain, and Germany, is the woonerf or living street. Woonerfs involve
streets designed to significantly slow automobile traffic and to encourage
pedestrians and cyclists to share the street with the auto. This has created friendly
streets with notably lower accident rates (Sierra Club, 2004, p. 15).
Some regional reports also tout the successes of designing towns and cities
and transportation systems that create livable communities. The Denver Regional
Council of Governments, the Colorado Front Ranges metropolitan planning
organization, recently published a report on urban centers that help to address
long-term growth and development in the region (DRCOG, 2001, p. 4). The
characteristics of urban centers include compact and mixed use developments,
16


pedestrian-friendly central areas, provision of transit, and a variety of activities
(DRCOG, 2001, p. 8).
1.4 Concluding Remarks
Transportation planning processes in the United States and across the globe
continue to result in unwise decisions that shape our cities. Studies have identified
numerous negative impacts of transportation decisions, including air pollution,
increasing traffic congestion and traffic accidents, rising costs to maintain our
roadways and traffic systems, wasteful land use (low density residential and office
development), and increasing dependence on non-renewable, foreign fossil fuels.
Though planning processes are more sophisticated now than in previous decades
and there is more information about the negative impacts, it appears that current
decision-making processes in Colorado, and elsewhere in the United States,
continue to encourage automobile dependence.
This summary overviews a number of sources identified during the study
literature review that describe the significant negative impacts of transportation
decision outcomes to our communities. This summary operationalizes the problem
statement that initiated this research effort. This problem statement highlights the
importance of understanding who makes major transportation modal decisions in
Colorado and how these decision are made.
1.5 Overview of the Dissertation
The next chapter opens with the primary research questions, focusing on
transportation decision-making. These research questions guided the literature
review. A summary of the fields of environmental and transportation planning is
17


then presented, followed by an overview of relevant planning theories. Finally, the
latter part of Chapter 2 presents a planning model and a conceptualization of power
relationships. Colorado transportation decision processes are expected to follow
these models.
Chapter 3 describes the research strategy and the methods. Archival
research, primarily involving government records, identifies the major events,
people, and decisions that led to selection of the transportation modes for each case
study. This chapter also explains how and why the specific cases were selected.
And it describes how the case studies were conducted. In addition to the archival
research, in-depth one-on-one interviews were employed to describe aspects of the
decision processes that were not clear from the archival research. Chapter 3 also
presents the research hypotheses derived from the literature reviews. The literature
reviews help describe the factors, such as funding, that influence decision processes.
The heart of this dissertation lies in the case studies. Chapter 4 overviews
the cases and correlates the factors expected to influence the decision processes to
the actual outcomes. The case studies are used to test the planning model and power
relationship model.
Chapter 5 synthesizes the results of the three case studies and offers
generalized findings. The conclusion provides transportation planners with
guidelines to help identify ways to shape future decisions and to predict modal
outcomes. Herein lies the significance of the research results: building upon the
body of transportation planning knowledge and offering practical tools to move our
communities toward more sustainable futures.
18


2. Review of the Literature
This chapter presents the research questions that emerged from the problem
statement described in Chapter 1. These research questions in turn guide the
literature review. The literature reviews focus on environmental policy
development and transportation planning in the United States. The other major area
of literature studied is planning theory.
The latter part of this chapter posits a planning model that Colorado
transportation processes are expected to follow. This planning model builds from
the traditional rational planning model. In addition, a generalized structure of the
individuals and groups that most influence decision processes is presented, also
derived from the planning theory literature.
2.1 Research Questions
The problem statement and its significance, highlighted earlier, focused this
study on the transportation decision-making processes, and in particular the mode
selected for major transportation corridors. It then follows that the primary research
question should steer the study toward the current decision processes. As a result
the primary research question is: How do current transportation decision processes
influence modal outcomes? This question incorporates the how of the process,
including how decision-makers (government officials, planners, and engineers) go
about deciding to build more highways or shift to transit systems. This includes the
procedures they follow and the constraints imposed on the decision processes. This
broad research question also encompasses the key actors, the decision-makers and
19


others that most influence the modal outcome. In addition, it focuses on the role of
knowledge in the decision processes. The literature review informs a set of specific
research questions that further guides the research. These specific research
questions are organized around these focal areas that relate to the primary research
question:
1. Decision-Making Procedure
What is the decision-making procedure; the specific planning process that is
followed?
2. Context
What are the constraints and opportunities that most influence the modal
outcome?
What types of policies, politics and economics most influence the modal
outcome?
What other contextual factors shape the modal outcome?
3. Key Actors
Who are the decision-makers?
4. Power
Who wields the power to influence key decisions?
How is power distributed?
Who holds/uses/controls knowledge that most influences decision-making?
5. Knowledge
What is the role of knowledge?
How is knowledge/information used in the decision processes?
20


2.2 Environmental and Transportation Planning Context
An extensive review of environmental and transportation planning literature
was conducted as part of this research effort. To fully understand the case study
decision processes, it was critically important to describe their context. Initially, the
literature focused on transportation planning processes and requirements, such as
the mandates of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), and
key environmental requirements, particularly the process defined by the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Air Act and its amendments. And
as expected, the literature review identified many other factors affecting major
transportation decisions, including the availability of funding, government agency
directives, business needs, and interest groups. The following sections summarize
the literature review findings that describe the national, state, regional and local
context in which major transportation decisions are made in Colorado.
2.2.1 Brief History of Environmental Policy and
Transportation Planning
This short history of environmental and transportation planning policy in the
United States is presented to show how the environmental and transportation fields
evolved over time responding to the severity and complexity of our industrialized
civilization's impacts on the environment, public health, economy, and society in
general. This historical summary also overviews the federal mandates that shape
the way decisions are made today. This overview includes a summary of the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act, and several
transportation-related laws, including ISTEA and the Transportation Equity Act for
the 21st Century (TEA-21).
21


Selected guidance documents and regulations are described; however, an
exhaustive overview of pertinent requirements was not conducted. Instead, this
summary focuses on requirements that seem to directly shape major transportation
decisions. In the review of these guidelines and regulations, we see an increasing
level of complexity and control, reflecting the heightened level of understanding of
the environmental, health, economic, and societal impacts. The initial paragraphs of
this chapter set the stage for describing the context in which the research case
studies transpired.
There was a growing awareness of environmental issues dating back to the
1890s as the industrial revolution began to take its toll (Rothman, 2000, p. 11).
Water-borne diseases were early harbingers of the impacts. The human sewage
problem increased as cities grew. Sewage was commonly collected and then
discharged into rivers, polluting downstream water supplies and causing epidemics
of typhoid (Rothman, 2000, pp. 40-41). The seas were suffering too. Whale and
seal populations were being decimated, and ocean garbage dumping, crude oil
residues from oil spills, and the Atomic Energy Commissions authorized ocean
dumping of radioactive waste were taking their toll. Air pollution was growing in
significance. The Public Health Service broadcast health concerns arising from
carbon monoxide from vehicles as early as 1966. The Cuyahoga River ran polluted
through Cleveland and Akron, Ohio: In 1959 the river became so burdened with
volatile chemicals that it burned fitfully for eight days. (Scheffer, 1991, pp. 45-63).
These warnings were answered by new U.S. legislation and policy including
enactment of NEPA, creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in
1970, and new environmental laws to improve water and air quality and to control
solid and hazardous wastes.
As the understanding of and concern for environmental and health problems
increased, the field of transportation also experienced significant changes. Despite
the economic and mobility benefits of the highway programs, roadway construction
22


began to face challenges across the country. For example, in New York in the
1960s, the promise of 627 miles of expressways was not solving traffic congestion
(Lewis, 1997, p. 193). The highway revolt began in the Northeast, according to
Helen Leavitt. In Boston, university faculty asked the government to stop
construction of the Inner Belt and re-evaluate transportation needs of the area.
Protestors sought relief in Washington, D.C., proclaiming on signs that Cambridge
is a City, Not a Highway. Opposition also grew to the Lower Manhattan
Expressway that was planned as a 10-lane elevated highway that would displace
almost 2,000 families and 800 businesses (Leavitt, 1970, pp. 53-59).
The autos reputation as a symbol of freedom and convenience was
beginning to tarnish. Concerns about traffic congestion, air pollution, tom
neighborhoods, and the declining transit system grew, while our dependence on the
automobile continued. In a manner similar to our governments response to
growing awareness of many economic, social and environmental issues in the 1960s
and 70s, we see that transportation officials became increasingly concerned about
the impacts of automobile dependence. As a result, the field of transportation
planning began to change.
The short history of environmental policy and transportation planning
presented below provides a brief glimpse of their evolution in the United States.
Both fields saw a growing understanding of the negative impacts of our
industrialized society and of auto dependence in particular. The next section
overviews environmental and transportation planning requirements that grew from
the recognition of negative impacts.
23


2.2.2 Relevant Laws, Regulations, and Policies
Congress passed the first air quality law in 1955, though it was designed
primarily to encourage federal, state and local cooperation in air quality
improvement efforts. As concern grew over declining air quality in cities, the law
was amended in 1967 and again in 1970. It was clear that automobiles were major
contributors to air pollution and that expanding roadways, though that may initially
reduce traffic, would generate new travel demand and thus cause additional air
emissions. The 1970 law also gave states broad authority to adopt transportation
control measures to restrict automobile use. In addition, it required EPA to establish
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). States were required to submit
air quality management plans, called State Implementation Plans, for all areas that
could not attain the NAAQS (Garrett and Wachs, 1996, pp. 9-11).
Many states could not meet the air quality standards, so Congress amended
the Clean Air Act in 1977 to provide extensions for compliance and to require
inventories of stationary air pollution sources, such as industrial facilities, in
addition to vehicle emissions. EPA subsequently published information on ways to
implement the various transportation control measures that included expanded
public transit, high occupancy vehicle lanes, ridesharing programs, pedestrian paths,
and others. The law required consistency between transportation planning and air
quality plans, referred to as conformity. Conformity was required of all highway
projects receiving federal funds and even metropolitan planning organization
projects and programs that didnt receive federal dollars. The law provided for
sanctions that included withholding federal highway funds. However, it is clear that
withholding federal highways dollars was politically unacceptable (Garrett and
Wachs, 1996, pp. 13-5).
As with other significant federally controlled and/or funded projects and
programs, NEPA directly influenced transportation project decision-making. The
24


law requires that a detailed statement of environmental impacts be prepared for all
major federal actions that significantly [affect] the quality of the human
environment. This detailed review is referred to as an environmental impact
statement (EIS). NEPA describes the overall contents of an EIS, including the
environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternative actions, the adverse
environmental effects that cannot be avoided, the relationship between local short-
term uses of the environment and maintenance and enhancement of long-term
productivity, and any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources
required by the proposed action (USCA, 1970, Section 102C). Most large roadway
projects are considered major federal actions because they will involve a large
investment of federal funding. In addition, most large construction projects
significantly impact the environment and natural and historic resources.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initially promulgated
regulations further describing the requirements of NEPA in 1980. It established
classes of actions and prescribed the level of documentation needed. For example,
projects that significantly affect the environment require an EIS. Some federal
actions receive a categorical exclusion in the regulations, including those which
do not induce significant impacts to planned growth or land use for the area; do not
require the relocation of significant numbers of people; do not have a significant
impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resources.... An EIS
is not required for projects that are categorically excluded (CFR, 1997, Part
771.117a)
FHWA issued joint guidance for preparing an EIS. The guidance describes
how the alternatives should be defined, including all reasonable alternatives
even those that were previously screened out. The guidance lists the range of
alternatives to be considered, from transportation system management including
ridesharing, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and traffic signal timing
optimization, to mass transit, highway construction and improvement alternatives
25


(USDOT, 1987, p. 14-6). The guidance also describes how air quality
considerations should be included in the EIS documents (USDOT, 1987, pp. 23-24).
Federal mandates appear to play an even more significant role in
transportation planning in the 1990s than in the past. The Clean Air Act
Amendments of 1990 renewed the federal governments emphasis on
transportation control measures, thus strengthening the bond between transportation
planning and air quality. Garret and Wachs note that this linkage had been
downplayed in the 1974 and 1977 amendments to the air quality law. In 1990,
Congress also required that automatic penalties apply to nonattainment areas that
did not comply with the law (Garret and Wachs (1996) pp. 20-21). The 1991
ISTEA law also appears to have made sweeping changes in urban transportation
planning. Garret and Wachs emphasize the laws importance: These two pieces of
federal legislation are among the most important landmarks in a decade-long shift of
emphasis in regional transportation planning. The authors indicate that the laws
mandate better analysis of the impact of transportation plans and projects on
congestion, land use, and travel. The authors believe that future transportation
investments in roads and transit will change and regional development will also be
affected (Garret and Wachs, 1996, p. 1).
In June 1998, President Clinton signed into law TEA-21. This law built
upon the policies and programs of ISTEA. Of great importance, the new law
guaranteed a record $200 billion in investments for highway safety, highways,
transit, and other programs. It also continued and expanded the landmark
environmental programs created earlier (USDOT, 2000a, pp. 2-8). TEA-21
continued the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program,
providing $8.1 billion in flexible funding over six years to state and local
governments to help meet requirements of the Clean Air Act. It also continued
enhancement programs that could include investments ranging from pedestrian and
bicycle safety education to establishing transportation museums (USDOT, 1998, pp.
!
26


33-34). TEA-21 and other federal transportation policies were viewed as changing
the face of transportation: Secretary Slater challenged us to expand our horizon by
pursuing a transportation system that is more than just a physical infrastructure of
concrete, asphalt, and steel; and in turn, he redefined transportation to be about
people and their total quality of life (USDOT, 2000a, pp. 1-2).
When examining changes in transportation investments, we see that major
expenditures for new highways and roadway widening continue. Boston is using
TEA-21 funds for the now infamous Big Dig, Montana is widening sections of I-
90, and Florida is spending about $55 million for roadway widening. Some regions
are investing in transit, including New Jersey, New York City, Dallas, Orange
County, CA; and Portland, OR, though some critics believe monies for transit are
too small compared to overall available transportation funding (Walters, 2002, pp.
72-3).
2.2.3 Institutional and Regulatory Framework
The government agencies and the legal and policy requirements noted above
create a framework for the decision processes studied. The following paragraphs
briefly overview the government agencies and their roles in major Colorado
transportation projects. This section helps to describe the context in which these
major decisions occur.
There are several organizations within the U.S. Department of
Transportation that play important roles in the Colorado cases. FHWA is
responsible for overseeing federal roadway improvements, the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) is involved in major transit projects, and the Federal Rail
Administration (FRA) was involved with the rail freight aspects of one of the cases
studied. These federal agencies are charged with approving the key EIS documents,
27


in addition, they maintain direct working relationships with their state counterparts.
The summaries of the case studies, appearing in Chapter 4, describe the roles and
responsibilities of these federal agencies in more detail.
As expected, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its
Transportation Commission are the primary organizations overseeing major
highway projects. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is a key player in the
transportation aspects of transportation projects. In addition, the Denver Regional
Council of Governments (DRCOG) is the regional planning organization. This is a
key role defined by federal transportation laws.
The EPA is involved in reviewing the major EIS documents. It has a unique
role, defined by the Clean Air Act, Section 309. EPA is charged with reviewing and
commenting on EISs. If EPA determines the planned action doesnt satisfactorily
address public health, welfare, or environmental concerns then the agency will refer
the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (Pub. L. 91-604, 1991,
Section 309). The CEQ is responsible for overseeing the implementation of NEPA.
EPAs Region 8 Office is expected to play an important role in each of the
cases studied. EPA personnel participate in key meetings, review the draft and final
EIS documents, and provide comments. The case study research describes EPAs
role.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible
for preparing the plans for areas of the state that have air quality problems. The
State Implementation Plan, also referred to as SIP, describes measures required to
address the air quality problems. These areas are referred to as nonattainment areas.
The SEPs also include the allowable air emissions levels for vehicle and industrial
sources. The proscribed emissions levels, called emission budgets, apply directly to
the evaluation of transportation project alternatives. Specifically, the preferred
alternative must not exceed the SIP emissions budget. All three selected case
28


studies are located in nonattainment areas, so they are subject to the defined air
quality emissions budgets.
Another requirement for transportation projects is that they conform to the
requirements of the transportation plans for the region. This is referred to as
transportation conformity. In metropolitan areas, major transportation project
solutions must be included in the relevant regional plans issued by the metropolitan
planning organizations. For the Denver-metro area, DRCOG issues these planning
documents. The relevant plans are the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), a 30-
year plan, and the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), the five-year plan. The
requirements of the SIP and transportation conformity are expected to set out a rigid
framework within which only limited transportation solutions are be selected.
2.2.4 Concluding Remarks
This section summarized the environmental and transportation planning
literature reviewed for this research. The evolution of environmental policy and
transportation planning in the U.S. began to define the context for the study. In
addition, there are a number of critical laws, regulations, and policies, as well as,
government institutions that play a key role in transportation decision processes.
Available funding, the political setting, and special interest groups were all
identified during the literature review as important factors in these decision
processes. The next section overviews the planning theory literature review, which
also helps to define the decision process context.
29


2.3 Planning Theory and Processes
This section overviews planning theory and processes to inform and shape
the authors research. It first introduces urban planning and then summarizes the
major planning theories, including the rational comprehensive theory, mixed
scanning, advocacy, and others. Some authors view these theories as normative
inquiry, where the researchers focus on what planners do and what planners
ought to do (Yiftachel, 2001, p. 253).
This section also highlights the work of two authors, John Forester and Bent
Flyvbjerg. These authors both examine the role of power, reason, and
communications in planning decision-making and implementation. These authors
were selected because of the explanatory nature of their work, looking at what
happens in real planning environments. Forester believes we need to understand the
planning practice as deeply communicative and argumentative (Forester, 1989, p.
161.) He emphasizes the importance of context in which planning decisions are
made and in particular, how power shapes the process (Forester, 1989). He draws
from practicing planners, providing insight that should help build the framework for
the research.
Foresters work examines the project level and his research is of relatively
short duration. Bent Flyvbjerg, also studied at the project level; however, his work
covers many years of plan development and implementation. From Flyvbjergs
research and critiques of his work, we will see more clearly the value of carefully
examining the power relations among major stakeholders in planning decisions
(Flyvbjerg, 1998).
In the latter part of this section we shift to a broader scale and summarize
regime theory. We learn much from regime theory that employs an explanatory
approach. We also touch upon the growth machine and turn to a new look at the
corporatist theory. These broad-brush approaches provide additional perspectives
30


about government and non-government entities working together to shape urban
decisions.
This sections concluding remarks begin to describe how these normative
and selected explanatory theories inform and shape the research of urban
transportation decision-making.
2.3.1 Planning Theory Overview
Planning is a function of government that involves the exercise of
government powers and the expenditure of public funds. Within government,
regulators, policy makers and political officials play important roles in urban
decision-making. Citizens can also play a pivotal role. Citizens receive the benefits
of urban decisions and feel the negative impacts, such as the air pollution, noise, and
isolation of neighborhoods resulting from a highway construction project. Other
major actors in planning are the individuals and groups that represent economic
interests, particularly businesses affected by planning decisions. And in recent
years, advocacy groups such as environmental organizations have been increasingly
influential in planning decisions.
In addition to the key stakeholders influence in urban planning, many other
factors drive decision-making, such as the availability of funding. For example,
federal highway funding is a great driving force in local and regional decisions to
build more roadways. Some other very relevant concerns in examining planning
decision-making processes, policies and procedures involve determining how
knowledge and information is used, who holds and controls the knowledge, and who
wields the power to influence decisions.
These few paragraphs have only set the stage for the overview of planning
theory. There are many interests in most urban projects, and transportation projects
31


seem no less complex than building a school, a new suburban residential
development, or a convention center. It seems appropriate to take a little time to re-
emphasize the complexity of planning.
No authors have expressed the inherent problems of planning better than
Rittel and Webber in Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. These authors
define planning problems as uniquely different from scientific or engineering
problems. Planning problems are wicked problems because there can never be a
full understanding, there is no definable end to the solution, the solutions are neither
true nor false, good nor bad, and every problem is essentially unique. The authors
leave the reader with little promise of effective theories and tactics that will help
planners deal with wicked problems:
We have neither a theory that can locate societal goodness, nor one
that might dispel wickedness, nor one that might resolve the
problems of equity that rising pluralism is providing. We are
inclined to think that these theoretical dilemmas may be the wicked
conditions that confront us (Rittel and Webber, 1973, p. 169).
With these profound words we now turn to our overview of planning theory,
beginning with a brief look as some of the normative theories.
2.3.2 Traditional, Normative, and Related
Planning Theory
Most planning theory developed primarily following World War II. The
prominent comprehensive-rational theory of planning builds from the overarching
scientific theory that views the world logically, systematically, and objectively.
Critics of the rational model sought planning theory that better reflected the real
world by acknowledging the various motives of people and groups, the meanings
and values we attach to the world, and the structural constraints that should not be
32


ignored. From this body of overarching social theory, planning theorists developed
the theories of incrementalism and mixed scanning. Others viewed decision-making
from a pluralistic perspective where power is distributed among competing interest
groups. From this perspective grew a number of other planning theories, including
advocacy, participatory, radical, and social learning theories. These planning
theories are briefly presented below.
The most prevalent and considered to be the orthodox view is the
comprehensive-rational planning theory. The model of rational planning is
characterized as a scientific (logical and systematic) and objective planning process.
It is quantitative in nature and the planner is expected to input value-free
information for decision-makers. This procedural theory describes a rigorous
process of analyzing existing conditions, identifying agreed upon goals, examining
future conditions, analyzing and developing a set of alternatives to address planning
issues, with cost/benefit analyses, followed by implementation and evaluation.
Though this theory of planning seems to have its strengths it has also been widely
criticized, particularly because it doesnt seem to reflect the realities of the planning
process. Specifically, technical information isnt value-free, nor can there be
comprehensive analyses of all conditions and alternatives due to cost constraints
(Levy, 1997, pp. 323-324).
Critics of the rational model have suggested an alternative view of the
planning process that is based on reaching agreement on goals and building upon
existing policies; thus the process is more likely to gamer support for
implementation. Resource and time needs are much more limited because the
analyses are focused on small changes to specific issues. This theory is generally
described as incrementalism, since its goal is to make adjustments to existing
projects and programs. This theory recognizes existing constraints, particularly
political or legal, and it generally describes reality more accurately especially in
organizations that are highly reactive to citizen discontent (Lindblom, 1977 and
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1979). Critics of this theory believe it describes what many government employees
and citizens fear: planning that appears to follow a process, yet actually only
responds to the hot issue of the day or the loudest citizen voice. Criticism depicts
this theory as being reactive and not anticipatory past the issue at hand (Levy, 1997,
pp. 327-328).
The mixed-scanning planning theory was advanced by sociologist Amitai
Etzioni. It describes a model involving a general scanning aspect wherein planners
examine the overall picture in the context of the planning issue, as one would with a
broad angle camera. From this broad scanning, the elements that merit further
attention are identified. More detailed analyses of these elements are performed
analogous to a zoom camera. These detailed analyses provide science-based
information to the decision-making process (Etzioni, 1967 and 1986). This model
addresses a number of the criticisms of the rational and incremental models,
including time and resources focused on the elements that warrant more attention,
and the broad range scanning providing for a systematic approach that can
discourage ad hoc decision-making. This theory can take into account extant
political and legal constraints. It can also lead to substantive changes in the status
quo since it is not heavily invested in past experience (Levy, 1997, pp. 327-328).
Advocacy planning theory, coming from legal tradition, describes the
planner as an advocate for specific interest groups, particularly those that are
underrepresented and/or disenfranchised. This theory supports the redistribution of
power and resources. This type of planning is not intended to be value-free.
Technical information and analyses are intended to support the goals and needs of
the represented group. This theory depicts real situations and thus is an
improvement over the strict rational model. It is founded on what many believe is
the planners roleto advocate for those in need (Heskin, 1980, and Davidoff,
1965). Though the theory attempts to describe realistic planning, it has inherent
problems. The premise is that there will be disagreement over goals, thus the
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process is expected to foster conflict and thus delays in implementation. As
important, advocacy planning brings to the forefront conflicts with capital interest
groups, such as real estate investors. The planner will likely find him/herself caught
between widely divergent and conflicting political agendas. Though this model
depicts real life situations to some extent, a reviewer must assess when advocacy
planning is appropriate in light of the ethical, emotionally charged, and politically
conflicting situations that it involves (Levy, 1997, pp. 330-332).
Participatory planning theory describes the planner as a facilitator and
objective mediator of planning issues. The overall goal is to reach consensus over
goals, priorities, and alternatives to address the planning issue. Since its focus is on
obtaining subjective values and preferences, it departs significantly from the rational
model described above. In this process, science-based information is secondary to
values and preferences. This model depicts a high level of participant support if
consensus can be reached, thus leading to less time for implementation and
extensive analyses, thereby saving staff resources (Fagence, 1977). A short-term
analysis of this approach may strike fear in political decision-makers due to the lack
of control of the process, the decisions and outcomes; however, a longer-term view
may provide some comfort that when citizens participate in a meaningful way it can
lead to a strengthening of public accountability. In other words, from a normative
perspective it would seem if the public takes responsibility for decisions that affect
them, the other stakeholders (including those generally underrepresented), and their
communities, it can lead to long-term support of planning decisions and possibly
even government and elected officials.
The radical planning model resulted from heavy criticism from the political
far right, referred to as neo-Marxism, in the 1970s. This radical perspective viewed
capitalism as benefiting the capitalist class (bourgeoisie), while the masses are
prevented from seeing the truth by those in control. The radical planning model
endorses a larger government role, a smaller role for the private sector, and more
35


empowerment of the people (Levy, 1997, pp. 335-337). What we mean by
planning is a synthesis of rational action and spontaneity: evolutionary social
experimentation within the context of an ecological ethic (Grabow and Heskin,
1973, p. 112).
There are social learning theories that focus on the more humanistic aspects
of planning, acknowledging as does participatory planning that the relationships and
communication between people is paramount in any planning process. Critical
theory assesses social, political, and economic aspects of planning issues and
focuses on communicative interaction. Albrecht and Lim posit that the planning
practice can be viewed as an argumentative process wherein the problem and
solution evolve. These authors believe planning participants should use critical
judgment. With this critical theory approach it becomes possible for planners to
use technical as well as interpretive knowledge and self-reflection for identifying
problems and finding solutions (Albrecht and Lim, 1986, p. 129).
An alternative approach to traditional planning decision-making may be
found in the idea of General Systems Theory applied by Boulding and others in
1956 and further developed by Peter Checkland in 1981. Checkland posits that
systems thinking may help in tackling the kind of unstructured real-world problems
which defeat the reductionism of the method of science. For the planned research
it may be possible to employ a systems model that examines all aspects of a
complex planning project, such as a transportation proposal: the natural, the human
activities, the designed physical, and the designed abstract aspects of the real world
(Checkland, 1981, pp. 121-122).
From her studies, Judith Innes purports that the use of information is key to
influencing public and private planning outcomes. Her work builds from Jurgen
Habermas 1984 theory of communicative action. She contends that our
understanding of planning must change from the rule of the scientific method to
rules of collaboration and communication (Innes, 1998).
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1
I
These normative planning theories provided valuable information for this
research effort. They help us hypothesize about what is right and wrong, desirable
and undesirable, just or unjust in society (Marshall, 1998, p. 455). For example,
Innes work supports planners as collaborators and communicators of community
values. Some believe that planners, including transportation planners, can and
should advocate for those underrepresented, particularly poor and minority
residents, where neighborhoods are tom apart by highway projects.
Our brief look at the rational comprehensive planning model is also useful to
our analysis of the national and state context in which transportation decisions are
made. Specifically, federal transportation laws require comprehensive planning,
including full evaluation of economic, social, and environmental factors, as well as
development and analysis of alternatives. In addition, NEPA mandates thorough
consideration of social, historical, cultural, and environmental impacts of federally-
funded projects, which encompass most major transportation projects. The
normative rational planning theory espouses comprehensive assessments of
community needs, impacts of alternatives, and thorough evaluations of alternatives,
so in this sense, some aspects of transportation planning processes are expected to
adhere to major aspects of the rational planning model.
In addition, we expect to see aspects of Lindbolms incrementalism in
transportation planning. Since large transportation projects are usually managed by
government agencies that change little over time, it is likely that new transportation
decisions will be similar to those in the past, or varying from precedent only
slightly. Advocacy planning approaches are also expected to be part of
transportation project decision-making. Groups may advocate for enhanced transit
rather than expanding roadways that will displace residences adjacent to the
highway. Other citizen groups may try to influence the placement of new highways,
for example, to avoid splitting poor or minority neighborhoods that already
experience their unfair burden of environmental issues.
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Having looked at normative planning models, we now move to select
empirical research to see what the literature reveals about how decision-making
processes unfold in the real world of wicked problems. First we examine research
by Forester and Flyvbjerg. From these project-level studies, we will see in unique
cases who influences decision-making, how information is communicated and
distorted, and how power can drive project implementation.
2.3.3 Power, Reason, Rationality, and Communication
First we turn to Foresters Planning in the Face of Power. He opens the
chapter of his book with the same title by warning planners that if they ignore the
power relations that shape the planning process they assure their own
powerlessness (Forester, 1989, p. 27). He examines different types of
misinformation; citing examples in practice and explanations by other authors.
Forester then describes how misinformation can manipulate action and how
planners can anticipate, prevent, and counteract it (Forester, 1989, pp. 33-37).
We also learn of relevant research methods from Foresters investigation
into the role of power in planning. As part of his study, he interviewed planning
directors and staff in New England cities and town. He conducted extensive open-
ended interviews to obtain local planners own accounts of the challenges they face
as they simultaneously negotiate and mediate in local conflicts over land-use
permits (Forester, 1989, p. 83). Using this methodology, Forester begins to
uncover how planning decisions are made. We also note that Foresters research
suggests that in-depth interviewing can be an effective method for this
transportation research effort. From his study, Forester identifies six mediated
negotiation strategies for planners: regulator, resource, shuttle diplomacy, active and
interested mediation, and negotiation. The author recommends selecting a strategy
38


that fits the specific planning situation (Forester, 1989, pp. 88-99). His findings,
though not widely generalizable, are helping to shape the research design for this
transportation research effort.
Forester argues for a critical theory of planning that examines the social and
political-economic relations of a given structure. He cites ways that the structure
will legitimate and perpetuate itself while it seeks to extend its power and how it
will exclude certain groups to promote the illusion that science and technology
provide the answers and control public involvement. These structures will restrict
involvement of groups with public agendas that are incompatible with existing
patterns of ownership, wealth, and power. Using such a critical empirical analysis
will uncover how state and productive relations distort communications, to obscure
issues, to manipulate trust and consent, to twist face and possibility (Forester,
1989, pp. 139-141). It is expected that Foresters encouragement to employ critical
theory is valuable to this transportation planning research effort. However, we also
saw some limits in Foresters work. While promoting critical analysis of the social
and political relationships, he falls short in his research. He focuses on how
information is communicated and miscommunicated and less on how the
relationships between individuals and groups influence planning decisions. Our
brief examination of Flyvbjergs case study presented below can help fill this gap,
because he examines how information is used as well as how relationships between
those in power affects the projects implementation.
Bent Flyvbjergs study of an award-winning transportation plan in the
Danish town of Aalborg begins in the late 1970s. The author undertakes what he
describes as an in-depth case study of politics, administration, and planning
(Flyvbjerg, 1998, p. 3). Flyvbjerg identifies the influential government officials and
business leaders and follows their relations and how this affects implementation of
the transportation plan. In the latter part of the book, he reviews the project
outcomes, noting the significant lack of implementation of most aspects. Some of
39


I
the problems the original plan was aimed at mitigating were actually exacerbated by
an increase in auto traffic, even though a major goal of the plan was to decrease
automobile travel in downtown Aalborg. These negative outcomes included an
increase in traffic deaths and injury, no decrease in pedestrian-auto accidents, and an
increase in noise and air pollution (Flyvbjerg, 1998, p. 220).
Flyvbjergs dense case study uncovered a coalition of key actors that
influenced decision-making in Aalborg. These study findings may help inform
development of a model of how transportation decisions are made in Colorado. The
Aalborg coalition is similar to the highway coalition model that controlled major
transportation projects particularly during the heyday of the interstate highway
building years following World War II. So, it is not unreasonable to expect that a
coalition of key government and business players control major transportation
decisions in Colorado.
It is also important to note that Flyvbjergs dense case-study approach and
his relentless tracking of individuals involved in the Aalborg transportation planning
process were effective methods in looking behind the scenes. Seeing his methods
employed provides useful insight in examining Colorado decision processes. Lisa
Peatties critique of Flyvbjergs work reinforces this. She argues that a dense case-
study shows the characteristics of actors and inputs and the indications of outcome
as embedded in their particular manifestations, and the particular, in turn, as
manifestations of the most critically important issues. She refers to issues of power
and right and wrong. Peattie posits that this type of study is useful because it will
aid practitioners in looking out for pitfalls and potentials of particular institutional
form (Peattie, 2002, p. 259). This in-depth case study approach will most likely
uncover important characteristics of the government and non-government actors in
urban transportation planning. An outcome of this study is to provide transportation
practitioners with ways to examine their own planning particulars and perhaps help
determine what to do in certain circumstances. Flyvbjerg and Peattie both refer to
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this as phronesis study; that is knowing what to do in a particular situation.
Peattie also indicates that, in some cases, it is appropriate to generalize from
phronetic study, which would be another valuable outcome of the planned research
(Peattie, 2002, pp. 260-261).
From this brief look at Foresters and Flybjergs project-level research we
can glean insight for the Colorado transportation research, particularly that
coalitions have the greatest influence on decision-making processes and that in-
depth case studies may be the most effective research design. We now move to
regime theory to further build a framework for this research effort.
2.3.4 Regime Theory
Regime theory is considered by many to be a dominant approach to urban
study. Gerry Stoker found that this field of theory emerged in the mid-1980s. He
believes that it captures key aspects of governance at the end of the century
(Stoker, 1996, p. 269). Davies also considers regime theory to have become the
leading paradigm for studying urban politics (Davies, 2002). Regime theory may be
particularly relevant to this Colorado transportation research effort because state and
local governments and non-government actors, particularly long-term stable
business interests, seem to wield the power to make major transportation decisions.
For this overview we touch upon a number of explanatory studies of cities;
however, only one study was found that examined state-wide decision-making:
Bianco and Alders study of Oregons Statewide Transportation Planning Rule
(Bianco and Alder, 2001). Though statewide studies are limited, it seems
reasonable to assume that the regime approach can be easily adapted from the city
and regional level to the state level.
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Drawing from David Judge, Stoker describes regime theory as having "taken
on board the central thrust of much Marxist-inspired work of the 1970s.. .namely
that business control over investment decisions and resources central to societal
welfare gives it a privileged position in relations to government decision making
(Stoker, 1996, p. 270). He also refers to work of Clarence Stone, who some
consider to be the founder of regime theory. Stone defined a regime as an informal
yet relatively stable group with access to institutional resources that enable it to
have a sustained role in making governing decisions. Stone found that regimes
differ from elite-based theories in that government is not driven to accommodate
groups because of their voting power. Government is inclined to respond to those
groups that wield the resources needed to implement its goals (Stoker, 1996, p.
272).
Stoker provides some critiques of urban studies that use regime terminology.
He refers to the work of Savitch and Thomas, wherein they define several types of
regimes: (1) pluralist regimes comprised of political leaders and competitive private
actors; (2) elitist regimes made up of strong business leaders working with weak
political leaders; (3) corporatist regimes, which have strong political leaders and
unified business leaders; and (4) hyperpluralist regimes where neither business nor
political leaders are strong enough to wield significant power in the urban economy.
Stoker criticizes Savitch and Thomas work, finding that it doesnt meet the test of
regime theory as set out by Stone (Stoker, 1996, p. 275). Stoker acknowledges that
while regime theory is developing, it has already made a significant contribution to
the study of urban politics (Stoker, 1996, pp. 276 and 280).
Moving past the criticism of Savitch and Thomas work for not being true to
the characteristics of regime theory, we learn much from the authors work. They
propose that urban regimes of the 1990s are much different that those of the 1960s.
Past coalitions were generally comprised of businesses joining with the white
middle-class, while today many alliances are formed with blacks, neighborhood
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organizations, and other groups (Savitch and Thomas, 1991, p. 12). Also, cities
today are more a product of factors outside their boundaries, such as federal and
state government and suburban influences (Savitch and Thomas, 1991, p. 236).
These authors also see a shift from focus on local services and patronage, toward
an emphasis on land-use zoning, property tax assessments, and bonds for economic
development (Savitch and Thomas, 1991, p. 239).
Savitch and Thomas also describe a change from cities of the 1950s and
1960s that generally had effective central control to urban areas splintered by race,
neighborhoods, business classes, and downtown versus suburban developer
interests. This hyperpluralism has led to a decline in the elite power structures
(Savitch and Thomas, 1991, pp. 245-246). This work highlights the importance of
studying the coalitions in power, including a review of how they have changed over
recent years. This information has helped shape this Colorado transportation
research effort.
Davies analyzes the work of Stone and Elkin and examines regime theory as
a theory of structuring. He focuses on the influences of the market on local political
institutions and weighs economic forces against the influences of popular control.
He concludes It is not enough to acknowledge the influence of the market economy
on local political processes, it is also necessary to explain how fluctuations in the
economy enable and constrain political options (Davies, 2002, p. 13). Davies
normative critique of regime theory is also expected to aid in the study of urban
transportation planning.
It is also important to look at Logan and Molotchs, The City as a Growth
Machine. These authors provide a detailed description of the growth machine that
they believe drives planning decisions in most major cities in the United States. The
authors believe that the strong consensus around growth overpowers other
alternative goals for a city, such as social goals that may be advocated by some
interest groups. In their historical review of the development of cities, Logan and
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Molotch found that major capital interests, specifically those linked to real estate,
had significant influence on the shaping of urban areas. They also found that where
public agendas appeared to have been achieved, this is attributed to their alignment
with the growth machine. A case in point is the creation of competition between
cities for manufacturing facilities that promised to bring urban jobs. Though this
appears to be driven by the social goal of increasing job opportunities of lower
income and minority families in inner cities, the authors study shows that the
disenfranchised did not generally benefit from these jobs. Instead, other workers
moved in from other areas following the creation of new jobs (Logan and Molotch,
1996).
Logan and Molotch describe a systemic power wherein the business
sectors foster long-term relationships with public officials, thus further ensuring the
growth agendas are met. The authors delineate a number of other actors including
the local media, universities, and small businesses that also benefit from growth and
thus work to influence local government planning decisions (Logan and Molotch,
1996). We also understand that there is an important interdependence of growth and
transportation systems; therefore, it would seem that Logan and Molotchs research
will be particularly relevant to this urban transportation research effort.
Another study that seems important is Mollenkopf s examination of political
power in New York City during the Koch era. Mollenkopf describes several
theories to attempt to reconcile the divergent views of structuralists and pluralists.
He cites the work of Friedland, who depicts two types of cities: those at the stage of
primarily accumulating wealth, which align with the structural view, and those that
are legitimacy-oriented, that align with the pluralist approach. Another theory is the
public choice theory that depicts cities as competing for residents by providing
services that meet their unique interests. This theory lends itself toward a more
pluralist approach where citizen groups with differing interests are the focus of
planning decisions (Mollenkopf, 1992, pp. 31-2).
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It should be highlighted here that Mollenkopf attempts to reconcile the
structuralist and pluralist approaches based on the acknowledgement that
government leaders relate both to their political and electoral base and to their
economic base. This acknowledgement leads to a focus on the relationship between
state, citizenry, and the marketplace, thus providing for a synthesis of the
structuralist and pluralist views. Mollenkopf argues that community-based
coalitions can be stable, address conflicts between coalitions, and operate for long
periods of time, thus ensuring an ability to greatly influence substantive urban
decisions (Mollenkopf, 1992, pp. 37-39). There are many aspects of Mollenkpf s
work that may shed light on how transportation decisions are made, one of which is
the theory that community-based coalitions may be the key players in urban
regimes.
Before leaving this summary of regime theory and growth regimes, we turn
to an application of the corporatist paradigm for further guidance for this
transportation research effort. Bianco and Adlers research examines
implementation of Oregons Transportation Planning Rule. The authors chose the
corporatist approach because it embodies a directive role for the state. In regime
theory, according to Bianco and Adler, government assumes a partnership role with
the private sector, mobilizing resources and building coalitions. The authors shift
from the traditional corporatist paradigm by replacing the labor arm of the
corporatist triangle with the litigious public interest group: 1,000 Friends of Oregon.
Bianco and Adler conduct a case study examining the roles of each group, the
actions they took to sway implementation toward their goals, and the compromises
made, specifically modifications to the Transportation Planning Rule. From the
case study, the authors present significant planning and policy implementation
lessons (Bianco and Adler, 2001).
The corporatist paradigm may help guide the planned research because
significant aspects of transportation planning are directed by the state. For example,
45


use of state fuel tax is restricted by Colorado law. Also, the Colorado Department
of Transportation has approval authority over most significant transportation
projects. However, it is not clear if labor or another influential group plays a
significant role, so the corporatist triangle of state, private sector and labor may not
exist in Colorado, as defined by Bianco and Adler. Other aspects of Bianco and
Adlers work are also insightful, particularly the case study methodology and the
approach used to identify implementation lessons.
As we saw from the previous section, the study of urban political power will
be valuable to the planned research. It therefore seems appropriate to review the
Robert Dahls Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. Many
aspects of his study could be employed in this transportation research effort, such as
his longitudinal study of those who are most influential in New Haven. Dahl looked
at a number of questions, including, how political decisions are made and who has
the greatest influence on the decision-making process. Dahls work reminds us to
look at these key questions as they pertain to major transportation decisions in
Colorado. Dahl argued that a small number of individuals directly influenced
political action and a group of subleaders helped to build support for initiatives and
carry out the agenda of the leaders (Dahl, 1961, p. 163). Dahl also examines
patterns of leadership and the distribution of political resources.
Judge, Stoker, and Wolman overview some of the criticism of Dahls work;
however, they highlight the strength of his research methodology and his findings
that New Havens political system was pluralistic. Dahls research found that a
small number of people had the most direct influence on decision-making while the
citizenry had an indirect influence, to a lesser extent, through voting. They call this
stratified pluralism (Judge, Stoker, and Wolman, 1998, pp. 17-19). These authors
try to shed light on the similarities and differences between regime theory and
Dahls urban pluralism. They found that Clarence Stone acknowledged that the
regime approach may appear like pluralism, but Stone insisted that they are separate
46


and distinct approaches (Judge, Stoker, and Wolman, 1998, p. 27). Through this
quick review of the similarities and differences between approaches to urban study,
we can draw valuable insight to provide further direction for studying Colorado
transportation decision-making processes.
From Logan, Whaley, and Crowders review of regime studies, we gain
further insight. These authors examined hypotheses of Molotchs growth
machine theory. Their review found substantial support that local politics are
linked to land development and they are dominated by growth coalitions, though the
types of coalitions vary from place to place (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997,
pp. 606-607). In some cities anti growth coalitions have emerged, and in some cases
local elected officials have to work toward compromises, such as employing
policies to control growth at the urban edge in exchange for supporting downtown
development (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, p. 608). In addition to providing
a better understanding of growth regimes and their contrasting antigrowth
coalitions, the article also links together pluralist and regime theories. Logan,
Whaley, and Crowder see Molotchs regime theory as a new paradigm through
which pluralist findings could be reinterpreted. They point out the alliance that
Dahl found in New Haven between the mayor, planning office, and local business
interests as a regime-like coalition, thus helping to reconcile differences between
pluralist and regime approaches (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, p. 604).
While Logan, Whaley, and Crowders literature review did find support for
the dominance of growth regimes in many studies, they found mixed results when
looking at the Molotch hypothesis that growth machines make a difference the
character of a political regime and a citys specific development policies may affect
its future, but such effects are too poorly documented to be taken for granted
(Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, p. 623). There appear to be many different
ways to measure the effects of growth policies and the authors recommend further
study. These findings shed a new light on the study of Colorado transportation
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projects. It seems important to select outcome measures carefully so the decision-
making processes can be examined more in a structured, analytical manner.
Logan, Whaley, and Crowders review identified other interesting
information about growth machine studies. The authors found few studies
examined the inner workings of the coalitions:
Few researchers have attempted to study explicitly the internal
workings of pro-growth coalitions, various roles played by their
different members, tactics these actors employ, conflicts that develop
among them, or the variation in the efficacy with which various pro-
growth actors attack their task (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997,
pp. 610-611).
Logan, Whaley, and Crowder indicate that most research on urban growth
regimes uses indicators of policy outcomes instead of examining the nature of the
regime itself. They note a number of indicators have been employed, including how
active civic and business organizations are, the level of local media support for
development efforts, or even strength of growth opponents in the community
(Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, pp. 610-611). This insight from the authors,
as well as the success of Foresters and Flyvbjergs research overviewed above,
helps to reinforce the value of conducting in-depth reviews of the coalitions that
have the most influence of major Colorado transportation decisions.
This section began with a summary of normative planning theories and
regime theory and then shifted to the growth machine and pluralist models and
other variations of urban governance models. This review has only involved light
brush strokes to give some direction and framing to this transportation research
effort. We now leave general planning theory and look at a few studies that
examined transportation projects specifically.
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2.3.5 Transportation Planning Studies
Before concluding this section on planning theory and processes, we turn to
a short overview of recent transportation studies and associated planning theories.
These studies and theories are also valuable in developing a framework for the
transportation research effort.
As noted earlier, there are many transportation-related studies, ranging from
research on the costs of automobile dependence and energy use in urban
transportation systems to a study assessing how well land use transportation models
address significant policy issues such as traffic congestion, energy use, and building
a market economy (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999a; Kenworthy and Laube, 1999a;
and Mackett, 1994).
Narrowing to the field of transportation planning decision-making, a small
number of research documents was identified. We begin with Altshulers study of
the St. Paul area Intercity Freeway project and proceed to several recent articles that
seem relevant.
Altshuler examines the Intercity Freeway project that began as a direct result
of growing traffic congestion in the Twin Cities region following World War II.
His focus was the role of the three major actors: highway engineers, organized
private interests, and professional city planners. His aim was to evaluate how
effectively the St. Paul planners articulated key questions about the relations of
problems and proposals to community values, brought together available knowledge
bearing on these questions, formulated arguments supporting the various sides of
each question, and tried to bring these arguments before responsible officials for
their consideration (Altshuler, 1965, p. 18).
The citys chief planning engineer opposed the Intercity Freeway and
proposed a route adjacent to existing rail lines; one that avoided construction of the
interstate highway through a minority neighborhood. In contrast, highway officials
49


endorsed the most direct route developed from their transportation models.
Business interests, including downtown businesses and property owners, truckers,
and construction workers, were anxious to see the highway project begin. St. Pauls
planning director accepted the alignment of the new highway and focused on
highway design, such as lowering portions of the roadway below ground level, as a
way to mitigate some of the projects negative aspects (Altshuler, 1965, p. 54).
The black community leaders evaluated the impacts the freeway would have,
including splitting the district and displacing one-seventh of its residents. They also
considered benefits such as roadway construction helping to replace some badly
rundown structures. Minority leaders could support the roadway through the
minority neighborhoods as they pushed the city to proceed with the urban renewal
project and, at the same time, they worked toward solutions to some of the highway
construction impacts (Altshuler, 1965, p. 61). This study provides an interesting
examination of the stakeholders, their positions, and the controversies that arose.
Altshuler described information known to the city planners and withheld from the
public, because it seemed reasonable to focus on the opportunities they created
rather than on their unfortunate and unavoidable side-effects (Altshuler, 1965, p.
74). As we expected from our review of transportation planning, the author found
highway engineers viewed their traffic and cost data as quantitative and impartial
and they believed they selected highway routes without favoritism toward any
group or interest (Altshuler, 1965, p. 79). This research provides some historical
perspective on transportation planning. It also gives us another look behind the
scenes into the inner workings of a major urban decision-making process.
Michael Meyers recent work reviews the factors that influence
transportation planning, specifically, (1) changes in the underlying demographic,
market and technology characteristics of society, (2) evolution in planning policy
mandates, and, (3) the rapid change in technology to understand complex urban
phenomena. From his review of these factors, Meyer identifies a number of areas
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that will significantly challenge future transportation decision-makers including
highway congestion, the role of technology, and the newer policy considerations of
quality-of-life and environmental justice. The author predicts the future of
transportation planning:
The period of planning we are now entering will likely be influenced
by many different societal concerns and desires. However, the next
era of transport planning could very well be viewed by future
historians as being defined by the convergence of two dominant
trends ever-increasing technological sophistication of society (and
especially in the use of the transport system) and ever-increasing
societal concern for sustainable community development (Meyer,
2000, p. 166).
The role of citizens in transportation decisions has evolved since the days of
the great freeway revolt beginning in the 1960s. Using a citizen involvement
model developed by Sherry Amstein, C. Jotin Khisty promotes a teleogenic systems
methodology, which focuses on citizen control, delegated power, and partnership,
for transportation planning (Khisty, 2000). This particular study and the authors
earlier work seem very relevant to the study of Colorado transportation projects.
An examination of recent federal transportation legislation also provides
some insight into how we can analyze public policy. Gifford, Horan, and White
reviewed the legislative history of the ISTEA of 1991. These authors argue that
most transportation policy literature emphasizes rational analysis and
recommendations for adopting one policy rather than another. The other approach
is to examine the policy process, particularly how different policy issues are placed
on the policy agenda, the roles of interest groups and administrative agencies, who
has the most influence on decisions, and how change comes about (Gifford, Horan
and White, 1994, p. 8). This latter perspective of studying policy would seem a
good fit for the planned research, because it appears the role of interest groups and
who influences decisions is very important in Coloradoparticularly the influence
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of the Department of Transportation and the Governors office. Both promoted a
pro-highway agenda in the latter part of the 1990s, the timeframe of the selected
case study projects.
Gifford, Horan, and White apply several theoretical models to the process of
development of ISTEA, including the traditional iron triangle, made up of special
interests, related congressional committees, and agencies; the loose collection of
parties concerned with a specific policy issue, referred to as networks and
entrepreneurs; the enlightenment model, wherein interest groups change and shift
during the process; and advocacy coalitions. The authors conclude that applying
several models would provide a more robust understanding of the process
surrounding ISTEA and the eventual outcome than any single one of them would
have (Gifford, Horan and White, 1994, p. 12).
Richard Willson argues for communicative rationality as the new
paradigm for transportation planning. He criticizes the traditional technocratic role
of transportation planners, who optimize means to achieve ends that are derived
from decision-makers and society. He criticizes the nine-step transportation
planning process that has remained essentially unchanged for 50 years. He argues
that the classical instrumental rationality model does not reflect the realities of
practice. He claims that real world planners are usually not able to reach
consensus on the project outcomes and stakeholders have differing goals and
objectives. Willson draws upon other criticisms of instrumental rationality. For
example, he believes that quantification can hide equity issues in transportation
planning. He also refers to other authors who believe the traditional planning
approach does not appropriately account for political and institutional influences
(Willson, 2001, pp. 4-6).
Willson endorses communicative rationality which is concerned with
creating a rational basis for constructing ends and means in a democratic society, an
approach that integrates scientific and interpretive/social learning approaches
52


(Willson, 2001, p. 10). He builds from Habermas and Foresters work and
describes the role of planner, the purpose of planning, the planning process, as well
as communicative practices and problem-framing (Willson, 2001, pp. 15-22). The
author concludes that even though the process as redefined would take longer, it
could bring about solutions to intractable conflicts (Willson, 2001, p. 25).
Willsons arguments support many of the other approaches presented in this
chapter. And drawing from earlier chapters, communicative rationality seems
consistent with an objective of the 1991 ISTEA, that is to involve metropolitan
planning organizations more and encourage them to assume facilitative roles and
mediate between the other major stakeholders. We also saw earlier that federal
transportation legislation gives the community a more substantive role, indicating
consensus-building would become more and more important in the field of
transportation decision-making.
It would seem appropriate to end this section by highlighting a portion of
Willsons view of transportation problems. This brings us full circle to the
beginning of this chapter, to the words of Rittel and Webber describing planning
problems as wicked problems.
Instead of acting as advisors to a rational actor decision-maker who
is functioning in a closed system, transportation planners find
competing interest groups in an organizationally defined and
differentially empowered setting. Instead of well-defined problems,
they find multiple, perhaps ideologically defined problems. Instead
of perfect information and analytic certainty, they find contested,
ideological information and models that are stretched to represent
complex behavioral realities. The transportation planners challenge
is to reconcile the espoused theory with these conditions to find
practical wisdom and a process that will lead to decision-making and
plan adoption. The conventional model is not helpful in this regard
(Willson, 2001, p. 6).
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2.3.6 Concluding Remarks
The overviews and summaries of planning theories and processes in this
chapter were used to shape the planned research. Perhaps the most straightforward
conclusion is the transportation research study should include both an examination
of the broad context in which transportation decisions occur, such as a city or
region, and it should also include project-level research. We have seen how
important it is to understand the environment, that is the context, in which the
transportation project is developed and implemented.
From this type of contextual and project-level study, we will see how the
environment shapes decisions and how the interaction between individuals and
between interest groups influences these same decisions. The hoped for outcome is
to better understand the inner workings of major transportation decision processes in
Colorado. This research should provide meaningful input to practitioners pondering
how to influence a particular transportation decision and how others also influence
these decision processes. Flyvbjerg and Peattie refer to this as phronesis study;
that is knowing what to do in a particular situation.
At the project level, the review of the traditional and more normative
theories will aid in understanding how and why individuals and groups interact the
way they do. It is expected that some planners will be seen advocating for
disenfranchised groups. In other instances it is expected that communication of
project information will greatly affect the level of support garnered for a project.
And the research effort tries to explain how those in power wield their influence
over transportation decisions.
As noted earlier, regime theory will also be an important approach to the
planned research. It should guide the examination of the city or region studied,
particularly the presence of stable non-government interest groups. In addition, a
number of urban political studies have been invaluable references. What is yet
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unclear is how regime theory and the wealth of knowledge gained from these urban
political studies will apply to the state level. Since most major transportation
decisions are within the decision-making authority of state transportation
departments, the planned research must examine this broader context.
This section has set the stage for development of a decision-making model
that is expected to describe major Colorado transportation decision-making
processes. Development of the model appears in the next section. The model is
then used to help design the research methodology and finally the case study
research will be compared to the decision-making model. The findings of this
research effort will focus on how decisions are actually made, on a model that
describes these processes, and how this model can then help transportation planning
practitioners as they contemplate their own ability, and others ability, to wield
influence.
2.5 Colorado Transportation Planning Process
The study involves development and testing of a planning model that
describes current urban transportation planning processes in Colorado. As noted
earlier, the research will examine the current transportation policies, processes, and
practices that lead to continued reliance on automobile travel. The focus of the
research led to this primary research question: How do current transportation
decision processes influence modal outcomes?
The research will look into the inner workings of the decision processes
and attempt to describe how decision-makers reach consensus, who
holds/uses/controls knowledge, who wields the power to influence decisions, how
information is used in transportation decision processes, and how policies, politics
and economics shape transportation decisions. The primary research questions and
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these more in-depth questions help guide development of the research planning
model. The model is also shaped from the environmental and transportation
planning literature reviews described earlier.
2.5.1 Transportation Planning Context
The literature review is first employed to describe the context in which
Colorado transportation decisions are made. Several elements of planning were
identified and organized by the broad level at which they originate, that is the
national, state, regional, or local level. An outline of the planning context is
presented as Figure 2.1. Within these planning elements are the research factors
described further in Chapter 3. For example, funding is a factor expected to
influence the modal outcome of major transportation funding. Figure 2.1 depicts
funding at all levels.
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Figure 2.1 Elements of the Environmental and Transportation Planning
Context
National Level Elements:
Transportation Funding
Transportation and Environmental Legislation
Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g. National Association of State and
_____________________Territorial Highway Officials___________________
State Level Elements:
Transportation Funding
Transportation and Environmental Legislation
Transportation Plans
Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g. Colorado Bicycle Coalition
Transportation, Transit and Planning Officials; Elected Officials
Businesses
_______________________________Voters________________________________
Regional Level Elements:
Regional Funding
Metropolitan Plans
Metropolitan Planning Organizations
Metropolitan Transportation Organizations
Businesses
_______________________________Voters________________________________
Local Level Elements:
Local Funding
Transportation and Comprehensive Plans
Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g. City Transportation Advisory Boards
Transportation, Transit and Planning Officials; Elected Officials
Businesses
__________________Residents, Visitors, Neighborhoods_________________
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2.5.2 Planning Theory
An examination of planning theory is the next step in shaping the research
planning model. The literature review directs the research toward a planning model
that is informed by regime theory as well as normative planning theories. The
literature review also identifies existing models relevant to this research. The
construction of a preliminary model is described in the paragraphs that follow.
Barbara Richardson built a normative model that focuses on transportation
users decision process. Her objective was, in part, to present a framework of the
factors contributing to transportation users decisions that affect sustainability
(Richardson, 1999, p. 27). She includes many of the key elements that should
become part of this research effort. The author includes the major actors at federal,
state and local levels and she links their actions, including taxing, land use, and
provision of mass transit, to the users decision to drive more or less. Richardsons
work reinforces the need to include all levels of influence in the planned research
model. Since her work is focused on examining the users decision process, it will
not be directly applicable to the planned research, which is aimed at explaining the
decisions made by those who govern.
The literature review highlights the importance of understanding how the
general context influences decision-making, so we will ensure this is a key aspect of
the preliminary theoretical model. The general context will be comprised of the
national transportation policies, laws, and guidelines; national interest groups; and
other broad influences such as the economic consideration of competition between
states to attract development.
From regime theory and our understanding of traditional highway planning,
we recognize that the political, economic and social context is critical to the study of
urban transportation planning. With regard to the political context, we expect to see
the relevant coalitions and their interrelationships change over time in Colorado as
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the political setting changes. We learned from the literature reviews that
transportation policy is significantly influenced by federal, state, and even local
government agendas. So we anticipate that alignment or nonalignment of political
agendas at several levels of government will affect the strength of the government
coalitions. Strong federal executive and legislative branches of government
aligning with a state governor and general assembly of similar views can result in a
long-term, stable coalition that can build strong partnerships with private interests
with common agendas, such as highway building. In this type of regime setting, we
would expect to see limited influence by interest groups with differing agendas,
such as groups advocating for rail investments. Other factors can also shape the
strength and stability of the government actors who then influence their political
clout, such as the length of elected officials terms. Mayors with no term limits are
expected to build longer-term coalitions than those with short terms and limited
terms. Other political factors are likely to play a key role in transportation planning.
During the investigation we would expect to see the type of regime existing
in Colorado would be reflected in the transportation project outcomes. For example,
if we see an open public transportation planning process, where socially-oriented
interest groups have substantial influence, it infers that a corporatist regime exists
(Bianco and Adler, 2001). In this scenario, the outcomes meet more societal values
and goals than regimes controlled solely by business interests. On the other hand,
where the transportation planning process minimizes meaningful roles for the public
and groups with views different from those held by the powerful, this indicates a
strong coalition of government and private interests is shaping the transportation
planning process. This is likely the current situation in Colorado. The research will
help address this and also identify whether the coalitions and their levels of
influence have differed over time.
At any particular time, the main regime actors can share common goals or be
splintered in their views. Private sector interests that benefit from highway
i
59


construction will likely form a strong, stable coalition with shared views. On the
other hand, there may be a lessening of political influence when highway supporters
clash with strong rail interests. These few examples highlight the importance of the
political context in which transportation decisions are made and reinforce the
development of a decision-making model that includes this broad context.
We anticipate changes in the economic context will also affect the outcomes
of transportation planning. For example, we learned from the literature reviews that
during times of substantial growth stable coalitions form between groups that
benefit from development, including real estate, construction industries, local
politicians, and businesses. During times of recession, we would expect that dollars
available for highway building decline and as a result the power of private interests
to influence government decisions would lessen.
The social context in which transportation planning occurs is also
significant. From the literature reviews, we saw public opinion and society values
shift over time. Early in the 1900s roadway construction was viewed as the answer
to many social problems because it allowed people to move to the country, away
from the overcrowded and polluted inner cities. This view continued essentially
unchallenged until the highway revolt began in the 1960s. Without question, social
values shaped highway policy including how transportation dollars were spent.
Because of the expected importance of the political, economic, and social context of
transportation decision-making, the preliminary planning process model will
emphasize the broad context as well as what we will refer to as the mid-level
context. This mid-level portion of the decision-making model will attempt to
articulate the context in which the coalitions form and interrelate and then influence
the transportation projects and their outcomes.
At the project level many elements impact transportation decision-making.
Project-level decision-making occurs within and is influenced by the general context
and the mid-level context described above. This is also the level at which
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coalitions, interest groups, elected officials, business, and neighborhoods can
directly influence planners and the planning process. It is within this sphere that we
will examine how people and groups communicate, how power and knowledge
shape outcomes, and what processes and policies are followed. Specific research
questions at this level of study include:
Who holds/uses/controls knowledge, specifically the information important
to the transportation decision processes?
How is the information communicated?
How does this information influence the outcome?
What planning processes are employed?
Does the transportation planning process follow mandates and guidelines;
does it align with normative planning models?
Who wields the power to influence decisions; what stakeholders are
represented in the process?
How much influence do the various actors have in the project outcomes?
To help describe these project level interactions, we identify the
communicative rationality model that Willson developed for transportation
planning. This normative model depicts how stakeholders in the planning process
try to gain an understanding of each others perspectives. Willson refers to this
planning process as a dynamic system that is transformed through time; its ultimate
goal being enhanced capacity for democratic deliberation and decision-making
(Willson, 2001, p. 13). As we learned earlier from our literature review of
transportation planning, the changes to federal transportation legislation in the last
decade have defined a lead role for metropolitan planning organizations and
enhanced public participation in decision-making; therefore, we expect to see some
aspects of Willsons model during the planned case study work. It follows that the
model for the planned research should include elements of Willsons work.
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Willsons normative model can serve as one measure when evaluating planning
processes in the proposed case studies.
Looking at Willsons work, we see he espouses that A communicative
rationality paradigm would place language and discourse at the core of
transportation planning (Willson, 2001, p. 1). His model of communicative
rationality deviates significantly from traditional comprehensive planning model.
His model does not describe a sequence of steps, rather a dynamic planning system
that is transformed through time (Willson, 2001, p. 13). In his model, Willson
describes how the planning process is influenced by and, in turn, influences the
relevant institutions, stakeholders, societal values, and public opinion. Unlike the
traditional planning process, wherein the planner gathers information to present to
the decision-maker, in this model the planner assumes multiple roles, including
mediating, educating, and providing technical information. The participants attempt
to reach an understanding about the context of planning, the options for action, and
the values that inform choice (Willson, 2001, p. 23). These aspects of Willsons
model seem to reflect an ideal system for transportation planning. Much of the
literature reviewed supports the criticisms that Willson ascribes to current
transportation decision-making. At the same time, the literature review found
systems like Willson describes, offer more meaningful public involvement, better
balancing of private interests and societal values, and more democratic processes.
Willsons model was reviewed again as the planning model for this research
effort was further refined. It was anticipated that the case studies would identify
similar faults with urban transportation planning processes in Colorado to those
found by Willson. These criticisms include limited and non-substantive public
involvement, knowledge that is controlled and information used in ways that
justified pre-determined outcomes, and decisions that reflect private interests with
little weight placed on other societal values. On the other hand, case studies of
major transit projects may uncover aspects of Willsons normative models, such as
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more open, democratic processes that incorporate public opinion in a more
meaningful manner.
2.5.3 Transportation Planning Model
We also see from the literature review that major transportation projects are
required to adhere to rigorous decision processes dictated by environmental and
transportation laws. The NEPA process, in particular, mandates a planning process
informed by project and community needs. This is a process that develops and
evaluates alternative solutions based on technical information, including the
environmental and social impacts of the alternatives. As a result, aspects of the
comprehensive rational planning model should help describe transportation projects.
The rational model is used as a starting point in building the model. The literature
review further informs the model, reflecting the strong influential role coalitions of
government, business, and special interest groups are expected to play. Figure 2.2
depicts the rational planning model.
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Figure 2.2 Traditional Rational Transportation Planning Model
(adopted from Figure 2.5, Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 53)
Figure 2.3 is based on the rational model and it is modified to reflect the overriding
influence of government, business, special interest groups. This planning model
describes the major transportation decision-processes are expected to follow.
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Figure 2.3 Colorado Hypothetical Transportation Planning Model
(adopted from Figure 2.5, Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 53)
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In this planning model, the coalitions assert their needs and proposed
solutions into the decision process. Where the coalitions goals and objectives align
with the corridor technical needs, such as the provision of transit, the decision-
processes are similar to the rational technical planning model. Similarly, when
community goals align with coalition goals, the process appears to be logical and
rational. However, in this model, the coalition is able to override the rational
decision process and require the identification of goals and objectives, analyses of
preferred solutions, and finally selection of an alternative that meets coalition needs.
From our study thus far, key relationships are expected to exist between the
coalition participants, including state and federal transportation government
officials, elected officials, business representatives, and other special interest
groups. The in-depth case study research approach should provide for an
examination of the inner workings of the coalitions. In Colorado, the literature
indicates there will be stable, long-term relationships within coalitions that wield
power at the state, regional, local levels. These influential coalitions are expected to
significantly shape the project decision processes and the modal outcomes. This
view is based on regime theory and related theories overviewed earlier, wherein
government and non-government organizations maintain long-term stable
relationships that significantly impact or control urban planning decisions.
In order to evaluate these relationships and linkages depicted in the
preliminary model, we draw from the Forester and Flyvbjerg research, giving
particular attention to the interaction between elected officials, government
employees, and other coalition members. In Colorado, business interests that
comprise the regime may express influence by the control of information and
helping to rationalize plans to serve self-interests as Flyvbjerg showed in his case
study of Aalborg. We expect to see those in power controlling and managing
knowledge, thus impacting the project outcomes.
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During the planned research we will then examine how knowledge is used,
specifically the information important to the transportation decision processes.
Specific questions that will aid the proposed research are as follows:
What information is used in the decision-making process: is it technical
information only or does it include social values?
Is the information of different forms, such as demographic, engineering,
scientific, etc?
How is the different information weighted in the process; for example, is
travel time of paramount importance or are environmental impacts and the
needs of the transit-dependent given equal weight?
What form of information is used: is it solely text or graphic, or otherwise
presented in a manner that is easy to understand?
Other questions will be identified that will aid in analyzing how knowledge is used
in the planning process in each case study. In addition, these specific research
questions help shape the case study research methodology, including the interview
questions.
Each case study will include questions to help with this examination:
What is the transportation system chosen: primarily highway expansion, transit,
or multimodal?
What are the features of the project, including location, significance in terms of
dollars spent, people and goods moved, and physical size and cost?
What are the project outcomes performance expectations; is travel time and
congestion reduction paramount or are social and environmental benefits, such
as air quality, also major expectations? How did the project, once constructed,
achieve these expectations?
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The literature indicates that the process it self will not vary significantly from case
to case because of the mandates of the NEPA process and other environmental and
transportation requirements.
2.5.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure
As noted earlier, how power drives transportation planning decisions is
expected to be critically important. There are a number of specific questions
derived from the literature review:
What stakeholders are represented in the process?
How much do the stakeholders influence the outcomes, perhaps best
measured by how much the outcome aligns with the stakeholders interests?
How do the stakeholders wield their influence: do they control information
or funding, do they control those that make the decisions through political
avenues, etc?
The power structure depicted transportation decision processes is pictorially
presented in Figure 2.4. This model of power will also be examined through the
case study research.
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Figure 2.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure
This power structure model was derived from the various descriptions of regime
theory, including Savitch and Thomass regimes. Their pluralist regime was
comprised of political leaders and competitive private actors, and the elitist regimes
made up of a group of strong business leaders working with weak political leaders
(Stoker, 1996, p. 175). The corporatist triangle presented by Bianco and Alder
shaped Oregons Statewide Transportation Planning Rule. This model was
comprised of state government, business interests, and a special interest group,
1,000 Friends of Oregon (Bianco and Alder, 2001). These and the other models and
paradigms described in the literature lend themselves to the power structure
depicted in Figure 2.4. These three entities, the govemment/institutions, business
interests, and special interest groups all function within the broad general public
context. In this sense, the general public has some level of influence on each entity
in the model. For example, the public indirectly influences government through
voting. In addition, the general public can participate in business interests and
special interest groups.
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This power structure model is posited as describing the relationships
between the individuals and groups that most influence transportation decision
processes. Business and special interest groups are expected to influence the
government decision makers. In addition, business and special interest groups may
influence each other. The businesses and special interest groups are comprised of
individuals. These individuals are the agents of the groups, while the interests of the
groups drive the coalitions. Individuals may participate in more than one arm of the
triangle.
This power relationship model is expected to operate within the rational,
NEPA-defmed, decision process. The case studies will be employed to validate that
the mandated NEPA process was followed and to test this power structure model.
The case studies may show the power structure differs in each context. For
example, in one case, the business interests may be very strong, while the special
interests weak. It is also likely the power structure will change over time, in
response to changing context and even changing people and institutions.
2.5.5 Concluding Remarks
This chapter sets the stage for the planned research. It summarizes the
literature reviews. It also poses the research questions that focus on how and why
decisions are made about modal outcome. This chapter presents a planning model
and power structure conceptualization to be tested by the case study research. The
Colorado case studies are expected to follow this coalition-based model and power
relationship model.
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3. Research Strategies, Methods, and Hypotheses
This chapter presents the research strategies and the methods employed. It
also presents the research hypotheses derived from the literature reviews.
3.1 Research Strategies
A number of methods can be employed to study transportation decision
processes in Colorado. One common method is survey research. Sending a
questionnaire to individuals involved in decision-making would help identify factors
influencing decision-making and the organizations that were most influential.
However, interviews dont allow for follow-up questioning; thus, this methodology
may not uncover what really happened in the decision processes. Another research
strategy is to create a simulation of the decision process and ask subjects involved in
major transportation projects to participate. This approach would involve a large
budget and a long period of time to develop, pretest, and then employ the
simulations. In addition, the results would not necessarily reflect real-world
practices. Other research approaches were also considered for the research and a
case study strategy was selected for several reasons.
In-depth case study methodology was selected because the aim of the
research was to examine how decisions were made that continued auto dependence.
Archival case study research provides a detailed description of the actual events,
decisions, and key players. The interview methodology allows for deep exploration
into how and why decisions were made. The research probes during the face-to-
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face interview to find out what happened behind the scenes. This research
approach also met research budget and the time frame constraints.
The following paragraphs describe the archival research and interview
methods used for this research effort.
3.2 Research Methods
The research describes and explains the decision process within its context.
The research involves archival research and in-depth interviews. Case study
methodology was employed to delve deeply into the transportation planning
decision-making processes.
3.2.1 Initial Archival Research
To describe the context in which Colorado transportation decisions are
made, the research involved reviewing national, state, regional, and local
transportation plans, funding legislation, environmental mandates, and the relevant
political framework and culture. The documents for the initial archival research are
primarily government documents obtained from offices and organizations that are
involved in transportation planning and environmental protection. The archival
records were obtained from the entities listed below or mostly authored by these
organizations:
Colorado Department of Transportation
Regional Transportation District
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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Denver Regional Council of Governments
3.2.2 Case Study Archival Research
Three case studies were selected representing significant Colorado
transportation projects of the last decade. Several major transportation projects
were initially examined. These were large projects in terms of funding levels,
physical size, and impact on land use and the environment. This initial project case
study list included projects involving different transportation modes: highway
expansions, highway improvements, pedestrian and bike amenities, bus, and
passenger rail (i.e., personal rapid transit and light rail transit). During the initial
case study archival research, it became clear that the transportation mode selected
was the most important aspect of the decision-making process. The modal outcome
is critically important, not just because of all the environmental, social and
economic issues, but also because it can dramatically increase the cost of the project
and it has long-range impacts on regional land use and future transportation systems
are enormous.
During the first phase of archival research, the importance of the modal
outcome grew, and as a result, the case study projects were re-evaluated. The final
set of cases was honed down to three major transportation corridors in Colorado, all
involving major decisions of transit and highway expansion. All three projects also
had critical decision points during the 1990s.
Since each case involved a significant transportation corridor, they were
subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and to the Intermodla
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) requirements. A draft and final EIS
and a Record of Decision were prepared for all three projects. Selecting projects
that followed the NEPA and ISTEA processes helped to limit the number of
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variables in the study. There is also more opportunity for comparison between cases
that all follow similar planning processes. Also, limiting the research to cases with
major decisions in the 1990s allowed for clearer definition of the regional, state, and
national contextagain reducing the research factors. The final three case study
projects chosen for the research and the transportation mode selected in the decision
processes are listed below:
Southeast Corridor (1-25 and 1-225) Multimodal Project roadway
expansion and light rail transit;
State Highway 82, Entrance to Aspen roadway realignment and
construction with light rail transit or bus/HOV designated lanes, if rail
funding is not obtained by local government;
South 1-25 Corridor (South 1-25 and U.S. Highway 85) roadway
expansion.
An in-depth chronology of events and major decisions was prepared for each
case from the archival research. The chronology was then used to explain how
these major transportation decisions were made. In addition, this archival research
helped identify the key people involved in the decision-making processes. The
sources of case study records were similar to those noted above for the initial
archival research. Additional sources of information included the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment, newspaper and other media, and
special interest groups, including environmental organizations and entities
representing business interests.
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3.2.3 Interview Research
In-depth interviews were conducted to help in the examination of
transportation decision-making processes in Colorado. The interview plan initially
involved an open-ended and structured interviewing approach. The interview
questions appear in Appendix A. However, some of the interviewees did not
adhere to the structured nature of the interviews, i.e. they did not answer questions
concisely in the order proposed. Some interviewees chose to talk in a free-flowing
manner, telling their story. The researcher allowed this and inserted the planned
interview questions when the opportunity arose, to ensure, at a minimum, that each
question was answered.
To some extent, the interviews helped to explain and describe the national,
state, regional, and local context in which case study projects evolved. But most
importantly, the interviews uncovered the behind-the-scenes happenings,
including what influenced the decision processes the most, who wielded the most
influence, and how it happened.
The research population is comprised of the individuals involved in the three
case study major events and decisions. An estimated number of interviews, 21 to
30, were selected based on the number of cases and the time available to complete
the interviews. The case study archival research was used to identify the individuals
and organizations most involved in the decision processes. In addition, during the
interviews, the subjects were asked if there were others who played important roles.
Additional interview candidates were sought until there was a strong level of
confidence that the transportation decision processes for each case were fully
understood. The final number of interviews was 40. This total included 13
interviews for the Southeast Corridor case study; 12 for Entrance to Aspen,
Highway 82; and 15 for the South I-25Corridor. There were a total of 39 interview
subjects. One person was interviewed for two case studies because that person was
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key to both decision processes. The number of interviews varied from case to case,
based on the complexity of the decision-making process, clarity of the records
reviewed, and level of confidence that the whole story was revealed.
These interview subjects represented the following organizations. Note that
specific names and titles are not provided to protect confidentiality.
Colorado Department of Transportation
Colorado Transportation Commission
Regional Transportation District
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Denver Regional Council of Governments
Metropolitan Planning Organization
Local Government
Real Estate Industry Representatives
Newspaper
Businesses Associations
Special Interest Groups, (e.g., environmental groups, transit organizations)
After identifying interview candidates from the archival research phase, an
introductory call was made to describe the research in general and to ask if the
subject was willing to participate in an interview. Once the individual indicated a
willingness to participate, a letter and consent form was sent introducing the
purpose of the research and plans for the interview (see Appendix B). The letter
was sent by mail or e-mail, depending on preference of the interview candidate.
The letter emphasized that participation in the interview was voluntary. Of the total
number of interview candidates contacted, none indicated they did not want to
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participate. Several interview candidates did not return phone calls requesting an
interview or answer the interview letter sent to them. No reasons were given for this
non-responsiveness.
Each interview began by reiterating the purpose of the interview and
explaining that participation was voluntary. Then the interview candidate was asked
if he/she understood the informed consent form and if they were willing to sign it.
The release of confidentiality was also discussed. Some interview candidates were
clear that everything they said could be referenced without protecting
confidentiality. Other candidates said they did not expect that there would be any
concerns with what they would say, but felt more comfortable if the information
they provided was kept confidential. The researcher carefully recorded these
responses and rigidly adhered to the requirements of ethical treatment of research
subjects (see next section). The consent form also specifies whether or not the
interview subject wanted to remain confidential.
A set of draft interview questions was prepared using information gleaned
from the archival research phases. The interview questions were pretested by
interviewing students from the University of Colorado. Two undergraduate
planning students and two graduate planning students participated in the pretests.
One of the graduate students had over 25 years experience as a planner. The
Dissertation Committee overseeing this research effort also reviewed the draft
interview questions. Information gathered during the pretests and the Dissertation
Committee was incorporated into the interview letter, informed consent form, and
interview questions.
The research design envisioned that each interview would be structured
using the final interview questions; however, during some of the interviews the
subjects proceeded to tell their own story. During these more free-flowing
interviews, the researcher allowed the interview subject to talk and interjected only
to gain clarification and to ensure that all relevant information was collected. In
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addition, where the archival research indicated that an individual may be able to
provide insight into one particular aspect of the case study, the interviewer asked
specific questions. As a result, the interviews should generally be considered quasi-
structured, rather than structured. Therefore, for the purposes of analysis, the
interview results are not compared in any quantitative manner. Instead, simple
matrices of the interview results are used to highlight consensus and difference of
opinions. Where there was consensus, there was a strong level of confidence in
them. For example, if 10 of 13 subjects believed that an individual, or group of
individuals, were most the influential in making a decision, there is a strong degree
of confidence that this actually occurred.
3.2.4 Ethical Treatment of Research Subjects
This research was designed and implemented in a manner that ensured the
ethical treatment of human subjects. The research protocol was reviewed and
approved by the University of Colorado at Denver Human Subjects Research
Committee. The approval letter and extension is included in the Appendix
(Appendix C and D). The research protocol included the purpose and background
of the research, description of subject population(s), methodology, data disposition,
potential benefits, potential risks to subjects, methods of obtaining informed
consent, and the informed consent form. No adverse incidents occurred during the
research.
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3.3 Hypotheses and Research Factors
3.3.1 Research Hypotheses
As noted earlier, the research question: How do current transportation
decision processes influence modal outcomes?, guided the literature reviews. The
literature reviews focused on the environmental and transportation planning context
in which transportation decisions occur and planning theory.
The literature reviews also informed a research hypothesis intended to guide
the case study research: Coalitions of government, business and other interest
groups, supporting highway building, significantly influence the large transportation
project modal outcomes (highway versus transit). This primary research hypothesis
does not reflect a decision process that follows a rigorous, analytical process. The
environmental and transportation planning literature reviews indicate the NEPA
process and relevant environmental and transportation laws would ensure such a
rational, technical decision process. However, the planning theory literature
indicates that even though transportation decision processes follow the mandated
NEPA process, coalitions influence the decision processes the most. As a result, the
author developed a hypothesis based on the influence of coalitions comprised of
government, business, and special interest groups.
In addition to this primary hypothesis, a set of more specific hypotheses
were developed to further shape the research. A specific hypothesis, derived from
the literature, appears below in italics, with the analogous research question:
1. Decision-making Procedure
What is the decision-making procedure, the specific planning process that is
followed?
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Hypothesis: Transportation decision processes generally follow the mandated
NEPA process and as a result variations in the process do not impact modal
outcome.
2. Context
What are the constraints and opportunities that most influence the modal
outcome?
What types of policies, politics and economics most influence the modal
outcome?
What other contextual factors shape the modal outcome?
Hypothesis: Modal outcomes are driven by certain contextual factors, specifically
available funding and politics.
3. Key Actors
Who are the decision-makers?
Hypothesis: Major transportation decisions are made by state and federal highway
officials; these decision-makers are influenced by business and other interest groups
that support highway building.
4. Power
Who wields the power to influence key decisions?
How is power distributed?
Who holds/uses/controls knowledge that most influences decision-making?
Hypothesis: Power resides in coalitions comprised of government decision-makers
and business and other interest groups that support highway building.
5. Knowledge
What is the role of knowledge?
How is knowledge/information used in the decision processes?
!
i
i
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Hypothesis: Technical information doesnt have a major role in modal outcomes
even though the NEPA process mandates consideration of social and environmental
impacts.
We will see later that as the case studies uncover what happened behind the
scenes, questions arise about the application of these research hypotheses to major
Colorado transportation projects. Before turning to the case study results, the next
section reviews the factors expected to influence the decision processes. The latter
part of this chapter presents a descriptive model of transportation planning and the
conceptualization of the power relationships that the case studies are expected to
follow.
3.3.2 Research Factors
The literature review identified several factors expected to significantly
influence the major transportation projects, particularly the modal outcome. These
factors include: available highway or transit funding, specific needs of the
transportation corridors, the goals of government institutions, political objectives,
business interests, and the special interests of advocacy groups (business,
environmental, transit, etc.) These factors are presented in the following
paragraphs. The literature review indicated that some factors might not vary from
one decision process to the next. These factors are considered constant, not
changing from case to case, or varying only a small amount. These are considered
in the investigation since they help inform the framework in which the decision
processes occur. The other factors that are expected to vary from case to case.
They are described below and are used to evaluate each case study in Chapter 4.
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3.3.2.1 Regulatory Framework
Most large transportation decision processes must follow the requirements of
NEPA and applicable transportation laws. NEPA is required for federal projects, or
projects that are federally funded, where significant environmental impacts are
anticipated (CFR, 2003, Sections 1502.4 and 1508.18). NEPA requires that the
alternatives under consideration undergo a rigor assessment of environmental and
social impacts (CFR, 2003, Section 1502.16). Another example is that NEPA
requires that the lead agency provide an opportunity for public comment when
developing the environmental impact statement (CFR, 2003, Section 1503.1(a)(4)).
The archival research anticipates that each case study project included a thorough
environmental and social impact assessment and an adequate public comment
period. Therefore, these aspects of the process would not change and thus influence
the modal outcome. The case studies will also examine if and how the
environmental and social assessments affect the decision outcomes.
Transportation laws also constrain transportation decision processes. For
example, federal transportation regulations require that the designated metropolitan
planning organization (e.g., DRCOG) must approve a regional transportation plan
and this is a prerequisite for approving corridor project (CFR, 1990, Sections
450.110 and 450.112). Because of these rigorous requirements of federal
environmental and transportation mandates, the process employed is not expected to
vary and thus influence the project outcome.
3.3.2.2 Transportation Corridor Needs
The NEPA regulations require that environmental impact statements
describe the purpose and need for action (CFR, 2003, Section 1502.10(d)).
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Federal Highway Administration guidance provides examples that explain the need
for the proposed transportation project, including highway capacity, safety concerns,
and roadway deficiencies (USDOT, 1987, pp. 13-14). The needs of each corridor
may be similar, so they are not expected to influence the modal outcome
significantly. For example, traffic congestion and accidents are serious problems on
many Colorado highways, so these problems should appear in each case study
purpose and need statement. The analysis of each case study will reveal to what
extent this factor varies.
3.3.2.3 Institutions
The state and federal transportation agencies play critical roles in the
selection of modal outcomes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is
charged with approving the final project alternative. In Colorado, FHWA delegates
responsibility for managing the EIS process to the state Department of
Transportation (CDOT). The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible
for EIS documents that are primarily transit. Besides these transportation entities,
the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Denver Regional Council of
Governments (DRCOG) have important roles. RTD oversees construction and
operation of public transit systems in its jurisdiction and DRCOG issues the regional
transportation plans. As noted earlier, large transportation projects in the Denver
metro area must be consistent with the transportation plans. Another government
agency with an important role is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The federal Clean Air Act gives EPA a formal review role of EIS documents. If the
EPA Administrator concludes that a project doesnt satisfactorily address public
health or environmental quality concerns, he/she publishes this finding and refers
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the matter to the Council of Environmental Quality (Pub. L. 42, 2003, Section
7609(a) and (b)).
During the case study time period, mid-1990 to early 2000, these institutions
didnt change substantively so the influence of the institutions shouldnt vary from
case to case. However, the people in these institutions do change during this time
period. The case studies will examine key personnel changes to determine if they
influence the decision process.
3.3.2.4 Project Costs and Funding
The major funding affecting transportation solutions are the federal highway
funding programs managed by FHWA and the FTA. The FHWA funding is
considered to be similar to an annual appropriation. Even though the funding level
may differ from year to year, it is somewhat certain each year. The FTA funding is
issued on a project basis, more like a grant than a regular appropriation. Available
funding was expected to be an important factor in transportation decision-making.
There are other significant funding sources; in particular, matching funds
from state and local government and funding from businesses. In the Southeast
Corridor case, the consortium of businesses committed monies to help fund specific
components of the project solution.
3.3.2.5 Political Setting
The literature review indicated elected officials would greatly influence the
outcome of major transportation projects. In particular, because the mode of
transportation selected, i.e. highway expansion or transit, has such a significant
impact on the shape of the region, its environment, public health, and community
84


quality of life, local elected officials were expected to exert the most influence in
decision processes.
3.3.2.6 Businesses
The literature indicates businesses will wield significant influence on
transportation projects that affect them. Transportation projects can directly affect
businesses because transportation systems move people and goods, open land for
residential development, and encourage commercial development such as growth
near transit stations. This suggests the modal decisions, particularly highway
expansion versus transit, will be a focal point for many businesses.
3.3.2.7 Special Interest Groups
The literature review also defines a key role for special interest groups in
transportation decision-making. Organizations advocating for continued highway
building were expected to promote corridor solutions that involve highway
improvements and expansion. The Independence Institute consistently endorses
solutions based on increasing highway capacity, in particular, adding general
purpose lanes, bus lanes, and toll lanes.
Environmental groups are expected to advocate for transit alternatives or
other alternatives that minimize impacts on the environment. Several environmental
organizations were involved in the case studies, including Colorado Environment
Coalition and the Transit Alliance. A non-profit organization, called Friends of
Marolt, was actively involved in the transportation project near the entrance to
Aspen.
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3.3.2.8 Public Participation
As described earlier, the EIS process includes public notice and
opportunities for public comment. Citizen input can shape the purpose and need for
the corridor that then affects the alternatives considered in the decision process.
Public support and opposition is expected to influence the modal outcome, but not
to the same extent as some other factors, such as availability of funding. The case
study research will examine how much public preference affects the decision
outcomes.
This overview of research variables helps to build a planning model to
describe major transportation decision processes. These influencing factors will be
examined for each of the case study projects.
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Full Text

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INFLUENCE OF CURRENT TRANSPORTATION DECISION PROCESSES ON MODAL OUTCOMES: THREE COLORADO CASE STUDIES by Diana Elizabeth Shannon B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, Harpur College 1976 M S., University of Colo r ado at Boulder 1988 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Design and Planning 2005 r . : .... . .. ..... f.

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This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Diana Elizabeth Shannon has been approved by Fahriye H Sancar I -/'L/ p' 0 '7/ 2 Ouj Date

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Shannon, Diana Elizabeth (Ph.D., Design and Planning) Influence of Current Transportation Decision Processes on Modal Outcomes: Three Colorado Case Studies Thesis Directed by Professor Fahriye Sancar ABSTRACT This study focuses on transportation decision processes that drive modal outcomes. A conceptual planning model is developed from existing literature and used to examine major Colorado transportation projects. Due to increasing travel demands, major Colorado highway corridor users experienced severe congestion and high accident rates during the 1990s In their pursuit of transportation solutions, government, community, business, and special interest groups formed coalitions to realize various goals. The composition, function, motivation, and effectiveness of these coalitions differed across the case studies. An analysis of planning theory indicates that coalitions comprised of government, business, and special interest groups would be the most influential in major urban decision-making. The literature also indicates that coalitions of the past perpetuated reliance on the automobile and thus shaped our urban and suburban environments This in tum furthered automobile dependence. To better understand Colorado transportation decision-making processes, the study included an examination of three major transportation projects. Archival research uncovered the chronology of events, significant decisions, and major actors influencing the modal outcome Interview research delved into the "inner workings" of the decision processes The research evaluated the factors that most lll

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influenced decision-making, including regulatory framework transportation corridor needs government institutions cost and funding, business and special interests, and the public involvement process. The power relationships of the government-business-special interest group coalitions were also examined. The case studies validated the hypothesis that these coalitions drive modal outcome However, the study revealed that the composition and motivation of the coalitions varied significantly as did the modal outcome In two of the cases, government transportation officials acted with little direct involvement ofbusiness and special interest groups. The study also found that the power relations functioning within the coalition differed from case to case. The research sheds light on planning theory, confirming that regimes of different construct and function vary in their influence. The study also informs planning practitioners of the "inner workings" of coalitions that control major urban decisions The study findings help practitioners anticipate modal outcomes and possibly guide decisions toward solutions that are more sustainable for our communities This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Signed -------Fahriye Sancar IV

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DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to our mother. She would have been so proud of all her children and grandchildren In loving memory: Jeanne Elizabeth (Franklin) Shannon, 1923-1977.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those who were instrumental in the completion of this dissertation. I am grateful to the committee members: James Charlier, Brian Muller Raymond Studer, and Thaddeus Tecza, for their guidance, critiques, and encouragement. My sincere thanks go particularly to my advisor, Fahriye Sancar, for her unwavering support and insightful comments that shaped my research and dissertation over the years. I am grateful to all interview participants and the many people who helped me access documents for the archival research. I would also like to extend my gratitude to my family and friends for their continual support and encouragement. I acknowledge our Ph.D. program director, Willem van Vliet, for his unending encouragement, and to Kim Kelley for her support and optimistic attitude. I also appreciate the help from the other Ph D. students and staff and faculty of the College of Architecture and Planning.

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CONTENTS Figures ...... .... ..... .......... ............ . ............................... ............ ........... ..... ............ xii Tables ......... .................... ............ ............................................. ......................... xiv Chapter 1. Introduction ....................... .................................................................. ............ 1 1.1 Purpose ofthe Study ......................................................................................... I 1.2 Significance of the Study ..................... ... ............ ... ......... .... ............................ 2 1.3 Problem Statement. .............. .... . ..... ......... .......... .... ... ....... ....... . ..... ........... ... 3 1.3. 1 Accident and Injury Concerns ................................................................. ..... 4 1.3.2 Environmental Issues ..... .................. ................. ................... ............... ...... 4 1.3.3 Transportation and Land Use . ................. .... ....... .............. ........................... 6 1.3.4 Paved Surfaces . ............ .............................. ......... ......... .... ..... ..... ..... .... ........ 7 1.3.5 Energy Consumption .......... .......................................................................... 8 1.3. 6 Social Equity Issues ............... ............................................... .... ............ ........ 9 1 3 7 Cost Debate ............ .................. ...... .......................... ................................. 10 1.3.8 Funding Transportation ........................... ........ ........ .... .... ...... .... .... ........... ... 11 1.3.9 Public Health .................................... .... .............. .......................... .............. 13 1 3 .1 0 Traffic Congestion ..... ............................................................ ...... ....... .... 1 3 VII

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1.3.11 Livable Communities ......................................... ...... ......... ........................ 14 1.4 Concluding Remarks ...................................................................................... 17 1.5 Overview of the Dissertation ................ ......................................... ............... I? 2. Review ofthe Literature ................................... ........................... ............. ..... l9 2.1. Research Questions ............. ............................. .................. ........................ 19 2.2 Environmental and Transportation Planning Context .................................... 21 2.2.1 Brief History of Environmental Policy and Transportation Planning ........ 21 2.2.2 Relevant Laws, Regulations and Policies ......... .... ...................................... 24 2.2.3 Institutional and Regulatory Framework ..................................................... 27 2.2.4 Concluding Remarks ................. ............. ......... ...... ....... ......... ................. 29 2.3 Planning Theory and Processes ........ ..... .... ........ .................. .... ........... ... ........ 30 2.3 .1 Planning Theory Overview ... ..... .... ..... .... ........... ....... .............. ................. 31 2.3.2 Traditional, Normative, and Related Planning Theory ...... ....................... 33 2.3. 3 Power, Reason, Rationality, and Communication ....... .... ........................... 38 2.3.4 Regime Theory .............................................. .... ............... .......................... 41 2.3.5 Transportation Planning Studies ............... ............. .................................. ... 49 2.3.6 Concluding Remarks . .......................... ..... ..................... ....... .... ................. 54 2.5 Colorado Transportation Planning Process ....... .... . ..... .... ....... ............ ...... 56 2.5.1 Transportation Planning Context.. ...... ......... ..... .......... .......... ............ . ....... 56 2.5.2 Planning Theory ...... .......... ........ ......... .................... .... ....................... ....... 53 2.5 .3 Transportation Planning Model ........... ........ ........ ... ....... ........................... 63 Vlll

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2.5.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure ..... ........ ........... ........... .......... ..... 68 2 5 5 Concluding Remarks ........................... ... ...... ..... . .......... .... .... . . ........... ..... 70 3 Research Strategies Methods and Hypotheses ...................... ........... .............. 71 3.1 Research Strategies ........... .......... ........ .. ......... .... .... ....... ........ ....... ................. 71 3.2 Research Methods .................... .......... . ........... .... ........... ..................... . . .... . 72 3.2.1 Initial Archi val Research ........ ... ......... . . .......... ....... . .... ....... . ............. ...... 72 3.2.2 Case Study Archival Research ...... . ..... .......... .... ..... ....... ....... . ... ...... .... ..... 73 3.2 3 Interview Research ................. ..... . ............ ............ ... .... ....... . ..... ..... ....... 75 3.2.4 Ethical Treatment of Research Subjects . ..... ................... .... ....... .... ... .......... 78 3 3 Hypotheses and Research Factors ... ....... .... ..................... . ... . .... .... .... . ....... 79 3 .3.1 Research Hypotheses ................................. ................... ........... .......... .......... 79 3 3 2 Research Factors . ...... .... ... ..... ..... ... ... . ...... ... .......... .... ......... . .............. .... 81 4 Case Study Results and Discussion ......... .......................... ...... ........ .... .... ..... 87 4.1 Southeast Corridor Case Study .......... .... ................ .... ...... ........ ... . ......... ... .... 87 4 .1.1 Archival Research Summary of Events and Major Decisions ....... ... ........ 90 4.1.2 Archival Research Key Actors ... ......... .... .................... .... .... . .... ........... 101 4.1. 3 Interview Research .. ........................ ....... ..... ..... .......... .... .... ... ... ...... ....... 104 4 1.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion ....... .... . .... ... ...... ............. .................. ll9 4 .1.5 Concluding Remarks ....... ... .... ........ ...... .... .... ............ . ........... .... ........ ..... 130 4 2 Entrance to Aspen High w ay 82 Cas e Stud y ..... ........ . . . ............ . .... . . . 130 4 2 1 Ar c hi v al Research Summary of Event s and MaJor De c isions ........ ....... 134 IX

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4.2.2 Archival ResearchKey Actors ... ................... ............ ............... ............... 178 4.2.3 Interview Research .................. ...... .... ......................... ......... ................... 181 4.2.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion ......................................................... 195 4.2.5 Concluding Remarks ................................................................................. 209 4.3 South I-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South I-25) Corridor Case Study ........ ......... 210 4.3.1 Archival Research-Summary ofEvents and Major Decisions ..... ......... 213 4.3.2 Archival Research-Key Actors ............................................................... 248 4.3.3 Interview Research .................................................................................... 250 4.3.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion .......................... .................. .... ........ 264 4.3.5 Concluding Remarks ............................................................. ................... 273 5. Conclusions ................. ......... ............ ..... .................... ..... ............................ 275 5 1 Case Study Comparative Analyses ............................................................... 276 5.1.1 Decision-making Procedure and Context.. ................ .............................. 278 5.1.2 Key Actors and Power Distribution ......................................................... 285 5.1.3 Role ofKnowledge .................................................................................... 289 5.1.4 Comparative Analyses Conclusions .......................................................... 291 5.2 Research Limitations .................................................................................... 292 5.3 Future Research ....................................................................... ........... ..... ..... 293 5.4 Enriching Planning Theory . ...... ......... . ....................................................... 295 5.5 Guidelines for Planners ................................................................................ 299 5.6 Closing Remarks ..... ............................... ......... ...... .... ................................ 302 X

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Appendix A. Interview Questions .................. ........... ......... .............. ....... .......... ........... 304 B. Interview Letter And Consent Form ....................................................... 306 C Human Subjects Research Committee Approval . ... .... ...... .... .... ..... .... 311 D. Human Subjects Research Committee Approval Extension ......... ...... .... 312 E. Case Study Chronology : Southeast Corridor .... ..... ................................. 313 F. Case Study Chronology : Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 ...................... 351 G. Case Study Chronology : South I-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South I-25) Corridor ................... ..... .............................................................. ........... 404 Bibliography .................... ....... .......... ..................................................... ..... .... .... 43 7 Xl

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FIGURES Figure 2.1 Elements of the Environmental and Transportation Planning Context .... 57 2.2 Traditional Rational Transportation Planning Model.. ......... .... ........... ...... 64 2 3 Colorado Hypothetical Transportation Planning Model ..... ......... ..... .... .... 65 2.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure ............. ...... ....... .... .... .............. 69 4 1 Project Description with Selected Alternative: Southeast Corridor Case Study .................................................... ........................ ............................ 89 4.2 Timeline of Major Events : Southeast Corridor Case Study ....... .............. 91 4.3 Transportation Planning Model: Southeast Corridor .............................. 121 4.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure: Southeast Corridor ............... 122 4 5 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study ..... .... ... .............. ......... ....... . ... ............ ......... .... 132 4.6 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study ..... ....... ............... ..................... ....... .................. 133 4.7 Timeline of Major Events : Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study ........................................................................................................ 136 4 8 Transportation Planning Model: Entrance to Aspen Highway 82 .......... 197 4.9 Project Description with Selected Alternative: South I-25 Corridor Case Study ....................................................................... ..... ....... .... ...... 212 4 .10 Timeline ofMajor Events : South I-25 Corridor Case Study ........ .......... 214 4 .11 Transportation Planning Model: South I-25 Corridor ...... ....................... 267 Xll

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4.12 Transportation Planning Power Structure: South I-25 Corridor. ............. 268 X Ill

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TABLES Table 4.1 Interview Summary Matrix: Southeast Corridor Case Study .................. 106 4.2 Interview Summary Matrix: Entrance to Aspen Case Study ....... ........... 184 4.3 Interview Summary Matrix: I-25 Corridor Case Study .... ..... ................ 252 5 1 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Decision-making Procedure and Context Factors ... ....... . ..... ........ ........ . ....... ...... . ....... ......................... ... 280 5.2 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Key Actors and Power Distribution Factors ............ .... ....... ...... .......... ..................... ..... .......... ... 287 5.3 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Role ofKnowledge Factors .... ....... 291 G.l Summary of Travel Times by Mode: South I-25 Corridor Case Study .421 XIV

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1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose of the Study Our transportation systems shape the built environment and help define the character of neighborhoods, communities, towns, and regions Our transportation choices, specifically the decisions to continue automobile dependence, significantly impact our health and degrade the air, land, and water. These transportation choices can also displace homes and businesses Alternatives to the automobile, particularly public transit systems offer numerous environmental, social and health benefits. Transit systems can also change our urban and suburban land use patterns. In addition, transit systems provide mobility to the young, elderly and those who carmot afford a car. This study focuses on critical transportation decision processes that drive modal outcomes. The research examines policies, processes, and people that shape transportation decisions in Colorado. This study is intended to help answer questions about how and why transportation decisions are made, particularly those that promote continued reliance on automobile travel. The purpose of the research is to develop and test a planning model that describes current urban transportation decision processes. The model is developed through an extensive analysis of previous environmental, transportation planning, and planning theory literature. The literature reveals factors that drive decisions, including federal and state transportation funding, regulatory requirements, and prominent actors These factors and the planning model are tested and evaluated through case study research involving archival and interview methods.

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1.2 Significance of the Study This study is significant because the mode of transportation we select for our communities has many negative social, environmental and economic impacts Moreover, large transportation projects have ramifications beyond the immediate locale. The three Colorado cases studied in this investigation have impacts that ripple across the region. These projects result in more than a few hundred jobs, new businesses moving in, or construction of convention centers or jails The mode of transportation selected for the Southeast Corridor, one of the cases studied in this research effort, affects roadways and transit systems across the metropolitan area. In addition, large transportation projects bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the regional and state economies. In the case of the Southeast Corridor project, the estimated costs of the initial, primarily transit, proposal was approximately $510 million and the cost of final alternative chosen was over $1.2 billion. And even more than this significant boost to the economy, the selection of highway expansion versus rail transit will shape the region's land use patterns and most likely its future transportation systems for decades to come. Because of the significance of the mode of transportation selected for major corridors the research focuses on the "inner workings" of Colorado transportation decision processes. This deeper understanding of the actual decision processes will help transportation planners shift toward decisions that have fewer negative impacts on our communities. In addition, the in-depth case studies employed in this research will build upon the broad body of knowledge, thus aiding planners with other urban decision processes they encounter. This in-depth examination of decision processes entails identifying the factors that most influence the modal outcome. Planners can use these results to shape the built envir o nment toward more positive social, environmental and 2

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economic outcomes. Planners can also use these results to predict certain outcomes based on a better understanding of the most influential factors. 1.3 Problem Statement An extensive body of literature describes the significant health, economic, social, and environmental impacts of auto dependence in the United States. On the other hand, many benefits are associated with the automobile, including the convenience of getting in a car and driving wherever the roadways go. The automobile also opened up the landscape for residential and business development. However, the benefits of alternative modes of travel to our society far outweigh the benefits of continued automobile dependence. A brief summary of the negative impacts of continued auto dependence is presented below. Over-dependence on the automobile has significant negative effects on health and the environment and exacerbates social inequities. Our country s heavy reliance on automobile travel began early in the 201 h Century with mass production of automobiles and dismantling of the streetcar companies. In the 1950s and 60s the impacts of highway construction, air pollution, and congestion became more and more evident and a backlash against the automobile began Over the last 50 years concerns over auto dependence have continued to grow as more social, environmental and economic concerns arose. The following sections provide more information regarding the negative impacts of automobile dependence. Where the literature revealed differing views about automobile impacts alternative perspectives are overviewed. This is to provide as balanced a problem statement as possible. Where the literature review identified information relevant to Colorado, it was included in the summary. Information about Colorado will help frame the context for the case study research. 3

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1.3.1 Accident and Injury Concerns There is no doubt that one of the major concerns with automobile travel is injury and death. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports the notable decline in deaths since the high in the late 1970s; however, in 1999, over 41,000 people died on our nation s roadways (USDOT, 2000a, p. 3-6). In contrast, 250-300 people die each year in transit accidents (USDOT, 2000a. p. 3-32). Pedestrian accidents are a particularly critical concern. In the United States, almost 5,000 pedestrians died in accidents in 2001 and about 78,000 were injured. The Surface Transportation Policy Project's research indicates that the most dangerous areas are those with lower density development patterns with higher speed and wider roads with fewer crosswalks and sidewalks (Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2002, pp. 7-11). Colorado reports a similar trend in traffic-related deaths, decreasing slightly from 1995 to 1998 due to impairment and aggressive driver programs, improved roadway design and traffic enforcement, and vehicle safety improvements (CDOT, 2000c, p. 70). 1.3.2 Environmental Issues The body of literature describing the environmental impacts of transportation projects is extensive. This section is an overview of a few of these sources to provide a picture of the environmental concerns. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an extensive assessment of the environmental consequences of automobile travel in its 2001 report: Our Built and Natural Environments -A Technical Review of the Interactions between Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality. A brief summary is presented below. 4

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The degradation of air quality is a significant environmental and health concern. Vehicle emissions contribute to photochemical pollution, called smog. The emissions also impair visibility, damage crops, and impact human health. Vehicle tailpipes comprise 40% ofhydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and two-thirds of the carbon monoxide of all air pollution sources. Vehicles also contribute 21-40% of other hazardous air pollutants. The impairment of water quality from air deposition of emissions, referred to as "acid rain," impacts water bodies and forests. Water pollution also results from drainage of automobile fluids, road sanding, and de-icing salts. The extensive paved roadways also disrupt the flow of streams. Greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate destabilization, have major impacts on human society. Cars and trucks are the two largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, the primary greenhouse gas. Increased traffic noise disturbances, particular! y along transportation corridors, are a significant concern. Oil spills affect oceans as well as streams and lakes, and fuel storage contributes to groundwater pollution through leakage of above and below ground tanks. The loss of open space and wetlands results from roadway construction and sprawl development and leads to reduction and fragmentation of plant and animal habitat. Hazardous and other wastes are produced during the manufacture of vehicles and when vehicles are disposed (US EPA, 2001, pp. 11-14 and 2533). Transportation environmental issues are also highlighted locally by the Denver metropolitan planning organization, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), in the Metro Vision 2020 Regional Transportation Plan. 5

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Automobiles are described as a major contributor to air pollution with transportation sources contributing 81% of carbon monoxide, 71% of small particulates (PM 1 0), and 49% of nitrogen oxides in the winter. The report notes that though the region did not violate national ambient air quality standards in the mid-1990s, the growth in auto travel is expected to be an increasing concern. According to the report, roads and transportation facilities also cause run-off that affects water resources (DR COG, 1998, p. 11 ). 1.3.3 Transportation and Land Use To some, transportation planning and land use are inextricably linked in a dual causal relationship. As population and development increase, congestion increases on existing roadways. This increased demand has generally led to more road building that in tum raises land values and encourages more development. From this perspective, it follows that transportation and land use decisions should be closely coordinated, but this has not been the case in all situations. "In the less satisfactory case, the highway engineers tend to think in terms of meeting demand rather than a combination of meeting demand and shaping the future of land use." (Levy, 1997. p. 210). Newman and Kenworthy argue that the transportation, economic, and cultural priorities of cities are the "dominant forces that shape our cities" (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999b, p. 29). The authors describe how cities initially evolved, first as walking cities, then as predominantly transit oriented, and finally as auto cities. The mode of travel determines a city's size, its density, and its shape (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999b, pp. 29-31 ). With the auto, low-density housing prevailed and distances traveled to work increased dramatically. Particularly after World War II, the proliferation of the automobile and bus lines transformed the 6

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shape of cities "It became possible to develop in any direction first filling in between train lines and then going out as far as 50 kilometers." (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999b p. 31 ) The Sierra Club, a national environmental organization, recently issued a study condemning sprawling development patterns. It found that "sprawling development of our suburbs and cities is forcing us to drive farther and more often." The report grades America's 50 largest cities on transportation-related smog, the amount of investment in public transportation and the amount of time drivers spend on the road. The report shows the linkage between land use and transportation systems and air quality. States receiving passing grades were generally those with good transit systems, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Illinois (Sierra Club, 2001, pp. 1-3) 1.3.4 Paved Surfaces High levels of auto dependence and the related sprawling land development patterns result in large amounts of paved, impervious surfaces. The EPA describes the negative impacts on waterways in its January 2001 report. These impacts include greater storm runoff volume and increased velocity leading to larger and more frequent local flooding. Stream bank erosion and increased sedimentation also occur and lead to impacts on aquatic organisms, accumulation of pollutants and adverse effects on fish and shellfish Faster runoff also reduces percolation into the ground that feed streams between storm events. This reduced stream flow may affect aquatic habitat and allow toxic spills to stay concentrated longer. Greater impervious surfaces also reduce groundwater recharge affecting drinking water supplies (USEPA, 2001, p. 15-6). 7

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1.3.5 Energy Consumption Consumption of energy, particularly fossil fuels, is one of the most significant issues surrounding our dependence on the automobile. A recent transportation planning textbook identifies motor vehicles as the "largest single consumers of petroleum in the United States and Canada." Since the foreign oil embargoes of the mid-1970s, transportation energy consumption has been an important national issue: "In 1973, transportation accounted for 51% of the U.S. consumption of petroleum products; by the mid-1990s this use had reached 67% of the total consumption" (Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 122). The national policy reaction to the increasing use of petroleum has generally focused on vehicle technology improvements. Modem automobiles are far more fuel efficient than in the 1970s. In 1975, passenger car fuel economy was 13. 5 miles per gallon (mpg) and this has increased to 28-29 mpg in 1999. The authors note this increasing efficiency leveled off due to heavier and higher powered vehicles entering the fleet in recent years (Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 123). The U.S. Transportation Department, in its recent report, The Changing Face of Transportation, also echoes concern for transportation-related energy use: Transportation cannot occur without energy, which is a major concern for the transportation industry because of the environmental consequences of using energy and because the world's resources of petroleum, on which most modem transportation systems rely, are limited (USDOT, 2000a, p. 5-18). This national report highlights the U.S. economic impacts resulting from past oil price shocks and estimates that, "a single future shock could cost hundreds of billions of dollars It also references the significant transfer of wealth from U.S. to foreign oil producers as a concern (USDOT, 2000a, p. 5-22). So, we see that heavy 8

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reliance on the automobile consumes enormous amounts of fossil fuels and threatens our economy Low density, sprawling land use development patterns with their lack of mixed uses do not support transit, bicycling or other alternatives to the automobile. These land use patterns also result in high consumption of energy to power single occupant vehicles. Kenworthy and Laube's study of energy use in 47 international cities shows the automobile is the least energy efficient mode of transportation. The study also revealed American cities use over eight times more energy in private passenger transportation than Asian cities, the most energy efficient cities included in their global study (Kenworthy and Laube, 1999a, pp. 23-48). 1.3.6 Social Equity Issues The Surface Transportation Policy Project's report concludes that the cost of transportation impacts poor more than the higher income households. Using an estimated annual cost of $6,300 for an average household to purchase, maintain and operate a car, the study found this was only 14% of the highest income households (those making more than $60,500), while it was 36% of the income of the poor households. That is, for every dollar spent by these poorer households, 36 cents goes to providing transportation. This report demonstrates the greater impact of automobile use on poorer families, highlighting just one of the social issues surrounding automobile dependence (Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2000, pp. 10-11). Bernick and Cervero believe social injustices are some of the more troubling effects of an increasingly auto-dependent society : Those who are too poor, disabled, young or old to own or drive a car are effectively left out of many of society's offerings. For the inner-9

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city poor, this means isolation from job opportunities. For older Americans, it can mean loneliness and inadequate attention to medical needs (Bernick and Cervera, 1997, p. 46). These authors emphasize that regardless of technology innovations that minimize other impacts of the automobile, such as traffic flow technologies and cleaner and more energy efficient cars, none of this reduces the physical and social isolation of auto-dependence. The authors reference several studies supporting these conclusions (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, pp. 46-48). Harrigan and Nice also point out the social concerns caused by the imbalance in our transportation system : "Perhaps a third of the population is too old, too young, too disabled, or to poor to own and drive an automobile. Probably a fifth of all households do not own an automobile" (Harrigan and Nice, 2001, p. 406). Colorado's transportation planning report published in 2000, provides similar concerns in its socioeconomic portrait. It states that people over 65 and those under 17 make up 13% and 23% of the population, respectively. The report refers to this subpopulation, comprising 36% of the state's population as "transportation dependent." As a result, it declares, "Public transportation is critical to meeting the accessibility of the elderly, as well as those too young to drive. (CDOT, 2000c, p. 27). The report also states that 7% of Colorado's occupied housing units are without a vehicle, according to the 1990 Census (CDOT, 2000c, p. 29). 1.3. 7 Cost Debate Many drivers in the United States don't believe the cost of driving is high. For example, the driver who pays $1.70 for a gallon of gas and ge t s 25 miles per gallon only sees a low cost of7 cents per mile for travel. From this perspective, driving alone seems like a great deal. However, the American Automobile 10

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Association combines the cost to buy, fuel, and maintain a car and estimates that it costs 44 to 62 cents per mile. A recent study indicates that where you live also determines the cost of transportation. Sprawling metropolitan areas with limited transportation choices have higher transportation costs (Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2000, pp. 9-10 and 9-17). Perhaps not so surprising, there is growing interest in assessments of the full cost oftransportation. Traditional assessments of user costs include vehicle financing, insurance, fuel, maintenance and repair, parking, transit fares, travel time and user accident costs. The City of Boulder's study also includes government costs, such as roadway investments, municipal (police, fire, and justice) costs, costs government incurs for accidents, and societal costs (parking, accidents, pollution, and noise impacts). The report found that when taking into account the full cost of transportation, automobile travel costs about $1 per mile. One of the report's major findings is that using transit in Boulder is more cost-effective than driving alone (Boulder, 1996, pp. 1-7). The Conservation Law Foundation study found that driving alone costs 54 to 94 cents per mile and the cost of commuter rail is almost always less (ranging from 29 to 64 cents per mile). For a typical suburb to city-center commute, the study shows carpooling costs $5.15, commuter rail $6.13, and driving alone significantly more at $10.60 per person (Burrington, 1994, pp. 4-5). 1.3.8 Funding Transportation The previous section of this report is an overview ofhow much it costs to travel. The financing side of transportation also includes who subsidizes transportation and by how much. John Levy presents a traditional view. He concludes in his urban planning text that automobile transportation is paid primarily 11

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by those who drive Levy identifies the direct costs borne by the car owner and the indirect costs paid through highway taxes and license and registration fees. He also refers to the hidden costs associated with the auto such as air pollution deaths and injuries on our roadways, and the increased costs of sprawling land use patterns though he doesn't attempt to quantify these costs Levy concludes: "One might argue that suburbanization is a cost the automobile has imposed on America In contrast most costs associated with transit are subsidized by public funds, primarily federal monies. The author cites 1992 showing public transit systems costs were $16.5 billion and only $6 2 billion was collected in fares. He asserts the cost difference was subsidized by the government (Levy, 1997 pp. 206-7). The Conservation Law Foundation s study contrasts Levy s perspectives of subsiding transit. The study examined not just the cost of highway construction and maintenance, but also the costs to government for police, fire, and court expenses, public parking expenses and tax breaks for employer-provided parking. The report finds that government subsidizes solo driving as much as it subsidizes commuter rail and subway travel. In addition, from the perspective of how much travelers pay relative to the costs they impose, commuter rail riders in Boston pay 47% of the cost, while solo drivers pay a mere 14% of public costs (Burrington, 1994, pp. 234). When we turn to a Federal Highwa y Admini s tration official's view we also see a negative perspective of the costs dri v ers pay. Patrick DeCorla-Souza recently wrote about options to charg e drivers for highway driving, referred to as "value pricing. He reports that aver a ge high w a y construction expenses amount to 30 cents per vehicle mile dri ven; however. fuel taxes c o llect only 2 cents per mile The author states that the "bargain price ch a rged to motorists for use of this expensive capacit y increases demand and conge s tion returns s o on after lanes are added." Because of these high costs and low as s essment of fees to highway users he recommends value pricing, via tolls, f o r road use th a t vary based on the amount of 1 2

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traffic congestion (DeCorla-Souza, 2002, p. 22). From this summary it is clear that users do not pay the full public cost of either form of transportation. And most of the public costs are borne by state and local governments. 1.3.9 Public Health Transportation-related health impacts were recently reported by Dr. Richard J. Jackson, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Jackson found air pollution causes more deaths than traffic accidents. In addition, he found that it has increased asthma attacks. For children with asthma this is particularly significant since they are more sensitive to air pollution. The author reported that 25% of American children live in areas that regularly exceed ozone standards and more than 25% of ozone comes from vehicle emissions (Jackson, 2001, pp. 6-7). Jackson's report links extensive use of the automobile and the design of our sprawling suburban environments to a decrease in physical activity and obesity, and high traffic volume is associated with increased pedestrian and cycling injuries (Jackson, 2001, p. 11). 1.3.10 Traffic Congestion No overview of auto-dependence should conclude without a look at traffic congestion. At the national level there has been a significant increase in congestion in recent history. From 1982 to 1997, travel under congested roadway conditions doubled. The U.S. Transportation Department report also cites large delays nationwide in driving (USDOT, 2000c, p. 2-9). In 2000, the National Governors Association (NGA) declared that traffic congestion is "the number one quality-of-13

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life complaint of Americans" (NGA 2000, p. 7). The NGA's report also noted vehicle miles traveled had increased 125% in the last 30 years. This is four times the population growth rate. Congestion costs over $72 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel (NGA, 2000, p. 1 0). In Colorado, we see similar traffic congestion concerns. The state's transportation plan found, "Traffic congestion was the most frequently mentioned concern named by 40% of the [survey] respondents" (CDOT, 2000c, p. 3) 1.3.11 Livable Communities The concerns described in this research problem statement affect how we feel about the places we live, work, and recreate. Clean air and streams, safe streets, and the ability to travel without significant delay are just of a few of the transportation-related attributes that attract us to an area The literature review identifies a number of authors who focus on how transportation systems can help create more positive living environments. The USDOT's 2000 report, Transportation Decision Making, Policy Architecture for the 21st Century describes Vice President Gore's efforts to encourage "livable communities." This report highlights the important relationship of transportation decisions to the quality and character of our communities. The report touts a number of efforts including ways to "preserve green space, ease traffic congestion, restore a sense of community, pursue regional smart growth strategies and enhance economic competitiveness" (USDOT, 2000b, p. 13). A study of two California cities provides a practical illustration of the concept of livable communities. Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen examined how oil development and a major highway project affected the character of the Santa Barbara and Ventura. In Ventura in the late 1950s, there was little opposition to 14

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reconstruct Highway 101 in a manner that created a barrier between the downtown area and the beach. When the authors conducted their research interviews in the 1990s, it was clear that the highway design caused problems not conducive to attracting tourism. The decision to depress a portion of the freeway created a canyon effort for cars coming through the heart of the city, meaning that neither the beach nor the historic Ventura mission can beckon to travelers (Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, p. 808). The highway's off-ramp created a dangerous environment for pedestrians and the freeway obstructed the ocean view (Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, p. 808). On the other hand, in Santa Barbara citizens and city officials expressed strong opposition to the state's highway upgrading proposal and construction was delayed for years. The final compromise involved a heavily landscaped, partially elevated freeway through downtown with an underpass for autos and pedestrians linking the city center to the beach. Though critics still oppose the reconstructed freeway in Santa Barbara it supports the character of a vibrant downtown linked to its beachfront, in contrast to the resultant highway design in nearby Ventura (Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen, 2000, pp. 809-81 0). Bernick and Cervero highlight aspects of "transit villages," modeled after the railroad and streetcar suburbs of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in the U.S. These early transit villages were situated outside the industrial and commercial city centers and linked by rail lines (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, p.15). The authors emphasize the pedestrian-friendly streets, human scale of the buildings, mixed income housing, compact design, location near transit stations, and mixes of shops and residences (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, p. 7). They also found other positive attributes, including arrangement ofbuildings and streets that encourage meeting people and interacting, as well as the provision of public spaces for gathering and celebration (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, pp. 5 and 7). The rai I road 15

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suburbs studied by Bernick and Cervero generally have surrounding green belts that help define the town's boundaries, thus creating a defined edge that "instilled in its residents a sense of place." (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, p. 32). Similarly, Calthorpe defines aspects of "transit oriented development to include mixed use developments with moderate to high density, walkable environments, and transit services (Calthorpe, 1993, p 410). In the 1990s, another effort arose that also associates transportation decision outcomes with community design is Smart Growth. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) refers to smart growth as development that encourages economic health, diverse housing and jobs, clean environment, and a variety oftransportation alternatives (ICMA, 2002, p. 1). The transportation component of smart growth focuses on providing multimodal solutions that are linked to land-use patterns (ICMA, 2002, p 62) Other terms, such as "neotraditional" development and "new urbanism have evolved that also incorporate many of these positive community attributes of compactness, mixed uses, pedestrian and transit-orientation, etc., (Bernick and Cervero, 1997, p. 5). And a residential design concept that has shown increasing success in Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, and Germany, is the woonerf, or "living street." Woonerfs involve streets designed to significantly slow automobile traffic and to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to share the street with the auto. This has created friendly streets with notably lower accident rates (Sierra Club, 2004, p. 15). Some regional reports also tout the successes of designing towns and cities and transportation systems that create livable communities. The Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Colorado Front Range s metropolitan planning organization, recently published a report on "urban centers" that help to address long-term growth and development in the region (DRCOG, 2001, p. 4). The characteristics of urban centers include compact and mixed use developments, 16

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pedestrian-friendly central areas, provision of transit, and a variety of activities (DRCOG, 2001, p. 8). 1.4 Concluding Remarks Transportation planning processes in the United States and across the globe continue to result in unwise decisions that shape our cities. Studies have identified numerous negative impacts of transportation decisions, including air pollution, increasing traffic congestion and traffic accidents, rising costs to maintain our roadways and traffic systems, wasteful land use (low density residential and office development), and increasing dependence on non-renewable, foreign fossil fuels. Though planning processes are more sophisticated now than in previous decades and there is more information about the negative impacts, it appears that current decision-making processes in Colorado, and elsewhere in the United States, continue to encourage automobile dependence. This summary overviews a number of sources identified during the study literature review that describe the significant negative impacts of transportation decision outcomes to our communities This summary operationalizes the problem statement that initiated this research effort. This problem statement highlights the importance of understanding who makes major transportation modal decisions in Colorado and how these decision are made. 1.5 Overview of the Dissertation The next chapter opens with the primary research questions, focusing on transportation decision-making. These research questions guided the literature review. A summary of the fields of environmental and transportation planning is 17

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then presented, followed by an overview of relevant planning theories. Finally, the latter part of Chapter 2 presents a planning model and a conceptualization of power relationships. Colorado transportation decision processes are expected to follow these models. Chapter 3 describes the research strategy and the methods. Archival research, primarily involving government records, identifies the major events, people, and decisions that led to selection of the transportation modes for each case study This chapter also explains how and why the specific cases were selected. And it describes how the case studies were conducted. In addition to the archival research, in-depth one-on-one interviews were employed to describe aspects of the decision processes that were not clear from the archival research Chapter 3 also presents the research hypotheses derived from the literature reviews. The literature reviews help describe the factors, such as funding, that influence decision processes. The heart of this dissertation lies in the case studies. Chapter 4 overviews the cases and correlates the factors expected to influence the decision processes to the actual outcomes. The case studies are used to test the planning model and power relationship model. Chapter 5 synthesizes the results of the three case studies and offers generalized findings. The conclusion provides transportation planners with guidelines to help identify ways to shape future decisions and to predict modal outcomes Herein lies the significance of the research results: building upon the body of transportation planning knowledge and offering practical tools to move our communities toward more sustainable futures. 18

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2. Review of the Literature This chapter presents the research questions that emerged from the problem statement described in Chapter 1. These research questions in tum guide the literature review. The literature reviews focus on environmental policy development and transportation planning in the United States. The other major area of literature studied is planning theory. The latter part of this chapter posits a planning model that Colorado transportation processes are expected to follow. This planning model builds from the traditional rational planning model. In addition, a generalized structure of the individuals and groups that most influence decision processes is presented, also derived from the planning theory literature. 2.1 Research Questions The problem statement and its significance, highlighted earlier, focused this study on the transportation decision-making processes, and in particular the mode selected for major transportation corridors. It then follows that the primary research question should steer the study toward the current decision processes. As a result the primary research question is: How do curr e nt transportation decision processes influence modal outcomes? This question incorporates the "how" of the process, including how decision-makers (government officials, planners, and engineers) go about deciding to build more highways or shift to transit systems. This includes the procedures they follow and the constraints imposed on the decision processes. This broad research question also encompasses the key actors, the decision-makers and 19

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others that most influence the modal outcome In addition, it focuses on the role of knowledge in the decision processes. The literature review informs a set of specific research questions that further guides the research. These specific research questions are organized around these focal areas that relate to the primary research question: 1. Decision-Making Procedure What is the decision-making procedure; the specific planning process that is followed ? 2. Context What are the constraints and opportunities that most influence the modal outcome? What types of policies, politics and economics most influence the modal outcome? What other contextual factors shape the modal outcome? 3. Key Actors Who are the decision-makers? 4. Power Who wields the power to influence key decisions? How is power distributed? Who holds/uses/controls knowledge that most influences decision-making? 5. Knowledge What is the role ofknowledge? How is knowledge/information used in the decision processes? 20

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2.2 Environmental and Transportation Planning Context An extensive review of environmental and transportation planning literature was conducted as part of this research effort. To fully understand the case study decision processes, it was critically important to describe their context. Initially, the literature focused on transportation planning processes and requirements, such as the mandates ofthe Interrnodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), and key environmental requirements, particularly the process defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEP A) and the Clean Air Act and its amendments. And as expected, the literature review identified many other factors affecting major transportation decisions, including the availability of funding, government agency directives, business needs, and interest groups The following sections summarize the literature review findings that describe the national, state, regional and local context in which major transportation decisions are made in Colorado. 2.2.1 Brief History of Environmental Policy and Transportation Planning This short history of environmental and transportation planning policy in the United States is presented to show how the environmental and transportation fields evolved over time responding to the severity and complexity of our industrialized civilization's impacts on the environment, public health, economy, and society in general. This historical summary also overviews the federal mandates that shape the way decisions are made today. This overview includes a summary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act, and several transportation-related laws, including ISTEA and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21 ). 21

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Selected guidance documents and regulations are described; however, an exhaustive overview of pertinent requirements was not conducted. Instead, this summary focuses on requirements that seem to directly shape major transportation decisions. In the review of these guidelines and regulations, we see an increasing level of complexity and control, reflecting the heightened level of understanding of the environmental, health, economic, and societal impacts. The initial paragraphs of this chapter set the stage for describing the context in which the research case studies transpired. There was a growing awareness of environmental issues dating back to the 1890s as the industrial revolution began to take its toll (Rotlunan, 2000, p. 11 ). Water-borne diseases were early harbingers of the impacts. The human sewage problem increased as cities grew. Sewage was commonly collected and then discharged into rivers, polluting downstream water supplies and causing epidemics oftyphoid (Rotlunan, 2000, pp. 40-41). The seas were suffering too. Whale and seal populations were being decimated, and ocean garbage dumping, crude oil residues from oil spills, and the Atomic Energy Commission's authorized ocean dumping of radioactive waste were taking their toll. Air pollution was growing in significance The Public Health Service broadcast health concerns arising from carbon monoxide from vehicles as early as 1966. The Cuyahoga River ran polluted through Cleveland and Akron, Ohio: "In 1959 the river became so burdened with volatile chemicals that it burned fitfully for eight days." (Scheffer, 1991, pp. 45-63 ). These warnings were answered by new U.S legislation and policy including enactment ofNEP A, creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, and new environmental laws to improve water and air quality and to control solid and hazardous wastes. As the understanding of and concern for environmental and health problems increased, the field of transportation also experienced significant changes. Despite the economic and mobility benefits of the highway programs, roadway construction 22

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began to face challenges across the country. For example, in New York in the 1960s the promise of 627 miles of expressways was not solving traffic congestion (Lewis, 1997, p. 193). The highway revolt began in the Northeast according to Helen Leavitt. In Boston, university faculty asked the government to stop construction ofthe Inner Belt and re-evaluate transportation needs of the area. Protestors sought relief in Washington, D.C., proclaiming on signs that "Cambridge is a City Not a Highway." Opposition also grew to the Lower Manhattan Expressway that was planned as a 10-lane elevated highway that would displace almost 2,000 families and 800 businesses (Leavitt 1970, pp. 53-59). The auto s reputation as a symbol of freedom and convenience was beginning to tarnish. Concerns about traffic congestion, air pollution, tom neighborhoods, and the declining transit system grew, while our dependence on the automobile continued. In a manner similar to our government's response to growing awareness of many economic, social and environmental issues in the 1960s and 70s we see that transportation officials became increasingly concerned about the impacts of automobile dependence. As a result, the field of transportation planning began to change. The short history of environmental policy and transportation planning presented below provides a brief glimpse of their evolution in the United States. Both fields saw a growing understanding of the negative impacts of our industrialized society and of auto dependence in particular. The next section overviews environmental and transportation planning requirements that grew from the recognition of negative impacts. 23

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2.2.2 Relevant Laws, Regulations, and Policies Congress passed the first air quality law in 1955, though it was designed primarily to encourage federal, state and local cooperation in air quality improvement efforts. As concern grew over declining air quality in cities, the law was amended in 1967 and again in 1970. It was clear that automobiles were major contributors to air pollution and that expanding roadways, though that may initially reduce traffic, would generate new travel demand and thus cause additional air emissions. The 1970 law also gave states broad authority to adopt transportation control measures to restrict automobile use. In addition, it required EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). States were required to submit air quality management plans, called State Implementation Plans, for all areas that could not attain the NAAQS (Garrett and Wachs, 1996, pp. 9-11). Many states could not meet the air quality standards, so Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1977 to provide extensions for compliance and to require inventories of stationary air pollution sources, such as industrial facilities, in addition to vehicle emissions. EPA subsequently published information on ways to implement the various transportation control measures that included expanded public transit, high occupancy vehicle lanes, ridesharing programs, pedestrian paths, and others. The law required consistency between transportation planning and air quality plans, referred to as conformity. Conformity was required of all highway projects receiving federal funds and even metropolitan planning organization projects and programs that didn't receive federal dollars. The law provided for sanctions that included withholding federal highway funds. However, it is clear that withholding federal highways dollars was politically unacceptable (Garrett and Wachs, 1996, pp. 13-5). As with other significant federally controlled and / or funded projects and programs, NEPA directly influenced transportation project decision-making. The 24

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law requires that a detailed statement of environmental impacts be prepared for all major federal actions that "significantly [affect] the quality of the human environment." This detailed review is referred to as an environmental impact statement (EIS). NEPA describes the overall contents of an EIS, including the environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternative actions, the adverse environmental effects that cannot be avoided, the relationship between local short term uses of the environment and maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources required by the proposed action (USCA, 1970, Section 1 02C). Most large roadway projects are considered "major federal actions" because they will involve a large investment of federal funding. In addition, most large construction projects significantly impact the environment and natural and historic resources. The Federal Highway Administration (FHW A) initially promulgated regulations further describing the requirements of NEP A in 1980. It established classes of actions and prescribed the level of documentation needed. For example, projects that significantly affect the environment require an EIS. Some federal actions receive a 'categorical exclusion' in the regulations, including those which "do not induce significant impacts to planned growth or land use for the area; do not require the relocation of significant numbers of people; do not have a significant impact on any natural, cultural, recreational, historic or other resources .... An EIS is not required for projects that are categorically excluded (CFR, 1997, Part 771.117a) FHW A issued joint guidance for preparing an EIS. The guidance describes how the alternatives should be defined, including all "reasonable altematives" even those that were previously screened out. The guidance lists the range of alternatives to be considered, from transportation system management including ridesharing, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and traffic signal timing optimization, to mass transit, highway construction and improvement alternatives 25

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(USDOT, 1987, p. 14-6). The guidance also describes how air quality considerations should be included in the EIS documents (USDOT, 1987, pp. 23-24). Federal mandates appear to play an even more significant role in transportation planning in the 1990s than in the past. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 "renewed" the federal government's emphasis on transportation control measures, thus strengthening the bond between transportation planning and air quality. Garret and Wachs note that this linkage had been downplayed in the 1974 and 1977 amendments to the air quality law. In 1990, Congress also required that automatic penalties apply to nonattainment areas that did not comply with the law (Garret and Wachs (1996) pp. 20-21). The 1991 ISTEA law also appears to have made sweeping changes in urban transportation planning. Garret and Wachs emphasize the laws importance: These two pieces of federal legislation are among the most important landmarks in a decade-long shift of emphasis in regional transportation planning. The authors indicate that the laws mandate better analysis of the impact of transportation plans and projects on congestion, land use, and travel. The authors believe that future transportation investments in roads and transit will change and regional development will also be affected (Garret and Wachs, 1996, p. 1 ) In June 1998, President Clinton signed into law TEA-21. This law built upon the policies and programs of IS TEA. Of great importance, the new law guaranteed a record $200 billion in investments for highway safety, highways, transit, and other programs. It also continued and expanded the landmark environmental programs created earlier (USDOT, 2000a, pp. 2-8). TEA-21 continued the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, providing $8 1 billion in flexible funding over six years to state and local governments to help meet requirements of the Clean Air Act. It also continued enhancement programs that could include investments ranging from pedestrian and bicycle safety education to establishing transportation museums (USDOT, 1998 pp. 26

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33-34). TEA-21 and other federal transportation policies were viewed as changing the face of transportation : Secretary Slater challenged us to expand our horizon by pursuing a transportation system that is more than just a physical infrastructure of concrete, asphalt, and steel; and in tum, he redefined transportation to be about people and their total quality of life" (USDOT, 2000a, pp. 1-2). When examining changes in transportation investments, we see that major expenditures for new highways and roadway widening continue. Boston is using TEA-21 funds for the now infamous "Big Dig," Montana is widening sections ofl90, and Florida is spending about $55 million for roadway widening Some regions are investing in transit, including New Jersey, New York City, Dallas, Orange County, CA; and Portland, OR, though some critics believe monies for transit are too small compared to overall available transportation funding (Walters, 2002, pp. 72-3). 2.2.3 Institutional and Regulatory Framework The government agencies and the legal and policy requirements noted above create a framework for the decision processes studied. The following paragraphs briefly overview the government agencies and their roles in major Colorado transportation projects. This section helps to describe the context in which these major decisions occur There are several organizations within the U.S. Department of Transportation that play important roles in the Colorado cases. FHW A is responsible for overseeing federal roadway improvements, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is involved in major transit projects and the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) was involved with the rail freight aspects of one of the cases studied. These federal agencies are charged with approving the key EIS documents, 27

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in addition, they maintain direct working relationships with their state counterparts. The summaries of the case studies appearing in Chapter 4, describe the roles and responsibilities of these federal agencies in more detail. As expected the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its Transportation Commission are the primary organizations overseeing major highway projects. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is a key play e r in the transportation aspects of transportation projects. In addition, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is the regional planning organization This is a key role defined by federal transportation laws. The EPA is in v olved in reviewing the major EIS documents It has a unique role defined by the Clean Air Act, Section 309 EPA is charged with reviewing and commenting on EISs If EPA determines the planned action doesn t satisfactorily address public health welfare or environmental concerns then the agency will refer the matter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (Pub. L. 91-604 1991, Section 309). The CEQ is responsible for overseeing the implementation of NEP A. EPA's Region 8 Office is expected to play an important role in each of the cases studied. EPA personnel participate in key meetings review the draft and final EIS documents, and provide comments. The case study research describes EPA's role The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for preparing the plans for areas of the state that have air quality problems T he State Implementation Plan, also referred to as SIP, describes measures required to address the air quality problems. These areas are referred to as nonattainment areas The SIPs also include the allowable air emissions levels for vehicle and industrial sources The proscribed emissions levels, called emission budgets, apply dir e ctly to the evaluation of transportation project alternatives. Specifically, the preferr e d alternative must not exceed the SIP emissions budget. All three selected cas e 28

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studies are located in nonattainment areas, so they are subject to the defined air quality emissions budgets. Another requirement for transportation projects is that they conform to the requirements of the transportation plans for the region. This is referred to as transportation conformity. In metropolitan areas, major transportation project solutions must be included in the relevant regional plans issued by the metropolitan planning organizations. For the Denver-metro area, DRCOG issues these planning documents. The relevant plans are the Regional Transportation Plan (RIP), a 30year plan, and the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), the five-year plan. The requirements of the SIP and transportation conformity are expected to set out a rigid framework within which only limited transportation solutions are be selected. 2.2.4 Concluding Remarks This section summarized the environmental and transportation planning literature reviewed for this research. The evolution of environmental policy and transportation planning in the U.S. began to define the context for the study. In addition, there are a number of critical laws, regulations, and policies, as well as, government institutions that play a key role in transportation decision processes. Available funding, the political setting, and special interest groups were all identified during the literature review as important factors in these decision processes. The next section overviews the planning theory literature review, which also helps to define the decision process context. 29

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2.3 Planning Theory and Processes This section overviews planning theory and processes to inform and shape the author's research. It first introduces urban planning and then summarizes the major planning theories, including the rational comprehensive theory, mixed scanning, advocacy, and others. Some authors view these theories as normative inquiry, where the researchers focus on "what planners do" and "what planners ought to do" (Yiftachel, 2001, p. 253 ) This section also highlights the work of two authors, John Forester and Bent Flyvbjerg. These authors both examine the role of power, reason, and communications in planning decision-making and implementation. These authors were selected because of the explanatory nature of their work, looking at what happens in real planning environments. Forester believes we need to understand the planning practice as "deeply communicative and argumentative (Forester, 1989, p. 161.) He emphasizes the importance of context in which planning decisions are made and in particular, how power shapes the process (Forester, 1989). He draws from practicing planners, providing insight that should help build the framework for the research. Forester's work examines the project level and his research is of relatively short duration. Bent Flyvbjerg, also studied at the project level; however, his work covers many years of plan development and implementation. From Flyvbjerg's research and critiques of his work, we will see more clearly the value of carefully examining the power relations among major stakeholders in planning decisions (Flyvbjerg, 1998) In the latter part of this section we shift to a broader scale and summarize regime theory. We learn much from regime theory that employs an explanatory approach. We also touch upon the growth machine and tum to a new look at the corporatist theory These broad-brush approaches provide additional perspectives 30

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about government and non-government entities working together to shape urban decisions. This section s concluding remarks begin to describe how these normative and selected explanatory theories inform and shape the research of urban transportation decision-making 2.3.1 Planning Theory Overview Planning is a function of government that involves the exercise of government powers and the expenditure of public funds. Within government, regulators, policy makers and political officials play important roles in urban decision-making. Citizens can also play a pivotal role. Citizens receive the benefits of urban decisions and feel the negative impacts, such as the air pollution, noise, and isolation of neighborhoods resulting from a highway construction project. Other major actors in planning are the individuals and groups that represent economic interests, particularly businesses affected by planning decisions. And in recent years, advocacy groups such as environmental organizations have been increasingly influential in planning decisions. In addition to the key stakeholders' influence in urban planning, many other factors drive decision-making, such as the availability of funding. For example, federal highway funding is a great driving force in local and regional decisions to build more roadways. Some other very relevant concerns in examining planning decision-making processes, policies and procedures involve determining how knowledge and information is used, who holds and controls the knowledge, and who wields the power to influence decisions These few paragraphs have only set the stage for the overview of planning theory. There are many interests in most urban projects, and transportation projects 31

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seem no less complex than building a school, a new suburban residential development, or a convention center. It seems appropriate to take a little time to re emphasize the complexity of planning No authors have expressed the inherent problems of planning better than Rittel and Webber in Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. These authors define planning problems as uniquely different from scientific or engineering problems Planning problems are "wicked problems" because there can never be a full understanding, there is no definable end to the solution, the solutions are neither true nor false, good nor bad, and every problem is essentially unique. The authors leave the reader with little promise of effective theories and tactics that will help planners deal with wicked problems: We have neither a theory that can locate societal goodness, nor one that might dispel wickedness, nor one that might resolve the problems of equity that rising pluralism is providing. We are inclined to think that these theoretical dilemmas may be the wicked conditions that confront us (Rittel and Webber, 1973, p. 169). With these profound words we now turn to our overview of planning theory, beginning with a brief look as some of the normative theories. 2.3.2 Traditional, Normative, and Related Planning Theory Most planning theory developed primarily following World War II. The prominent comprehensive-rational theory of planning builds from the overarching scientific theory that views the world logically, systematically, and objectively. Critics of the rational model sought p Janning theory that better reflected the real world by acknowledging the various motives of people and groups, the meanings and values we attach to the world. and the structural constraints that should not be 32

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ignored From this body of overarching social theory, planning theorists developed the theori e s of incrementalism and mixed scaiU1ing. Others viewed decision-making from a pluralistic perspective where power is distributed among competing interest groups. From this perspective grew a number of other plaiU1ing theories including advocacy participatory radical and social learning theories. These plalll1ing theories are briefly presented below The most prevalent and considered to be the orthodox view is the comprehensive-rational plaiU1ing theory The model of rational plalll1ing is characterized as a scientific (logical and systematic) and objective plaiU1ing process It is quantitative in nature and the plaiU1er is expected to input value-free information for decision-makers This procedural theory describes a rigorous process of analyzing existing conditions, identifying agreed upon goals, examining future conditions analyzing and developing a set of alternatives to address plalll1ing issues, with cost/benefit analyses, followed by implementation and evaluation. Though this theory of plaiU1ing seems to have its strengths it has also been widely criticized particularly because it doesn t seem to reflect the realities of the plaiU1ing process. Specifically, technical information isn t value-free, nor can there be comprehensive analyses of all conditions and alternatives due to cost constraints (Levy, 1997, pp. 323-324). Critics of the rational model have suggested an alternative view of the plalll1ing process that is based on reaching agreement on goals and building upon existing policies; thus the process is more likely to gamer support for implementation Resource and time needs are much more limited because the analyses are focused on small changes to specific issues This theory is gener a lly described as incrementalism since its goal is to make adjustments to existing projects and programs. This theory recognizes existing constraints, particularly political or legal, and it generally describes reality more accurately especially in organizations that are highly reactive to citizen discontent (Lindblom, 1977 and 33

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1979). Critics of this theory believe it describes what many government employees and citizens fear : planning that appears to follow a process, yet actually only responds to the hot issue of the day or the loudest citizen voice Criticism depicts this theory as being reactive and not anticipatory past the issue at hand (Levy 1997, pp. 327-328). The mixed-scanning planning theory was advanced by sociologist Amitai Etzioni. It describes a model involving a general scanning aspect wherein planners examine the overall picture in the context of the planning issue, as one would with a broad angle camera. From this broad scanning, the elements that merit further attention are identified. More detailed analyses of these elements are performed analogous to a zoom camera. These detailed analyses provide science-based information to the decision-making process (Etzioni, 1967 and 1986). This model addresses a number of the criticisms of the rational and incremental models, including time and resources focused on the elements that warrant more attention, and the broad range scanning providing for a systematic approach that can discourage ad hoc decision-making. This theory can take into account extant political and legal constraints It can also lead to substantive changes in the status quo since it is not heavily invested in past experience (Levy, 1997, pp. 327-328). Advocacy planning theory, coming from legal tradition, describes the planner as an advocate for specific interest groups, particularly those that are underrepresented and/or disenfranchised. This theory supports the redistribution of power and resources. This type of planning is not intended to be value-free Technical information and analyses are intended to support the goals and needs of the represented group. This theory depicts real situations and thus is an improvement over the strict rational model. It is founded on what many believe is the planner's role-to advocate for those in need (Heskin, 1980, and Davidoff, 1965). Though the theory attempts to describe realistic planning, it has inherent problems. The premise is that there will be disagreement over goals, thus the 34

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process is expected to foster conflict and thus delays in implementation. As important, advocacy planning brings to the forefront conflicts with capital interest groups, such as real estate investors. The planner will likely find him/herself caught between widely divergent and conflicting political agendas. Though this model depicts real life situations to some extent, a reviewer must assess when advocacy planning is appropriate in light of the ethical, emotionally charged, and politically conflicting situations that it involves (Levy, 1997, pp 330-332) Participatory planning theory describes the planner as a facilitator and objective mediator of planning issues. The overall goal is to reach consensus over goals, priorities, and alternatives to address the planning issue. Since its focus is on obtaining subjective values and preferences, it departs significantly from the rational model described above. In this process, science-based information is secondary to values and preferences. This model depicts a high level of participant support if consensus can be reached, thus leading to less time for implementation and extensive analyses, thereby saving staff resources (Fagence, 1977). A short-term analysis of this approach may strike fear in political decision-makers due to the lack of control of the process, the decisions and outcomes; however, a longer-term view may provide some comfort that when citizens participate in a meaningful way it can lead to a strengthening of public accountability. In other words, from a normative perspective it would seem if the public takes responsibility for decisions that affect them, the other stakeholders (including those generally underrepresented) and their communities, it can lead to long-term support of planning decisions and possibly even government and elected officials. The radical planning model resulted from heavy criticism from the political far right, referred to as neo-Marxism, in the 1970s. This radical perspective viewed capitalism as benefiting the capitalist class (bourgeoisie), while the "masses" are prevented from seeing the truth by those in control. The radical planning model endorses a larger government role, a smaller role for the private sector and more 35

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empowerment ofthe people (Levy, 1997 pp. 335-337). What we mean by planning is a synthesis of rational action and spontaneity: evolutionary social experimentation within the context of an ecological ethic (Grabow and Heskin, 1973 p l12) There are social learning theories that focus on the more humanistic aspects of planning, acknowledging as does participatory planning that the relationships and communication between people is paramount in any planning process. Critical theory assesses social, political and economic aspects of planning issues and focuses on communicative interaction Albrecht and Lim posit that the planning practice can be viewed as an argumentative process wherein the problem and solution evolve. These authors believe planning participants should use critical judgment. With this critical theory approach "it becomes possible for planners to use technical as well as interpretive knowledge and self-reflection for identifying problems and finding solutions (Albrecht and Lim, 1986 p. 129) An alternative approach to traditional planning decision-making may be found in the idea of General S y stems Theory applied by Boulding and others in 1956 and further developed by Peter Checkland in 1981. Checkland posits that systems thinking may "help in tackling the kind of unstructured real-world problems which defeat the reductionism of the method of science." For the planned research it may be possible to employ a systems model that examines all aspects of a complex planning project such as a transportation proposal : the natural, the human activities, the designed physical, and the designed abstract aspects of the real world (Checkland, 1981, pp 121-122) From her studies, Judith Innes purports that the use of information is key to influencing public and private planning outcomes. Her work builds from Jurgen Habermas' 1984 theory of communicative action She contends that our understanding of planning must change from the rule of the scientific method to rules of collaboration and communication (Innes, 1998) 36

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These normative planning theories provided valuable information for this research effort. They help us hypothesize "about what is right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, just or unjust in society" (MarshalL 1998, p. 455). For example, Innes' work supports planners as collaborators and communicators of community values. Some believe that planners, including transportation planners, can and should advocate for those underrepresented, particularly poor and minority residents, where neighborhoods are tom apart by highway projects. Our brief look at the rational comprehensive planning model is also useful to our analysis of the national and state context in which transportation decisions are made. Specifically, federal transportation laws require comprehensive planning, including full evaluation of economic, social, and environmental factors, as well as development and analysis of alternatives. In addition, NEP A mandates thorough consideration of social, historical, cultural, and environmental impacts of federally funded projects, which encompass most major transportation projects The normative rational planning theory espouses comprehensive assessments of community needs, impacts of alternatives, and thorough evaluations of alternatives, so in this sense, some aspects of transportation planning processes are expected to adhere to major aspects of the rational planning model. In addition, we expect to see aspects of Lindholm's incrementalism in transportation planning. Since large transportation projects are usually managed by government agencies that change little over time, it is likely that new transportation decisions will be similar to those in the past, or varying from precedent only slightly. Advocacy planning approaches are also expected to be part of transportation project decision-making Groups may advocate for enhanced transit rather than expanding roadways that will displace residences adjacent to the highway. Other citizen groups may try to intluence the placement of new highways, for example, to avoid splitting poor or minority neighborhoods that already experience their unfair burden of environmental issues. 37

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Having looked at normative planning models, we now move to select empirical research to see what the literature reveals about how decision-making processes unfold in the real world of "wicked problems." First we examine research by Forester and Flyvbjerg. From these project-level studies, we will see in unique cases who influences decision-making, how information is communicated and distorted, and how power can drive project implementation. 2.3.3 Power, Reason, Rationality, and Communication First we turn to Forester's "Planning in the Face of Power." He opens the chapter of his book with the same title by warning planners that if they ignore the power relations that shape the planning process "they assure their own powerlessness" (Forester, 1989, p. 27). He examines different types of misinformation; citing examples in practice and explanations by other authors. Forester then describes how misinformation can "manipulate action" and how planners can anticipate, prevent, and counteract it (Forester, 1989, pp. 33-37) We also learn of relevant research methods from Forester's investigation into the role of power in planning. As part ofhis study, he interviewed planning directors and staff in New England cities and town. He conducted extensive open ended interviews to obtain "local planners' own accounts of the challenges they face as they simultaneously negotiate and mediate in local conflicts over land-use permits" (Forester, 1989, p. 83). Using this methodology, Forester begins to uncover how planning decisions are made. We also note that Forester s research suggests that in-depth interviewing can be an effective method for this transportation research effort From his study, Forester identifies six mediated negotiation strategies for planners: regulator, resource, shuttle diplomacy, active and interested mediation, and negotiation. The author recommends selecting a strategy 38

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that fits the specific planning situation (Forester, 1989, pp. 88-99). His findings, though not widely generalizable, are helping to shape the research design for this transportation research effort Forester argues for a critical theory of planning that examines the social and political-economic relations of a given structure. He cites ways that the structure will "legitimate and perpetuate itself while it seeks to extend its power" and how it will exclude certain groups to promote the illusion that science and technology provide the answers and control public involvement. These structures will restrict involvement of groups with public agendas that are "incompatible with existing patterns of ownership, wealth, and power." Using such a critical empirical analysis will uncover how state and productive relations "distort communications, to obscure issues, to manipulate trust and consent, to twist face and possibility" (Forester, 1989, pp. 139-141 ). It is expected that Forester's encouragement to employ critical theory is valuable to this transportation planning research effort. However, we also saw some limits in Forester's work. While promoting critical analysis of the social and political relationships, he falls short in his research. He focuses on how information is communicated and miscommunicated and less on how the relationships between individuals and groups influence planning decisions. Our brief examination of Flyvbjerg' s case study presented below can help fill this gap, because he examines how information is used as well as how relationships between those in power affects the project's implementation. Bent Flyvbjerg's study of an award-winning transportation plan in the Danish town of Aalborg begins in the late 1970s. The author undertakes what he describes as an "in-depth case study of politics, administration, and planning" (Flyvbjerg, 1998, p 3). Flyvbjerg identifies the influential government officials and business leaders and follows their relations and how this affects implementation of the transportation plan. In the latter part of the book, he reviews the project outcomes noting the significant lack of implementation ofmost aspects Some of 39

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the problems the original plan was aimed at mitigating were actually exacerbated by an increase in auto traffic, even though a major goal of the plan was to decrease automobile travel in downtown Aalborg. These negative outcomes included an increase in traffic deaths and injury, no decrease in pedestrian-auto accidents, and an increase in noise and air pollution (Flyvbjerg, 1998, p. 220). Flyvbjerg's dense case study uncovered a coalition of key actors that influenced decision-making in Aalborg. These study findings may help inform development of a model of how transportation decisions are made in Colorado. The Aalborg coalition is similar to the "highway coalition" model that controlled major transportation projects particularly during the "heyday" of the interstate highway building years following World War II. So, it is not unreasonable to expect that a coalition of key government and business players control major transportation decisions in Colorado. It is also important to note that Flyvbjerg's dense case-study approach and his relentless tracking of individuals involved in the Aalborg transportation planning process were effective methods in "looking behind the scenes." Seeing his methods employed provides useful insight in examining Colorado decision processes. Lisa Peattie's critique ofFlyvbjerg's work reinforces this. She argues that a dense case study "shows the characteristics of actors and inputs and the indications of outcome as embedded in their particular manifestations, and the particular, in tum, as manifestations of the most critically important issues." She refers to issues of power and right and wrong. Peattie posits that this type of study is useful because it will aid practitioners in looking out for "pitfalls and potentials of particular institutional form" (Peattie, 2002, p. 259). This in-depth case study approach will most likely uncover important characteristics of the government and non-government actors in urban transportation planning. An outcome of this study is to provide transportation practitioners with ways to examine their own planning particulars and perhaps help determine what to do in certain circumstances. Flyvbjerg and Peattie both refer to 40

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this as "phronesis" study; that is "knowing what to do in a particular situation." Peattie also indicates that, in some cases, it is appropriate to generalize from phronetic study, which would be another valuable outcome of the planned research (Peattie, 2002, pp. 260-261). From this brieflook at Forester's and Flybjerg's project-level research we can glean insight for the Colorado transportation research, particularly that coalitions have the greatest influence on decision-making processes and that in depth case studies may be the most effective research design. We now move to regime theory to further build a framework for this research effort. 2.3.4 Regime Theory Regime theory is considered by many to be a dominant approach to urban study. Gerry Stoker found that this field of theory emerged in the mid-1980s. He believes that it "captures key aspects of governance at the end of the century" (Stoker, 1996, p. 269). Davies also considers regime theory to have become the leading paradigm for studying urban politics (Davies, 2002). Regime theory may be particularly relevant to this Colorado transportation research effort because state and local governments and non-government actors, particularly long-term stable business interests, seem to wield the power to make major transportation decisions. For this overview we touch upon a number of explanatory studies of cities; however, only one study was found that examined state-wide decision-making: Bianco and Alder's study of Oregon's Statewide Transportation Planning Rule (Bianco and Alder, 2001). Though statewide studies are limited, it seems reasonable to assume that the regime approach can be easily adapted from the city and regional level to the state level. 41

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Drawing from David Judge, Stoker describes regime theory as having taken on board the central thrust ofmuch Marxist-inspired work ofthe 1970s ... namely that business control over investment decisions and resources central to societal welfare gives it a privileged position in relations to government decision making (Stoker, 1996, p. 270) He also refers to work of Clarence Stone, who some consider to be the founder of regime theory. Stone defined a regime as "an infonnal yet relatively stable group with access to institutional resources that enable it to have a sustained role in making governing decisions." Stone found that regimes differ from elite-based theories in that government is not driven to accommodate groups because of their voting power. Government is inclined to respond to those groups that wield the resources needed to implement its goals (Stoker, 1996, p. 272). Stoker provides some critiques of urban studies that use regime tenninology. He refers to the work of Savitch and Thomas, wherein they define several types of regimes: (1) pluralist regimes comprised of political leaders and competitive private actors; (2) elitist regimes made up of strong business leaders working with weak political leaders; (3) corporatist regimes, which have strong political leaders and unified business leaders; and (4) hyperpluralist regimes where neither business nor political leaders are strong enough to wield significant power in the urban economy. Stoker criticizes Savitch and Thomas' work, finding that it doesn't meet the test of regime theory as set out by Stone (Stoker, 1996, p. 275). Stoker acknowledges that while regime theory is developing, it has already made a significant contribution to the study of urban politics (Stoker, 1996, pp. 276 and 280). Moving past the criticism of Savitch and Thomas' work for not being true to the characteristics of regime theory, we learn much from the authors work. They propose that urban regimes of the 1990s are much different that those of the 1960s. Past coalitions were generally comprised of businesses joining with the white middle-class, while today many alliances are formed with blacks, neighborhood 42

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organizations and other groups (Savitch and Thomas 1 9 91, p 12) Also, cities today are more a product of factors outside their boundaries, such as federal and state government and suburban influences (Savitch and Thomas, 1991, p. 236). These authors also see a shift from focus on "local services and patronage, toward an emphasis on land-use zoning, property tax assessments, and bonds for economic development (Savitch and Thomas, 1991, p. 23 9). Savitch and Thomas also describe a change from cities of the 1950s and 1960s that generally had effective central control to urban areas splintered by race neighborhoods business classes, and downtown versus suburban developer interests This hyperpluralism has led to a decline in the elite power structures (Sa v itch and Thomas, 1991, pp. 245-246). This work highlights the importance of studying the coalitions in power including a review of how they have changed over recent years This information has helped shape this Colorado transportation research effort. Davies analyzes the work of Stone and Elkin and examines regime theory as a theory of structuring. He focuses on the influences of the market on local political institutions and weighs economic forces against the influences of popular control. He concludes "It is not enough to acknowledge the influence of the market economy on local polit i cal processes, it is also necessary to explain how fluctuations in the economy enable and constrain political options" (Davies 2002 p 13). Davies' normative critique of regime theory is also expected to aid in the study of urban transportation planning. It is also important to look at Logan and Molotch s The City as a Growth l'vfachine. These authors provide a detailed description of the "growth machine" that they believe drives planning decisions in most major cities in the United States. The a uthors believe that the strong consensus around growth o v erpowers other alternative goals for a city, such as social goals that may be advocated by some interest groups In their historical review of the development of cities, Logan and 43

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Molotch found that major capital interests, specifically those linked to real estate, had significant influence on the shaping of urban areas. They also found that where public agendas appeared to have been achieved, this is attributed to their alignment with the growth machine A case in point is the creation of competition between cities for manufacturing facilities that promised to bring urban jobs. Though this appears to be driven by the social goal of increasing job opportunities of lower income and minority families in inner cities the authors' study shows that the disenfranchised did not generally benefit from these jobs. Instead, other workers moved in from other areas following the creation of new jobs (Logan and Molotch, 1996). Logan and Molotch describe a "systemic power" wherein the business sectors foster long-term relationships with public officials, thus further ensuring the growth agendas are met. The authors delineate a number of other "actors" including the local media, universities, and small businesses that also benefit from growth and thus work to influence local government planning decisions (Logan and Molotch, 1996). We also understand that there is an important interdependence of growth and transportation systems; therefore it would seem that Logan and Molotch's research will be particularly relevant to this urban transportation research effort. Another study that seems important is Mollenkopfs examination of political power in New York City during the Koch era. Mollenkopf describes several theories to attempt to reconcile the divergent views of structuralists and pluralists. He cites the work of Friedland, who depicts two types of cities: those at the stage of primarily accumulating wealth, which align with the structural view, and those that are legitimacy-oriented, that align with the pluralist approach. Another theory is the public choice theory that depicts cities as competing for residents by providing services that meet their unique interests This theory lends itself toward a more pluralist approach where citizen groups with differing interests are the focus of planning decisions (Mollenkopf, 1992, pp. 31-2) 44

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It should be highlighted here that Mollenkopf attempts to reconcile the structuralist and pluralist approaches based on the acknowledgement that government leaders relate both to their political and electoral base and to their economic base. This acknowledgement leads to a focus on the relationship between state citizenry, and the marketplace thus providing for a synthesis of the structuralist and pluralist views. Mollenkopf argues that community-based coalitions can be stable, address conflicts between coalitions, and operate for long periods of time, thus ensuring an ability to greatly influence substantive urban decisions (Mollenkopf, 1992, pp. 37-39) There are many aspects ofMollenkpfs work that may shed light on how transportation decisions are made one of which is the theory that community-based coalitions may be the key players in urban regtmes. Before leaving this summary of regime theory and growth regimes, we turn to an application of the corporatist paradigm for further guidance for this transportation research effort. Bianco and Adler's research examines implementation of Oregon's Transportation Planning Rule The authors chose the corporatist approach because it embodies a "directive role" for the state. In regime theory, according to Bianco and Adler, government assumes a partnership role with the private sector, mobilizing resources and building coalitions. The authors shift from the traditional corporatist paradigm by replacing the labor arm of the corporatist triangle with the litigious public interest group: 1,000 Friends of Oregon Bianco and Adler conduct a case study examining the roles of each group the actions they took to sway implementation toward their goals, and the compromises made, specifically modifications to the Transportation Planning Rule. From the case study, the authors present significant planning and policy implementation lessons (Bianco and Adler, 2001). The corporatist paradigm may help guide the planned research because significant aspects of transportation planning are directed by the state. For example 45

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use of state fuel tax is restricted b y Colorado law. Also the Colorado Department of Transportation has approval authority over most significant transportation projects. However, it is not clear if labor or another influential group plays a significant role, so the corporatist triangle of state private sector and labor may not exist in Colorado, as defined by Bianco and Adler. Other aspects of Bianco and Adler's work are also insightful particularly the case study methodology and the approach used to identify implementation lessons. As we saw from the previous section, the study of urban political power will be valuable to the planned research It therefore seems appropriate to review the Robert Dahl's Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. Many aspects of his study could be employed in this transportation research effort, such as his longitudinal study of those who are most influential in New Haven Dahl looked at a number of questions, including how political decisions are made and who has the greatest influence on the decision-making process Dahl's work reminds us to look at these key questions as they pertain to major transportation decisions in Colorado. Dahl argued that a small number of individuals directly influenced political action and a group of sub leaders helped to build support for initiatives and carry out the agenda of the leaders (Dahl, 1961, p 163). Dahl also examines patterns of leadership and the distribution of political resources Judge, Stoker and Wolman overview some of the criticism of Dahl's work ; however, they highlight the strength of his research methodology and his findings that New Haven's political system was pluralistic. Dahl s research found that a small number of people had the most direct influence on decision making while the citizenry had an indirect influence, to a lesser extent through voting They call this "stratified" pluralism (Judge, Stoker and Wolman 1998, pp. 17-19). These authors try to shed light on the similarities and differences between regime theory and Dahl's urban pluralism. They found that Clarence Stone acknowledged that the regime approach may appear like pluralism, but Stone insisted that they are separate 46

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and distinct approaches (Judge, Stoker, and Wolman, 1998 p. 27). Through this quick review of the similarities and differences b e tween approaches to urban study, we can draw valuable insight to provide further direction for studying Colorado transportation decision-making processes. From Logan, Whaley, and Crowder s review of regime studies we gain further insight. These authors' examined hypotheses of Molotch's "growth machine theory. Their review found substantial support that local politics are linked to land development and they are dominated by growth coalitions, though the types of coalitions vary from place to place (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, pp 606-607). In some cities antigrowth coalitions have emerged and in some cases local elected officials have to work toward compromises, such as employing policies to control growth at the urban edge in exchange for supporting downtown development (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder 1997, p 608). In addition to providing a better understanding of growth regimes and their contrasting antigrowth coalitions the article also links together pluralist and regime theories Logan, Whaley, and Crowder see Molotch's regime theory as a new paradigm through which pluralist findings could be reinterpreted They point out the alliance that Dahl found in New Haven between the mayor planning office, and local business interests as a regime-like coalition, thus helping to reconcile differences between pluralist and regime approaches (Logan, Whaley and Crowder 1997, p 604). While Logan, Whaley, and Crowder's literature review did find support for the dominance of growth regimes in many studies, they found mixed results when looking at the Molotch hypothesis that growth machines make a difference "the character of a political regime and a city's specific development policies may affect its future, but such effects are too poorly documented to be taken for granted" (Logan Whaley, and Crowder 1997, p. 623). There appear to be many different ways to measure the effects of growth policies and the authors recommend further study. These findings shed a new light on the study of Colorado transportation 47

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projects. It seems important to select outcome measures carefully so the decision making processes can be examined more in a structured, analytical manner. Logan, Whaley, and Crowder's review identified other interesting information about growth machine studies. The authors found few studies examined the inner workings of the coalitions: Few researchers have attempted to study explicitly the internal workings of pro-growth coalitions, various roles played by their different members, tactics these actors employ, conflicts that develop among them, or the variation in the efficacy with which various pro growth actors attack their task (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997, pp. 610-611) Logan, Whaley, and Crowder indicate that most research on urban growth regimes uses indicators of policy outcomes instead of examining the nature of the regime itself They note a number of indicators have been employed, including how active civic and business organizations are, the level of local media support for development efforts, or even strength of growth opponents in the community (Logan, Whaley, and Crowder, 1997 pp. 610-611). This insight from the authors, as well as the success of Forester's and Flyvbjerg's research overviewed above, helps to reinforce the value of conducting in-depth reviews of the coalitions that have the most influence of major Colorado transportation decisions. This section began with a summary of normative planning theories and regime theory and then shifted to the "growth machine and pluralist models and other variations of urban governance models. This review has only involved light brush strokes to give some direction and framing to this transportation research effort. We now leave general planning theory and look at a few studies that examined transportation projects specifically. 48

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2.3.5 Transportation Planning Studies Before concluding this section on planning theory and processes, we turn to a short overview of recent transportation studies and associated planning theories These studies and theories are also valuable in developing a framework for the transportation research effort. As noted earlier, there are many transportation-related studies, ranging from research on the costs of automobile dependence and energy use in urban transportation systems to a study assessing how well land use transportation models address significant policy issues such as traffic congestion, energy use and building a market economy (Newman and Kenworthy, 1999a; Kenworthy and Laube, 1999a; and Mackett, 1994). Narrowing to the field of transportation planning decision-making, a small number of research documents was identified. We begin with Altshuler s study of the St. Paul area Intercity Freeway project and proceed to several recent articles that seem relevant. Altshuler examines the Intercity Freeway project that began as a direct result of growing traffic congestion in the Twin Cities region following World War II. His focus was the role of the three major actors: highway engineers, organized private interests, and professional city planners. His aim was to evaluate how effectively the St. Paul planners "articulated key questions about the relations of problems and proposals to community values, brought together available knowledge bearing on these questions, formulated arguments supporting the various sides of each question, and tried to bring these arguments before responsible officials for their consideration" (Altshuler, 1965, p. 18). The city s chief planning engineer opposed the Intercity Freew ay and proposed a route adjacent to existing rail lines; one that avoided construction of the interstate highway through a minority neighborhood. In contrast, high,vay officials 49

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endorsed the most direct route developed from their transportation models Business interests, including downtown businesses and property owners, truckers, and construction workers, were anxious to see the highway project begin. St. Paul's planning director accepted the alignment of the new highway and focused on highway design, such as lowering portions of the roadway below ground level, as a way to mitigate some of the project's negative aspects (Altshuler, 1965, p. 54). The black community leaders evaluated the impacts the freeway would have, including splitting the district and displacing one-seventh of its residents They also considered benefits such as roadway construction helping to replace some badly rundown structures. Minority leaders could support the roadway through the minority neighborhoods as they pushed the city to proceed with the urban renewal project and, at the same time, they worked toward solutions to some ofthe highway construction impacts (Altshuler, 1965, p. 61). This study provides an interesting examination of the stakeholders, their positions, and the controversies that arose. Altshuler described information known to the city planners and withheld from the public, because "it seemed reasonable to focus on the opportunities they created rather than on their unfortunate and unavoidable side-effects (Altshuler, 1965, p. 74). As we expected from our review of transportation planning, the author found highway engineers viewed their traffic and cost data as "quantitative and impartial" and they believed they "selected highway routes without favoritism toward any group or interest" (Altshuler, 1965, p 79). This research provides some historical perspective on transportation planning. It also gives us another "look behind the scenes" into the inner workings of a major urban decision-making process. Michael Meyer's recent work reviews the factors that influence transportation planning, specifically, (1) changes in the underlying demographic, market and technology characteristics of society, (2) evolution in planning policy mandates, and, (3) the rapid change in technology to understand complex urban phenomena. From his review of these factors, Meyer identifies a number of areas 50

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that will significantly challenge future transportation decision-makers including highway congestion, the role of technology, and the newer policy considerations of quality-of-life and environmental justice. The author predicts the future of transportation planning: The period of planning we are now entering will likely be influenced by many different societal concerns and desires. However, the next era of transport planning could very well be viewed by future historians as being defined by the convergence of two dominant trends ever-increasing technological sophistication of society (and especially in the use of the transport system) and ever-increasing societal concern for sustainable community development (Meyer, 2000, p. 166). The role of citizens in transportation decisions has evolved since the days of the "great freeway revolt" beginning in the 1960s. Using a citizen involvement model developed by Sherry Arnstein, C. Jotin Khisty promotes a teleogenic systems methodology, which focuses on citizen control, delegated power, and partnership, for transportation planning (Khisty, 2000). This particular study and the author's earlier work seem very relevant to the study of Colorado transportation projects. An examination of recent federal transportation legislation also provides some insight into how we can analyze public policy. Gifford, Horan, and White reviewed the legislative history ofthe ISTEA of 1991. These authors argue that most transportation policy literature "emphasizes rational analysis and recommendations for adopting one policy rather than another." The other approach is to examine the policy process, particularly "how different policy issues are placed on the policy agenda, the roles of interest groups and administrative agencies, who has the most influence on decisions, and how change comes about" (Gifford, Horan and White, 1994, p. 8). This latter perspective of studying policy would seem a good fit for the planned research, because it appears the role of interest groups and who influences decisions is very important in Colorado--particularly the influence 51

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of the Department of Transportation and the Governor's office. Both promoted a pro-highway agenda in the latter part of the 1990s, the timeframe of the selected case study projects. Gifford, Horan, and White apply several theoretical models to the process of development of IS TEA, including the traditional "iron triangle," made up of special interests, related congressional committees, and agencies; the loose collection of parties concerned with a specific policy issue, referred to as "networks and entrepreneurs;" the enlightenment model, wherein interest groups change and shift during the process; and advocacy coalitions. The authors conclude that applying several models would provide a "more robust understanding of the process surrounding IS TEA and the eventual outcome than any single one of them would have" (Gifford, Horan and White, 1994, p. 12). Richard Willson argues for "communicative rationality" as the new paradigm for transportation planning. He criticizes the traditional technocratic role of transportation planners, who optimize "means to achieve ends that are derived from decision-makers and society." He criticizes the nine-step transportation planning process that has remained essentially unchanged for 50 years. He argues that the classical instrumental rationality model does not reflect the "realities of practice." He claims that real world planners are usually not able to reach consensus on the project outcomes and stakeholders have differing goals and objectives. Willson draws upon other criticisms of instrumental rationality. For example, he believes that quantification can hide equity issues in transportation planning. He also refers to other authors who believe the traditional planning approach does not appropriately account for political and institutional influences (Willson, 2001, pp. 4-6). Willson endorses "communicative rationality" which "is concerned with creating a rational basis for constructing ends and means in a democratic society, an approach that integrates scientific and interpretive/social learning approaches" 52

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(Willson, 2001, p 10). He builds from Habermas and Forester's work and describes the role of planner, the purpose of planning, the planning process as well as communicative practices and problem-framing (Willson, 2001 pp. 15-22). The author concludes that even though the process as redefined would take longer, it could bring about solutions to intractable conflicts (Willson 2001 p. 25). Willson's arguments support many of the other approaches presented in this chapter. And drawing from earlier chapters, communicative rationality seems consistent with an objective of the 1991 ISTEA, that is to involve metropolitan planning organizations more and encourage them to assume facilitative roles and mediate between the other major stakeholders. We also saw earlier that federal transportation legislation gives the community a more substantive role, indicating consensus-building would become more and more important in the field of transportation decision-making It would seem appropriate to end this section by highlighting a portion of Willson's view of transportation problems. This brings us full circle to the beginning of this chapter, to the words ofRittel and Webber describing planning problems as "wicked problems ." Instead of acting as advisors to a rational actor decision-maker who is functioning in a closed system, transportation planners find competing interest groups in an organizationally defined and differentially empowered setting. Instead of well-defined problems, they find multiple, perhaps ideologically defined problems. Instead of perfect information and analytic certainty, they find contested, ideological information and models that are stretched to represent complex behavioral realities. The transportation planner's cha llenge is to reconcile the espoused theory with these conditions to find practical wisdom and a process that will lead to decision-making and plan adoption. The conventional model is not helpful in this regard (Willson, 2001, p. 6). 53

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2.3.6 Concluding Remarks The overviews and summaries of planning theories and processes in this chapter were used to shape the planned research. Perhaps the most straightforward conclusion is the transportation research study should include both an examination of the broad context in which transportation decisions occur, such as a city or region, and it should also include project-level research We have seen how important it is to understand the environment, that is the context, in which the transportation project is developed and implemented. From this type of contextual and project-level study, we will see how the environment shapes decisions and how the interaction between individuals and between interest groups influences these same decisions. The hoped for outcome is to better understand the inner workings of major transportation decision processes in Colorado. This research should provide meaningful input to practitioners pondering how to influence a particular transportation decision and how others also influence these decision processes. Flyvbjerg and Peattie refer to this as "phronesis" study; that is "knowing what to do" in a particular situation. At the project level, the review of the traditional and more normative theories will aid in understanding how and why individuals and groups interact the way they do. It is expected that some planners will be seen advocating for disenfranchised groups. In other instances it is expected that communication of project information will greatly affect the level of support garnered for a project. And the research effort tries to explain how those in power wield their influence over transportation decisions. As noted earlier, regime theory will also be an important approach to the planned research It should guide the examination of the city or region studied, particularly the presence of stable non-government interest groups. In addition, a number of urban political studies have been invaluable references What is yet 54

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unclear is how regime theory and the wealth of knowledge gained from these urban political studies will apply to the state level. Since most major transportation decisions are within the decision-making authority of state transportation departments, the planned research must examine this broader context. This section has set the stage for development of a decision-making model that is expected to describe major Colorado transportation decision-making processes. Development of the model appears in the next section. The model is then used to help design the research methodology and finally the case study research will be compared to the decision-making model. The findings of this research effort will focus on how decisions are actually made, on a model that describes these processes, and how this model can then help transportation planning practitioners as they contemplate their own ability, and others' ability, to wield influence. 2.5 Colorado Transportation Planning Process The study involves development and testing of a planning model that describes current urban transportation planning processes in Colorado. As noted earlier, the research will examine the current transportation policies, processes, and practices that lead to continued reliance on automobile travel. The focus of the research led to this primary research question: How do current transportation decision processes influence modal outcomes? The research will look into the "inner workings" of the decision processes and attempt to describe how decision-makers reach consensus, who holds / uses/controls knowledge, who wields the power to influence decisions, how information is used in transportation decision processes, and how policies, politics and economics shape transportation decisions. The primary research questions and 55

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these more in-depth questions help guide development of the research planning model. The model is also shaped from the environmental and transportation planning literature reviews described earlier. 2.5.1 Transportation Planning Context The literature review is first employed to describe the context in which Colorado transportation decisions are made. Several elements of planning were identified and organized by the broad level at which they originate, that is the national, state, regional, or local level. An outline of the planning context is presented as Figure 2.1. Within these planning elements are the research factors described further in Chapter 3. For example, funding is a factor expected to influence the modal outcome of major transportation funding. Figure 2.1 depicts funding at all levels. 56

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Figure 2.1 Elements of the Environmental and Transportation Planning Context National Level Elements: Transportation Funding Transportation and Environmental Legislation Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g National Association of State and Territorial Highway Officials State Level Elements: Transportation Funding Transportation and Environmental Legislation Transportation Plans Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g. Colorado Bicycle Coalition Transportation, Transit and Planning Officials; Elected Officials Businesses Voters Regional Level Elements: Regional Funding Metropolitan Plans Metropolitan Planning Organizations Metropolitan Transportation Organizations Businesses Voters Local Level Elements: Local Funding Transportation and Comprehensive Plans Coalitions and Interest Groups, e.g. City Transportation Advisory Boards Transportation, Transit and Planning Officials; Elected Officials Businesses Residents, Visitors, Neighborhoods 57

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2.5.2 Planning Theory An examination of planning theory is the next step in shaping the research planning model. The literature review directs the research toward a planning model that is informed by regime theory as well as normative planning theories The literature review also identifies existing models relevant to this research. The construction of a preliminary model is described in the paragraphs that follow. Barbara Richardson built a normative model that focuses on transportation users' decision process. Her objective was, in part, to "present a framework of the factors contributing to transportation users' decisions that affect sustainability" (Richardson, 1999, p. 27). She includes many of the key elements that should become part of this research effort. The author includes the major actors at federal, state and local levels and she links their actions, including taxing, land use, and provision of mass transit, to the user's decision to drive more or less. Richardson's work reinforces the need to include all levels of influence in the planned research model. Since her work is focused on examining the user's decision process, it will not be directly applicable to the planned research, which is aimed at explaining the decisions made by those who govern. The literature review highlights the importance of understanding how the general context influences decision-making, so we will ensure this is a key aspect of the preliminary theoretical model. The general context will be comprised of the national transportation policies, laws, and guidelines; national interest groups; and other broad influences such as the economic consideration of competition between states to attract development. From regime theory and our understanding of traditional highway planning, we recognize that the political, economic and social context is critical to the study of urban transportation planning. With regard to the political context, we expect to see the relevant coalitions and their interrelationships change over time in Colorado as 58

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the political setting changes. We learned from the literature reviews that transportation policy is significantly influenced by federal, state, and even local government agendas. So we anticipate that alignment or nonalignment of political agendas at several levels of government will affect the strength of the government coalitions. Strong federal executive and legislative branches of government aligning with a state governor and general assembly of similar views can result in a long-term, stable coalition that can build strong partnerships with private interests with common agendas, such as highway building. In this type of regime setting, we would expect to see limited influence by interest groups with differing agendas, such as groups advocating for rail investments. Other factors can also shape the strength and stability of the government actors who then influence their political clout, such as the length of elected officials' terms. Mayors with no term limits are expected to build longer-term coalitions than those with short terms and limited terms. Other political factors are likely to play a key role in transportation planning. During the investigation we would expect to see the type of regime existing in Colorado would be reflected in the transportation project outcomes. For example, if we see an open public transportation planning process, where socially-oriented interest groups have substantial influence, it infers that a corporatist regime exists (Bianco and Adler, 2001). In this scenario, the outcomes meet more societal values and goals than regimes controlled solely by business interests. On the other hand, where the transportation planning process minimizes meaningful roles for the public and groups with views different from those held by the powerful, this indicates a strong coalition of government and private interests is shaping the transportation planning process. This is likely the current situation in Colorado. The research will help address this and also identify whether the coalitions and their levels of influence have differed over time. At any particular time, the main regime actors can share common goals or be splintered in their views. Private sector interests that benefit from highway 59

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construction will likely form a strong, stable coalition with shared views. On the other hand, there may be a lessening of political influence when highway supporters clash with strong rail interests. These few examples highlight the importance of the political context in which transportation decisions are made and reinforce the development of a decision-making model that includes this broad context. We anticipate changes in the economic context will also affect the outcomes of transportation planning. For example, we learned from the literature reviews that during times of substantial growth stable coalitions form between groups that benefit from development, including real estate, construction industries, local politicians, and businesses. During times of recession, we would expect that dollars available for highway building decline and as a result the power of private interests to influence government decisions would lessen. The social context in which transportation planning occurs is also significant. From the literature reviews, we saw public opinion and society values shift over time. Early in the 1900s roadway construction was viewed as the answer to many social problems because it allowed people to move to the country, away from the overcrowded and polluted inner cities. This view continued essentially unchallenged until the highway revolt began in the 1960s. Without question, social values shaped highway policy including how transportation dollars were spent. Because of the expected importance of the political, economic, and social context of transportation decision-making, the preliminary planning process model will emphasize the broad context as well as what we will refer to as the mid-level context. This mid-level portion of the decision-making model will attempt to articulate the context in which the coalitions form and interrelate and then influence the transportation projects and their outcomes. At the project level many elements impact transportation decision-making. Project-level decision-making occurs within and is influenced by the general context and the mid-level context described above. This is also the level at which 60

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coalitions, interest groups, elected officials, business and neighborhoods can directly influence planners and the planning process It is within this sphere that we will examine how people and groups communicate, how power and knowledge shape outcomes, and what processes and policies are followed. Specific research questions at this level of study include: Who holds/uses/controls knowledge, specifically the information important to the transportation decision processes? How is the information communicated? How does this information influence the outcome? What planning processes are employed? Does the transportation planning process follow mandates and guidelines; does it align with normative planning models? Who wields the power to influence decisions; what stakeholders are represented in the process? How much influence do the various actors have in the project outcomes? To help describe these project level interactions, we identify the communicative rationality model that Willson developed for transportation planning. This normative model depicts how stakeholders in the planning process try to gain an understanding of each other's perspectives. Willson refers to this planning process as a "dynamic system that is transformed through time; its ultimate goal being enhanced capacity for democratic deliberation and decision-making" (Willson, 2001, p. 13). As we learned earlier from our literature review of transportation planning, the changes to federal transportation legislation in the last decade have defined a lead role for metropolitan planning organizations and enhanced public participation in decision-making; therefore, w e expect to see some aspects of Willson's model during the planned case s tudy work It follows that the model for the planned research should include elements of Willson's work. 61

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Willson's normative model can serve as one measure when evaluating planning processes in the proposed case studies Looking at Willson s work we see he espouses that A communicative rationality paradigm would place language and discourse at the core of transportation planning (Willson 200 l p 1 ). His model of communicative rationality deviates significantly from traditional comprehensive planning model. His model does not describe a sequence of steps, rather "a dynamic planning system that is transformed through time" (Willson, 2001, p. 13) In his model Willson describes how the planning process is influenced by and in turn, influences the relevant institutions, stakeholders, societal values and public opinion Unlike the traditional planning process, wherein the planner gathers information to present to the decision maker, in this model the planner assumes multiple roles, including mediating educating, and providing technical information The participants attempt to reach "an understanding about the context of planning the options for action, and the values that inform choice" (Willson 2001, p. 23 ). These aspects of Willson s model seem to reflect an ideal system for transportation planning. Much of the literature reviewed supports the criticisms that Willson ascribes to current transportation decision-making At the same time, the literature review found systems like Willson describes, offer more meaningful public involvement, better balancing of private interests and societal values and more democratic processes. Willson s model was reviewed again as the planning model for this research effort was further refined It was anticipated that the case studies would identify similar faults with urban transportation planning processes in Colorado to those found by Willson. These criticisms include limited and non-substantive public involvement, knowledge that i s controlled and information used in ways that justified pre-determined outcomes, and decisions that reflect private interests with little weight placed on other societal values On the other hand, case studies of major transit projects may uncover aspects of Willson s normative models such as 62

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more open, democratic processes that incorporate public opinion in a more meaningful manner. 2.5.3 Transportation Planning Model We also see from the literature review that major transportation projects are required to adhere to rigorous decision processes dictated by environmental and transportation laws. The NEP A process, in particular, mandates a planning process informed by project and community needs This is a process that develops and evaluates alternative solutions based on technical information, including the environmental and social impacts of the alternatives. As a result, aspects of the comprehensive rational planning model should help describe transportation projects. The rational model is used as a starting point in building the model. The literature review further informs the model, reflecting the strong influential role coalitions of government business, and special interest groups are expected to play. Figure 2 2 depicts the rational planning model. 63

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Figure 2.2 Traditional Rational Transportation Planning Model (adopted from Figure 2 5 Meyer and Miller, 2001, p 53) Identify Corridor and Community Goals and Objectives Identify Problems Generate Alternatives Evaluate Alternatives Select Optimal Alternative Figure 2.3 is based on the rational model and it is modified to reflect the overriding influence of government business, special interest groups. This planning model describes the major transportation decision-processes are expected to follow. 64

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Figure 2.3 Colorado Hypothetical Transportation Planning Model (adopted from Figure 2.5, Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 53) Identify Coalition Goals and Objectives (Coalition comprised of government, business, and special interest groups) Identify Solutions Meeting Coalition's Goals and Objectives Identify Corridor Needs, Community Goals and Objective Aligning with Coalition's Goals and Objectives l Generate Alternatives, Including Coalition-based Solutions Evaluate Alternatives, NEP A-like Process Select Optimal Alternative Meeting Coalition's Needs 65

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In this planning model, the coalitions assert their needs and proposed solutions into the decision process. Where the coalitions' goals and objectives align with the corridor technical needs, such as the provision of transit, the decision processes are similar to the rational technical planning model. Similarly, when community goals align with coalition goals, the process appears to be logical and rational. However, in this model, the coalition is able to override the rational decision process and require the identification of goals and objectives, analyses of preferred solutions, and finally selection of an alternative that meets coalition needs. From our study thus far, key relationships are expected to exist between the coalition participants, including state and federal transportation government officials, elected officials, business representatives, and other special interest groups. The in-depth case study research approach should provide for an examination of the inner workings of the coalitions. In Colorado, the literature indicates there will be stable, long-term relationships within coalitions that wield power at the state, regional, local levels. These influential coalitions are expected to significantly shape the project decision processes and the modal outcomes. This view is based on regime theory and related theories overviewed earlier, wherein government and non-government organizations maintain long-term stable relationships that significantly impact or control urban planning decisions. In order to evaluate these relationships and linkages depicted in the preliminary model, we draw from the Forester and Flyvbjerg research, giving particular attention to the interaction between elected officials, government employees, and other coalition members. In Colorado, business interests that comprise the regime may express influence by the control of information and helping to rationalize plans to serve self-interests as Flyvbjerg showed in his case study of Aalborg. We expect to see those in power controlling and managing knowledge, thus impacting the project outcomes. 66

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During the planned research we will then examine how knowledge is used, specifically the information important to the transportation decision processes. Specific questions that will aid the proposed research are as follows: What information is used in the decision-making process: is it technical information only or does it include social values? Is the information of different forms, such as demographic, engineering, scientific, etc? How is the different information weighted in the process; for example, is travel time of paramount importance or are environmental impacts and the needs of the transit-dependent given equal weight? What form of information is used: is it solely text or graphic, or otherwise presented in a manner that is easy to understand? Other questions will be identified that will aid in analyzing how knowledge is used in the planning process in each case study. In addition, these specific research questions help shape the case study research methodology, including the interview questions. Each case study will include questions to help with this examination: What is the transportation system chosen: primarily highway expansion, transit, or multimodal? What are the features of the project, including location, significance in terms of dollars spent, people and goods moved and physical size and cost? What are the project outcomes' performance expectations; is travel time and congestion reduction paramount or are social and environmental benefits such as air quality, also major expectations? How did the project, once constructed, achieve these expectations? 67

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The literature indicates that the process it self will not vary significantly from case to case because of the mandates of the NEP A process and other environmental and transportation requirements. 2.5.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure As noted earlier, how power drives transportation planning decisions is expected to be critically important. There are a number of specific questions derived from the literature review: What stakeholders are represented in the process? How much do the stakeholders influence the outcomes, perhaps best measured by how much the outcome aligns with the stakeholders' interests? How do the stakeholders wield their influence: do they control information or funding, do they control those that make the decisions through political avenues, etc? The power structure depicted transportation decision processes is pictorially presented in Figure 2.4. This model of power will also be examined through the case study research. 68

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Figure 2.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure Business Interests Government/ Institutions Special Interest Groups This power structure model was derived from the various descriptions of regime theory, including Savitch and Thomas's regimes Their pluralist regime was comprised of political leaders and competitive private actors, and the elitist regimes made up of a group of strong business leaders working with weak political leaders (Stoker, 1996, p. 175). The corporatist triangle presented by Bianco and Alder shaped Oregon's Statewide Transportation Planning Rule This model was comprised of state government, business interests, and a special interest group, 1,000 Friends of Oregon (Bianco and Alder, 2001). Thes e and the other models and paradigms described in the literature lend themselves to the power structure depicted in Figure 2.4. These three entities, the government/institutions, business interests, and special interest groups all function within the broad general public context. In this sense, the general public has some level of influence on each entity in the model. For example, the public indirectly influenc es government through voting. In addition, the general public can participate in business interests and special interest groups. 69

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This power structure model is posited as describing the relationships between the individuals and groups that most influence transportation decision processes. Business and special interest groups are expected to influence the government decision makers. In addition business and special interest groups may influence each other. The businesses and special interest groups are comprised of individuals. These individuals are the agents of the groups, while the interests of the groups drive the coalitions. Individuals may participate in more than one arm of the triangle This power relationship model is expected to operate within the rational NEP A-defined decision process The case studies will be employed to validate that the mandated NEP A process was followed and to test this power structure model. The case studies may show the power structure differs in each context. For example, in one case, the business interests may be very strong while the special interests weak. It is also likely the power structure will change over time in response to changing context and even changing people and institutions. 2.5.5 Concluding Remarks This chapter sets the stage for the planned research. It summarizes the literature reviews. It also poses the research questions that focus on how and why decisions are made about modal outcome. This chapter presents a planning model and power structure conceptualization to be tested by the case study research. The Colorado case studies are expected to follow this coalition-based model and power relationship model. 70

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3. Research Strategies, Methods, and Hypotheses This chapter presents the research strategies and the methods employed. It also presents the research hypotheses derived from the literature reviews. 3.1 Research Strategies A number of methods can be employed to study transportation decision processes in Colorado. One common method is survey research. Sending a questionnaire to individuals involved in decision-making would help identify factors influencing decision-making and the organizations that were most influential. However, interviews don't allow for follow-up questioning; thus, this methodology may not uncover what really happened in the decision processes. Another research strategy is to create a simulation of the decision process and ask subjects involved in major transportation projects to participate. This approach would involve a large budget and a long period of time to develop, pretest, and then employ the simulations. In addition, the results would not necessarily reflect real-world practices. Other research approaches were also considered for the research and a case study strategy was selected for several reasons. In-depth case study methodology was selected because the aim of the research was to examine how decisions were made that continued auto dependence. Archival case study research provides a detailed description of the actual events, decisions, and key players. The interview methodology allows for deep exploration into how and why decisions were made. The research probes during the face-to-71

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face interview to find out what happened "behind the scenes. This research approach also met research budget and the time frame constraints. The following paragraphs describe the archival research and interview methods used for this research effort. 3.2 Research Methods The research describes and explains the decision process within its context. The research involves archival research and in-depth interviews. Case study methodology was employed to delve deeply into the transportation planning decision-making processes 3.2.1 Initial Archival Research To describe the context in which Colorado transportation decisions are made, the research involved reviewing national, state, regional, and local transportation plans, funding legislation, environmental mandates, and the relevant political framework and culture. The documents for the initial archival research are primarily govenunent documents obtained from offices and organizations that are involved in transportation planning and environmental protection. The archival records were obtained from the entities listed below or mostly authored by these organiz a tions: Colorado Department of Transportation Regional Transportation District Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 72

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Denver Regional Council of Governments 3.2.2 Case Study Archival Research Three case studies were selected representing significant Colorado transportation projects of the last decade. Several major transportation projects were initially examined. These were large projects in terms of funding levels, physical size, and impact on land use and the environment. This initial project case study list included projects involving different transportation modes: highway expansions, highway improvements, pedestrian and bike amenities, bus, and passenger rail (i.e., personal rapid transit and light rail transit). During the initial case study archival research, it became clear that the transportation mode selected was the most important aspect of the decision-making process. The modal outcome is critically important, not just because of all the environmental, social and economic issues, but also because it can dramatically increase the cost of the project and it has long-range impacts on regional land use and future transportation systems are enormous. During the first phase of archival research, the importance of the modal outcome grew, and as a result, the case study projects were re-evaluated. The final set of cases was honed down to three major transportation corridors in Colorado, all involving major decisions of transit and highway expansion. All three projects also had critical decision points during the 1990s. Since each case involved a significant transportation corridor, they were subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEP A) and to the Intermodla Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) requirements. A draft and final EIS and a Record of Decision were prepared for all three projects. Selecting projects that followed the NEP A and IS TEA processes helped to limit the number of 73

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variables in the study. There is also more opportunity for comparison between cases that all follow similar planning processes. Also, limiting the research to cases with major decisions in the 1990s allowed for clearer definition of the regional state, and national context-again reducing the research factors. The final three case study projects chosen for the research and the transportation mode selected in the decision processes are listed below: Southeast Corridor (I-25 and I-225) Multimodal Projectroadway expansion and light rail transit; State Highway 82, Entrance to Aspen-roadway realignment and construction with light rail transit or bus/HOY designated lanes, if rail funding is not obtained by local government; South I-25 Corridor (South I-25 and U.S. Highway 85)-roadway expansion. An in-depth chronology of events and major decisions was prepared for each case from the archival research. The chronology was then used to explain how these major transportation decisions were made. In addition, this archival research helped identify the key people involved in the decision-making processes. The sources of case study records were similar to those noted above for the initial archival research. Additional sources of information included the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, newspaper and other media, and special interest groups, including environmental organizations and entities representing business interests. 74

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3.2.3 Interview Research In-depth interviews were conducted to help in the examination of transportation decision-making processes in Colorado. The interview plan initially involved an open-ended and structured interviewing approach. The interview questions appear in Appendix A. However, some of the interviewees did not adhere to the structured nature of the interviews, i .e. they did not answer questions concisely in the order proposed. Some interviewees chose to talk in a freeflowing manner, telling their story. The researcher allowed this and inserted the planned interview questions when the opportunity arose, to ensure, at a minimum, that each question was answered. To some extent, the interviews helped to explain and describe the national, state, regional, and local context in which case study projects evolved. But most importantly, the interviews uncovered the "behind-the-scenes happenings," including what influenced the decision processes the most, who wielded the most influence, and how it happened. The research population is comprised of the individuals involved in the three case study major events and decisions. An estimated number of interviews, 21 to 30, were selected based on the number of cases and the time available to complete the interviews. The case study archival research was used to identify the individuals and organizations most involved in the decision processes In addition, during the interviews, the subjects were asked if there were others who played important roles. Additional interview candidates were sought until there was a strong level of confidence that the transportation decision processes for each case were fully understood. The final number of interviews was 40. This total included 13 interviews for the Southeast Corridor case study; 12 for Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82; and 15 for the South I-25Corridor. There were a total of 39 interview subjects. One person was interviewed for two case studies because that person was 75

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key to both decision processes. The number of interviews varied from case to case, based on the complexity of the decision-making process, clarity of the records reviewed, and level of confidence that the whole story was revealed. These interview subjects represented the following organizations. Note that specific names and titles are not provided to protect confidentiality. Colorado Department of Transportation Colorado Transportation Commission Regional Transportation District Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Denver Regional Council of Governments Metropolitan Planning Organization Local Government Real Estate Industry Representatives Newspaper Businesses Associations Special Interest Groups, (e g., environmental groups, transit organizations) After identifying interview candidates from the archival research phase, an introductory call was made to describe the research in general and to ask if the subject was willing to participate in an interview. Once the individual indicated a willingness to participate, a letter and consent form was sent introducing the purpose of the r e search and plans for the interview (see Appendix B). The letter was sent by mail or e-mail, depending on preference of the interview candidate. The letter emphasized that participation in the interview was voluntary. Of the total number of interview candidates contacted, none indicated they did not want to 76

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participate. Several interview candidates did not return phone calls requesting an interview or answer the interview letter sent to them. No reasons were given for this non-responsiveness. Each interview began by reiterating the purpose of the interview and explaining that participation was voluntary. Then the interview candidate was asked if he/she understood the informed consent form and if they were willing to sign it. The release of confidentiality was also discussed. Some interview candidates were clear that everything they said could be referenced without protecting confidentiality. Other candidates said they did not expect that there would be any concerns with what they would say, but felt more comfortable if the information they provided was kept confidential. The researcher carefully recorded these responses and rigidly adhered to the requirements of ethical treatment of research subjects (see next section). The consent form also specifies whether or not the interview subject wanted to remain confidential. A set of draft interview questions was prepared using information gleaned from the archival research phases. The interview questions were pretested by interviewing students from the University of Colorado. Two undergraduate planning students and two graduate planning students participated in the pretests. One of the graduate students had over 25 years experience as a planner. The Dissertation Committee overseeing this research effort also reviewed the draft interview questions. Information gathered during the pretests and the Dissertation Committee was incorporated into the interview letter, informed consent form, and interview questions. The research design envisioned that each interview would be structured using the final interview questions; however, during some of the interviews the subjects proceeded to "tell their own story During these more free-flowing interviews, the researcher allowed the interview subject to talk and interjected only to gain clarification and to ensure that all relevant information was collected. In 77

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addition, where the archival research indicated that an individual may be able to provide insight into one particular aspect of the case study, the interviewer asked specific questions. As a result, the interviews should generally be considered quasi structured, rather than structured. Therefore, for the purposes of analysis, the interview results are not compared in any quantitative manner. Instead, simple matrices of the interview results are used to highlight consensus and difference of opinions. Where there was consensus, there was a strong level of confidence in them. For example, if 10 of 13 subjects believed that an individual, or group of individuals, were most the influential in making a decision, there is a strong degree of confidence that this actually occurred. 3.2.4 Ethical Treatment of Research Subjects This research was designed and implemented in a manner that ensured the ethical treatment ofhuman subjects. The research protocol was reviewed and approved by the University of Colorado at Denver Human Subjects Research Committee. The approval letter and extension is included in the Appendix (Appendix C and D). The research protocol included the purpose and background of the research, description of subject population(s), methodology, data disposition, potential benefits, potential risks to subjects, methods of obtaining informed consent, and the informed consent form. No adverse incidents occurred during the research 78

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3.3 Hypotheses and Research Factors 3.3.1 Research Hypotheses As noted earlier, the research question: How do current transportation decision processes influence modal outcomes? guided the literature reviews The literature reviews focused on the environmental and transportation planning context in which transportation decisions occur and planning theory. The literature reviews also infonned a research hypothesis intended to guide the case study research: Coalitions of government, business and other interest groups, supporting highway building, significantly influence the large transportation project modal outcomes (highway versus transit) This primary research hypothesis does not reflect a decision process that follows a rigorous, analytical process The environmental and transportation planning literature reviews indicate the NEP A process and relevant environmental and transportation laws would ensure such a rational, technical decision process. However, the planning theory literature indicates that even though transportation decision processes follow the mandated NEP A process, coalitions influence the decision processes the most. As a result, the author developed a hypothesis based on the influence of coalitions comprised of government, business, and special interest groups. In addition to this primary hypothesis, a set of more specific hypotheses were developed to further shape the research. A specific hypothesis derived from the literature, appears below in italics with the analogous research question: 1. Decision-making Procedure What is the decision making procedure, the specific planning process that is followed? 79

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Hypothesis: Transportation decision processes generally follow the mandated NEPA process and as a result variations in the process do not impact modal outcome 2. Context What are the constraints and opportunities that most influence the modal outcome? What types of policies politics and economics most influence the modal outcome? What other contextual factors shape the modal outcome? Hypothesis : Modal outcomes are driven by certain contextual factors, specifically available funding and politics. 3 Key Actors Who are the decision-makers? Hypothesis: Major transportation decisions are made by state and federal highway officials; these decision-makers are influenced by business and other interest groups that support highway building. 4. Power Who wields the power to influence key decisions? How is power distributed? Who holds/uses/controls knowledge that most influences decision-making? Hypothesis : Power resides in coalitions comprised of government decision-makers and busines s and other interest groups that support highway building. 5. Knowledge What is the role of knowledge? How is knowledge / information used in the decision processes? 80

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Hypothesis : Technical information doesn t have a major role in modal outcomes even though the NEP A process mandates consideration of social and environmental impacts. We will see later that as the case studies uncover what happened "behind the scenes," questions arise about the application of these research hypotheses to major Colorado transportation projects. Before turning to the case study results, the next section reviews the factors expected to influence the decision processes The latter part of this chapter presents a descriptive model of transportation planning and the conceptualization of the power relationships that the case studies are expected to follow. 3.3.2 Research Factors The literature review identified several factors expected to significantly influence the major transportation projects, particularly the modal outcome. These factors include: available highway or transit funding, specific needs of the transportation corridors, the goals of government institutions, political objectives, business interests, and the special interests of advocacy groups (business, environmental, transit, etc.) These factors are presented in the following paragraphs. The literature review indicated that some factors might not vary from one decision process to the next. These factors are considered constant, not changing from case to case, or varying only a small amount. These are considered in the investigation since they help inform the framework in which the decision processes occur. The other factors that are expected to vary from case to case. They are described below and are used to evaluate each case study in Chapter 4. 81

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3.3.2.1 Regulatory Framework Most large transportation decision processes must follow the requirements of NEP A and applicable transportation laws. NEP A is required for federal projects, or projects that are federally funded, where significant environmental impacts are anticipated (CFR, 2003, Sections 1502.4 and 1508.18) NEPA requires that the alternatives under consideration undergo a rigor assessment of environmental and social impacts (CFR, 2003, Section 1502.16) Another example is that NEP A requires that the lead agency provide an opportunity for public comment when developing the environmental impact statement (CFR, 2003, Section 1503.l(a)(4)). The archival research anticipates that each case study project included a thorough environmental and social impact assessment and an adequate public comment period. Therefore, these aspects of the process would not change and thus influence the modal outcome. The case studies will also examine if and how the environmental and social assessments affect the decision outcomes. Transportation laws also constrain transportation decision processes. For example, federal transportation regulations require that the designated metropolitan planning organization (e g., DR COG) must approve a regional transportation plan and this is a prerequisite for approving corridor project (CFR, 1990, Sections 450.110 and 450.112). Because of these rigorous requirements of federal environmental and transportation mandates, the process employed is not expected to vary and thus influence the project outcome. 3.3.2.2 Transportation Corridor Needs The NEP A regulations require that environmental impact statements describe the "purpose and need for action" (CFR, 2003, Section 1502.10(d)). 82

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Federal Highway Administration guidance provides examples that explain the need for the proposed transportation project, including highway capacity, safety concerns, and roadway deficiencies (USDOT, 1987, pp. 13-14). The needs of each corridor may be similar, so they are not expected to influence the modal outcome significantly. For example, traffic congestion and accidents are serious problems on many Colorado highways, so these problems should appear in each case study purpose and need statement. The analysis of each case study will reveal to what extent this factor varies. 3.3.2.3 Institutions The state and federal transportation agencies play critical roles in the selection ofmodal outcomes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is charged with approving the final project alternative. In Colorado, FHW A delegates responsibility for managing the EIS process to the state Department of Transportation (CDOT) The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible for EIS documents that are primarily transit. Besides these transportation entities, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) have important roles. RTD oversees construction and operation of public transit systems in its jurisdiction and DR COG issues the regional transportation plans. As noted earlier, large transportation projects in the Denver metro area must be consistent with the transportation plans. Another government agency with an important role is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal Clean Air Act gives EPA a formal review role ofEIS documents Ifthe EPA Administrator concludes that a project doesn't satisfactorily address public health or environmental quality concerns, he/she publishes this finding and refers 83

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the matter to the Council of Environmental Quality (Pub. L. 42, 2003, Section 7609(a) and (b)). During the case study time period, mid-1990 to early 2000, these institutions didn't change substantively so the influence of the institutions shouldn't vary from case to case. However, the people in these institutions do change during this time period. The case studies will examine key personnel changes to determine if they influence the decision process. 3.3.2.4 Project Costs and Funding The major funding affecting transportation solutions are the federal highway funding programs managed by FHW A and the FT A. The FHW A funding is considered to be similar to an annual appropriation. Even though the funding level may differ from year to year, it is somewhat certain each year. The FT A funding is issued on a project basis, more like a grant than a regular appropriation. Available funding was expected to be an important factor in transportation decision-making. There are other significant funding sources; in particular, matching funds from state and local government and funding from businesses. In the Southeast Corridor case, the consortium ofbusinesses committed monies to help fund specific components of the project solution. 3.3.2.5 Political Setting The literature review indicated elected officials would greatly influence the outcome of major transportation projects. In particular, because the mode of transportation selected, i.e. highway expansion or transit, has such a significant impact on the shape of the region, its environment, public health, and community 84

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quality of life, local elected officials were expected to exert the most influence in decision processes 3.3.2.6 Businesses The literature indicates businesses will wield significant influence on transportation projects that affect them. Transportation projects can directly affect businesses because transportation systems move people and goods, open land for residential development, and encourage commercial development such as growth near transit stations This suggests the modal decisions, particularly highway expansion versus transit, will be a focal point for many businesses. 3.3.2.7 Special Interest Groups The literature review also defines a key role for special interest groups in transportation decision-making. Organizations advocating for continued highway building were expected to promote corridor solutions that involve highway improvements and expansion. The Independence Institute consistently endorses solutions based on increasing highway capacity, in particular, adding general purpose lanes, bus lanes, and toll lanes. Environmental groups are expected to advocate for transit alternatives or other alternatives that minimize impacts on the environment. Several environmental organizations were involved in the case studies, including Colorado Environment Coalition and the Transit Alliance A non-profit organization, called Friends of Marolt, was actively involved in the transportation project near the entrance to Aspen. 85

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3.3.2.8 Public Participation As described earlier, the EIS process includes public notice and opportunities for public comment. Citizen input can shape the purpose and need for the corridor that then affects the alternatives considered in the decision process. Public support and opposition is expected to influence the modal outcome but not to the same extent as some other factors, such as availability of funding. The case study research will examine how much public preference affects the decision outcomes This overview of research variables helps to build a planning model to describe major transportation decision processes. These influencing factors will be examined for each of the case study projects. 86

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4. Case Study Results and Discussion This chapter presents the case studies. It includes an introduction to each case and a summary of the chronology of events and major decisions and description of key actors. A synopsis of the interview research is also included. The case study findings include an evaluation of the primary research hypothesis, the planning and power model, and the influencing factors derived from the literature review. Chapter 5 continues the case study analyses and presents the overall research results. 4.1 Southeast Corridor Case Study This case study examines a major transportation project in the metro-Denver area. The case study project is commonly referred to as the Southeast Corridor or Southeast Multimodal Corridor. It is comprised of 17 miles ofhighway, including the portion of Interstate Highway 25 (I-25) from Lincoln A venue north to downtown Denver (Broadway intersection) and a segment of Interstate Highway 225 (I-225) from its intersection with I-25, north to Parker Road. Figure 4.1 is a diagram of the project corridor (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999b, pp. 1-2)). The estimated project costs were presented in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS): $737 million for the highway elements and $883 for the transit elements. The total cost estimates were $1.6 billion. The highway construction would be financed through Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS) financing, which would be paid back from future federal highway funds and state matching funds. The transit system construction would be funded from sales tax 87

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revenue bonds and federal funding, 40% local match and 60% federal funding) (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, pp. 7-1 -7-3). Growth in the Southeast Corridor has increased since 1970 with more rapid growth in the south and southeast areas of the region. Population and employment figures developed by DRCOG appear in the FEIS. In 1980, population in the corridor was 200,000 and employment was 164,000. By 1996 the figures were: 202,000 people and 195,000 jobs. And the projections for 2020 were 247,000 and 263,000 (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, pp. 1-16). The focus of this case study research is the period of time from initiation of a key transportation planning process, the Major Investment Study (MIS), for the corridor in mid-1995 to issuance of the final decision document in March 2000. This chapter begins with a summary of the significant events, key actors, and major decisions relating to the selection of the transportation modes for the corridor. This summary draws from the archival research of the corridor. A detailed chronology of people, events, and decisions appears in the Appendix (Appendix E). Interviews were conducted to delve "behind the scenes Interview candidates were identified by the archival research and from the interviews themselves. The results of the interview research are summarized. The results confirm the time frame when the modal outcome was changed from primarily light rail transit to highway expansion plus light rail transit. The interviews also helped identify who made the decision and why and what factors influenced the decision. The findings from the archival and interview research are then compared to the hypothesis and theoretical model posited earlier in this dissertation. This chapter also evaluates the case study results against the factors, developed in Chapter 3 that were expected to most influence decision processes. Two other case studies a re also evaluated later in the chapter and an analysis of all three cases is presented in Chapter 5 88

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Figure 4 1 Project Description with Selected Alternative: Southeast Corridor Case Stud y ( f rom FEIS, Figure 1-1, p 1-2) Arvada Legend : -Freeway --Other Roads --Railroad Project Limit s Central P l atte Valle y Spur Central Corridor Southwest Corridor J: 6 G I -89

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4.1.1 Archival Research-Summary of Events and Major Decisions The following paragraphs overview the major events and decisions revealed by the Southeast Corridor archival research Figure 4.2 is a timeline depicting the major events and decisions. The section that follows identifies the key actors in the decision-making process. 4.1.1.1 Early Corridor Studies The Denver Valley Highway, now called I-25, was constructed between1948 and 1958. Since that time, there have been a number of studies evaluating growth and its impact on roadway congestion. In addition, 1-225 studies, addressing increased travel demand along the corridor, began as early as 1986 These two interstate highways, as they pass through the Denver metropolitan area, comprise the study area, referred to as the Southeast Corridor. Over the years, transportation alternatives proposed to address traffic congestion and otherwise meet the needs of the corridor have included adding highway lanes, light rail transit, high occupancy vehicle lanes, and transportation system management (TSM) improvements TSM improvements generally entail lower cost approaches such as enhanced bus service, ramp metering, and programs to reduce transportation demand (e.g., bus pass and van pool programs). 90

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Figure 4.2 Timeline of Major Events: Southeast Corridor Case Study 1948-1958 ---------1------Construction ofi-25, 4 lanes I 1960s ---------1------Reconstruction ofi-25, 2 lanes added to address I increased traffic I 1980s ---------1------Regional transportation studies identify I transportation needs in I-25 and I-225 corridors I to address rapid growth I 1986 ---------1------RTD study finds broad consensus that major I transit facilities will be needed in corridors, I including I-25 I 1991 ---------1------DR COG study recommends widening I-25 and I major transit line in I-25 and part of I-225 I corridor I 1994 ---------1-------RTD, DRCOG, and CDOT initiate 3 MIS projects I including I-25 and part ofl-225 I 1995 ---------1------Southeast Corridor Policy Committee begins to I meet I 1997 ---------1------July-Final MIS report selects light rail transit, no I added general purpose lanes, cost estimate: I $510 million capitol and $21 million annual I operating 1------November 1997-RTD ballot initiative for I transit funding fails I 1998 ---------1------FebruarySoutheast Corridor EIS scoping I initiated 1------March Request for federal funding for MIS I preferred alternative I March-Federal and State highway officials I decide to modify the Preferred Alternative for I the project 1------April-Federal and state officials conduct I analysis to support adding general purpose lanes 91

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(Figure 4.2 Cont.) 1------September-RTD makes SE Corridor its highest I priority, delaying other rail projects October Gubernatorial candidate debate; I both Owens and Schoettler support light rail and I highway expansion 1-------Octobernew alternative for corridor discussed I in CDOT technical and policy committee I meeting 1-------November Owens wins Governorship 1-------NovemberCDOT and RTD executive I directors support new alternative before Policy I Committee 1------December-EIS report, Definition of Purpose I and Need says many studies recommended I transit; however, additional planning efforts I recommended widening I 1999 ---------1------JanuaryPolicy Committee reaches consensus I on highway expansion 1------MarchCDOT requests that DRCOG revise I regional transportation plan to reflect new I alternative 1------March-EIS report, Evaluation of Alternatives I eliminates the MIS preferred alternative from I further consideration; recommends the new I alternative 1------June-Colorado HB 1325 and 1206 allowed for I highway funding through issuance of TRANS I (issuance of notes to be repaid by future federal I highway funds) 1------August Draft EIS, presents 2 alternatives : I No-Action and new preferred alternative (light I rail plus highway expansion) 1-------November ballot issue to support highway and I transit funding and allow financials under I TABOR passes 92

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(Figure 4.2 Cont.) 1------December Final EIS analyzes the two I alternatives from the DEIS; capitol cost I estimate: $1.1 billion ($590 million for highway I elements and $735 million for transit) I 2000 --------+------March-Record of Decision selects the new I preferred alternative and finds that it is the I environmentally preferred alternative 4.1.1.2 Major Investment Study (MIS) Phase This case study focuses on the time period from mid-1995 until 2000, when extensive studies were undertaken and the major modal decisions made for the Southeast Corridor. In mid-1995, the first Policy Committee Meeting was held for the Major Investment Study (MIS) This critical transportation planning process was focused on examining the transportation needs of the corridor and developing and evaluating solutions. The MIS process results in a preferred alternative which is then incorporated into the region's transportation plans to allow for funding to implement the transportation solutions. In this case, the MIS recommended solutions that did not include adding general purpose highway lanes. General purpose lanes are traffic lanes open to all motor vehicles. In contrast, high occupancy vehicle (HOY) lanes are constructed for vehicles with multiple occupants and bus transit, and thus promote alternative modes of transportation. The studies referenced in the MIS and related reports identified corridor problems including substandard roadway conditions, insufficient public transit facilities and service, severe congestion, increasing travel times and accident rates, and projected growth in employment and population throughout the corridor. In addition, the decision-making process was focused on an affordable transportation solution that aligned with the fiscally constrained 2015 Regional Transportation 93

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Plan. In April 1996, the Definition and Screening of Conceptual Alternatives report, a predecessor to the MIS report, described the alternatives under consideration. It concluded construction of general purpose highway lanes was not consistent with regional air quality goals and would not meet the stated goal of "not providing competing single occupant vehicle capacity in corridors where rapid transit investments is committed" (CDOT, 1996c, p. 3-3). It then follows that the final MIS report issued in July 1997 recommended a preferred alternative that was comprised oflight rail transit, highway improvements to address safety and operational problems, improved pedestrian facilities, and transportation management elements. The total project costs were estimated at $510 million capital and $21 million annual operating (CDOT, 1997a, pp. ES-1-ES-2). The selected alternative specifically did not include construction of general purpose highway lanes. The MIS process identified several alternatives for detailed evaluation, including no capacity increase, rebuilding existing transportation facilities to meet current design standards, transportation management actions, Bus/HOV lane, and light rail (CDOT (1997a) pp. 4-6-4-24). The MIS final report found that the transportation management alternative does not meet the needs of the corridor. It also concluded that the Bus/HOV and fare lanes were too expensive and resulted in more physical impacts (residents and commercial structures displaced, visual and noise/vibration, wetlands, historic properties, and park impacts) than the light rail alternative (CDOT, 1997a, p. 4-36). The MIS report stated the recommended alternative had numerous benefits, including significant transit travel time, slight improvement to highway travel time, provision of almost as much peak hour capacity as five lanes of highway, reduction in congestion associated with accidents, and improved safety at several key locations (CDOT, 1997a, pp. ES-2-ES-3). 94

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The latter part of the MIS report referred to future needs of the corridor. It states that the corridor would continue to carry increasingly large volumes of traffic and at the time the policy makers recommended a fiscally constrained multi-modal transportation solution rather than roadway expansion. It also stated "There are additional needs in this corridor that can only be addressed if additional financial resources for construction and operation are made available" (CDOT, 1997a, p. 518). We will see later that additional funding appeared to be key to the major shift away from the MIS preferred alternative. The thread that links the ultimate corridor decision to the findings in the MIS report seemed to be the statement that future corridor needs can only be met with additional financial resources. Within the MIS context, it appears this refers to construction ofbus/HOV and/or fare lanes, rather than the additional of general purpose highway lanes, because general purpose lanes were eliminated from consideration much earlier in the process The final MIS report also described the public and agency involvement program and stated an extensive process was held involving over 90 meetings with approximately 40 groups. The report stated the general public neighborhood group and business group meetings generally supported the light rail transit alternative. Four opinion polls were also conducted during the MIS. The opinion polls supported light rail as a preferred transportation mode for the corridor ( CDOT, 1997a p 3-8) The review of the records showed general support from elected officials for the light rail transit alternative for the corridor during the MIS process. The final MIS report stated the Policy Committee endorsed the selection of the preferred alternative. This committee was comprised of elected officials from Denver, Greenwood Village, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, RTD Board, CDOT Transportation Commission, and state representatives. In addition, the COOT funding request document published in March 1998, showed U S Rep 95

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Diana DeGette as the primary member of Congress sponsoring the Southeast Corridor proposal. This report also includes a quote from Gov. Romer indicating his support. 4.1.1.3 Environmental Impact Analysis (EIS) Phase The first formal step in the required NEP A process was notice of initiation ofthe Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and of a public scoping meeting. This notice, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, in February 1998 stated the EIS would evaluate two alternatives: the No Build and the light rail alternative developed through the MIS process (Federal Register, 1998a, pp. 7044-5). Other records developed as part of the EIS process indicated key support for a multi-modal solution for the corridor, without highway expansion, continued through mid-1998. However, a news article as early as April 1998 indicated state and federal transportation officials were being pressured by elected officials and an RTD Board ofDirector to consider adding highway lanes. However, it is not until October 1998 the project records formally stated a change in alternatives would be considered. Notes from a meeting of CDOT specialists held on October 14 seemed to be the first formal indication that new general purpose highway lanes were being contemplated (Carter & Burgess, 1998i, p. 3). The proposal to add more lanes of highway begin to appear in the news as the 1998 November gubernatorial elections approached. Candidate Bill Owens included traffic congestion in his campaign platform. Ironically, both Gail Schoettler, the Lieutenant Governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Bill Owens portrayed themselves as supporters of both light rail and constructing new highway lanes during the October 1998 KBDI-TV program titled, "Colorado Campaign '98." The show host asked about the similarity of their positions in light 96

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of the historical positions Schoettler had taken supporting transit and opposing highway expansion. The TV host also challenged Owens, a consistent supporter of highway expansion and not light rail. Both held their middle ground positions when answering; each stated both light rail and new highway lanes were needed for the Southeast Corridor (KBDI-TV, 1998, pp. 1-3) The news focusing on highway expansion and the introduction of the proposal to the CDOT's staff meeting notes inferred the shift from transit to highway expansion plus transit seemed to be primarily driven by politics. This aligned with Bill Owens' campaign platform and his position on transportation once he became governor. A superficial analysis would indicate that politics had changed the modal outcome; however, the archival research, as noted earlier, indicated the shift occurred even before Bill Owens won the primary election in the spring of 1998. The interview research appearing later in this chapter unveils what happened, why, and who was able to influence this significant change in modal outcome. According to a news article in November 1998, the newly elected governor said he wanted to build highways faster with bonding approaches to finance them. At this same time the expanded highway proposal was submitted to the Joint Budget Committee and went before the Colorado Transportation Commission for approval. The price tag was $1.1 billion, more than twice the cost of the MIS Preferred Alternative. During the November 17, 1998, corridor Policy Committee meeting, both Guillermo (Bill) Vidal, CDOT Executive Director, and Cal Marsella, RTD General Manager, expressed the need for additional highway lanes. The plan presented at this meeting included an inside "flex lane" the whole length of I -25 and along the corridor on 1-225 and additional lanes near the C-470 and 1-225 intersections. At about this time, a draft document prepared for the Southeast Corridor stated Senate Bill 1, passed by the Colorado Legislature that year, would provide additional 97

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highway funds, some of which could be used for this project. This position was also consistent with a statement in the March 1999 report on development and evaluation of alternatives that the alternative to add new highway lanes was proposed primarily because of additional funding. In late 1998, the EIS-related documents described the original MIS Preferred Alternative and indicated additional planning efforts resulted in new proposals that included roadway widening. Meeting notes from the corridor Policy Committee indicated that at several meetings, participants were asked to work toward a consensus on the new proposal. Consensus was gained during the January 1999 Policy Committee meeting and at that time the corridor purpose and goals were revised. Corridor newsletters also began to tout the new alternatives that included highway widening. In November 1998, Bill Vidal issued a memorandum to the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee summarizing a meeting held March 30, 1998. His intent was to memorialize the consensus meeting involving FTA, FHW A, RTD, and CDOT. He stated the MIS rail transit proposal and two additional lanes of highway would be built. He also stated the project would be constructed within the corridor right-of-way (Vidal, 1998, p. 1). By the spring of 1999, highway expansion became a key component of the primary alternative being considered The April 1999 Southeast Corridor EIS Fact Sheet stated a multi-modal solution was needed for the corridor. It defined multi modal as including both light rail transit and highway expansions. The newsletter indicated these alternatives were "both essential in order to make the best use of the corridor and minimize environmental impacts" (emphasis in the original text) (CDOT, 1999c, p. 1). In March 1999, CDOT formally requested that the DRCOG amend the regional transportation plan to incorporate the new project proposal comprised of highway expansion and light rail. Approval was subsequently granted along with 98

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other required changes to regional planning documents. The alternative chosen under this planning process must be consistent with the regional planning documents, so this revision was critical to moving ahead with the project. As expected, the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), published in August 1999, presented several new alternatives involving highway widening. The corridor needs were redefined to include providing additional highway capacity, benefits to motorists, and replacement of aging infrastructure (primarily bridges), which would come about with roadway expansion. In addition, the DEIS stated the overall project scope was changed primarily because the corridor Policy Committee increased the construction budget and "in response to the MIS finding that there are additional needs in this corridor that can only be addressed if additional financial resources are made available" (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-6). The most substantive change was the MIS Preferred Alternative, which was slightly modified during the EIS process to date, was eliminated from further consideration because it did not meet the revised corridor project goals As a result the environmental analysis and the associated evaluations, required by NEP A were fully completed for only two alternatives: the No Build alternative and the new Preferred Alternative, which included transit plus highway expansion. The DEIS analyses found the new Preferred Alternative met more of the evaluation criteria than the No Build alternative, including environmental and community impacts. During the comment period following issuance of the DEIS, some dissension was expressed over the major shift in alternatives evaluated. Of particular note were EPA's comments. EPA cited "concern on lack of disclosure on the potential cumulative and indirect impacts associated with the project and departure from the MIS alternative recommendations" (Cody, 1999, pp. 1-2). 99

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4.1.1.4 Final Corridor Decision In November 1999, voters approved two bond initiatives to help fund the Southeast Corridor project. At the time, the estimated construction costs was $1.6 billion. In November 1999, CDOT issued a System and Project Level Feasibility Study report concluding that even though the proposed project would provide new highway lanes and light rail transit, it would not "alleviate congested conditions during peak periods." Instead the project would reduce the duration of congestion, the number of hours the highway would operate under congested conditions (Carter & Burgess, 1999g, p. ES-6). The final environmental impact statement (FEIS), issued in December 1999, evaluated the two alternatives presented in the DEIS and concluded that the new Preferred Alternative was recommended for implementation. In February 2002, EPA again responded with strongly worded comments similar to the earlier comments. The same month, CDOT issued its explanatory response to EPA's comments. The Record of Decision (ROD), the final authorizing document, was issued in March 2000. The ROD concluded the Preferred Alternative was "environmentally preferred" over the only other alternative considered, the No Action alternative. This conclusion seemed inconsistent with the analysis in the FEIS The summary table depicting the environmental analyses showed the only criteria where the Preferred Alternative faired better than the No Action alternative were Carbon Monoxide emissions in the corridor and particulate emissions from buses. The environmental evaluation also indicated the overall particulate emission would be slightly less for the No Action alternative. Moreover, essentially all the other environmental impacts seemed to be much greater with the Preferred Alternative, including vibration, noise, visual setting, water resources/water quality, floodplain impacts, wetlands, vegetation and wildlife, contaminated materials, 100

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energy consumption and cultural resources (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD 1999b, p 5-111). 4.1.2 Archival Research-Key Actors The archival research for the Southeast Corridor project identified a number of individuals and groups that seemed to play significant roles in the decision making process The following paragraphs highlight these individuals and groups with a short summary of their role. Candidates for the interview phase of research were initially drawn from this listing of likely key actors or participants. Once the interviews began, the interviewees were asked to identify other influential individuals and groups. In May 1995, CDOT initiated a series of MIS Policy Committee meetings. The attendees list from June 9, 1995, meeting indicated a wide variety of organizations were represented including Dottie Wham, State Senate; Ken Lloyd, Regional Air Quality Council; Polly Page, Arapahoe County; David Stevenson Colorado Department of Transportation; Phil Anderson, RTD Board; Dan Donovan, Federal Highwa y Administration; and Paul D. Schauer, State Representative. The Policy Committee appeared to be critical to the identification of corridor needs and screening of the alternatives to not include the additional general purpose highway lanes. The final MIS report was issued in July 1997 There were many many organizations r e presented on the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee at the time who endorsed the MIS findings and recommendations including Walter (Buz) Koelb el, Jr., ch a irman of the board, and Linda Capra, manager, both representing the S o utheast C o rridor Transportation Management Organization; and Will F. Nicholson, Jr. chairman, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc The Policy 101

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Committee also included representatives from Denver, Greenwood Village, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, RTD Board, CDOT Transportation Commission, and State Representatives. In addition, Rep. Diana DeGette sponsored the Southeast Corridor proposal. Gov. Romer was also quoted as supporting the proposal. Bill Vidal was serving as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation and he seemed to be a key figure in the MIS decision-making process. He also headed the DRCOG during the EIS process. This was the time frame when the new preferred alternative that included highway expansion needed to be incorporated into an amended Regional Transportation Plan. In April 1998, a Denver Post article highlighted the proposal to add general purpose lanes as an alternative to the environmental study for the corridor. It quoted Doug Bennett, a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) engineer, and James Daves, another FHW A official, as proponents of expanding from six to 10 lanes in some portions ofthe corridor. The article also referred to increasing pressure by Jon Caldera, RTD Board Director, state legislators including Rep. Dorothy Gotlieb, and the City of Greenwood Village to build more highway lanes to meet current and future corridor needs. The views of these individuals and organizations seemed important to the decision-making process. In May, the R TD Board seemed to play a significant role with some directors having divergent views. A Denver Post article portrays Jon Caldera as the most outspoken against the rail proposal, though there were apparently strong rail supporters on the board, too. In a September 1998 Denver Post article, board member Jack McCroskey, a rail supporter, indicated he had built support for the proposal with Denver area board member Ben Klein, as well as with Caldera. Another key actor seemed to be U .S. Rep. Dan Schaefer ; he sought authorization for the rail proposal in early 1998. A May Denver Posr article indicated that Bob Sakaguchi was the CDOT project manager for the corridor. 102

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Meeting notes describing the October 14, 1998, Policy Committee meeting included discussions of new alternatives that included highway expansion. Dave Stevenson, representing Carter & Burgess, seemed to be a primary spokesperson at the Policy Committee meetings. In addition, Denver Councilwoman Foster was credited with stating "we have basically changed the scope of the MIS" (Carter & Burgess, 1998i, p. 3). Councilwoman Foster's comment indicates recognition of the significant shift in direction on the project. These individuals may be key to the development of new corridor alternatives. In addition to Stevenson and Foster, records from this October meeting indicate that the Policy Committee is comprised of numerous government agencies, transportation and planning organizations, and elected officials, including Aurora, City and County of Denver, State Representative District 39, Denver Councilwomen Casey's offices, Transportation Solutions, and the Downtown Denver Partnership (Carter & Burgess, 1998i, p. 1 ). Both gubernatorial candidates Schoettler and Owens seem to play significant roles in the political positions on transportation solutions. Ricky Young wrote a number of articles for the Denver Post on the corridor proposals during 1998-2000. Several other reporters also wrote articles about the corridor. Following issuance of the DEIS there was some opposition to the significant shift in the alternatives considered. This included EPA staff and management involved in the letters criticizing the change in modal outcome. Key actors in the final decision-making were the executives at the state and federal transportation agencies and Governor Owens' office. It appeared that several state legislators were involved. The RTD board and its general manager, DRCOG representatives, and community members who participated in the public comment period may have played key roles in the final decision process. People who participated in a substantial manner in the MIS, EIS, and ROD processes were identified as potential interview candidates. Final selection of 103

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I I I i I I I I I I I I interview candidates was made on their role in the decision processes and the role of the organizations they represent. Interviewees were also asked to identify others who played significant roles. This helped to build the full list of interview candidates. The next section describes the results of the Southeast Corridor interviews. 4.1.3 Interview Research The interview phase focused on looking behind the scenes and filling in the gaps identified during the archival research phase This section attempts to describe what really happened in the Southeast Corridor transportation decision process, who played the most influential roles, and why highway expansion was added to the final selected alternative. Thirteen individuals were interviewed for the case study. Two represented business organizations. One was a member of the environmental, non profit community. Most of the interviewees worked for government. This was primarily because the archival record and early interviews indicated that several government entities were primarily responsible for the particular modal outcome decision. Once it became clear that government employees played the most influential roles, more interviews were selected to confirm this. Four interview subjects worked for FHWA or CDOT. There was one representative from each of these agencies: Federal Transit Administration, Regional Transportation District, Denver Regional Council of Governments, U S Environmental Protection Agency and an elected official from Denver. One interviewee worked for the project consulting firm and was then hired by CDOT mid-way through the EIS process. This summary of the interviews, appearing in the following paragraphs, is organized in the same manner as the interview questions. It initially describes the factors that the interviewees felt were the most influential in the decision processes. 104

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The summary then presents the comments about which individuals and organizations were the most influential. The answers relating to conflict and how it influenced decisions indicated that conflict within organizations and between organizations had little impact. As noted earlier, the archival research suggested that development and presentation of technical information and analyses also had little influence on the modal outcome. The final interview question involved opinions about the appropriateness of the final mode choice, that is, was the highway expansion with light rail transit the best alternative? In this case, the interviewees had very similar views Where the interviews seemed to be in agreement, there is a strong level of confidence that the events actually occurred as depicted. Table 4.1 is a table depicting the interviews and responses to the interview questions. 105

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0 0\ Table 4.1 Interview Summary Matrix: Southeast Corridor Case Study Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? Government-Balancing of future FHWA was key, also FTA, No significant federal public needs, COOT, ORCOG, RTO and conflict transportation environmental, social, to lessen extent, the public official etc. Full use of the rightof-way was key to the shift Government Generally on projects, EPA had little influence on No significant federal EPA private financing, other SE Corridor because its conflict official money interests and involvement is so late in the political support is most process; COOT and important developers in the corridor had the most influence Prov1ding I 0 lanes of COOT was key wanted to No significant state capacity was key to SE add highway lanes to meet conflict transportation Corridor; project costs capacity needs of corridor; official are important in general then involved FHW A, FT A, RTD and DRCOG Environmental Public support and FHW A advocated strongly Environmental non-profit financing were key for adding highway lanes and groups community FT A, and COOT were key opposed the and RTO to lesser extent; change from some concern raised by Tech the MIS Center businesses on rail alternative service; environmental advocates could have sued butagreedtosupport --------------Use of Data Right Decision? and Analyses? No issues Maybe, a carpool lane could have been a little better Generally, the Transit should have data is skewed, been built first, then like decide later if expanded cumulative highway is needed impact data play with the data so it comes out the way you want No issues Yes, the rail would not have happened in the highway right-of-way without adding lanes No issues Yes a good decision though there will still be peak hour congestion; it was a political decision and consensus was built over time so the project would get built

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Table 4.1 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Analyses? highway expansion if rail alternative was included Project Optimizing the right-ofCOOT FHWA, FTA, RTD No No issues Yes, maximizes the consultant way, maximizing the corridor corridor Business Coalition of Tech Center COOT said more lanes were Environmental No issues Yes, consensus process organization businesses, local needed to meet capacity groups built around the governments, and opposed alternative environmental highway communities were key expansion and influence ; politics had to be Owens administration brought into agreement -0 Government Public wanted light rail FHW A wanted to move rail Conflict No issues Yes -....) federal but it restricted use of the to allow for future highway occurred, transportation right-of-way; funding expansion; "maximum particularly official was key to final utilization of the right-ofbetween alternative ; cheaper to do way" was key; FT A wanted FHWA,FTA, both modes at same time the MIS alternative; became a and COOT; very political process and but agreements went to highway levels in were reached FHW A in DC; COOT and FHW A reached agreement to move the rail to the edge of the right-of-way Business Politics, environmental FHWA FTA, COOT, RTD, Environmental No issues Yes, but it is still to be organization concerns and USDOT environmental groups and groups were in seen if adding highway want e d t otal co rridor business groups conflict with lanes helps lessen solutions' the State, congestion because it wanted to add

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----------------Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Analyses? highway lanes Government After the MIS, businesses FHW A wanted to reevaluate Conflict No issues Yes regional said they wanted both rail alternatives suburban between RTD planning and added lanes conununities and businesses CDOT and the agency wanted more lanes too; legislature DRCOG played a key role over match CDOT was important, and and funding; RTD was a co-participant and because it would operate the environmental rail groups were I concerned I about adding I lanes -0 00 Government CDOT said add more CDOT and then Owens once No significant Early on there In a perfect world the local elected lanes ; very political, elected conflict was full trust rail would have been I suburban conununities in the data, right but the final I were also important over time decision was right as a i skepticism compromise I grew Government FHW A and CDOT FHW A was the major force in There was No issues Yes, it embraced regional wanted more highway the change from the MIS conflict but consensus and got the lanes not significant project done Government FHWA didn t want to FHWA Between Data was Yes, it got the federal preclude highway FHWAand presented alternati v e expansion FT A, but this factually; implemented was resolved revised byMOU purpose and need was not so much political as it was new -----------

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..... 0 \0 Table 4 I (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Analyses? direction GovernmentThere were alignment FHW A, FT A, CDOT, RTD Between RTD Data could not At the time no federal problems with and DRCOG to a lesser andCDOT be because highway implementing the MIS extent. FT A initiated over use of the manipulated would take away from alternative; CDOT wants development of a joint highway rightbecause there rail ridership ; today, to use the right-of-way highway-rail project a nd then of-way were too many yes, because the for highway expansion it evolved from there organizations, highway widening players and enabled the rail to reviews for it proceed to occur; purpose/need changed as the project needs changed over time

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4.1.3.1 What Factors Most Influenced Decision-making? The interview subjects were asked what factors most influenced major transportation projects-including community goals and objectives, federal and state government agency needs, land use patterns, people's travel preferences, and political interests. In addition, they were asked what constraints or rules, such as federal transportation laws, federal environmental impact statement requirements, and federal and state funding constraints, had the most impact on the decision processes. Most of the interviewees answered with views specifically relevant to the Southeast Corridor project. Only two of the 13 interviewees gave input about Colorado transportation planning in general. The interviewees described a number of factors that influenced the Southeast Corridor decision process. Most interview subjects mentioned more than one factor. One government official said that decisions were made by balancing future public transportation needs, environmental factors, social impact, etc. However, when asked about the April 1998 news article highlighting the proposal to add more highway lanes to Southeast Corridor project, the interviewee added that this was likely just an analysis to determine the full use of the right-of-way of the corridor, especially along the northern segment referred to as the "narrows." One of the business organization representatives said the most influential factor was the formation of a coalition of businesses from the Denver Technology Center, local governments, and the environmental community. When asked specifically what decisions this coalition was able to impact on the Southeast Corridor project, the answer centered on infrastructure, such as the interchanges, located near the Tech Center. This interviewe e wasn't certain what factors led to shift from the MIS alternative to adding more highway lanes. The interview subject 110

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believed this change was made during the EIS process when Bill Owens took office in early 1999. Only two other interviewees said business influences were important. One said that businesses expressed the desire for adding highway lanes after the MIS was completed. And one interview subject said generally that private financing is important to the final decision. Three of the interviewees believed that the cost of the alternative and funding were important. When explaining why the final alternative was appropriate, several interviewees said that adding the highway lanes led to construction of the roadway and light rail at the same time resulting in significant cost savings over proceeding separately. So, in a sense, cost savings was touted as a factor in the final selection of the two modes of transportation for the corridor. Three interviewees felt that "politics" had a significant impact on the decision process. Two interview subjects said public support was important to the Southeast Corridor project, but one of these comments was specifically that the public preferred the MIS alternative. Two interviewees mentioned that local government involvement was important. The most frequently mentioned factor was that the FHW A and CDOT wanted to add highway lanes because of corridor needs. Four interviewees said this was the sole reason for the shift away from the MIS alternative, and five others said it was one of the primary reasons. One interview subject did not have enough knowledge about the specific change in alternatives. Of the three that did not mention the needs of the corridor as the primary factor, two said business influences were key and one said public support and financing were the most important. 111

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4.1.3.2 Who Wielded the Most Influence? The answers to this question varied less than the previous question. All the interviewees said the federal and state transportation agencies were the most influential. This is not surprising because FHW A is charged with making the final decision. In addition, CDOT was delegated the responsibility for managing the EIS process. Some of the interview subjects felt other entities, including the Federal Transit Administration, Regional Transportation District, and Denver Regional Council of Govermnents influenced the decision process to the same extent as CDOT and FHW A. Others believed these organizations wielded less influence. One interview believed CDOT wielded the most influence and then this shifted to Bill Owens after he took office in early 1999. Four interviewees believed businesses influenced the decision but to a lesser extent than CDOT and FHW A. And one interviewee said public opinion had a small amount of influence. The interview subject representing the enviromnental non-profit community said the environmentalists would have significant influence if they decided to file a lawsuit. But the enviromnental groups chose not to litigate. The groups compromised specifically to ensure light rail transit was not eliminated from the final decision. All but one of the interviewees specifically mentioned that FHWA and/or CDOT wanted to address corridor capacity needs. The one exception felt that CDOT and developers played the most influential roles. The other interview subjects mentioned several specific objectives relating to the corridor, including supplying ten lanes of capacity now or in the future, maximizing use of the right-of way, and providing a "total corridor solution." As noted earlier, the archival research uncovered the turning point, away from the MIS alternative to the proposal to add more highway lanes, in the spring of 1998. When asked specifically about this apparent shifting point, several 112

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I I I I I I I I l I i I I I I I I I i l interviewees said they had personal knowledge that there was a critical meeting of CDOT, FHW A, FT A, and RTD officials on March 30, 1998. As noted earlier, Bill Vidal's memorandum confirms the substance of this meeting. The interviews revealed the executives ofCDOT, FHWA, and FTA decided the location of the light rail transit, as proposed in the MIS report, would preclude the addition of highway lanes in the future. There is also strong agreement by these government officials that the executives then decided adding lanes should be evaluated and use of the existing corridor right-of-way maximized. This involved changing the design of the roadway, particularly along the "narrows," resulting in vertical sides rather than traditional sloping corridor walls. This redesign of the corridor walls avoided the displacement of many homes and businesses, while allowing the addition of new lanes. Adding highway lanes also led to reconstruction of several bridges and interchange modifications. Several documents in the record indicate that the infrastructure was aging and would have to be replaced at some point in the future The government officials affirmed that the preferred alternative for the corridor evolved from the March 30 meeting, to include adding general purpose lanes, bridge and interchange improvements, and other changes. There was strong consensus that the final solution, developed through this internal, iterative process, was "the right decision. It met immediate corridor needs and those, such as infrastructure improvements, that were proposed for the future. As the new alternative evolved, its cost estimates increased dramatically. Turning back to the influential factors described in Chapter 3, we see that several interviewees believed that costs and funding played an important role in decision making. Delving deeper into the chronology of events it became clear that the CDOT, FHW A, and FT A government officials wanted to add highway lanes even though there was no increase in funding. A November 1998 Denver Post article highlighted the proposal to widen I-25 to a minimum of eight lanes for a total cost of $1.1 billion. This more than doubled the cost of the MIS alternative. By that 113

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time, Bill Owens had won the election and was promising to finance highway expansion once voters approve bonding author i ty (Young, 1998f, p. lA). This ballot measure went to the voters in November 1999 and was successful, ensuring funding for the new proposal. The interviews indicate that the key government decision-makers chose adding highway lanes in early 1998, essentially doubling the cost ofthe project, without assurance of new funding. The MIS alternative was selected in part, because it fell within the fiscally-constrained Regional Transportation Plan, meaning funding was anticipated for the project. From this examination of the chronology of events it is clear that funding did not play an important role in the shift away from the MIS alternative. The perceived solution to newly identified corridor needs that is adding highway lanes emerges as the primary reason for the new alternative There seems to be agreement that there was consideration of adding "flex lanes rather than general purpose lanes early in 1998 Flex lanes would provide directional bus/HOY lanes or general purpose lanes, one direction during the morning peak hours and in the other direction during the afternoon peak. The archival research shows that in December 1998 FHW A concluded that flex lanes should not be considered further based on an expert s evaluation (Daves 1998b p l ) Several interviewees confirmed that directional flex lanes would not be effective because at key points in the corridor traffic is highly congested in both directions. There was similar recollection that flex lanes were considered at one point; however, the overriding reason for shifting away from the MIS alternative was to provide congestion relief through added highway lanes, with no consideration for providing additi o nal transit alternatives. The interviews confirm th e decision to a dd general purpose highway lanes occurred prior to Bill Owens taking office as governor and even before he won the primary. This shift occurred during the Romer administration, an administration 114

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noted for its pro-transit stance. Local politics also doesn't seem to be a major factor in this shift to highway expansion Several key local governments served on the Policy Committee and supported the MIS alternative. There isn't a shift in their support until late in 1998 and early 1999. There was formal consensus of the Policy Committee members at their January 1999 meeting to support the new alternative that included added general purpose lanes. 4.1.3.3 Did Conflict Impact Decision-making? Six of the interviewees indicated there was little or no conflict relating to the decision process to add highway lanes to the MIS alternative. Two stated that there was significant conflict between CDOT and RTD, which is evident from news articles reviewed during the archival research. Some state legislators were opposed to the MIS alternative and wanted highway lanes added. One interviewee believed there was substantial conflict between FT A, FHW A, and CDOT. FT A wanted to "protect the decision ," which apparently referred to the MIS decision. This interviewee also said the conflict between agencies was so intense it was raised to FHWA executives in Washington, D.C. (Daves, 2004). Another interviewee referred to the conflict between FTA and FHW A. The conflict was resolved and memorialized in an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (USDOT 1999). Several ofthe CDOT, FHWA, and FTA officials alluded to controversy during the early 1998 time frame though not one of them revealed the details behind the conflict. During the interviews, each stated the differences of opinion were work e d out and all the key players came together supporting the new alternati v e Four of the interviewees identified conflict between the environmental community and the government entities, particularly the state. The environmental groups did not want new highway lanes added to the MIS alternative. Apparentl y 115

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i I i I I I j I i I I I j I I I I I I I I i I I l I I l ! I I i I l I I I i the environmental non-profit organizations could have used legal measures to oppose the project, resulting in project delays; however, they chose to support the new alternative. The representative from the environmental non-profit community said they endorsed the new alternative as a compromise. This interview subject said the only other option would have been the loss of the light rail component of the project (Environmental Non-Profit Interview, 2005). The conflict between the environmental community and the government decision-makers was identified as being important in the decision process by several interviewees; however, the events uncovered in the research show that this conflict did not impact the decision to add highway lanes. It may, however, have influenced the decision to retain the light rail component. 4.1.3.4 How Did the Data and Analyses Influence Decision-making? Most of the interviewees didn't identify any issues with the development or use of the technical information. On the other hand, the EPA official, a mid-level manager, stated that generally transportation project data is easily manipulated to produce the desired answer (USEPA Representative Interview 2004). Only one other interviewee indicated any concern with the use of technical information. The elected local government official said early in the MIS/EIS process there was complete confidence in the presentation of data. Later on, skepticism grew about the data Contrasting this one government transportation official said the data cannot be manipulated because there are so many other agencies reviewing and critiquing the technical information. The interviewees that appeared to be most knowledgeable of the shift away from the MIS alternative were asked specifically about apparent technical discrepancies identified from the archival research. One discrepancy was the 116

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elimination of the MIS alternative from further consideration in the DEIS report. The report demonstrates that the MIS alternative would cause significantly less environmental and social impact; however, it was eliminated during the EIS analyses of alternatives. The federal and state transportation officials said the MIS alternative no longer met the newly defined "purpose and need" for the corridor. The DEIS report stated the corridor goals, endorsed by the Policy Committee in January 1999, were revised to include benefits to motorists and replacement of aging infrastructure (US DOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-17). The interviews and the EIS document confirm the project goals were changed and then the MIS alternative was eliminated, even though this alternative was preferable based on the environmental and social impact analyses. The executive level government representatives stated that this was appropriate. The rationale was that the needs of the project changed over time; therefore the project goals were changed and the preferred alternative was selected from the solutions that met the revised goals. Since the MIS alternative was eliminated during the DEIS phase, the rem a ining alternatives were comprised of various highway expansion proposals plus light rail transit. The variation in the alternatives was the number of new general purpose lanes The DEIS process reduced the alternatives to one proposal, the Preferred Alternative, consisting of adding one lane of traffic in each direction in the northern end of the corridor and adding more lanes at the southern end to accommodate traffic merging from I-225. The FEIS report considered only these two a lternatives: the No-Action Alternative and the Preferred Alternative The federal and state transportation officials were asked if evaluating these two alternatives fully met the intent of an environmental assessment as required by the NEP A process. These interviewees were confident that only one alternative needed to b e presented in the FEIS and that this met the intent ofNEP A. The rationale was again that the newly defined needs of the corridor were overarching and alternatives 117

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that did not meet these needs should not be evaluated in the final stages of the EIS process. Another example of a technical discrepancy was the conclusion in the ROD that the Preferred Alternative was "environmentally preferred" over the only other alternative considered, the No Action alternative. On the face of it, this conclusion was inconsistent with the analysis in the FEIS. The comparative analysis in the FEIS report demonstrated that the No-Action alternative had fewer environmental and social impacts that the Preferred Alternative. During the interview with a former FHW A executive, this inconsistency was raised. The interviewee stated the ROD determined the selected alternative was environmentally preferable because the only other alternative considered in the final select phase was the No Action alternative, and this did not meet the purpose and need for the corridor. Essentially, the selected alternative was environmentally preferred because no other alternatives met the needs of the corridor (Daves, 2004) The interviewees generally believed there were not any issues with data developed and presented as part of the decision processes. Even upon probing during the interviews, those most knowledgeable had rationale for the discrepancies. The research indicates there may be concerns with the technical information and analyses, though no concrete examples were uncovered. 4.1.3.5 Was it the Right Decision? Many of the interviewees believed the final decision to expand the highway and construct light rail transit was the right decision. Most interviewees said it was the appropriate decision because consensus had been built around the decision. Several interview subjects pointed out the light rail would not have been built if it weren't for this consensus decision. And three others said agreement around the 118

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final alternative got the project implemented. One government transportation official said the final corridor solution might have been better ifbus/HOV lanes were added. Only three interviewees indicated the final decision was not the best. The EPA official said the light rail transit system should have been built first and the corridor later evaluated to determine if new highway lanes were needed (USEP A, 2004). The local elected official said "The light rail system was right in a perfect world, but the implemented alternative was also right because it was a compromise" (Foster Interview, 2005). One of the government officials said that at the time the decision was made, adding the highway lanes was not the best solution because it would reduce light rail ridership. However, looking back, the final decision was right because it allowed the project to proceed (Government Official Interview, 2005). 4.1.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion 4.1.4.1 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Primary Hypothesis and Planning and Power Models The primary research hypothesis and proposed planning and power models developed from the literature reviews, were expected to describe the case study decision processes. This section evaluates the case study findings against the hypothesis and models. The primary research hypothesis is: Coalitions of governm e nt busine ss and other interest groups, supporting highway building, significantly influence the large transportation project modal outcomes (highway versus transit). The Southea s t Corridor case study indicates that there was a coalition that had the ability to 119

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I i I I I I I I I I i I I I i I I I influence the decision process. However, the research reveals that the coalition was comprised solely of federal and state transportation officials and that business or other interest groups had no direct involvement in the "inner workings" of the decision process. These officials were able to shift the decision process away from the technically-based MIS alternative that had wide support from the communities and locally elected officials. This case study also indicates that the coalition asserted its preferred alternative by revising the technical goals and objectives for the corridor. Once the goals and objectives were revised, the environmental and social impact analyses were limited to alternatives that met them. As a result, the administrative requirements ofNEPA and relevant environmental and transportation laws appeared to be met. Overall, these findings indicate that the hypothesis was not fully valid for this case study. The proposed transportation planning model was presented in Chapter 2 (Figure 2.3). It depicted the overriding influence of government, business, and special interest group coalitions. In this planning model, the needs of the coalition overrides the mandated rational, technical-based decision process. The coalition wields such influence that it requires the identification of goals and objectives that align with its own, analyses of their own preferred solutions, and finally selection of an alternative that meets coalition needs. The planning model (Figure 2.3) can be modified to reflect the makeup of the coalition. Refer to Figure 4.3, below, for the planning model describing the Southeast Corridor decision process. 120

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Figure 4.3 Transportation Planning Model: Southeast Corridor (adopted from Figure 2.5, Meyer and Miller, 2001, p. 53) Identify Coalition Goals and Objectives (Coalition comprised of state and federal transportation governments) Identify Solutions Meeting Coalition's Goals and Objectives Identify Corridor Needs, Community Goals and Objective Aligning with Coalition's Goals and Objectives Generate Alternatives, Including Coalition-based Solutions Evaluate Alternatives, NEP A-like Process Select Optimal Alternative Meeting Coalition's Needs 121

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A conceptual representation of the power structure that was expected to drive major transportation decision processes was presented in Chapter 2 (Figure 2.4). The Southeast Corridor case study indicates that the government institutions wielded the most influence and businesses and special interest groups had very little influence on the final modal outcome for the project. There also seemed to be little or no interaction between business interests and special interest groups. Figure 4.4 is a representation of the Southeast Corridor power relationships. The circles depicting business and special interest groups are very small illustrating the minimal influence from those groups. In addition, there appeared to be no interplay between business and special interest groups. Figure 4.4 Transportation Planning Power Structure: Southeast Corridor Government/ Institutions 122

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4.1.4.2 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Factors Influencing the Modal Outcome 4.1.4.2.1 Regulatory Framework The Southeast Corridor project was required to follow the NEPA process because it was expected to be federally funded and to have significant environmental impacts. The project followed the prescriptive process, including definition of the corridor 'purpose and need,' development of alternatives, assessment of environmental and social consequences, public involvement, and selection ofthe environmentally preferred alternative. Even though the rigorous NEP A process was followed, the research identified a number of concerns about the teclmical analyses and consistency with regulatory requirements. For example, the DEIS included the environmental and social impact analyses for the alternatives being considered. The analyses showed the original Preferred Alternative, developed during the MIS process, would result in fewer environmental and social impacts than the subsequently proposed highway expansion alternatives. The results of these teclmical analyses are not considered in the decision process because the MIS alternative is eliminated because it does not meet the revised "purpose and need" statement for the corridor. In this case, the mandated NEPA process is apparently circumvented by the addition of new project objectives, such as vehicle mobility and infrastructure replacement. The final decision process also seems to deviate from the intent of the NEP A process. The ROD concludes that the new Preferred Alternative is "environmentally preferred" over the only other alternative considered, the No Action alternative. As noted earlier, this conclusion seems inconsistent with the analysis in the FEIS. During the interview with a former Federal Highway 123

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Administration executive, this inconsistency was raised The interviewee clarified this issue by stating that the ROD determined the selected alternative was environmentally preferable because the only other alternative considered in the final select phase was the No Action alternative, and this alternative did not meet the purpose and need for the corridor. So, essentially the selected alternative was environmentally preferred because no other alternatives were evaluated in the final decision stages that met the needs of the corridor (Daves Interview, 2004). This analysis is not sufficient to conclude that the Southeast Corridor project failed to comply with mandated environmental laws and policies, and this was not the purpose of this case study. Rather, the focus of this analysis is the factors that influence decision-making This case study research reveals that the environmental and social technical analyses does not influential the decision-making process. On the other hand, the identified needs of the corridor play a significant role in what alternative is selected. In this case, the MIS Preferred Alternative is screened out because it does not meet the revised project purpose and need. In addition, the final selected alternative is found to be environmentally preferred over the No Action alternative, even though it has significantly more negative environmental and social impacts. This "environmentally preferred" conclusion is made, contradicting the environmental and social analysis, because the No Action alternative doesn't meet the technical needs of the corridor. 4.1.4.2.2 Transportation Corridor Needs As noted in the preceding paragraphs the revised purpose and need for the statement is a major driving force in the Southeast Corridor decision process. The initial MIS alternative met the technical needs of the corridor in 1997. The needs of the corridor were redefined in late 1998 and subsequently the EIS process concludes 124

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only one alternative meets the new purpose and need statement. This final alternative is a significant change from the original MIS alternative The final modal outcome for the corridor includes highway expansion at a price of more than twice the original preferred alternative. 4.1.4.2.3 Institutions During the case study time period, from mid-1990 to 2000, the key institutions don't change substantively so they did not influence the modal outcome for the corridor. The Colorado Department of Highways had changed its name to the Colorado Department of Transportation is the early 1990's providing for more focus on transit. However, as the research looked behind the scenes it became clear that changes in personnel did have a significant influence. The paragraphs that follow examine the key government organizations, the key actors, and the roles they played in changing the preferred alternative. The case study research reveals that the state and federal transportation agencies played a critical role in the decision to change the original MIS Preferred Alternative for the corridor. FHW A, FT A, and CDOT were expected to play a significant role in the decision process. The most interesting finding is that three executive level government employees were able to significantly change the MIS decision. The research shows the MIS Preferred Alternative was supported by local elected officials and local government staff, the general public, businesses, and special interest groups. This alternative was consistent with the regional transportation plan approved by elected officials from across the metropolitan region. It also met the fiscal constraints of the regional transportation plan. It was also significant to note that CDOT and the Colorado Transportation Commission supported the original MIS solution. The MIS report was prepared under the 125

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direction of the CDOT. However, during the interview with the CDOT executive he said he knew the MIS process had built significant consensus for that Preferred Alternative. However, he believed the MIS didn t go far enough to address the need for 10 lanes of traffic, so he acted to change the alternative to include new highway lanes (Vidal, 2004) James Daves, the former FHWA Colorado Division Administrator, began working with FHWA in March 1997 and was not made aware ofthe MIS alternative until a briefing after the final MIS report was issued. He said he didn't feel the MIS alternative met all the goals he wanted for the corridor so he initiated a change to the solution (Daves, 2004). The research also revealed a significant change in personnel in the FHW A. Bill Vidal worked for CDOT beginning in about 1976. He became Executive Director of the department in 1994 He served in this role until 1999. He then became Executive Director ofDRCOG until2004. We see Vidal plays a key role in this case study in both his CDOT and DRCOG role (Vidal, 2004) Even though EPA has a key review role, established in environmental law, it did not wield significant influence on the modal outcome for the Southeast Corridor project. Review documents by EPA highlight the agency's support for the MIS alternative and criticism of the highway expansion proposal. EPA's strongest comment i s the DEIS selected additional highway capacity over the MIS recommendations: "We are concerned that the evaluation and range of alternatives in the MIS was not considered in the DEIS. In particular, the MIS preferred alternative was not carried through as an alternative in the DEIS." EPA refers back to the MIS conclusions that highway lanes would not be consistent with the Regional Plan and that additional lanes may put the 1-25 corridor at risk of exceeding air quality standards in the future (Cody, 2000a, p. 2). The case study reveals the r e quirement that projects conform to the regional transportation plan did not affect the modal outcome. The original MIS alternative 126

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was consistent with the transportation plan while the new proposal was not. However, the research shows that revisions to the regional transportation plan were easily made to ensure that the final selected alternative was consistent. This institutional requirement seems to have no influence on the mode selected for the corridor. 4.1.4.2.4 Project Costs and Funding The case study interview research identified that costs and funding played an important role in decision-making. However, upon deeper examination it became clear that the CDOT, FHW A, and FTA government officials wanted to add highway lanes even though there was no additional funding available. The MIS alternative was estimated at approximately $500 million and the subsequently proposed alternative grew to over $1 billion. This shows that the project cost and availability of funding did not deter a significant change to a much more costly alternative. Cost and funding are not a significant factor in the final modal decision for this corridor. 4.1.4.2.5 Political Setting The literature review indicated that elected officials would greatly influence the outcome of major transportation projects. During the MIS and early EIS phases of the Southeast Corridor project there was strong support for the light rail transit alternative. The Corridor Policy Committee, comprised of local elected officials from Denver, Greenwood Village, Aurora, Arapahoe County, and Douglas County, endorsed the MIS alternative. Other Policy Committee members included the elected RDT Board, the appointees to the Colorado Transportation Commission, and 127

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several state representatives. The record also shows that U.S. Rep Diana DeGette supported the light rail proposal and Gov. Romer expressed his support. About 10 months after the initiation of the EIS process, it appears that the shift from transit to highway expansion plus transit seems to be primarily driven by politics This aligns with Bill Owens' gubernatorial campaign platform. However, the interview research shows that the shift occurred before Bill Owens won the primary election in the spring of 1998. As described earlier, key officials from state and federal transportation agencies made the decision to shift away from the MIS alternative in early 1998; it was not a decision driven by elected officials. 4.1.4.2.6 Businesses The archival and interview research shows that businesses, particularly Denver Technology Center businesses, influenced some aspects ofthe Southeast Corridor project. These businesses were most interested in improvements to the interchanges and roadway near the Tech Center. One of the business organizations was interested in the transit system but did not strongly oppose the addition of highway lanes to the project. None of the business interests were identified as playing a significant role in the modal outcome of the project. This finding is contrary to the literature review, which indicates that businesses can wield significant influence on projects that affect them. 4.1.4.2.7 Special Interest Groups The environmental non-profit community strongly supported the MIS alternative and initially opposed the subsequent highway expansion proposal. The interview research indicates that the environmental community did not play a key 128

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role when the decision was made to add highway lanes. Their most substantive role seems to be agreeing to support the highway expansion proposal as a compromise deal that retained the light rail element of the project. Another advocacy group that played a role on the Southeast Corridor project was the Independence Institute, an organization that consistently endorses solutions based on increasing highway capacity; in particular, adding general purpose lanes, lanes for buses, and toll lanes. In this case, the Institute submitted comments opposing the light rail system. One interviewee believed the Institute heavily influenced the decision to move away from the MIS alternative. However, the interviews with key government officials determined that the Institute didn't play a substantive role. Government officials claimed they changed the project solution because of their own preferences and their perceived transportation needs for the corridor. 4.1.4.2.8 Public Participation Public input gathered during the MIS and the early EIS phases showed strong support for the light rail alternative. There was some preference noted for additional highway lanes, but the comments were overwhelming in favor of rail transit. Despite this consistent public preference for the Southeast Corridor solution, the decision-makers shifted the project alternative to include highway expansion. In this case, the public was substantially involved in the MIS decision process but did not influence the final decision. 129

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4.1.5 Concluding Remarks This case study revealed a considerable amount of information about how and why major decisions were made on the Southeast Corridor project. Several factors that were expected to influence the decision process were revealed to have little or no impact in the final mode selection. Most important, this case study uncovered the key decision-makers at the executive level of state and federal transportation agencies acting with essentially no direct influence from businesses or elected officials. The proposed planning and power relationship models were modified to reflect the findings of this case study. The next two case studies also provide interesting findings. 4.2 Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study The State Highway 82, Entrance to Aspen case study examines a significant transportation project in Pitkin County. The Entrance to Aspen project lies within the larger Highway 82 corridor located in the Roaring Fork Valley. Highway 82 originates at its northwestern end at Glenwood Springs and extends into downtown Aspen. The Glenwood Springs to Aspen corridor is approximately 38 miles long (Grauer, 2002, p. 2 of 4). The highway continues to the southeast out of Aspen toward Independence Pass, beyond the scope of this case study. This study focuses on the roadway segment near Aspen; however, reference is made to the environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the 15-mile portion of the corridor from Basalt to the Buttermilk Ski Area. When the EIS was initiated for the Entrance to Aspen project in February 1994, the project scope was the portion ofthe corridor from the Tieback Ski area to the intersection of ih and Main, entering Aspen (Federal Register, 1994, p. 8670). 130

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The draft Entrance to Aspen EIS issued in August 1995 defines the project as the 2-mile segment of Highway 82 from Buttermilk Ski Area to ih and M a in Streets ne a r the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT 1995, pp. I-1-I-2). Then in July 1996, the project scope was revised in the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS), extending both ends of the corridor : northwest of Buttermilk Ski Area to the Airport and further into downtown Aspen, on the other end, to Rubey Park. The revised project covers a distance of 4.3 miles (US DOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1 ) Figures 4.5 and 4 6 depict the project scope and the final sel e cted transportation alternative as it appears in the Record of Decision issued in August 1998 (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, pp. 4 of37-5 of37). The final cost estimate for the Entrance to Aspen project is $160 million This includes $34 million for roadway improvements, $57 million for light rail transit, and $68 million for two multimodal facilities (park and ride facilities) (USOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-10). Aspen and Pitkin County are growing in population. The count y s population rose from 14,827 in 1990 to 17,258 in 2000 It is expected to increase to 20 598 by 2015. The City of Aspen's population makes up about one-third ofthe county. Visitors to Aspen are also increasing The visitor population rose from 10,658 to 11,345, and is expected to climb to 12, 336 in 2015 (USOT and CDOT, 1997a, p IV -4). 131

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Figure 4.5 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen, Highw ay 82 Case Study (from ROD Figure la, p 4 of37) Record of Dec i sion State Highway 82 Entrance t o Aspen Figure la State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen ROD Preferred Alternative Alignment Legend: Aspen City Limits ---LRT Alignment LRT and Highway Alignment Highway Alignment Preferred Alternative <" / LRT Alignment 0.; Pitkin County Airpon Higbwa gnment :.-:;;, Preferred Alternative IDgbw7;: Aj;gnment ..... \ 132 1: + = Not to Scale

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Figure 4.6 Project Description with Preferred Alternative: Entrance to Aspen Highway 82 Case Study (from ROD Figure I b p. 5 of 3 7) Record of Decision State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen Figure lb State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen ROD Preferred Alternative Alignment Not to Scale Legend: Aspen City Limits LRT Alignment LRT and Highway Alignment Highway Alignment Buttermilk Ski Area 133 City of Aspen I I

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The focus of this case study research is the period of time from initiation of the Entrance to Aspen EIS process in February 1994 to issuance ofthe final decision document in August 1998. Some project implementation activities are described in the latter part of this section. Figure 4. 7 is a timeline depicting the major events and decisions. This chapter begins with a summary of the significant events, key actors, and major decisions relating to the selection of the transportation modes for the corridor. This summary draws from the archival research of the corridor A detailed chronology of people, events, and decisions appears in the Appendix (Appendix F). 4.2.1 Archival ResearchSummary of Events and Major Decisions The following paragraphs briefly overview the major events and decisions revealed by the archival research. Figure 4. 7 is a timeline depicting the major events and decisions. In the section that follows the key actors in the decision making process are identified from the archival research. 4.2.1.1 History of the Corridor and Early Studies Highway 82 became part ofthe state highway system in 1911. In 1962, construction began to expand the highway to four lanes to accommodate increased vehicular travel from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale. Construction was completed in 197 4 (CDOT, 2004 p. 1 ). There were a number of studies over the years proposing various solutions for roadway congestion. In addition, there were several votes in the City of Aspen and Pitkin County seeking input and approval on funding for mass transit, expansion of the highway, improvements to bus service, 134

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and construction of a rail system (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). As early as 1986, there was a report proposing a rail system from Denver's Stapleton Airport to Aspen (Parten and McGaughey, 1986). During the period 1992-1995, the portion of highway from Carbondale to just east of Basalt was widened to four lanes. This section of the corridor is I approximately 25 miles long (CDOT, 2004, p. 1). I I I I I I l I I i I I I 135

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Figure 4 7 Timeline of Major Event: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 Case Study Early 1900s ---------1------Railroad line is abandoned and later becomes I location of Highway 82 I 1911 ---------1------Highway 82 becomes part of state highway I system I 1962 197 4 ---------1------Highway is widened from 2 to 4 lanes from I Glenwood Springs to Carbondale I 1970 ---------1------Election on constructing four lanes; Pitkin I County voters approve the measure; Aspen I defeats it by 54% to 46% I 1972 ---------1------City of Aspen voters approve a sales tax I measure to support mass transit I 1975 ---------1------City of Aspen voters approve a measure to I support a County plan for light rail I 1983 ---------1-------Pitkin County voters approve a 1% sales tax to I support mass transit I 1984 ---------1-------Pitkin County voters support construction of 4 I lanes from Brush Creek to Aspen I 1986 ---------1------Aspen voters defeat two measures to construct I 4-lane roadway one along the existing alignment I and the other across open space I 1986 ---------1------Report on passenger rail plan from Denver's I Stapleton airport to Aspen, primarily on existing I track I 1987 ---------1------Formal Notice oflntent to initiate Basalt to I Aspen EIS I 1989 --------+------Draft EIS issued for Basalt to Aspen; proposing I highway expansion to 4 lanes I 136

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Figure 4.7 (Cont.) 1990 ---------1------Aspen voters approve a measure to construct a I 4-lane roadway along the existing alignment I 1992 ---------1-------In January 1992, Aspen and Pitkin County adopt I the Aspen Area Plan which opposes building I more lanes to address traffic congestion; over I 400 citizens helped develop the plan I 1992 ---------1-------Decision made to shorten scope of Basalt to I Aspen EIS to extend only to Buttermilk (now 151 mile segment), providing for a separate EIS for I the entrance to Aspen I 1992-1995 ---------1------Several construction project to expand highway I to four lanes from Carbondale to Basalt I 1993 ---------1------Voters in Aspen and Pitkin County approve I sales tax for transportation improvements I including a separate transitway from Snowmass I Village to Aspen, bus service and facility I improvements, and purchase of right-of-way for I future rail I 1993 ---------1-------Final EIS for Basalt to Buttermilk Ski Area is I issued; preferred alternative is expanding I highway from 2 to 4 with two designated peak I hour bus/HOY lanes I 1------Record of Decision issued for Basalt to I Buttermilk; final decision is expanding to 4 I lanes with designated peak hour bus/HOY, plus I preservation of right-of-way for possible future I transit I 1994 ---------1-------Formal EIS Notice of Intent issued for Entrance I to Aspen; highway segment from TieBack Ski I area to 7th and Main, near the entrance to Aspen I 137

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Figure 4 7 (Cont.) 1------Voters disapprove a ballot measure for bonding I authority to implement phased bus then rail I from Snowmass Village to Aspen; also I disapprove use of open space for transit or for I highway I 1995 ---------1-------Draft Entrance to Aspen EIS issued; after I screening the remaining alternatives involved I expanding the highway with peak hour I designated bus/HOY lanes I 1995 ---------1-------Aspen voters approve continuation of the paid I parking program and that collected revenues I will be used for transportation improvements I 1996-2004 ---------1--------Numerous construction projects to expand I highway to 4 lanes from Basalt to Buttermilk I 1996 ---------1-------Draft Supplemental EIS for Entrance to Aspen I issued, specifically to include additional I alternatives including Aspen City Council's I alternative; the alternatives are variations of I 2-lanes ofroadway, with bus/HOY lanes, I phasing bus before light rail, and transportation I management measures; the preferred I alternative is Phased Modified Direct'-bus, I then light rail across open space; the project is I extended to Buttermilk and into downtown I Aspen (4.3 miles in length) I 1------Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village I sign a Joint Resolution endorsing the 2-lane I widely separated highway with a rail platform I across open space; agree to seek funding, I implement transportation management I measures, and create a Regional Transportation I District I 138

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Figure 4 7 (Cont.) 1------Aspen voters approve use of open space for the I Parkway/Rail Plan by a wide margin; the plan I includes 2-lane highway and rail across open I space I 1997 --------+------Final Entrance to Aspen EIS issued; the new I Preferred Alternative consists of highway I improvements, a light rail system, and a I transportation management program; the I highway and light rail will run across I open space, partially through a cut and cover" I tunnel I 1998 --------+-----CDOT and FHW A enter into agreements I with Aspen and Pitkin County describing I actions to move the Entrance to Aspen project I forward; it also states that the project will not be I implemented if not acceptable to Aspen I 1------Record of Decision issued; preferred I alternative is a modification of the earlier I I I I preferred alternatives; with a condition that if local funding/support is not obtained for light rail, exclusive bus lanes will be built initially 1------Aspen voters narrowly approve a measure I supporting valley-wide rail, while county voters I disapprove; polls indicate support for rail but I concerns about implementation I 1999 --------+------Friends of Marolt Park, a non-profit I organization, filed a lawsuit against USDOT I CDOT, Aspen, Pitkin County challenging the I decision to realign the highway across Marolt! Thomas open space I 1------Voters disapprove two measures : one to allow I use of government bonds to fund light rail, the I other to fund a busway 139

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Figure 4.7 (Cont.) 2001 ---------1-------Voters disapprove a measure to allow I construction of a 4-lane highway with designated I bus/HOV lanes across open space I 2002 ---------1-------Aspen and County voters supported a ballot I advisory question to keep the highway I alignment along the existing S-curves, not I across open space I 2004 ---------1------Construction to highway completed, widening I from 2 to 4 lanes from Basalt to Buttermilk, I with peak hour designated bus/HOV lanes 4.2.1.2 Basalt to Aspen Environmental Impact Analysis (EIS) Phase The EIS for the next planned highway-widening project, from just east of Basalt to Aspen was formally initiated in 1987 (Federal Register, 1987 p 34450). This EIS process continued through issuance of the Record of Decision in 1993. Roadway widening construction took place from 1996-2004. The DEIS was issued in August 1989 for the segment of the highway from Basalt to the western entry point into Aspen (the intersection of ih and Main Streets). The DEIS report stated that the project was needed to address roadway congestion and high accident rates The report examined six alternatives all involving highway expansion from two lanes to four except the No-Build alternative The DEIS clearly stated that it was a highway widening project. The first statement in the document was "The Colorado Department of Highway (CDOH) in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration is proposing to widen to four lanes an approximately 17 mile segment of Colorado State Highway 82" (USDOT ad CDOH 1989 p. S-1). 140

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The five build alternatives in the DEIS report varied in the route (also referred to as the alignment) through three areas: Snowmass Canyon, near the Aspen airport, and at the entrance to Aspen. All of the alternatives involved relocation of residences, environmental impacts, using lands from parks, recreation areas, etc., impacting wetlands, and other impacts (USDOT and CDOH, 1989, pp. 1-8). The DEIS alternatives all involved adding general purpose highway lanes, which refer to traffic lanes open to all motor vehicles. In contrast high occupancy vehicle (HOY) lanes are constructed for vehicles with multiple occupants and bus transit, and thus promote alternative modes of transportation. Response to the DEIS report was mixed. The record shows some citizens and groups opposed the roadway expansion plans; however, when put to a vote in 1990, Aspen approved a measure to construct the 4-lane roadway (USDOT and CDOT, l993b, Section I, Summary ofYotes). In April 1992, apparently in response to comments, the decision was made to defer the portion of highway near the entrance to Aspen to a separate environmental evaluation (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. Summary-1). Removal ofthe entrance of Aspen from this EIS seems to be a major decision point in this case study. The interview research reveals more about the reasons for the segmentation of the highway during the EIS process. The FEIS for the segment of Highway 82 from just east of Basalt to the Buttermilk Ski Area was issued in October 1993 With the segmentation of the entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor, the transportation project was reduced to approximately 15 miles in length (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, Summary-1). The FEIS evaluated several options: (1) No-Build, (2) expanding the two lane highway to four lanes with no transit improvements, (3) expanding to four lanes with bus/HOY lanes added to the three miles of the 15-mile project closest to Aspen and Park-and-Ride facilities, and (4) an option similar to option (2), plus multimodal transfer lot at Buttermilk, a transit envelope in the corridor, and a 141

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bicycle/pedestrian/recreational access trail. The fourth alternative was the Preferred Alternative (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, pp. Summary 8-9). The cost estimate for the Preferred Alternative was $104 million, including highway construction, right of-way, and transit equipment costs (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. VI-86). The alternatives to construct a rail system were screened out in the DEIS phase. This was significant because most, if not all, of the environmental impacts and costs were associated with the highway widening components that were included in all the alternatives. As importantly, the FEIS report questioned road widening as a long-term fix Adding lanes is generally a proven method of reducing both congestion and accidents. It is a viable solution that is often used to solve transportation problems but doesn't always get at the long-term causes and solutions to the problem. This solution can end up in the future just as congested as the problem it was designed to address (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. II-13). The FEIS report described controversy surrounding the EIS process, including opposition to expanding the roadway. Some members of the public wanted two or three lanes of highway constructed more quickly, at lower costs (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, Summary-12) The Record of Decision (ROD) for the Basalt to Buttermilk Ski Area EIS was issued in December 1993. It stated that the selected alternative for this segment of Highway 82 is widening the roadway to four lanes, with two lanes dedicated to bus/HOY traffic during peak hours, plus a transit envelope along the corridor (USDOT and CDOT, 1993c, p.l). There were a series of construction projects during 1996 to 2004 to expand the highway from two to four lanes from just east of Basalt to Buttermilk, near the entrance to Aspen (CDOT, 2004, pp. 1-2) 142

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4.2.1.3 Entrance to Aspen Environmental Impact Analysis (EIS) Phase The focus of this case study is the environmental impact statement process for the Entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor. As noted earlier, this roadway segment was originally included in the Basalt to Aspen EIS process; it was subsequently deferred to a separate EIS process apparently due to citizen and elected official opposition to expanding the highway near Aspen. This case study centers on the period oftime from growing opposition to highway expansion in the early 1990s to issuance ofthe Record ofDecision in 1998. This case study summarizes implementation of the decision document. The Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP) expressed community goals and interests. It was developed by over 400 citizens and adopted by the Aspen City Council, the Board of County Commissioners, the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission in January 1992. The AACP stated "Aspen cannot build its way out of traffic problems anymore than Los Angeles was able to solve its problems with ever larger and wider freeways." It included policies of balancing private and public transportation and creating less congestion in the Aspen downtown area Aspen (Aspen 1995a, pp. 1-2). In late 1992 and early 1993, Pitkin County Commissioners, Snowmass Village, and Aspen adopted Joint Resolution #396. The resolution was endorsed by the CDOT, Aspen Ski Company, Roaring Fork Transit Agency, and the governmental planning and public works departments. The resolution described the views of the elected officials and the other participating organizations. This resolution presented the transportation strategy for the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. It stated that the three government entities have been meeting to develop this strategy, known as the Snowmass to Aspen Transportation Plan. The resolution also 143

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stated that CDOT and Federal Highway funding had changed as a result of the ISTEA law, allowing more flexibility in the use of the funds (Pitkin County, 1993, p. 1 ). This resolution set out criteria that any transportation solutions for Highway 82 must be considered as part of an overall transportation plan, consider effects on mass transit use, provide incentives to reduce auto use, and that fixed guideway systems be pursued (Pitkin County, 1993, p. 2). The resolution included travel demand management, transportation enhancements, such as HOY lanes, maintaining Brush Creek Road as two lanes, purchasing of the Rio Grande right-of way, constructing bike/pedestrian facilities, and pursuing a peak hour dedicated mass transit corridor on Owl Creek Road. It also stated that there would be "every reasonable attempt to develop a fixed guideway system(s) between Snowmass and Aspen within the next two years" (Pitkin County, 1993, pp. 2-3). It also anticipated a possible passenger rail system from Glenwood Springs to Aspen in its endorsement of transportation improvements proposed by Glenwood Springs. It stated the endorsement was conditioned on any future by-pass or alternative vehicle route not precluding a rail system (Pitkin County, 1993, pp 4 and 9). In mid-1993, Aspen presented its Transportation Implementation Plan, which was a culmination of nine months of work by a broad-based citizen committee. The plan's focus was to design a transportation system for the Aspen area that met travel and environmental goals and was attractive. This plan was based on a number of earlier studies and analyses including, Aspen Transit/Transportation Development Program (1986), Roaring Fork Railroad Plan (1989), Aspen Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan (1991), Snowmass to Aspen Transportation Study (1992), and others. The plan's elements included changes to parking in commercial and residential areas, enhancing bus service, improvements to pedestrian and bicycle facilities (Aspen Area Community Plan Transportation Implementation Committee, 1993). 144

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A Citizen's Round Table Symposium was held in early August 1993. The summary of the meeting notes stated that general consensus points were reached, including holding traffic at current levels, exploring a fixed guideway system between the airport and Aspen, developing alternative modes of transit that were superior to the car, and others (Aspen Institute, 1993, p. 2). A transportation symposium was held in March 1994. The meeting summary stated that four project alternatives were discussed: (1) electric bus on guideway, (2) an ultimate system with possible components of high occupancy lanes, rail right-of-way, personalized rapid transit, etc., (3) fixed guideway to the airport and bus to Snowmass Village, and (4) fixed guideway to airport with skier transfer facility from Buttermilk to Snowmass Village (Aspen Institute, 1994a, pp. 3-6). The conclusion ofthis meeting synopsis stated, "Final consensus of Round Table: We do need to pursue mass transit to meet future transportation needs" (Aspen Institute, 1994a, p. 6). Another transportation forum was held in April 1994. The forum summary states "Four unrestricted lanes into Aspen and on Brush Creek is not an option" (Aspen Institute, 1994b, p. 2). It listed the key elements of the Upper Valley Transportation Strategy, including developing the appropriate transit system between Aspen and Snowmass Village and supporting the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS that included safety improvements, four-laning ofhighway, and use ofHOV lanes (Aspen Institute, 1994b, p. 3). It also delineated the decision makers: Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, and the Town of Snowmass Village plus the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Roaring Fork Transit Agency (RFT A), and the Aspen Ski Company (Aspen Institute, 1994b, p. 6). Lastly, it listed the legal support for transit, including the 1991 Joint Resolution, 1992 Intergovernmental Resolution #396, Basalt to Buttermilk EIS, Resolutions #61 and 62 that committed the decision makers to a one-half cent sales tax, and several adopted plans: Aspen Area Community Plan (1992), Aspen Area Transportation Implementation 145

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Committee, and Vision Plan, Town of Snowmass Village (1993) (Aspen Institute, 1994b, p. 7). These community meetings and actions by elected officials, during this early 1994 period, indicate an intensive, if not an orchestrated approach, to influence the transportation decision-making process. The interview research sheds more light on what happened behind the scenes of this decision process. The archival research reveals strong support for alternative modes of travel for the Aspen area. Area residents also demonstrated their support for transit in the November 1993 vote. The voters passed a one-half percent sales tax for transportation improvements, including a dedicated, separate transitway from Snowmass Village to Aspen, increased bus service, transit parking facilities (park and ride facilities), and purchase of the remaining right-of-way for possible future rail use (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-4). Earlier votes also supported public transit services, including the 1972 Aspen election approving a mass transit sales tax and the 1983 similar Pitkin County vote. In addition Aspen voters approved a measure to support a county plan for light rail in 197 5. However, support for alternative modes is not consistent in the election results. In 1984, Pitkin County voters supported expanding the highway to four lanes and in 1990 Aspen residents approved a measure to construct a four-lane roadway (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). The archival research shows a team was apparently created to support the Aspen Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village elected officials. This team is referred to as the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team. On March 10, the team issued a memo to the Snowmass to Aspen decision makers. The "decision makers" or "DecisionMakers" is the name of the coalition formed by elected officials of Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village. The memo summarized how the county, city, and town agreed to work together on transportation issues, who the decision makers were, legal st a tus of the decision makers, the groups 146

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involved in developing a transportation system, what issues go to the decision makers, a set of procedural guidelines for meetings and process, and notes relating to "The starting point for developing the fixed guideway system" (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, p. 5). It seems clear from this memorandum that the decision makers believed they were empowered to make the transportation system decision for the upper portion of the Highway 82 corridor. The document indicated that CDOT, RFTA, and the Aspen Ski Company were involved, but only as non-voting members of the decision making group (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, pp. 1-2). It was also clear that a transit system would be built. Even though the light rail transit option was expensive, it will be considered (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, pp. 1-6). Later research indicated this group of decision makers changed their name to the Elected Official Transportation Committee (EOTC). In March 1994, the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team issued a memo describing the results of interviews and group meetings on community involvement. The memo indicated a significant amount of support for mass transit; however, there was frustration over perceived "mixed messages from government decision makers." It also concluded that "The community is very fragile right now," and that some key constituents didn t feel government decision makers would take their concerns seriously (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994e, p. 1 ). The memo highlighted some ofthe mixed message concerns centering on the county commissioners' perceived attempt to change COOT's plan to widen Highway 82 to four lanes from Basalt to Tieback. This was apparently a top priority to some people. Another mixed message related to air quality concerns. Many people voted for the transit tax in the fall of 1993 and they wanted this honored by the policy makers. Some were confused by elected officials opposing the federal government's position on particulate matter, an air pollutant. Some people viewed this opposition as "The elected officials don't believe or don't care that there is an 147

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air quality problem, (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994e, p. 2). The EIS process was formally initiated for the Entrance to Aspen in February 1994 The Federal Register notice stated that the project included transportation improvements to Highway 82 from the Tiehack Ski area to the intersection of ih and Main, located at the entrance to downtown Aspen The notice stated that alternatives being considered included: no action, improving the existing highway, widening the highway, fixed guideway, transit enhancements, and/or combinations ofthese alternatives (Federal Register, 1994 pp. 8670-1). The archival research shows that Centennial Engineering Inc a CDOT project consultant began to coordinate meetings and prepare meeting summaries in early 1994. A meeting to discuss the scope of the EIS was held in February 1994 (Centennial Engineering, 1994a) and a public meeting in March (Centennial Engineering, 1994b ) CDOT' s project team was called the Mount Sopris Transportation Project. As early as February 1994, the project team issued a travel origin and destination study report that included traffic count information (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1994, p. 1). In August 1994 the project team issued a letter to the City of Aspen proposing a schedule for the EIS process (Trapani, 1994a p 2). At this point, CDOT seemed to be well organized with its consultant in place and formation of the Mount Sopris Transportation Project team, headed by Ralph Trapani, CDOT's project engineer. The elected officials group also appeared to be well organized. In May 1994, Jim Hooker, the mayor of Snowmass Village, wrote an essay in the Snowmass Sun newspaper highlighting the work of the team, comprised of himself, Aspen Mayor John Bennett, and Pitkin County Commission Chair Bob Child. His essay focused on developing a transit option for the Aspen area and asking voters for approval in the November elections. He stated that they will identify a system 148

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" which best fits our needs and our pocketbook" and that the team will develop a financial plan and voters will be asked to approve it (Hooker, 1994, p. 4). Not long after the Snowmass Village mayor's essay another forum was held to evaluate funding alternatives for a proposed light rail system in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area (Community Matters, Inc., 1994a, p. 1 ). One of the documents prepared as part of this June 1994 financing forum was a diagram of potential funding. The diagram indicates that there would be approximately $17-20 million in sales tax and paid parking ($2 million per year). The other possible funding sources include: RFTA ($2-3 million), Aspen Skiing Company ($8-10 million), state and federal funds ($18-25 million) and an unknown amount from congestion pricing for a total estimated project cost of over $60 million (Community Matters, Inc., 1994b, p 5). These records indicated there may be sufficient local and federal funds to finance the light rail system. Another indication of well-organized efforts by the local elected officials was publication of a booklet titled Getting There from Here. The booklet was issued in July or August 1994. It described the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project including the five-year goals comprised of travel demand management, enhancements to existing transportation systems, and a fixed guideway system (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, p. 4). It also identified the Decision Makers directing the project and described past activities and some activities leading up to the November election (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, pp. 5-7). The booklet also discussed traffic congestion levels, the cost of driving, and the estimated costs for the transportation solutions (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, pp. 8-15). The local newspapers provided coverage of the Highway 82 activities over the course of its history. Of particular note is an opinion piece in The Aspen Times, by Su Lum, in August 1994. Lum critiqued the planned November ballot measures. She highlighted the estimated cost of the "transit way" linking Aspen the airport, 149

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and Snowmass Village, saying it will be over $30 million, far more than the $18 million that the ballot measure is expected to gamer. The ballot measure will ask voters if the current transportation tax could be used for the transit way. Lum indicated that voters were being misled into believing that the ballot measure would cover the costs of a busway that would later be converted to rail; however, both proposals far exceeded the expected revenues She referred to a possible ballot measure by Jeffrey Evans, a proponent of using the transportation tax for expanding Highway 82. She criticized misinformation, saying, "The reason behind the desperation and high level fact-bending hocus-pocus now in progress is the fear that voters might approve Jeffrey Evans' initiative to divert the transportation tax to speed up construction of a Highway 82 four-lane between Basalt and Aspen." She also criticized the other anticipated ballot measure asking voters which route they wanted the highway to take: along the existing alignment or across the Marolt property. She declares that this is also a ploy to divert voters' attention away from the issue of how to cover the cost of the proposal to their preference for the alignment (Lum, 1994 p 7). Another public forum, an open house, was held in September. One of the project consultants, Community Matters, Inc., issued an interoffice memo summarizing responses to a questionnaire. The memo indicated that 34 of the 50 attendees responded to the Community Matters Inc., questionnaire. The respondents preferred the two-lane unrestricted roadway option over the four-lane unrestricted option In addition, the respondents favored the two additional lanes if the lanes were for peak bus/HOV or dedicated transit (Community Matters, Inc., 1994c, p. 1). The Technical Advisory Committee, formed as part of the EIS process, appeared to begin its meetings in September 1994. Attendees were from several agencies and firms, including City of Aspen and Pitkin County, FHWA, Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project COOT, Centennial, etc. (Centennial, 1994c, p. 150

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i i I I I i i I I I I l I I i I i I i I I I I I I i j I I ! 1 ). At this meeting, Barry Schulz, of Centennial Engineering, Inc., gave a presentation on corridor accidents. Ralph Trapani, CDOT, seemed to be the meeting leader. Joe Kracum, apparently a consultant with a firm referred to as DMJM in the meeting notes, gave a presentation on the Glenwood to Aspen Rail Corridor Feasibility Project. Kracum indicated that there was a Transit Council and that a newsletter would be issued shortly (Centennial, 1994c, p. 1 ). The November 1994 election results showed that Pitkin County and City of Aspen opposed a measure for bonding authority to use the 1993 sales tax funds for the Aspen to Snowmass Village transit plan (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a p. S-4). Voters also disapproved a measure allowing a four-lane roadway into Aspen across open space. The other defeated measures would have allowed a bus way across open space and relocation of the existing highway near Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). An article by Gill J. Rudawsky in The Aspen Times highlighted the November election results. All the transportation-related measures failed, including one favored by Jeffrey Evans asking to use local sales tax money for highway expansion and measures asking for approval of a mass transit plan for the upper valley and separate ballots items asking to allow the mass transit line or the new highway segment to cross Marolt open space. Aspen Mayor Bennett is cited as saying he believed the citizens still supported transit, they just need a clearer plan than was presented in the ballot measures (Rudawsky, 1994, p. 1). Another Aspen City Council member, Rachel Richards also indicated she didn't consider this a defeat. She claimed it was a half-victory, because some of their campaigning efforts were to defeat Evans' measure for roadway expansion (Rudawsky, 1994, p. 11 ). The archival research shows that public meetings continued. There were a series of presentations on the Entrance to Aspen EIS beginning on January 27, 1995, at the Friday Men's Lunch Club. Meetings were also held in February, March, and May. Meeting presentations included overviews of the process required by the 151

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NEP A, the alternatives being considered, and the evaluation process (Kracum, 1995a-1995e ). The elected officials group also continued its work. A key memorandum issued in March 1995, by the Transportation Project summarized decisions made by the Decision Makers groups over the past 2 Y2 years. The memo stated that Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village entered into a joint resolution in 1991 to develop a transportation plan for Aspen to Snowmass. The memo highlighted the resolution goal to reduce and manage traffic levels. The Decision Makers group also included nonvoting members from CDOT, RFTA, and the Aspen Skiing Company (Transportation Project Team, 1995, pp. 1-2). The memorandum also described staff participation, stakeholders and public involvement, and use of the halfpercent transit sales tax. In addition, it identified the issues that would be presented to the Decision Makers group and the group's authority. Lastly, the memo listed the performance criteria appearing in a 1992 intergovernmental agreement. These criteria emphasized mass transit solutions. The memo included three additional guidelines adopted in 1994: (1) maintaining vehicular traffic at 1994 levels (2) complying with Clean Air Act requirements and (3) the unacceptability of constructing four unrestricted lanes (Transportation Project Team, 1995, pp. 2-6). Another key point in the EIS process seems to be the development of an agreement between CDOT and Aspen The agreement, signed in April 1995, was for "a Cooperative Process Contributing to the Entrance-to-Aspen EIS." This agreement was prepared to support further citizen education and involvement in the EIS process It was endorsed with the cooperation of Pitkin County. It recognized Aspen and the Town of Snowmass Village's goals of alternative transportation and improving safety and reducing congestion, air pollution and other automobile impact. It also recognized that many highway users support automobile accessibility and that citizens were concerned about quality of life and the 152

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i I I I I I I I I I I l I I i I I I environment. The agreement set out educational and planning activities, including facilitated meetings, open house meetings, transportation charette, and a public forum to engage all stakeholders and other interested parties (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, pp. 1-3). The parties agreed to work together on the project and to identify funding sources for the preferred alternative to be developed through the EIS process. In the agreement CDOT reaffirmed that "funding of alternative transportation projects and enhancements through federal and state funding sources is consistent with the principles of IS TEA and should be supported as committed to in the EIS" (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, p. 4). The agreement stated that Aspen endorsed the project objectives that were developed for the EIS, appearing as Attachment A, dated March 1, 1995 (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, p. 2) The project objectives included community-based planning, achieving 1994 traffic levels by 2015, safety improvements, minimizing environmental impacts, meeting non attainment requirements, etc. (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, Attachment A) This agreement formally endorsed the community's goals, including the objective to keep traffic levels at 1994 volumes. Copies of the internal draft environmental impact statement (EIS) were released as early as May 1995. The Technical Advisory Committee received copies at its May 23 meeting. Copies of the April agreement between CDOT-Aspen were also distributed (Centennial Engineering, 1995, pp. 1-2). An editorial in The Aspen Times in June 1995 focused on local versus state/federal decision-making. "The question of whether main responsibilities of government should reside with local community authorities or with distant state and federal governments is, of course, one of the most hotly debated issues of our era." The editorial posited that state and federal officials should consider the needs and concerns of those affected by decision-making, particularly where there was no broad national or state impact. It stated that CDOT presented alternatives that were really variations of the option to expand Highway 82 to four lanes directly into 153

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Aspen, thus increasing air pollution and exacerbating parking problems. The editorial also highlighted a recent debate between city and CDOT officials that "forced a more innovative city-preferred alternative to the four-lane straight shot back into consideration. The editor summarized the debate in these colorful terms: Distant government bureaucrats with pat formulas or state engineers interested only in building the model highway of their college dreams should not be allowed to ride roughshod over the needs and desires of the people and community most affected by their acts" (The Asp e n Times (1995) p. 22-A). This editorial honed in on one of the most influential factors in this examination of the Highway 82 decision making processes, the role of the community and local government. As the archival research progressed, the ability of local government to influence the modal outcome became more and more apparent. Aspen continued its efforts to clarify its preferences and to influence CDOT. In June 1995, Aspen City Council passed a resolution specifically requesting that a new alternative be analyzed in the EIS process The new alternative, referred to as Alternative G was comprised of intermodal parking facilities, an emphasis on transportation demand management developing a transit route, traffic calming measures to enhance pedestrian travel etc. The resolution specifically stated that a four-lane highway into Aspen would increase vehicle trips into Aspen and would violate the project objectives agreed to by the City and CDOT (Aspen, l995b, pp. 1-3) The Aspen resolution requested that CDOT not limit the screened DEIS alternatives to variations of a four-lane highway (with or without bus/dedicated vehicle lanes) It states further: that under no circumstanc e s should a four-lane be considered until the kinds of measure cont a ined in Alternative G have been built, implemented and tested. If these measures were to prove 154

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unsuccessful, only then should other options, including a restricted four-lane, be considered (Aspen, 1995b, p. 4). This 1995 resolution refers to an October 26, 1992, Joint Resolution (#396), adopted by Pitkin County Commissioners, Snowmass Village, and Aspen and endorsed by CDOT, that highlighted incentives supporting alternatives to the automobile and use of mass transit and support for pursuing a fixed guideway system between Snowmass and Aspen. This 1995 resolution endorsed the community goal of holding auto traffic in 2015 to levels at or below those in 1994 (Aspen, 1995b, p. 2). Aspen's 1995 resolution also acknowledged that the city did not, but could have, objected to the segmenting of the Basalt to Aspen EIS. It states that Aspen cooperated with this EIS process and agreed to the four-lane highway alternative (Aspen, 1995b, p. 3). In June 1995, Aspen Mayor John Bennett sent a letter to Guillermo (Bill) Vidal, the Executive Director ofCDOT, and Bernard Buescher, Colorado Transportation Commissioner, transmitting the City's resolution and requesting that CDOT add "Alternative G" to the DEIS. Mayor Bennett's letter emphasized that the City wanted a more "enlightened solution to its transportation problems." It also asked that CDOT use the entrance to Aspen "as an opportunity to explore what the federal ISTEA legislation really means for the future of American transportation The letter also transmitted a copy of a recent The Aspen Times editorial because the Mayor believed it fairly represents the views of Aspen citizens (Bennett, J ., 1995a, p. 1). Prior to issuance of the DEIS, a series oftechnical reports were prepared, including, Alternatives Screening Analysis report (Centennial Engineering, 1995b ), Air Quality Analysis (CDOT, 1995a), and State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen Transportation Demand Model, (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p IX-1. 155

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Also during the period of time before issuance ofthe DEIS, there are several meetings and communications between local govenunent officials and the FHW A and CDOT. Aspen City Manager Amy Margerum summarized a July ih meeting with CDOT and FHWA officials in a memorandum. Margerum's memo recorded positions and statements made by several attendees of the meeting. Of particular note is that George Osborne of FHW A said he was committed to including the City s Preferred Alternative, Alternative G, in the DEIS. However, he said that FHW A and CDOT would make the final decision as required by law, but they would honor "the prerogative of Aspen to choose its own preferred alternative" (Margerum, 1995, pp. 1-2) Guillermo Vidal was cited as saying that he was committed to not building any alternative that the City didn't want, but that he was concerned that funds set aside for Highway 82 will be moved to other project "if there is not a reasonable project that can be built within a reasonable period of time" (Margerum, 1995, p 2). The consulting engineer was cited as saying that he had previously committed to including Alternative G in the final EIS but it needed to be refined. For example, he wasn't clear which transportation demand measures should be included (Margerum, 1995, p. 2). There was also a letter dated July 11th from Bill Vidal to Mayor John Bennett and Mick Ireland, Chairman, Pitkin County Board of Commissioners. This letter was in follow-up to the July ih meeting between FHWA, CDOT, Aspen and Pitkin County officials. This letter showed the concurrence of George Osborne, Division Administrator, FHW A. The letter stated that the recent meeting would help refocus efforts towards a collaborative process, resulting in a solution acceptable to all parties. Vidal stated that Aspen was correct in proposing its Preferred Alternative and that this alternative, Alternative G, would be included in the soon-to-be-released DEIS. The letter also recognized that this alternative would require great effort to meet the goal of no increase in traffic levels, but that CDOT was willing "to make 'G' work" (Vidal, 1995, p. 1 ). Vidal committed that CDOT 156

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will not proceed with an alternative which "is not acceptable to Aspen and Pitkin County." He apparently responded to an earlier comment in concluding, "It is not now, nor has it ever been out intent to force anything down your throats" (Vidal, 1995, p. 2). In July 1995, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners passed another resolution, this one requesting the new alternative (Alternative G) developed by Aspen be included in the EIS evaluation (Pitkin, 1995, p 1). Another key letter is a July 13, 1995, letter from Mayor Bennett to George Osborne and Guillermo Vidal asking for a letter of commitment that FHW A and CDOT will select "a preferred alternative for the Entrance to Aspen which the elected officials of Aspen can support." Mayor Bennett's letter also stated that Aspen appreciated the agencies' willingness "to provide for joint management of the EIS once the draft is released" and that Aspen intended to hire a staff person to work directly with Ralph Trapani, (Bennett, J., 1995, p. 1 ). The DEIS was issued in August 1995. At this time the project covered the 2-mile segment of Highway 82 from Buttermilk Ski Area to 7th and Main Streets near the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. I-1 I-2). The document incorporated the ten objectives developed by the community: (1) consideration of local community plans, (2) meet future capacity needs, particularly through mass transit and improvements for truck transportation, (3) reduce safety concerns along the S-curves at the entrance to Aspen, (4) minimize and mitigate environmental impacts, (5) fit community character, (6) be financially realistic, (7) meet Clean Air Act requirements, particularly for PMI 0, (8) provide for alternative emergency response route across Castle Creek, (9) meet the small town character and scale of Aspen, and (10) provide an alternative which allows for future transit options (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. I-3 I-4). The alternatives section of the DEIS stated that an innovative approach was sought; one that would provide a "balanced solution" including transportation 157

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management, transit, multi-modal centers, and incremental staging to help control single occupant vehicle (SOY) travel demand (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-5). The screening analysis had eliminated commuter rail: "Because of commuter rail s inability to operate efficiently in mixed-flow traffic conditions, this mode does not meet the capacity objective or the limited resources objectives. Also, there is a strong chance that diesel locomotives entering the City of Aspen are not consistent with local planning objectives. Commuter rail, however, may be a valley-wide solution and should not be precluded from future consideration" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-26). The alternatives were passed through a three-level screening process, resulting in several alternatives that varied the alignment, laneage, profile, and modes. The only laneage option to pass the screening was the new roadway alignment across MaroltThomas open space comprised of two general purpose highway lanes plus two dedicated transit/HOY lanes (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-8). The report stated that the general-purpose four-lane alternative was screened out because it, "does not provide the incentive for transit or carpool use that is essential ifthe traffic growth on State Highway 82 is to be controlled." In addition this option was not consistent with community goals and it would be disruptive to discontinue the planned bus/HOY lane at the Buttermilk Ski Area (USDOT and CDOT, 1995 p. 111-26). The alternatives are an "at-grade" crossing over the MaroltThomas open space or a "cut and cover" alternative. This latter alternative was a tunnel that extended for 400 meters below the open space property (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-43). The DEIS alternatives also included an option to improve the existing roadway and to construct only a transitway across the open space property. This option was included at the request of the Aspen City Council. The report stated that this option would meet project objectives "only if specific measures are taken to reduce the anticipated future vehicle demand" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-8). 158

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The roadway improvements in this option involved widening shoulders and travel lanes and flattening the S-curves near the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-9). The alternatives included varying alignments at different segments of the corridor. For Buttermilk to Maroon Creek Road, one option was the current alignment; the other added a separate transit envelope At the entrance point to Aspen several alternatives were along the existing highway alignment and several were more direct alignments across open space (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-9). The alternatives included a separate transit envelope, which was "right-of-way set aside for future technologies" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. S-11-S-12). The alternatives section of the DEIS stated that the transit alternatives wee flexible so they could be adapted to the selected technology. The transit alternatives included dedicated lanes, a separate transit way, or a transit envelope for self-propelled buses, electric trolley buses or light rail (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-21 ) In addition, the alternatives evaluated included transportation management measures, such as expanded bus service, pedestrian and bicycle amenities, preferential HOV parking programs, etc. (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. II-8-II-9). The DEIS screening concluded with three alternatives for the Buttermilk to Maroon Creek Road, one No-Action and two others, and for Maroon Creek Road to Aspen, the No-Action and six other alternatives. All the alternatives, except the No-Action alternatives, involved construction of two additional highway lanes that would be dedicated to bus/HOY traffic during peak hours (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. 111-31). This project was in a nonattainment area for the air pollutant PM10. PMlO is particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter. Aspen's State Implementation Plan (SIP) included transportation control measures to reduce vehicle miles traveled, including expanded transit services and paid parking in the core business area, use of clean sand for winter street sanding and more frequent street sweeping (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. IV-42). The DEIS stated that over 159

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80% of the PM10 problem was caused by vehicles on heavily sanded paved roads resulting in re-entrained dust (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. IV-43). The report stated that to meet conformity requirements, the Preferred Alternative must fall within the emissions ceiling as specified in the State Implementation Plan (SIP). This limited the transportation options to those that meet the 1997 PM10 emissions budget of6,337 kg/day (13,974lbs/day) (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. VI-19). The DEIS report stated that all the scenarios modeled would exceed the emissions budget if there was no change in the SIP measures and no change in roadway sanding practices and transportation management measures. The report stated that road sanding, transportation management, and change to the emissions budget must be addressed in the FEIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. VI20). There was a design charette held in mid-1995. The city brought experts together for this forum to work on issues that CDOT had identified associated with Alternative G, the alternative that Aspen asked CDOT to include in the DEIS. The experts tackled issues such as traffic conflicts as westbound trains and buses left Aspen (Ward, 1995, p. 2-A). The design charette developed a new alternative, referred to as Alternative H. Mayor John Bennett wrote to Ralph Trapani, the CDOT Project Manager in September indicating that Alternative H may be a good compromise option that could increase transportation capacity without some of the negative effects of roadway expansion (Bennett, J., 1995c, p 1). Alternative H involved a light rail system (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1) Alternative H represented a second alternative developed by the local community. This alternative was subsequently incorporated into an Aspen City Council resolution in December 1995 demonstrating the endorsement of the City's elected officials. The resolution recommended that CDOT select Aspen's Alternative H (Aspen, City of, 1995c, p.l ) This resolution included many of the same community, environmental, and transportation goals and objectives of the 160

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1992 joint resolution (Aspen City of, 1995c, pp. 1-3) Alternati v e H began at the Pitkin County Airport and ended at either the intersection of Galena and Main Street or at Rubey Park in downtown Aspen which was a larger segment of roadway then proposed in the DEIS (MK Centennial, 1996a, pp. 1-4) CDOT FHW A, and their consultants met in January 1996 to discuss the legal implications of adding Alternative H to the EIS Notes of the meeting indicated that the extension of the project from the intersection of Main and Galena streets in Aspen to Rubey Park, "would likely create significant impacts and require a SDEIS (emphasis in original). It also indicated that a reevaluation of the Basalt to Buttermilk FEIS would need to be done once the Entrance to Aspen preferred alternative was selected (MK Centennial, 1996a p 1). The records indicated that CDOT and FHW A agreed with Aspen and decided to pursue changes to the EIS process requiring a supplemental EIS report In February 1996, there was a meeting with representatives from Aspen, Pitkin County, CDOT, RFTA, and several consulting firms. The supplemental draft EIS (DSEIS) process was described. A public comment period and public hearing would have to be held and these comments would be incorporated into the FEIS according to the meeting notes (MK Centennial, 1996c, p 1 ). In April 1996, MK Centennial, one ofCDOT's project consultants prepared a technical report for the DSEIS titled, Technical Memorandum, Evaluation of Phasing Options for Alternative H-Entrance to Aspen DSEIS. The technical report memorandum stated that phasing was being considered "because financial resources may not be available to build LRT, the stations, and the parking facilities at the same time" (MK Centennial 1996d p 1 ) The cost comparison showed that the non-phased alternative was the least expensive to construct ($32.1 million). Three alternatives involved an initial bus way and construction ofballasted track would be higher costs (ranging from $35.3 to $38 1 million), and the phased bus way with embedded track would cost the most ($44.5 million) (MK Centennial, 161

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1996d, p. 5). The a nalysis also examined options for continuing bus service during construction of the light rail system and the corridor cross sections (MK Centennial 1996d, pp. 5-6). The memorandum concluded that one ofthe phasing options would be incorporated into the draft supplemental EIS (DSEIS) (MK Centennial, 1996d, p. 7). This technical memorandum indicated that even though CDOT supported evaluation of the newly developed Alternative H, CDOT was considering proposals to expand the highway to four lanes (two designated bus lanes) until light rail was constructed (MK Centennial, 1996d). The phasing proposal was discussed at the May 1 Technical Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting notes indicated that CDOT preferred construction of the busway saying that it was realistic because CDOT could fund this alternative, but it couldn't fund the light rail system. As a result the SDEIS should present the initially lower costs of bus way and it should state that the ultimate solution was rail. The document also stated two meeting participants would prepare the initial, "politically correct version of the preferred alternative for the SDEIS. The meeting notes also indicated that changes to the air quality emissions factors now provided that all the alternatives would meet conformity requirements. And since the SIP emissions budget couldn t be changed a comparison of future projected emissions to the budget was not reasonable and as a result "CDOT will resolve this problem by showing that the future emissions of all alternatives (including the DEIS) are still consistent with the intent of the Clean Air Act" (MK Engineering, Inc ., 1996e p. 2). This meeting seems to be key to the preferred alternative presented in the SDEIS. It also indicates that all the alternatives to be evaluated in the SDEIS will meet the air quality conformity requirements. The DSEIS was issued in July 1996 This report was a supplement to the DEIS issued in 1995. It was prepared because of several new alternatives that were identified during the DEIS public comment period. Federal regulations required that a DSEIS be prepared 162

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if there are changes in the proposed action that would result in significant en v ironmental impacts not evaluated in the EIS or new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns and bearings on the proposed action or its impacts that would result in significant environmental impacts no evaluated in the EIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p S-1). The report stated that these new alternatives must be analyzed in the same manner as the DEIS alternatives (USDOT and CDOT, 1996 p S-1) These new DSEIS alternatives included the City of Aspen's Alternative H involving light rail transit the "Highway and Underground Transit Way Solution (HUTS)" alternative and an alignment option along the Denver and Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) right-of-way (USDOT and CDOT 1996, p. S-1) In order to provide for these new alternatives, the project scope was revised in the DSEIS, extending both ends of the corridor: northwest of Buttermilk Ski Area to the Airport and further into downtown Aspen on the other end to Rubey P ark. The report noted that because of the project extension to the northwest the DEIS project scope overlaps with the Basalt to Buttermilk Final EIS scope. The DSEIS project covers a distance of 4.3 miles (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1) The alternatives evaluated in the DSEIS were screened down to four alternatives These alternatives varied in the alignments and the use of open space lands. In addition, there was a new proposal to create a couplet that essentially split the roadway one route entering Aspen across open space and th e other route leaving town along the existing highway alignment. The other significant variation was the proposal to phase the implementation of light rail, first constructing exclusive bus lanes that were to be converted to light rail when funding became available The four alternatives were : (1) Alternative H (light rail, no phasing c ouplet alignment, at-grade) (2) Modified Direct (light rail, no phasing alignment a cross Marolt Thomas open space cut and cover) (3) Phased Alternative H (first phase bus, then 163

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light rail, couplet alignment, at-grade) and, (4) Phased Modified Direct (first phase bus, then light rail alignment across MaroltThomas open space, cut and cover). The DSEIS Preferred Alternative is the Phased Modified Direct" alternative (USDOT and COOT, 1996 pp. III-5-III-9). The proposals also included transportation management programs and parking facilities that will aid in reaching the 2015 goal of maintaining traffic at 1994levels (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p III-10). The air quality update in the DSEIS noted that EPA adopted a new PM1 0 emissions calculation method and that the conformity regulations required that the new alternatives be evaluated using the most current method, "even though the State Implementation Plan (SIP) emission budget, to which the new calculations are compared was calculated using the old method. Emissions estimates using the new method were significantly less than those obtained from the old method" (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. VI-16). The report noted that CDOT and Aspen had implemented air quality improvement measures that went beyond the requirements of the SIP, including paid parking in downtown Aspen, a cross-town shuttle program, no sanding of Highway 82 inside the City of Aspen, and use of non sanding deicers on the highway outside of the city. The new DSEIS alternatives were compared to the newly calculated emissions budget of 1,680 kg/day {3, 700 lb/day) and the report found that all the DSEIS alternatives conformed with the adjusted emissions budget (USDOT and CDOT 1996, pp. VI-17-VI-18). The social and environmental impacts were analyzed and presented in a summary table (Table VI-10, Summary of Quantitative Environmental Impacts). There appeared to be very little difference in the costs and social and environmental impacts. In this table the costs of the alternatives varies from $106.2 million for Alternative H up to $118.3 million for the Phased Modified Direct alternative. The main social and environmental impact differences were the amount of open space land impacted, right-of-way land needed, and other resources (USDOT and CDOT, 164

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1996, p VI-45). And, as noted above, all the alternatives fell within the PM1 0 newly calculated emissions budget. Apparently in response to the DSEIS, the Aspen mayor sent a letter to COOT marked "Urgent and Confidential." The letter indicated that Aspen could support the language in the DSEIS that said the preferred alternative included light rail and iflocal funding was not obtained the project could be initially phased as a dedicated bus lane. It appeared this support was granted because the mayor was confident that funding already existed. The letter expressed concern with use of the title for the preferred alternatives "Phased Modified Direct Alternative (Bennett, 1996 p 1 ). The title recommended by Aspen staff was "Modified Direct, Phased or Unphased." The mayor referred to Trapani having "sided with the County against the City on the most critical issue before us (Bennett J., 1996a p. 2). This letter indicated some disagreement between the mayor and COOT and issues between Aspen and Pitkin County The interview research will delve into conflicts between organizations that may have influenced the decision-making process. A July 19, 1996, news article in The Aspen Times indicated Aspen s satisfaction with the DSEIS. It stated that Ralph Trapani announced that the state had selected a light rail Preferred Alternative that would cost an estimated $113 to 125 million. Mayor Bennett's support was highlighted in the article: Today is a landmark milestone in the 30 years this community has debated Highway 82 and the Entrance to Aspen. I feel excited and very pleased, but at the same time I've got to temper that with the knowledge ofhow much we have left to go (Ward 1996a, p. 1-A). The article also overviewed the ballot measure that was needed to approve use of the open space lands (Ward, 1996a p 12-A). Mayor Bennett subsequently sent a letter thanking Ralph Trapani for his presentation at the July 18 press conference. He specifically thanked Trapani for emphasizing the environmental 165

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benefits of the rail alternative and for stating that "it will cost us less to build rail initially than to phase it" (Bennett, 1996a, p. 1 ). Another article focused on Ralph Trapani, highlighted CDOT's interest in meeting community needs and objectives. The article in the Roaring Fork Valley Magazine cited Tranpani as saying that the CDOT was one of the last agencies nationwide to change from a department of highways. The state agency had a long history of successful highway-building, and now Trapani was going to "embrace concepts such as mass transportation, light rail, and wildlife mitigation .... The article also highlighted Trapani's views ofthe communities as his "customer." He was quoted as saying, "The people in Aspen and the commuters are our customers, and it's our job to produce projects that satisfy the customer." He also said that the community had many decisions to make about the transportation route, whether mass transit is appropriate, and if so, should it be bus or rail. He continued saying, "The issue of light rail in Aspen is an issue of community character and what they want their community to look like" (Hubbell, 1996, p. 12). The archival research identified an internal document from CDOT to FHW A stating that the Elected Officials Transportation Committee (EOTC) endorsed the "Phased Modified Direct alternative at a September 6, 1996, meeting. This alternative consists of a two-lane highway that "includes a light rail system, that, if sufficient local support and funding are not available, can be developed as a phased bus way." The document says the EOTC endorsed this alternative on September 6. It document also highlights FHW A/CDOT' s position supporting this preferred alternative because it addresses safety issues caused by the S-curve, provides for additional transportation capacity, allows for future extension to a down valley rail system, and other benefits (Trapani, 1996, p.1 ). The EOTC is the group comprised of elected officials from Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village, that was earlier called the Decision Makers. 166

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In response to issuance of the DSEIS, the record shows several organizations expressing their preference The Pitkin County Commissioners, Aspen, and Snowmass Village issued a September 1996 Joint Resolution stating that the preferred alternative for the entrance to Aspen was the Modified Direct option and that design and construction should proceed forward without delay (Pitkin County, 1996, p. 2). The resolution set out commitments by the various government agencies. In this resolution Aspen, Snowmass and Pitkin County committed to developing a funding plan for the alternative with CDOT, FHW A, and FT A. Other commitments were the local elected officials would seek voter approval for the necessary funding and public open space use, seek private funding, pursue creation of a Regional Transportation District, develop the necessary transportation management measures, etc. (Pitkin County, 1996, pp. 4-5). The many conditions presented in the resolution included that valley-wide rail was the preferred technology and the entrance to Aspen project would be integrated with a valley wide rail system and the bus system (Pitkin County, 1996, p. 3). The resolution seemed to clearly state that the Preferred Alternative, the modified direct alignment option was acceptable provided that "no more than two widely-separated traffic lanes with adequate shoulders are constructed and a double rail platform provided" (Pitkin County, 1996, p. 3). This September 1996 resolution endorsed the Modified Direct alternative, without phasing exclusive bus lanes before light rail, and contradicted the early September meeting described by CDOT in its internal document. In that document, the EOTC apparently gave its support to the phased approach. The same month, EPA sent a letter stating that it "agrees the Preferred Alternative, the Phased Modified Direct Alternative, will have minimal air quality impacts" (Campbell, 1996, pp. 1-2). In addition, the Mt. Sopris Group of the Sierra Club and the Marolt Park Association expressed their opposition to the DSEIS Preferred Alternative in an October letter to Gov Roy Romer. The letter and 167

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attached position paper stated that the alternative was comprised of a six-lane right of-way that included two lanes of highway, two lanes for bus traffic and two lanes for possible future rail. The groups believed that this alternative was gross overkill, destructive of open space and the environment, and damaging to the character of Aspen. It further stated that the solution should include rail transit and traffic demand management as the first option and leave the alignment as it was currently with improvements to enhance traffic flow and safety (Mt. Sopris Group 1996, p. 1) There were several articles in the September/October 1996 time frame reflecting on the DSEIS proposed alternatives and the pending November elections. Lum's mid-September opinion article in The Aspen Times said the ballot measure would allow use of the open space for a two-lane highway with an envelope for future rail transit. She identified a new alternative Alternative I, proposed by Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland. The author indicated the community debate was over four or two lanes entering Aspen, bus/HOY lanes, and rail transit, and whether to keep the existing S-curve alignment or create a new more direct alignment across open space (Lum, 1996, p. 7-A). Robert Ward's article in The Aspen Times overviewed opposition to the ballot measure seeking approval to use Marolt open space for the two-lane with a rail envelope proposal. Ward indicated that the opposition was willing to approve a rail only alternative across the Marolt open space, but not a new highway. The article expressed the need to preserve the land by Yasmine Simmons of the Marolt Park Association. In addition, Simmons and Ed Zasacky representing the Mt. Sopris Group of the Sierra Club opposed the proposal because of large cottonwood trees that would be removed as part of the highway project. The Sierra Club apparently did not believe a new two-lane highway would address congestion issues and preferred that the rail alternative be built first (Ward, 1996b, p. 1-A). The article also cited Aspen city officials and state engineers as supporting the two-lane highway across the open space lands because it 168

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would ease congestion by providing better traffic flow City officials apparently also supported constructing the rail line and new highway together because then CDOT would purchase the right-of-way and build the platform and construct bridges for both systems. City Manager Amy Margerum was quoted as saying "The state feels the S-curves need to be fixed. In order to do rail, we will have to show we're solving that problem." The city manager also said the "two-lane with rail" proposal was not the solution everyone wanted but was "the best compromise we've come up with so far." The article also mentioned efforts to provide flexible funding, so that gasoline taxes could be used for both highway and rail. It also referred to Zasacky and his peers' plans to lobby Gov. Romer for flexible funding (Ward, 1996b, p. 13-A) Another article by Ward overviewed the October 9 forum on the November ballot items relating to the entrance to Aspen transportation project. The author highlighted the position of transit advocates (Charlie Tarver, Jamie Knowlton, and Howie Mallory) who supported a two-lane highway with light rail alternative. The article stated that Marc Friedberg, a local real estate broker, argued for expansion of the roadway to four lanes with two of the lanes dedicated as bus lanes. Friedberg advocated road widening as the way to ease congestion and allow for flexibility in the future (Ward, 1996c, pp. 1 and 8). In October, FHW A appeared to take a negative position on funding the light rail proposal. Meeting notes from the October 16 Technical Advisory Meeting indicated that Aspen would need funding assistance for the rail system to Brush Creek Road. It stated FHWA's position: "FHWA supports FTA exclusion from funding consideration due to the additional workload impacts, time delays, and political interference with project development." It also said that FTA involvement, "might lead to national platform and precedence for future highway projects involving transit facilities" (MK Centennial, 1996f, p. 1 ). 169

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Shortly before the November 1996 elections, Aspen Mayor John Bennett published a letter to the citizens of Aspen in The Aspen Times. He strongly argued that the town character would be greatly impacted by increased auto traffic. "What's at stake is nothing less than the spirit and soul of one of the most remarkable small towns anywhere .... He advocated for the solution, "The Parkway/Rail plan is a beautiful solution to a 26-year-old problem," which was developed by the citizens and not government. He committed to seeking funding from the federal government ifthe ballot measure was approved (Bennett, J., 1996c, p. 15-A). Aspen voters approved use of open space for "a transportation corridor" (USDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). Voters approved the Parkway/Rail Plan by a 60-40 margin. This plan involved a two-lane highway with a rail line crossing Marolt property (Ward, 1996d, 1-A). Mayor Bennett was cited as saying the proposal had the support of CDOT and the three upper-valley government entities. The article also overviewed opposition to the ballot measure that included those supporting a four-lane highway and others that didn't want to give up Marolt property for roadway (Ward, 1996d, p. 12-A). Soon after the elections, an announcement was made that the five mayors, representing all the municipalities in the Roaring Fork Valley, would go to Washington, D.C., to seek funding for a rail system for the valley (Ward, 1996e, p. 1 ). Aspen Mayor Bennett was cited as saying that he believed the proposal would fare well because the local governments' planned funding of the first portion of the project, estimated at $52 million would be a significant match for the overall project with a cost estimate of $130 million. The article also referred to the $4.9 million already raised, of the total $8.5 million needed to purchase of the Denver and Rio Grand Western Railroad right-of-way (Ward, 1996e, p. 12). A subsequent news article published in February 1997 in the Glenwood Springs Post overviewed the recent trip that local mayors made to Washington, D.C., seeking funding for a valley-wide rail system. The article indicated that U.S. Rep. Scott Mcinnis had 170

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agreed to sponsor the effort (Frey, 1997, p 1 ) In addition, Adler said that Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell agreed to support the project (Frey, 1997, p 12). The record shows continued efforts toward a valley-wide rail system. A November 1996 memorandum to the EOTC recommended emphasis on collaborating with other regional transportation efforts The memo proposed two new citizen task forces, public presentations and discussions, and information disseminated via newspapers, local TV shows, etc. (Hubbard, 1996, pp. 1-2). The archival research also identified continued opposition to the rail proposal. In November, Francis Whitaker of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Karen Chamberlain of Aspen wrote separately to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pefia about Highway 82 issues. Both take the position that the current roadway alignment should be used and that open space should not. They cite the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park case finding the park could not be used for the transportation project because an acceptable alternative was available (Whitaker, 1996, p. 1, and Chamberlain, 1996, p. 1). The FHWA responds to recent letters opposing the use of open space. The letter states the no-build and existing alignment alternatives do not meet the purpose and need of the project; particularly, they don't reduce congestion lower accident rates, nor provide for "an alternative emergency access route to Aspen" (Cleckley, 1997, p. 1). As a result these alternatives are not "prudent and feasible," thus they support development of other alignment alternatives. The letter specifically interprets the Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn., Supreme Court ruling as it applies to the Aspen situation (Cleckley, 1997, p. 2). The FEIS was issued in August 1997. The FEIS report stated that the purpose of the project was to "develop a transportation solution that addresses the transportation capacity inadequacies and safety problems. The FEIS stated that the roadway was substandard, heavily congested, and did not meet travel needs. The accident rate at the entrance to Aspen (the S-curves) was almost four times the state 171

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rural highway average and it was 149% of the urban highway rate. The report also indicated that traffic would increase and the roadway would be operating above its capacity (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p I-1). The report incorporated the ten objectives developed by Aspen City Council. For example, the project need was: The capacity of the existing transportation system is insufficient during peak periods. Safety, clean air, the visitor's experience, and resident's quality oflife are compromised. Another example was the project intent: "To provide a balanced, integrated transportation system for residents visitors, and commuters that reduces congestion and pollution by reducing and/or managing the number of vehicles on the road system. The system should reflect the character and scale of the Aspen community." The report also stated that the selected alternative would be consistent with the community goal of maintaining traffic levels at mid-1990s levels (US DOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-4). The Preferred Alternative presented in the FEIS was comprised of highway improvements, a light rail system, and a transportation management program. The highway component included a two-lane divided roadway that generally followed the existing highway alignment and then cuts across the MaroltThomas open space as it nears town. As it crossed open space it went through a tunnel that connected it to Aspen's Main Street. The rail line was aligned with or near the highway outside of town and then it traveled down the center of Main Street and onward along Monarch Street and Durant Avenue (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, pp. S-5-S-7) The transportation management system components included incentives and disincentives to encourage alternative modes of travel, including increased transit service, paid parking, and information programs This program would be implemented over time as traffic volume information indicated the need. The goal was to maintain traffic volume at 1993 levels (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-12). The Preferred Alternative also included the construction of two multi-modal parking 172

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facilities, Airport and Buttermilk multimodal centers (USDOT and CDOT, a1997, pp. S-5-S-14). The project cost was estimated at $160 million, of which $31 million was for the highway improvements, $52 million for light rail, vehicles, and the stations, and $68 million for the multimodal parking facilities (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, pp S-5-S-8). The executive summary highlighted that this Preferred Alternative was selected because it met "the local communities' needs and desires," as well as the project objectives. It also stated that the alternative "provides flexibility in future design decisions" (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-5-S-14). The report said several alternatives were screened out because they lacked community support (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. II-1). The report stated that the DSEIS included two phased alternatives that involved initial construction of a bus way before the light rail system was built. The report stated that the phased light rail approach was eliminated from further consideration because of lack of community and Aspen City Council support and because "The phased approach adds costs and unnecessary disruption to the Section 4(f) resources when compared to the non-phased approach The couplet alternative was also eliminated, leaving one alternative, the preferred alternative, comprised of the roadway crossing open space with light rail and the cut and cover tunnel and no phasing (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, pp. II-14-II-15). The Preferred Alternative didn't involve construction of additional lanes of highway resulting in no increase in roadway capacity (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p II-23) The assessment of environmental impacts indicated that the Preferred Alternative would meet air quality requirements, thus meeting conformity requirements. When using the new EPA emission factor, the other three alternatives, including the no-action alternative, evaluated in the DSEIS do not meet the recalculated State Implementation Plan emissions budget (USDOT and CDOT, 173

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1997a, pp. V-24-V -25). The other environmental impacts seemed to be similar across all the DSEIS alternatives. The Preferred Alternative had a higher impact on historical resources while two of the alternatives have a lesser impact to 4(f) resources than the Preferred Alternative (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-66). The FEIS stated that the Preferred Alternative would not require the displacement of any homes, while the other DSEIS alternatives would result in the taking of two households (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-14) The preferred alternative would require the relocation of one structure located on the MaroltThomas property (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-16). Responses to the FEIS report included a letter from EPA indicating it didn't have substantive concerns with the Preferred Alternative (Cody, 1997, p. 1). There was significant opposition to the light rail proposal. A December 1997 article in The Aspen Times overviewed the large number of comments opposing light rail. More than 800 comments on the FEIS were received by CDOT. Many of these were form letters submitted by residents of Redstone and Jeffrey Evans a noted anti-rail activist (Ward, 1997a, p. 1-A). The rail opponents cited reasons for their opposition, including concerns about noise, dust, vibration, costs, traffic congestion on the roadway; and insufficient population to support rail. Ralph Trapani was referenced in the article, saying that surveys and continued election of pro-rail council members led him to believe that rail was still supported (Ward, 1997a, pp. 1-A and 12-A). He also indicated the ROD would have a flexible final alternative; specifically "his record of decision will allow a fallback transit option-that of dedicated bus lanes to run alongside Highway 82" (Ward, 1997b, p. 12-A) Trapani's reference to a flexible final alternative appears to be discussed as early as August 1997 Aspen's city attorney sent a letter to CDOT's attorney commenting on a "c o nditioned" final decision document, the Record of Decision (ROO). The city attorney indicated that the City didn't have a major concern with this condition in the ROD, but it argued that it was not necessary because the ROD 174

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didn't obligate federal funding. Concern was expressed that the conditional ROD may preclude highway improvements, such as the roundabout at the Maroon Creek intersection, that are exempt from NEP A and thus would not be held up by the condition of transit funding. The letter offered several suggestions that would mitigate concerns ifCDOT proceeded with a conditioned ROD (Worcester, 1997, pp 1-2). This idea of a conditioned ROD appeared in the public venue in an October news article. The Aspen Times article overviewed recent interest by the County in an alternative plan for the entrance to Aspen corridor should the rail proposal not be implementable. The article stated the Pitkin County Financial Advisory Board sent a letter to County Commission Chair Bill Tuite, recommending the county seek a contingency plan that would include expanding the highway with two designated lanes for bus/HOV. The letter suggested that if the ROD couldn't include this contingency, then the decision document should be delayed until the county vote on rail. The article indicated that Commissioner Mick Ireland supported the recommendation. In addition, Aspen Mayor John Bennett was not opposed, but didn't think such a contingency would be needed (Ward, 1997b, pp. 1-A and 9-A). 4.2.1.4 Final Corridor Decision Shortly before issuance of the ROD, COOT and FHWA entered into agreements with the City of Aspen and with Pitkin County These documents stated they were intended to describe the agreements between the parties in order to move the Entrance to Aspen project forward. This agreement reiterated the commitment that the project would not be implemented if the alternative was not acceptable to the City (COOT, FHWA, and Aspen, 1998 p 2 of 12, and COOT, FHWA, and Pitkin County, 1998, pp. 2 of 5 4 of 5). The agreements also described mitigation 175

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actions each agency will undertake (CDOT, FHWA, and Aspen, 1998, pp. 2 of 12-12 of 12 and Pitkin County, 1998 pp 2 of 5 4 of 5). The ROD for the Entrance to Aspen project was issued in August 1998 The Preferred Alternative was developed from the Modified Direct Alternative appearing in the DSEIS and the Preferred Alternative developed in the FEIS The report stated that the FHW A and CDOT decided to create a variation of the Preferred Alternative analyzed in the DSEIS The ROD Preferred Alternative was comprised of roadway improvements, a rail transit system, and an incrementally implemented transportation program. The deviation from the DSEIS Preferred Alternative involved a specific condition The transit component includes an LRT system that, iflocal support and/or funding are not available, will be developed initially as exclusive bus lanes" (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, p. 1 of 37). The report summarized the reasons for the final decision, "COOT and FHW A have chosen the Preferred Alternative because it best meets the local communities' needs and desires, fulfills the project objectives, and provides flexibility in future design decisions (USDOT and CDOT, 1998 p 7 of37). The ROD also included the final assessment of project impacts to lands such as parks, open space, historic properties, etc. This assessment was referred to as a Section 4() analysis. This was a requirement of all transportation projects that impact these types of resources The ROD concluded that it was unavoidable that the Preferred Alternative will impact nine resources seven owned by the City of Aspen, one by Pitkin County, and one privately owned. Actions to minimize harm to these resources were identified (USDOT and CDOT, 1998 p. 25 of37). T he report stated that there were no alternatives that met the project purpose and need, thus there was no feasible and prudent alternative' (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, p. 26 of37). The Record of Decision also summarized the public involvement activities including public meetings, open houses presentations to elected officials and 176

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citizens, and formal public comment periods. These public involvement activities occurred throughout the EIS process. The report said that over 950 comments were received on the final EIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, p 2 of37). The ROD incorporated the two Memorandum of Understanding documents between CDOT, FHWA, and the City of Aspen and one with Pitkin County. As noted above, these two agreements describe the agreements between the parties in order to move the Entrance to Aspen project forward (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, Appendices A and B). The years after the ROD show continued community debate and conflict. There were several more elections, continued pressure by Jeffrey Evans, a rail opponent, and a lawsuit by the Friends of Marolt Park, a non-profit organization. Despite the continued controversy there were several components of the project that were implemented. Randy Ready, Aspen's Assistant City Manager, reported in March 2003 that the Maroon Creek roundabout and pedestrian overpasses, conveying easements to CDOT, and other facilities were successfully completed (Ready, 2003, pp. 1-7). Another major component of the project was replacement of the aging Maroon Creek Bridge. Contracting for this work was under way in March 2005, during the writing of this dissertation. There had also been noted progress towards a valley-wide rail system. The Corridor Investment Study, the valley-wide study, was under way. However, progress toward construction of a light rail system at the Entrance to Aspen seemed to have slowed to a snail's pace. More information about implementation of the Entrance to Aspen EIS was presented in the full case study chronology appearing in the Appendix (Appendix F). Figure 4.7 is a timeline depicting the major events and decisions, including the relevant local elections. 177

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4.2.2 Archival Research Key Actors As with the Southeast Corridor case study, the archival research for the Entrance to Aspen project identified a number of individuals and groups that seemed to play significant roles in the decision-making process. The following paragraphs highlight these individuals and groups with a short summary of their role. In addition, individuals that served in roles allowing them to observe or participate in important meetings were included in the following paragraphs. Candidates for the interview phase of research were initially drawn from this listing of likely key actors or participants Once the interviews began, the interviewees were asked to identify other influential individuals and groups. The archival research identified several government entities that seemed to significantly influence the Entrance to Aspen EIS, including Pitkin County, City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village, Colorado Department ofTransportation, Roaring Fork Transit Agency and Aspen Ski Company The elected officials group played a very important role in the EIS process. The May 1994 essay by Jim Hooker, the Mayor of Snowmass Village, highlighted the work of the team, comprised of himself, Aspen Mayor John Bennett, and Pitkin County Commission Chair, Bob Child (Hooker, 1994). These elected officials should be excellent individuals to interview to gain a deeper understanding of who influenced the decision process for the Entrance to Aspen project. COOT's project team was called the Mount Sopris Transportation Project. The project team was headed by Ralph Trapani, CDOT's project engineer. Trapani should also be an ideal interview subject. During the summer and fall of 1994, several key people appeared in news articles including Jeffrey Evans, a critic of the rail proposals; Aspen Mayor John Bennett ; and Aspen City Council member Rachel Richards (Lum, 1994, p. 7, and Rudawsky, 1994 p. 11 ). 178

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A June 1995 letter by Aspen Mayor John Bennett to Bill Vidal, the Executive Director ofCDOT, and Bernard Buescher, Colorado Transportation Commissioner, indicates that these individuals were key players (Bennett, J., 1995a). The review of records before issuance of the DEIS identified several other important government officials. Amy Margerum, the Aspen city manager, wrote a memo about a meeting with George Osborne of the FHW A. Both of these individuals seemed to be important to the decision process (Margerum, 1995). Also prior to issuance of the DEIS report there were several meetings and correspondence identified during the archival research Margerum summarized a July 7, 1995, meeting with CDOT and FHW A officials. Margerum's memo recorded positions and statements made by several attendees of the meeting, including George Osborne and Bill Vidal (Margerum, 1995). Again, these government representatives seemed important to the EIS decision process. In addition, Vidal sent a letter confirming his support of Alternative G. He sent this letter to John Bennett, the Mayor of Aspen, and Mick Ireland, Chairman, Pitkin County Board of Commissioners (Vidal, 1995, p. 2). This letter inferred Ireland was also a key participant in the decision process. EPA's letter on the DEIS was from Carol Campbell, head of the NEPA group. She may have played a key role in the decision processes (Campbell, 1996). In addition, the Mt. Sopris Group of the Sierra Club and the Marolt Park Association expressed their opposition to the DSEIS preferred alternative in an October letter to Gov. Romer. These two organizations may have played important roles (Mt. Sopris Group, 1996) The news media also played an important role in informing and perhaps influencing public opinion. Robert Ward, a reporter for The Aspen Times, wrote a number of articles during the period 1995-97. He ma y be a good candidate to interview. 179

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An article by Ward indicated the specific names representing the special interest groups noted above. The article expressed the need to preserve the land by Yasmine Simmons of the Marolt Park Association In addition, Ed Zasacky, representing the Mount Sopris Group of the Sierra Club, opposed the proposal because oflarge cottonwood trees that would be removed as part of the highway project (Ward, 1996b). In an October 1996 article, Ward identified several transit advocates: Charlie Tarver, Jamie Knowlton, and Howie Mallory. The article also highlighted the views ofMarc Friedberg, a local real estate broker, who supported expansion of the roadway to four lanes with two of the lanes dedicated as bus lanes (Ward, 1996c, pp. 1 and 8). The archival research also identified continued opposition to the rail proposal. In November, Francis Whitaker of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Karen Chamberlain of Aspen wrote separately to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Peiia about Highway 82 issues (Whitaker, 1996, p 1, and Chamberlain, 1996, p. 1 ) A February 1997 article in the Glenwood Springs Post overviewed the recent trip that local mayors made to Washington, D.C. seeking funding for a valley-wide rail system. The article indicated that U.S. Rep Scott Mcinnis had agreed to sponsor the effort (Frey, 1997, p. 1 ) In addition, Adler said Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell agreed to support the project (Frey, 1997, p. 12). It would be valuable to interview Rep. Mcinnis and Sen. Campbell. An October 1997 news article in The Aspen Times overviewed a Pitkin County Financial Advisory Board letter to the County Commission chair Bill Tuite Tuite may have played a key role in the decision process for the project (Ward, 1997a, pp. 1-A and 9-A). 180

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Randy Ready Aspen's Assistant City Manager, seemed to play an important role within government. He had reported in March 2003 about the status of implementation ofthe Record ofDecision (Ready, 2003, pp. 1-7). The archival research identified many other individuals and groups; however, these paragraphs present those that seem to play a key role or to be in a position to significantly influence the role in the decision process. And in some instances, individuals were identified that served in roles where they may have observed who made the decisions and how they went about it. 4.2.3 Interview Research The interview phase of the research was aimed at completing the chronology of influential people and organizations, and the significant events and decisions involving the Entrance to Aspen project. Twelve individuals were interviewed for the case study. Three were business representatives, one of which was a local news reporter. Another interview subject was a member of a special interest group. Nine of the interviewees represented government; four were elected officials The large number of government representatives was primarily because the archival record and early interviews indicated that the government entities were the most influential in the decision-making process. This strong influence by government officials was expected because most large transportation projects were public projects. This was also observed during the Southeast Corridor case study However, the Entrance to Aspen case study reveals a very strong role by local government representatives As a result, many of the interview candidates were specifically chosen because of their role in local government. Two of the government officials worked at the state and federal levels in transportation-related position. Another interview subject represented the regional 181

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transit agency and two were from the City of Aspen. In addition, there were two elected officials from the City of Aspen and two from Pitkin County. The summary of the interviews appears in the following paragraphs. As with the Southeast Corridor case study, this summary is organized in the same manner as the interview questions. It initially describes the factors that the interviewees felt were the most influential in the decision processes. The summary then presents the interview answers relating to the individuals and organizations that were most influential, any significant conflict, the technical data and analyses, and finally, the appropriateness of the final mode of transportation selected. In many cases, the interview gave similar answers. Where the interviews were in general agreement, this is indicated as a strong level of confidence that the events actually occurred as depicted. Where there is a diversity of opinions, this was included in the summary Table 4.2 is a summary of the responses to the interview questions. The interview subjects were asked what factors, including community goals and objectives, federal and state government agency needs, land use patterns, people's travel preferences, and political interests, influenced the Entrance to Aspen EIS projects the most. In addition, they were asked what constraints or rules, such as federal transportation laws, federal environmental impact statement requirements, and federal and state funding constraints, had the most impact on the decision processes. 4.2.3.1 What Factors Most Influenced Decision-making? Local politics and public opinion and preference were considered the most influential factors by most of the interviewees. Six interview subjects said politics or political preference were significant factors in the decision process. One interviewee specifically listed Aspen and Pitkin County as important factors. Five 182

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said public opinion or preference was key, and five said community character or community goals were important. One interviewee said the community's "fear of change" was paramount, meaning people were afraid of anything new or different that would change the community's character. Three interview subjects said special interest groups or citizen activists were important factors. Three mentioned transportation needs, including mobility, travel growth, transit service and convenience, and corridor needs in general. Several other answers aligned with corridor needs, including a community goal of safety, efficiently moving people in and out of town, conventional engineering, and growing "crankiness with congestion." Several interviewees said funding or funding constraints were important. Four people said it was an important factor, one said it was less important than other factors, and one said it was a critical factor. This latter interview subject said that when Aspen said it could provide local funding, it was very significant to CDOT. This person said "if the locals can fund a project, CDOT will build it" (Bennett, J., 2005). 183

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.. -------------._ _______ _ Table 4.2 Interview Summary Matrix: Entrance to Aspen Case Study Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? I Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and I Ana!Jses? I Government-City of Aspen, Pitkin CDOT, Aspen, Pitkin No significant No issues Yes, it was a NEPA I federal County public conflict decision where air transportation opinion, funding quality local politics , official and community were key I Government-Managing vehicle trips CDOT and FHW A gave Conflict ridden No issues, data Yes, the right state and accommodating significant responsibility to local between DEIS was factual decision transportation travel growth good government, as endorsed in ROD ; and DSEIS, and presented official mobility parking in Aspen Mayor elected officials lots of talking as simple as Aspen (EOTC) were key; business (ski and possible, company) had some influence; presentations funding was 00 FT A was shifting from rail to bus to work available to rapid transit so may have weighed through it; also get data and in some to support bus difficult time do analyses between FEIS and ROD Business-Local politics (Aspen Aspen, Pitkin, CDOT, and Tension Not entirely No the transition for local news has been trying to consultants, citizen groups (probetween factual some valley-wide bus to reporter decide how best to highway Friends of Marolt) were CDOTand unrealistic rail at the entrance to move people in/out of key; local businesses were active local projections to Aspen may not work ; town for 30 years), but on both sides of the modal government; support the short-term bus would environmental factors issue Aspen wanted desired have been better, rail (air pollution, use of transit and outcome (e.g. at the entrance would land), public opinion CDOTwanted transit be appropriate longwere key; public highway, some ridership data) term with valleyopinion drives politics differing wide rail so they are linked opinions within government

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....... 00 VI Table 4.2 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? Government Community goals, regional (e g., safety, livability), transportation politics, and the public official were key Government The "stars were local aligned" Clean Air transportation Act Amendments, official ISTEA, change from Colorado Department of Highways to Department of Transportation, citizen activists, air quality nonattainment status, and growing "crankiness" with congestion were important Most Influential Organization(s)? Elected officials and staff, CDOT and consultant teams had most influence, also citizens with strong views, business ski company supported rail, and to lesser extent Pitkin Commissioners Snowmass and transit ag_ency_ The EOTC was the most influential, Aspen had a major role, brought in consultants, etc., CDOT project manager was key with his focus on extensive and innovative community involvement, Aspen Mayor was a leader, keep the project moving ahead; strong citizen advocates were also important, usually these people got elected; ski company had a role, (e.g offering funding) but other businesses weren't well organized, didn t play much of a role, experts also played a role, such as the rail expert who said the existing entrance couldn't be used for rail, so open space became an option ; FHW A was 'behind the scenes,' not a strong role -. -------------------Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Conflict? and Analyses? but not significant No significant Some issues, Yes a good decision conflict such as rail is good minimizing alternative to replace cost the noisy, polluting projections to buses; it was good to fit within a have bus lane as a budget back-up EOTC spoke No purposeful Yes the overall goal with one issues, there is transit and there voice; there was a good has been lots of was conflict effort to be success like creation within the factual; one of transit authority community, issue was the and constructing the groups with initial valleyroundabout and differing views wide rail repairing Maroon (e.g., proalternative Creek Bridge; with highway, 'noalong the delay in builders,' 'the existing implementation, the just do alignment ; it rail advocates will something wasn't say the dream is group ,' rail realistic, they gone lobby etc.) learned this once they got better information -------___ _j

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----. ------------------------------Table 4.2 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Analyses? Government Community values, Aspen mayor was a driving force, Yes clashes The data was Yes it allows the county political interests, and Pitkin Commissioners played a between good quality flexibility for elected environmental role, special interest groups were special interest but far too alternatives rail and considerations (a less organized but had some groups; also much data, bus and the improved subset of community influence citizen opinion much was roadway is much values) were key; some was irrelevant to safer, (e g medians community values and conflicting as the public and with shoulders) political interests shown by (voters) overlap voting results; Aspen and Pitkin were generally in agreement -00 Government Local politics public Aspen influenced the project Yes, conflict Yes, data was Yes best decision as 0\ local plannin g opinion, and substantially (e g., public with the transit factual but a compromise ; in a official lead e r s hip (leade r s can relations, public forums rese arch agency there was too perfect world rail sway public opinion presentations etc.) EOTC was because it had much of it and was the best decision whether or not they are important, while CDOT and a bus culture' some was buses are not ideal elected officials) FHW A left the decision to the and Aspen irrelevant for a tourist economy community; special interest wanted rail groups and lawsuits also important, though differing positions; CDOT project manager and Aspen Mayor were both influential and when they left, the project 'fell apart' Business-Environmental factors, Aspen, Pitkin Commissioners, Some conflict Data was good No, the decision was local ski including community CDOT, ski company, and between quality, no too specific, it should company character and individuals, including Aspen CDOT significant have been more preserving historic, Mayor, City Council member, and (wanting road issues flexible, (e g decide small town were key; pro-highway advocate were improvements) the width of the

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. -----------------------"' ------. -----Table 4.2 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Ana!Jses? transportation influential; special interest groups, and Aspen corridor and rail serviceability and including Aspen Valley Land wanting rail solution and allow convenience were Trust, Friends of Marolt, etc., and road the alignment in the important, to a lessen were important; public opinion improvements, corridor to come extent budget, and was generally not so important, as secondary, later); better to have a conventional the City drove public opinion; while Pitkin decision that was engineering FHWA was very passive' wanted road priorities : rail bus improvements; then 4 lanes of traffic there was conflict between special interest groups 00 Government Funding is critical, the Aspen had a profound effect There was No purposeful Yes, good decision, -...,} local, elected project had local beginning with the Aspen Area continuous misuse of data would have been funding and COOT Community Plan, Aspen 'managed but data was better without the would build it if there convened forums, brought in conflict,' there used to 'conditioned' ROD, is funding; community experts, outreach to other was conflict support a butCDOTand goal of maintaining governments, formed the EOTC between position, (e g FHW A wanted the traffic levels was expanded study valley-wide, and Aspen and COOT's conditioned language important; special provided feedback to community; Pitkin, conflict original data interest groups COOT was also important, a with supported (NIMBY's) COOT sincere interest in community Snowmass, highway environmental values; business had a role, but to and with expansion the considerations were a lesser extent, particularly the ski opposition data could be also influential factors company chambers of commerce, groups interpreted etc another way to support rail) Government Politics, community EOTC were the most influential, Yes, special Data was Yes, most efficient local, elected character and funding they could bring in experts assign interest groups factual and best transit con s traint s were key staff etc. ; COOT ; Aspen Mayor had conflict sometimes, but option even with the

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_. 00 00 Table 4.2 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? Government-Political pressure county, corridor needs, elected community preference, and special interest groups were key Most Influential Organization(s)? was key, he would vocalize the goals, focus on problem-solving and rally the special interest groups; Aspen City Council and staff were also influential ; public opinion was also important, elected officials and special interest groups courted the public; special interest groups played a role, including Common Sense Alliance, Friends of Marolt protransit groups Sierra Club, etc.; the Board of Realtors and Chamber of Commerce played a small role ; FHWA didn't play much of a role EOTC was most influential; CDOT, the community, ski company and special interest groups were also influential ; businesses had less influence ; FHW A was not key Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Conflict? and Analyses? I 'it's how you conditioned ROD ; I ask the decision would I question ; provide bus lanes to I some accused be later converted to Aspen of rail I exaggerating I data, (e g ridership I projections) and some I perceived that I the transit I agency was I reluctant to I produce data that supported I rail; I governmentI produced data I is scrutinized so it has to be factual, this I isn't true of I special interest I groups _I Not initially, No issues with Yes, it was a I then conflict data, though compromise to keep I developed others say the 2 lanes and include between data was transit I Aspen and skewed CDOT towards the

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........ 00 \0 Interviewee's Background Special Interest Group representative ; business Most Significant Factors/Constraints? Fear of change in the community and misrepresentation and fraudulent information (e.g. statements that building highways will induce traffic) were most important factors --- - ---n--Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Organization(s)? Conflict? and Analyses? beginning desired when Aspen outcome didn't give land to CDOT for the project Aspen City Council was most Yes, Aspen Data was No the best decision influential ; CDOT was also key ; City Council tailored to fit was to build four Snowmass and Pitkin deferred to was in conflict the desired lanes with designated Aspen; others played a minor role with special outcome (e g., Bus/HOV lan es including the special interest interest CDOTmade groups groups, the including data/analyses Common support rail) Sense Alliance and Friends of Marolt

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Only three interviewees indicated that environmental factors were important to the decision process. The environmental factors mentioned were air pollution, air quality nonattainment status, use of open space, and community character and preservation of the historic, small-town aspects. One mentioned that parking in Aspen was an important factor. One interview subject said broader factors were also important, including the passage of the Clean Air Act amendments, IS TEA and the Colorado Department ofHighways change to the Department of Transportation, which involved a shift in the department toward more transit. From the summary of this interview question, politics and community interests seemed to be the most influential factors; however, interviewees indicated many other factors. The next interview question provides more of a consensus around which individuals and organizations most influenced the decision process. 4.2.3.1 Who Wielded the Most Influence? The answers to this question varied less than the previous question. The interview subjects generally agreed that the City of Aspen was a major player in the decision-making process. All the interviewees said the city, either through the mayor or city council, substantially influenced the project decisions. All but one of the interview candidates said Pitkin County had a role. Two of these interviewees felt the county's role was important but not as important as others, and one person said the county deferred to Aspen Snowmass Village was generally considered to be a key player because it participated on the Elected Officials Transportation Committee (EOTC). Five interview candidates said the EOTC was influential and two said Snowmass Village had a lesser role. There was also strong consensus that CDOT played an important role. Eleven of the 12 interviewees said the organization and/or project manager were 190

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influential. Two of the interview subjects said the department deferred decision making to the community. One interviewee indicated that the CDOT project manager was key because he was dedicated to involving the community in the decision process. Two interviewees specifically said FHW A also deferred to the community. This is supported by the archival research that found both agencies confirmed in writing they would not take actions that the local community opposed Interview candidates indicating CDOT and FHW A were giving the local community significant responsibility were asked why they thought this was the case. This research was not focused on why a particular organization might give up its decision-making authority, but the answers were interesting, though not conclusive The reasons included: there had been too much delay in the past, the state wanted to put its money where there was community consensus, "Aspen is so strong," and frustration with a community that can t make up its mind. The interviews indicated that other organizations influenced the decision process Six interviewees thought the special interest groups, including Common Sense Initiative, a pro-highway group, and Friends of Marolt, played a role Some felt they played a substantial role, while others indicated their influence was less than Aspen, Pitkin County, and CDOT. Eight of the interview subjects believed that business played a role. Most specifically named the Aspen Skiing Company as influencing the decision process and most felt the other businesses, such as the Chamber of Commerce, played a minor role. Some interviewees described the ski company's role as generally aligning with local government. The archival research showed that the ski company participated in the EOTC, though it did not have voting authority. One interviewee said the ski company's role was substantial because it offered funding to support the rail alternative. This was also identified by the archival research. A handout for the June 1994 financing forum said the ski company might provide $8 to 10 million in funding. 191

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One interviewee mentioned the role of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This person speculated that FT A may have influenced the decision toward the bus-lane alternative. One interviewee said that experts played an important role. The example given was the expert who explained how rail was not compatible with the existing roadway along the S-curves, thus leading to the search for a route across open space lands. While the Southeast Corridor case study revealed that most interviewees felt federal and state transportation agencies were the most influential, the Entrance to Aspeh case was significantly different. The Entrance to Aspen case was surprising because FHW A, charged with making the final decision under NEP A, didn't appear to play much of a role in deciding the modal outcome. As noted earlier, the archival research confirmed that both FHW A and CDOT deferred to the community (CDOT, FHW A, and Aspen, 1998, p. 2 of 12, and CDOT, FHW A, and Pitkin County, 1998, pp. 2 of 5 and 4 of 5). The Entrance to Aspen case shows that local government and the community wielded substantial power over the modal outcome of the EIS. The case study findings at the end of this chapter further analyze the factors that drove the modal outcome. In addition, the concluding chapter in this dissertation, (Chapter 5), reviews the similarity and differences in the three case study decision-making processes and attempts to describe what factors led to one case versus the other. 4.2.3.2 Did Conflict Impact Decision-making? Unlike the Southeast Corridor case study, most of the Entrance to Aspen interview candidates believed there was significant conflict that may have affected the decision process. Only two interviewees said there was no major conflict. Three interviewees said there was conflict between CDOT and Aspen because of 192

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their modal preferences; CDOT wanted to expand the highway and Aspen wanted transit. Two said there was noted conflict between Aspen and Pitkin County and with Snowmass Village, though another interviewee said there was no significant conflict within the EOTC; "they spoke with one voice." And one interview subject specifically said there was no major conflict between Aspen and Pitkin County. One person said there was conflict between Aspen and the transit agency, because of their different mode preferences; the Roaring Fork Transit Agency had a "bus culture" while Aspen wanted rail transit. There were noted conflicts between local government and special interest groups and between special interest groups. The election results also showed conflicting views over time within the community. In some elections, voters approved the four-lane proposal and in others, the rail proposal. It is not certain why the general populace had changing views. The special interest groups could have influenced voter preference. The elected officials appeared to sway opinion. There may have been other reasons why the general populace had conflicting views over time. 4.2.3.2 How Did the Data and Analyses Influence Decision-making? Again, this case study contrasts the Southeast Corridor case study. Half the interviewees believed there was some concern with the presentation of data and analyses. The Southeast Corridor interviewees generally believed the technical information was presented in a factual and unbiased manner. In the Aspen case study, five interview subjects said the data seemed to be used to support a desired outcome, such as exaggerated transit ridership projections or low cost projections to fit within an expected budget. One interviewee said he/she did not believe the data was "skewed," but was aware that other people felt that way. Two of the 193

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interviewees who felt the data quality was good said they believed there was far too much technical information and much of it was unnecessary. Some of these specific concerns about technical data and analyses are included in the regulatory framework discussion presented below. 4.2.3.4 Was It the Right Decision? Many of the interviewees believed the final decision to construct a light rail line and move the highway to the route across open space and provide improvements for better safety and traffic flow was the best decision. Many recognized this was a compromise decision with many benefits. One interview subject said the four-lane option with designated bus!HOV lanes was the best decision. This view was consistent with this person's position throughout the EIS process. One interviewee said the rail option was appropriate in the long term, once valley-wide rail was implemented. Until then, the designated bus lanes were appropriate. This was preferred because buses were successful in the valley and constructing light rail for the Entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor would lead to transfers for commuters from bus to light rail. Another interviewee didn't think the final decision was the best. This interviewee said the ROD should have been more flexible. For example, the ROD should have specified the width of the corridor and left open the exact location of the rail line. This person also said a better decision would have been modal priorities, such as defining the priorities first as rail, then bus, and finally four lanes of roadway 194

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4.2.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion 4.2.4.1 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Hypothesis and Planning and Power Models From the Entrance to Aspen archival and interview research, the local government institutions, community special interest groups, and public preference had the most influence in the decision process. These findings indicate more of a "community coalition," rather than the literature-derived coalition comprised of government, businesses, and other interest groups Therefore, the research hypothesis was not fully valid for this case study. The research indicated that the power in this community coalition did not rest solely with the elected officials. Two interviewees described the power play between the special interest groups. As the different proposals arose, one special interest group would side with another, giving the two groups sufficient votes and the ability to sway public opinion to give it a majority in one of the elections. When another proposal was put to the question, the same special interest group would partner with the other side. An example was when the rail option was put forth. The Friends of Marolt sided with those favoring four lanes of roadway (the "Four Laners"). In opposing rail, the two groups found common ground: the Friends of Marolt didn't want the alignment across open space and the Four-Laners didn't want rail transit. The tide turned when the proposal was to expand the highway to four lanes. In this case the Friends ofMarolt would side with the rail advocates. In this case, the Friends of Marolt, opposed use of open space, which was the only route that would accommodate an expanded highway. This model describing how the special interest groups changed partners over time has not been confirmed as part of this research, but it is interesting and may suggest further research into how special interest groups wield their power in decision processes. Some of the interviewees 195

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indicated that public opinion and elected officials' positions were linked. Public opinion likely swayed elected officials views and vice versa. The archival research and interviews supported the position that the elected officials, council, commissioners, and staff would sway public preference An Aspen government representative said the City consciously did this through developing community plans, vocalizing community-developed goals, holding public forums, bringing in experts to develop proposals, and rallying special interest groups. In addition, one interviewee noted some residents with strong opinions would successfully run for office, again showing the interconnectedness of public and elected officials' opinion. The research supports this concept of a "community coalition" comprised of local government, the general public, and the special interest groups, where collaboration within the coalition may change over time, thus changing its ability to influence the decision outcome. Figure 2.2 presents the proposed planning model. A revised planning model is presented in Figure 4 8 for the Aspen case study. This model depicts the overriding influence of the community coalition. In this planning model, the needs of the community coalition override the mandated rational, technical-based decision process. The community coalition wields such influence that it identifies its own goals and objectives, drives the data and analyses towards its own preferred solutions, and finally ensures the selected alternative meets its own goals and objectives 196

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Figure 4 8 Transportation Planning Model: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 (adopted from Figure 2.5 Meyer and Miller (2001) p 53) 'Community Coalition Identifies Goals and Objectives (Coalition comprised of local government, the community, and special interest groups) Identify Solutions Meeting Coalition's Goals and Objectives Identify Corridor Needs, Community Goals and Objective Aligning with Coalition's Goals and Objectives Generate Alternatives, Including Coalition-based Solutions Evaluate Alternatives, NEPA-like Process Select Optimal Alternative Meeting Coalition's Needs 197

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As with the Southeast Corridor case study, the research results indicate that the interrelationships within planning coalitions are very important. A conceptual representation of the power structure that drives major transportation decision processes is presented as Figure 2.4. This proposed model of power is tested to determine its validity. As noted above, the Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 case study indicates that the local government institutions were very influential. Businesses and special interest groups also wielded considerable influence on the modal outcome The general public also wielded significant influence through voting. These findings indicate that the conceptual power structure (Figure 2.4) is valid for the Entrance to Aspen case 4.2.4.2 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Factors Influencing the Modal Outcome 4.2.4.2.1 Regulatory Framework The Entrance to Aspen project was required to follow the NEPA process, as was the Southeast Corridor, because it was expected to be federally funded and to have significant environmental impacts The project followed the prescriptive process, including definition of the corridor "purpose and need development of alternatives, assessment of environmental and social consequences, public involvement, and finally selection of the environmentally preferred alternative The research showed that the Entrance to Aspen overall decision process followed the mandated aspects of the NEP A proces s ; however, there was evidence that use of technical data and some specific decisions deviated from the required rules and guidelines. First, the interview research indicated that some of the technical data and analyses supporting the en v ironmental impact statement documents were presented 1 9 8

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in a manner that supported a desired outcome. For example, COOT presented information originally supporting its preference for expanding the highway with designated bus/HOY lanes. This data could also be interpreted to support the rail transit alternative. There was also concern that Aspen exaggerated transit ridership projections to support rail and that the transit agency held back information that supported rail. Though the interview research was not conclusive, it highlighted an area for possible further research. This type of research was important because the accuracy of technical information was critical to the integrity of the decision process. The archival research identified changes to the air quality requirements that lessened the importance of the environmental assessment of the various alternatives In the early phase of the NEP A process, the air quality nonattainment status helped drive the alternatives towards transit. Reviews of subsequent technical reports and EIS documents revealed that the measures Aspen employed were lessening air quality concerns, such as addressing road sanding. With improved road sanding and sweeping, vehicles were not kicking up as much particulate matter to exacerbate air quality. Addressing causes of air pollution was important, but it was unclear how these improvements should influence the project modal outcome. As importantly, EPA revised the allowable emissions levels-the emissions budget for the area. When the later EIS documents considered the new emissions budget and the road sanding mitigation measures, all the alternatives met the requirements. One error seems to be that the alternatives screened out earlier in the process were notreexamined to determine if they also met the revised air quality requirements. From this perspective, air quality of the most significant environmental concerns for this case study--didn't influence the final modal outcome. This is not to say that the changes in air quality requirements should lead to highway expansion, but such significant changes warrant re-examination of alternatives developed early in the process. 199

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Another regulatory concern with the EIS process originates with the Basalt to Aspen EIS process that occurred before the initiation of the Entrance to Aspen EIS. As noted earlier, the scope of the Basalt to Aspen project was modified to exclude the portion of the corridor near Aspen in the early 1990s. The U.S. Department of Transportation's EIS regulations specifically address the scope of projects. The regulations state that the project shall, "connect logical termini and be of sufficient length to address environmental matters on a broad scope" ( CFR, 1997, 23 CFR Sections 1771.111(f) and (f)(1)). Jeffrey Evans, a local resident and advocate for the four-lane with designated bus/HOY lanes alternative, raised concerns about several procedural and technical aspects of the FEIS and ROD in a letter to FHWA (Evans, 2003). One of his concerns was the segmentation of the Basalt to Aspen EIS, the same concern noted above. The CDOT project manager stated in his interview that the division of the Entrance to Aspen project to a separate EIS was appropriate. He referred to another regulation stating that projects with "independent utility" can comprise their own EIS. He explained that the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS was primarily addressing roadway safety, while the Entrance to Aspen was focused on mobility (Trapani, 2005, and CFR, 1997, 23 CFR Sections 1771.111()(2)). The section of the rules that follows also seems relevant to this issue. It indicates that the project scope shall be sufficient so as "not to restrict consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseen transportation improvements" (CFR, 1997, 23 CFR Sections 1771.111 ( f)(3) ). It is not clear from this research effort if FHW A deviated significantly from the requirements, but this analysis suggests so. In addition to the CDOT project manager, several other interviewees said there was support for the separation of the Entrance to Aspen portion of the roadway to its own EIS. One city representative said that there was no opposition to segmenting the corridor at the time. He stated that Aspen had requested it (Ready, 2005). One Aspen elected official said when he met with CDOT's executive 200

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director in April 1992, the CDOT official said he had a mandate to four-lane the roadway to somewhere near Aspen. The CDOT official sought support from Aspen to proceed with the process to four-lane from Basalt to the Aspen Airport and then separate the Entrance to Aspen to a subsequent decision process (Bennett, J., 2005). Before leaving this regulatory concern it is interesting to review Evans' argument in another light. He posits that segmenting the Entrance to Aspen allowed for selection of a rail alternative, rather than the 4-lane with designated bus/HOV lanes alternative that was chosen for the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS. If the two segments of roadway had remained together, the Entrance to Aspen would have ended with the same EIS solution as the Basalt to Buttermilk section. The argument that it was inappropriate to segment the Entrance to Aspen EIS could also lead to the conclusion that the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS should have ended with a valley wide rail alternative rather than highway expansion. As the record shows, valley wide rail had been studied for years prior to the initiation of either EIS and the rail alternative had its own advantages over highway expansion. Perhaps as importantly, Aspen's ability to create a community coalition on the Entrance to Aspen indicates it may have had the power and influence to affect the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS modal outcome toward rail. It seems the EIS segmentation argument could gone either way. In his 2003 letter, Evans said the FHW A office in Colorado had responded to an earlier letter expressing concerns. Evans was not satisfied with the response and subsequently wrote to the FHWA Inspector General ofFHWA in April2004 and again to the FHW A in November 2004 (Evans, 2004a, and 2004b ). In the research interview with Evans he expressed frustration with the lack of satisfactory responses to his letters (Evans, 2005). The outcome of Evans' correspondence with FHW A, ifFHWA responds, should clarify if any of his technical and procedural concerns were valid. 201

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Other citizens also expressed concerns about regulatory compliance. Francis Whitaker of Carbondale, and Karen Chamberlain of Aspen, wrote to the U.S. Transportation Secretary in 1996. They both protested the use of parkland and open space for the Entrance to Aspen alternative. They cited an earlier court decision concerning the Overton Park in Kansas and asked for a position on whether or not the Entrance to Aspen alternative was contrary to national policy and the Overton case (Whitaker, 1996, and Chamberlain, 1996). The regulatory requirement relating to preservation of parks and open space is Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. It states that it is a national policy "that special effort should be made to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and public park and recreational lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites." It further states that impacts to Section 4(f) properties must be avoided if possible and that the Department of Transportation may only approve such projects if there is "no feasible and prudent alternative" (Public Law, 1966,49 U.S.C. Section 303, and CFR, 1997,23 CFR Section 771.135). Citizens and representatives of at least one interest group involved with the Entrance to Aspen EIS asserted that a feasible alternative is to improve the highway along its existing alignment at the entry point to Aspen. However, FHW A concluded in the ROD that there are no other feasible and prudent alternatives (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, p. 37 of37). In May 1999, Friends ofMarolt Park filed suit against the U.S. DOT, CDOT, Pitkin County, and Aspen challenging the decision to construct Highway 82 through publicly-owned parks and open space (U.S. Distict Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, p.1.) This research effort was not able to determine if the ROD decision deviates sufficiently from the requirements to support the plaintiffs position. However, the citizen letters and this lawsuit indicate future research may be warranted. Overall, the review of regulatory process requirements indicates that initially the regulatory framework drove the final decision toward the transit alternative. 202

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However, the air quality requirement became unimportant as the EIS process progressed, so it did not continue to have any influence on the modal outcome. The segmentation of the Entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor was critical, but it is unclear how it may have influenced the ROD decision. The technical and procedural issues raised by Jeffrey Evans and the Section 4(f) challenge brought by the Friends of Marolt seem to have merit, but they do not appear to have influenced the modal outcome. Despite their challenges, the ROD decision was opposite their preferred outcomes and to date the ROD decision has not been changed. 4.2.4.2.2 Transportation Corridor Needs The corridor needs were important to the decision process. However, this case study evolved in a manner that contrasted with the Southeast Corridor. The Southeast Corridor case showed that the corridor needs and community goals would be met by the light rail transit proposal through the Major Investment Study. Subsequently, the corridor needs were revised to emphasize mobility, and the state and federal government officials stated that these goals could only be met by expanding the highway. In the Entrance to Aspen case study, CDOT initially proposed expanding the highway and designating bus/HOV lanes during peak traffic. This was aimed to meet air quality, safety, and vehicular mobility. As the EIS process progressed, CDOT adjusted the project's purpose and need to include the community goals, such as maintaining traffic levels and retaining community character. Safety and mobility remained important goals, but CDOT determined that the improved two-lane highway, with medians and wide shoulders would sufficiently decrease accidents and increase mobility. This allowed CDOT to select the two-lane improved roadway with light rail, and thus meet the community goals and the corridor needs. Interestingly, in both case studies, the corridor purpose and 203

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need statement was significantly revised with one outcome changing the final decision from rail alone to highway expansion plus light rail transit, in the Southeast Corridor case, to light rail transit with a fall-back option of expanding the highway for designated bus lanes. Supporting the archival research findings, several interviewees noted that the corridor needs were important, including safety and mobility. In addition, community character and community goals were highlighted as major influencing factors by five of the interview subjects. In both cases, corridor needs seem to be an important factor in the decision-making process Another interesting difference between the Southeast Corridor and the Entrance to Aspen cases is the application of the corridor need "mobility. Both purpose and need statements emphasized mobility. The research uncovered that, to the Southeast Corridor decision-makers, "mobility meant vehicle mobility. The archival and interview research supported this interpretation as did the final modal outcome chosen For the Entrance to Aspen, mobility was interpreted to mean effectively moving people, meaning the mode of transportation was not preset in the word mobility. This view is also supported by the research findings as well as the selection of rail transit for the FEIS decision for the Entrance to Aspen. In summary, the addition of the community goals and the interpretation of mobility were critically important to the modal outcome of the Entrance to Aspen EIS. 4.2.4.2.3 Institutions During the case study time period, from mid-1990 to 1998 the key institutions didn't change substantively so it follows that institutional changes didn't influence the modal outcome for the Entrance to Aspen project. However, it is clear from the research, both archival and interview, that the local government institutions 204

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significantly influenced the decision process. As noted earlier, CDOT and FHW A essentially abdicate their decision authority by agreeing not to implement any corridor solution that Aspen didn't agree with. The EOTC, and in particular, Aspen took a leadership role in convening public forums, bringing in experts, formulating alternatives, and gaining agreement that these alternatives will be evaluated in the EIS documents. The research found that local governments wielded sufficient power to drive the modal outcome selection. On the other hand, the state and federal transportation agencies didn't demonstrate nearly the level of influence that they did in the Southeast Corridor case study. The disparity in these two case studies is even more interesting because these cases occurred at about the same time, with the same executive officials at the state and federal levels. The concluding chapter of this dissertation will look further into the case study disparities. The scope of the project and range of cost estimates may explain the differences in the cases, or other factors may be more important. 4.2.4.2.4 Project Costs and Funding The rail portion of the Entrance to Aspen project had an original cost estimate of about $60 million (Community Matters, Inc., 1994b ). Even though this project estimate was overshadowed by the $500 million to $1.2 billion cost estimate range for the Southeast Corridor case study, CDOT made it clear that it did not even have the funding to implement the Aspen project. Several interviewees believed that the project cost and funding were important factors in the decision process. And one interviewee felt that funding was critical because CDOT would implement the project ifthere was local funding. It appeared that cost and funding were important and it seems logical that CDOT would prefer local funding since it had 205

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only limited monies available The research suggests that funding may have been an influential factor in the final decision; however, it is not clear if the identification oflocal funding for the rail portion of the project swayed CDOT to select that alternative. 4.2.4.2.5 Political Setting The literature review indicated that elected officials would greatly influence the outcome of major transportation projects and in the Aspen case, local politics was critically important. As noted earlier, the local government entities wielded significant power. It is clear from the research that the elected officials had a significant hand in the decision-making. Several interviewees identified the Aspen mayor as a persuasive and effective leader. He built coalitions with other elected officials and with special interest groups and helped to orchestrate an extensive public involvement process. Several interviewees referred to him as a visionary leader who was able to sway public opinion and the state and federal decision makers. The research summary also highlighted the election results that reflected the views of the citizenry. And the research indicated that public opinion and the elected officials views were linked, so in a sense "politics" in the Aspen area can be viewed as the positions of the elected officials and the general public. Taken separately or together, the elected officials and public preference seemed to be critically important factors in the decision process. 206

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4.2.4.2.6 Businesses The archival and interview research shows that businesses had some level of influence. The Aspen Skiing company had the most power through its participation on the EOTC. In addition, its offer to provide funds to help i mplement the rail solution for the corridor gave the ski company even more influence. The other businesses and business representatives, such as the Chamber of Commerce, participated in the EIS process, but wielded limited influence This was similar to the Southeast Corridor findings 4.2.4.2. 7 Special Interest Groups The research indicates that sp e cial interest groups had significant influence. In particular, the Friends of Marolt group was able to sway public opinion against use of open space for the transportation solution. The Common Sense Alliance also seemed to have an influential voice. Some of the interviewees noted that when the interest groups aligned together, they garnered more votes-sufficient to swing an election one way or another. As described above the Friends ofMarolt, filed a lawsuit against the local, state, and federal agencies One interviewee mentioned that the lawsuit was an important factor in the decision processes The archival research sho w ed that the lawsuit challenged the decision to use the open space and park lands; however, the final decision involved use of open space From the research it appear s that the lawsuit didn t significantly affect the modal outcome. Overall, however the special interest groups seem to be able to sway public opinion and thus influence the decision process. 207

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4.2.4.2.8 Public Participation The Entrance to Aspen public involvement process was extensive, as described earlier. Several interviewees attributed this extensive process to the Aspen mayor's leadership and the efforts of Aspen City Council and staff. Several interview candidates highlighted the COOT project manager's commitment to a meaningful and effective public participation process. Some said he brought innovative community involvement ideas to the project. The project manager said that he had a sufficient budget to implement the public participation activities, and this was unlike other projects he had worked on (Trapani, 2005). As noted earlier, public opinion seemed to strongly influence the modal outcome. The implementation of an extensive public involvement seems to be linked to the strength of that influence. The archival research indicated that there was interest in public opinion. One specific example of this interest was the memorandum sent by the CDOT project manager to CDOT and FHW A officials. The project manager said the election had polarized the community and that, "CDOT's consensus building efforts will be even more difficult." Trapani also commented on how the election outcome may be used: '"No Build' advocates will use the negative vote on the use of open space for transportation ... to influence the Aspen City Council's position on any 'build' alternatives" (Trapani, 1994b, p. 1). In addition, the interview research also indicates that public opinion was an important factor in decision-making. Five ofthe interviewees said public opinion or preference was crucial. 208

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4.2.5 Concluding Remarks This case study revealed a considerable amount of information about the "how, who, and why" of the Entrance to Aspen EIS decision-process. Several factors that were expected to influence the decision process were revealed to have little or no impact in the final mode selection. Most important, this case study uncovered that a community coalition comprised of local government, the general public, and special interest groups essentially made the final modal outcome decision. This community coalition was influenced by the major business in the area the Aspen Skiing Company. The research also showed that CDOT and FHW A deferred the project decision to local government and the community. Regulatory requirements, specifically air quality requirements, seemed to drive the modal choice initially, leading to addition of rail alternatives to the early EIS documents; however, in subsequent documents, the air quality concerns became unimportant. Overall, the analysis of the regulatory process requirements indicates a "mixed bag" of influencing factors. As noted above, early on the air quality requirements were critical and then became unimportant. On the other hand, the segmentation of the Entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor was critical; however, it is unclear how it may have influenced the ROD decision. Further, the technical and procedural issues raised by Jeffrey Evans and others and the Section 4(f) challenge brought by the Friends of Marolt seem to have merit, but they do not appear to have influenced the modal outcome because the ROD decision was opposite their preferred outcomes. As presented in the preceding section, the proposed planning and power relationship models were modified to reflect the findings of this case study. 209

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4.3 South 1-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South 1-25) Corridor Case Study The South I-25 case study examined two significant transportation corridors in Douglas County. The I-25 segment of the corridor lies within the larger interstate highway system traveling the length of Colorado from north to south through the Denver metropolitan area. The case study focused on the 17-mile portion of the 125 corridor from C-470 to the southern limit of Castle Rock. The U.S. Highway 85 project is 16 miles long, similarly from its intersection with C-470 to Castle Rock (USDOT, 2001, p. 1). Figure 4.9 depicts the project scope and the final selected transportation alternative as it appears in the Record ofDecision issued in August 2001 (USDOT, 2001, p. 2-2). Both corridors were combined under one environmental impact statement (EIS) process. This EIS process was formally initiated in November 1998. This case study chronology focuses on the start of the EIS process through issuance of the final, revised decision document in October 2002. This chronology provides detailed information about the major events, key actors, and major decisions obtained from archival research. The final alternatives evaluated in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) were comprised primarily of highway expansion and other highway and interchange improvements. The total capital costs of the two build alternatives, the Preferred Alternative and Other Alternative, were estimated at $152 million and $178 million for both corridors, respectively (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 2-89). The decision document, the Record of Decision (ROD), did not include the project cost estimates, but there were similar to the FEIS cost estimates, because the ROD alternatives were modified versions of the FEIS alternatives. Douglas County was a rapidly growing county. The FEIS included population information. It stated the county population almost doubled from 1980 210

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to 1990, from 35,238 to 60,391. By 1981, the county's population was 142,000 and the estimate for the year 2020 was 385, 000 (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, p. 1-30). This chapter begins with a summary of the significant events, key actors, and major decisions relating to the selection of the transportation modes for the corridors. This summary draws from the archival research of the corridors. A detailed chronology of people, events, and decisions appears in the Appendix (Appendix G). Similar to the two previous case studies, interview research was conducted to confirm the results of the archival research and to examine the decision-making process in more depth. Interview candidates were identified by the archival research and from the interviews themselves. The section following the chronology of events highlights the results of the interview research. The section that follows evaluates the findings from the archival and interview research against the research hypothesis and proposed planning model. This chapter also evaluates the case study results against the factors developed in Chapter 3, that were expected to most influence decision processes This is the last of the three case studies that constitute this chapter. Chapter 5 evaluates all three case studies and presents the final conclusions. 211

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Figure 4.9 Project Descript i on with Selected Alternati ve: South I-25 Corridor Case Study (from Record of Decision p. 2-2) S O Summ ary S outh I-2 5 Corr i d o r a n d US 8 5 C o rr i dor FEJS Figure S.l South 1-25 Corridor and US 85 Corridor Stud y Are a I Arapahoe County Nor to Scale CoCJn/y Lim its .... PcJr
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4.3.1 Archival Research-Summary of Events and Major Decisions The following paragraphs briefly overview the major events and decisions revealed by the archival research. Figure 4 10 is a timeline depicting the major events and decisions. 4.3.1.1 History and Early Corridor Studies As with the other case studies the early studies of the corridors set the stage for the EIS decision-making process There were several key studies. The first identified from the archival research was an 1-25 corridor study, issued in 1983. The report evaluated future development and associated transportation needs in the corridor from Denver to Colorado Springs. The report noted that, while the 43-mile corridor was primarily rural, it was experiencing "tremendous development pressure, both on its northern end from the Denver metropolitan area and at its southern end from Colorado Springs (Parsons, 1983, p 2) The report noted that there was public transit service in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas and daily intercity bus service between the two cities "However public transit accounts for a relatively small percentage of travel in the corridor (Parsons, 1983, p. 12) 213

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Figure 4.10 Timeline ofMajor Events: South I-25 Corridor Case Study 1994 ---------/----Environmental Assessment issued for SH 85; decision I made to prepare EIS due to environmental impacts and I community outcry I 1998 ---------/------CDOT issued corridor study of I-25 from Denver to I Pueblo recommending independent studies between I Denver and Castle Rock and between Colorado Springs I and Monument due to lesser congestion in the rural I parts of the corridor I 1------Notice of Intent issued for S I-25/SH85 Environmental I Impact Statement (EIS) I 1------EIS process includes evaluation of rail transit, I highway widening and bus/HOY-lane options I 2000 ---------/------Rail study issued presenting options for U.S. 85 corridor I including low cost demonstration options up to I $150 million commuter rail proposal I 1------Alternative Evaluation Process report issued including I highway expansion rail, transportation manag e ment, I and bus alternatives I 2000 ---------/------Draft EIS issued including No Action and highway I widening alternatives and other highway and I interchange improvements, carpool lot, and provision I for future transit I 1------FHW A letter to EPA states that rail transit was I eliminated from cons i deration because it doesn t meet I purpose and need' and costs did not justify the benefits I oftransit 214

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Figure 4.10 (Cont.) 2001 ---------1------Final EIS issued including No Action and two highway I expansion alternatives (Preferred and Other), with I interchange improvements, bike/pedestrian trail along I US 85, carpool lot on I-25, provision of future rail, I etc.; bus and rail were eliminated from consideration I because low ridership would not reduce single occupant I vehicle trips to improve mobility I 2001 ---------1------Record of Decision issued; preferred alternative from I FEIS is chosen, comprised of highway widening and I other highway and interchange improvements, bicycle/ I pedestrian trail along U.S. 85 and carpool lot on I-25, I and provision of future rail; also includes a 'desired I alternative' that can't be selected until Regional I Transportation Plan is amended I 2002 ---------1------Revised Record of Decision issued to select the 'desired I alternative' from the 2001 ROD; comprised of I preferred alternative elements plus another frontage I road, more interchange improvements, etc., on I-25 The report presented a transportation plan with various proposals for roadway improvements within several growth scenarios: slow, moderate, and rapid growth. The transit analysis stated that even though growth was expected in the I-25 corridor, rail transit would not be warranted. "Even with projected growth in the corridor, inspection of overall trip making characteristics and the travel demand patterns indicates that a fixed guideway transit system is not warranted." It noted that only bus transit was considered in the study. The reported stated that the simplest approach to bus transit service would be to extend the existing service from Denver south and from Colorado Springs north (Parsons, 1983, p. 116). Another important report identified was the Environmental Assessment prepared in June 1994 for planned improvements to U.S. 85. At the time of this study, the highway was part of the state highway system. It was called State 215

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Highway 85. This early study was focused on actions to widen the roadway, correct design deficiencies, add acceleration/deceleration and tum lanes, implement access control, improve an intersection, and realign the highway at two locations. The environmental evaluation concluded that the proposed U.S. 85 project would require an EIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 1). The report described the air quality requirements, specifically the need to adhere to the relevant Congestion Management Plan and to conform to the State Implementation Plan (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 51). It also described the region's air quality nonattainment status for particulates (PM 1 0) and carbon monoxide. The information provided in this Environmental Assessment report indicated that the planned highway improvements would not lead to air quality issues (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, pp. 52-3). In 1995 the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) prepared a Corridor Feasibility Study. The study examined I-25 through Castle Rock, focusing on safety, accessibility, and efficiency of mobility. The report noted that Castle Rock was growing rapidly. Its population was expected to quadruple between 1990 and 2015. Its existing population was about 10,000. The report noted that Castle Rock was located about 45 minutes (driving time) south of downtown Denver. The report stated that the rapid growth would impact transportation and "necessitate a continuous review of transportation network needs" (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 1-1). The report noted that the recently enacted Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (IS TEA) required that transportation deficiencies could no longer be addressed solely by increasing capacity for single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) As a result the study included multimodal options (CH2MHill, 1995, pp. 1-1-1-2). The report described Castle Rock as a satellite community, and thus it was a "candidate for alternative transportation modes to connect the town with the primary attractions in Denver and its surrounding suburban communities" (CH2MHill, 1995, pp 2-3). The primary mode of transportation in town was portrayed as single216

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occupant vehicle travel, historically and at the time of the report, with limited bicycle and pedestrian facilities (CH2MHill, 1995, p 2-3). The report found that roadway capacity met the needs of existing traffic. The Level of Service rating for the highway was determined to be LOS C to LOS D. The report indicated that some improvements were needed, such as operational improvements at the Wolfensberger Road interchange (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 2-11). The future traffic projections to 2015 indicated that without major corridor changes, road conditions would drop to unacceptable levels, LOS F, along the I-25 corridor north of Plum Creek Parkway at the major intersections. The report noted that several forces might encourage development of alternative modes, including the town's association with jobs in the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver, ISTEA's focus on improving use of existing facilities before adding new capacity for SOV, and Denver's air quality non-attainment status for ozone and carbon monoxide. It also described ISTEA's restrictions on use of federal funds for projects that significantly increase SOV capacity. The only exceptions noted were projects incorporated in approved Congestion Management Systems (CMS) plan. It noted that the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) was preparing a "CMS to address methods to develop alternative modes within the region" (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 4-1). The report described an array of Congestion Management Strategies, including variable work hours carpooling and vanpooling programs, congestion pricing, land use planning and growth management policies. It also summarized transportation system management options such as improved bus transit services and bicycle, and pedestrian facilities (CH2MHill, 1995, pp. 4-1 4-5). The report noted that Castle Rock was not part of the Regional Transportation District, but it was expected to be included within the next 20 years. The report found that rapid transit was not likely within the next 20-year period; however, commuter rail was 217

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being discussed Heavy rail was not likely during this plalllling period; however Amtrak has shown interest in the study area (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 4-5). The report concluded that even with investments in alternative modes mobility levels in the corridor would still not be acceptable, as defined by unacceptable levels of service. As a result highway investments would be needed (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 4-10). The report also described the potential financing for corridor improvements. It stated that approximately $14 million of federal funding was available and some local funding possible. Due to these funding constraints, the report recommended a number of interchange improvements and changes. It stated that 1-25, north of the Plum Creek intersection, should be expanded in the future from four lanes to six lanes due to level of service projections. The report stated that the level of service projections for U .S. 85 did not justify highway expansion (CH2MHill (1995) p. 6-1). Several Congestion Management System measures were recommended for long-term implementation. These measures included trip-reduction strategies such as telecommuting and compressed work schedules. The report noted that 60% of Castle Rock residents commuted to Denver or its suburbs, so this strategy was expected to result in travel demand reductions. Other measures discussed included land use plaooing and growth management measures and improved bicycle, pedestrian facilities, and bus facilities (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 6-2). In April 1998, CDOT completed a study of the I-25 corridor, from Denver to Pueblo, titled, South Front Range Corridor Assessment Study, Final Report. The report was prepared in response to rapid growth in the area and the need for major transportation improvements (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 1 ). The corridor assessment study examined transportation conditions, future conditions, problems to be addressed, and possible alternatives and their feasibility. The study found that peak period congestion was highest in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas and at the I-25 and U.S 50 interchange in Pueblo with no routine congestion in the rural 218

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areas. It also identified limited bus and rail service and limited use of vanpooling and carpooling programs (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 3). The report highlighted the major environmental concern, the air quality nonattainment status of the area. It noted that Douglas County was part of the Denver metro-area that was in nonattainment for carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM1 0). In addition, the Colorado Springs area was in nonattinment for carbon monoxide (Wilson & Company et al., (1998) p. 5) Congestion projections showed deteriorating conditions for all portions of the corridor if no action was taken. Traffic congestion in Denver and Colorado Springs would increase by 50% over existing levels by the year 2020. Traffic conditions between Castle Rock and Monument and between Colorado Springs and Pueblo would be at Level of Service E, below the level considered "congested" (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 6). As a result, the report found that "there is no overriding need for improvements to span the whole corridor by 2020." It further concluded "Therefore, independent studies shall proceed to examine needed improvements between Denver and Castle Rock and Colorado Springs and Monument" (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 12). The report also stated the subsequent independent studies must examine the three most feasible alternatives identified in this study (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 12). The three most feasible alternatives selected were: general purpose lanes, HOV/toll (HOT) lanes and carpool/bus lanes (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 67). The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DR COG) prepared a Congestion Management System Implementation and Requirements in the Denver Region plan in April 1999. It stated that ISTEA set out requirements for development, establishment, and implementation of congestion management systems (CMS). It stated further that a CMS was a process for addressing congestion through "strategies to provide the most efficient and effective use of 219

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existing and future transportation facilities." CMS strategies included transportation demand management, traffic operational improvements, mass transit, information technology systems, and increasing system capacity. It further stated that in air quality nonattainment areas, "federal funds may not be programmed for any highway project that will result in significant increase in carrying capacity of single occupant vehicles (SOVs) unless the project is part of an approved CMS" (DRCOG, 1999a, p 1 ). Excerpts from a DRCOG document dated January 2000 included the congestion management systems (CMS) measures for the I-25 and U.S. 85 corridors located in Douglas County. The document noted that the I-25 EIS was under way. The document included a list of actions apparently underway or anticipated and a list of placeholder actions. It noted that the placeholder list might be revised during the EIS process. The document included a list of highway, transit, bus, and bicycle/pedestrian improvements relating to each corridor. The highway improvements included the current widening ofl-25 from C-470 to Lincoln, constructing slow vehicle lanes from Lincoln to Castle Pines Parkway, and maintaining the rest of the corridor to four lanes south to El Paso County. The placeholder list included further expanding the highway to six lanes from Castle Pines Parkway to approximately mile post 179. The transit actions included extending the light rail system to Lincoln and improvements to that station. Bus service changes included extending the bus service to feed into the Lincoln light rail station. There were a number of other CMS measures for the South I-25 corridor, many relating to highway efficiency. There was some mention of supporting light rail and other alternative modes, through rail pass programs and promoting joint development near rail stations. The actions and placeholders for the U.S. 85 corridor were similar to I-25 (DRCOG, 2000). 220

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4.3.1.2 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Phase The Federal Highway Administration (FHW A) initiated the EIS process by publishing a Notice of Intent in November 1998. The notice stated the EIS process would evaluate improvements to the roadway, specifically construction of new general purpose lanes, toll facility lanes, exclusive bus/carpool lanes, rail, transportation management options (such as transportation systems management, transportation demand management, and intelligent transportation systems), new and improved interchanges, and combinations of various alternatives (Federal Register, 1998b, p. 60039). The scope of the 1-25 project was from Lincoln A venue, at the north end, to Castle Rock. This scope was later changed to extend the northern end of the corridor to C-470 (Federal Register, 1999b, p. 631 05). This project scope change was needed to reflect the change in the Southeast Corridor project, which was located just north of the South 1-25 project. The EIS project meetings seemed to begin in late 1998. Several committees were formed: Project Management Team, Technical Committee, Issues Team, and Corridor Coordination Team. These groups met from October 1998 through March 2001, according to the FEIS (USDOT and CDOT, 2001b, Section 1, pp. 4-10). The meetings focused on a variety of topics relating to the EIS process. During the January 1999 Technical Committee meeting, there was a discussion ofthe criteria to be used to "eliminate unrealistic alternatives." On possible cost criteria, the meeting notes stated "It was suggested that a cost criterion be added to the first step; however, Ron Speral pointed out that cost cannot be an initial screening criterion under NEPA" (PBS&J, 1999b, p. 3). Ron Speral was a project representative from theFHWA. Another key meeting seemed to be the February 1999 Issues Team meeting. The group was discussing the evaluation methodology and criteria. The meeting notes described discussions on the models that will be used for the EIS analyses. It 221

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stated that the transportation model that was used must be consistent with Denver Regional Council of Government's (DRCOG's) transportation model. Questions were raised about the different land use projections, specifically DRCOG's and Douglas County's projections (PBS&J, 1999d, p. 1). The meeting notes also summarized congestion projections. The notes stated that the Denver Metro 2020 Plan showed the highway system would deteriorate over the next 20 years, even with the projected $6.9 million in improvements. Steve Rudy of DR COG was cited as saying "whatever is proposed for the South I-25 Corridor will not improve conditions in 2020 over their current conditions" (PBS&J, 1999d, p. 2). The April 1999 Technical Committee meeting focused on evaluating the alternatives. This meeting included a discussion of the second level screening process. The meeting notes described discussions of the rail alternatives. One highlighted issue was the proposal to employ diesel multiple units (DMUs), which were not in compliance with FRA requirements. If other train technology was used that was compliant, then it might not be consistent with the Southeast Corridor rail technology (PBS&J, 1999e, p. 2). The meeting notes for the June 1999 Issues Team meeting seemed to contradict some of the earlier Technical Committee rail discussion. Mark Thompson ofRTD presented information about commuter and light rail systems. He described diesel multiple unit (DMU) technology and noted that the technology can be compliant with FRA requirements. He also explained how commuter trains could operate with freight service. The notes indicated that the freight railroads were generally opposed to this (PBS&J, 1999f, p. 3). The Issues Team held a meeting on July 27, 1999, focused on the alternative packages at the third-level of review. The meeting notes indicated that there were seven packages at this point in the review process. The evaluation summary for the No-Action and No-Action with Supporting Measures alternatives showed they did 222

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not address congestion adequately. The special purpose" lane with bus service, package 4, was described as positive in that it supported driver behavior change and provided options for those currentl y not served ." On the other hand this alternative did not provide for a continuous travel mode at the north end This was apparently because the primary transit mode at the north end was light rail transit, a component of the Southeast Corridor project. The fixed guideway transit alternative, package 5 was touted for helping change driver behavior, providing travel options for those not currently served, encouraging transit, connecting to the Southeast Corridor light rail, good in all climate conditions, supporting growth, encouraging community-centered development and discouraging sprawl. The evaluation listed also indicated that this alternative would provide a "pleasurable low-frustration" option The only negative comment listed was that this option does not adequately meet local demand (PBS&J 1999g, pp. 2-3). Package 6 was comprised of general purpose lanes and rail transit. The final option package 7, consisted of general purpose lanes and rail transit. The comments about package 7 were that it only served long -term demand, didn't meet community demand, and supported community-centered development. The meeting notes stated that this list of comments would be sent to the Technical Committee on July 29 and a combined list of comments developed from that meeting (PBS&J, 1999g, pp. 3-4). The archival research identified another group the Transit Group, which met on July 29, 1999 focusing on transit issues along the I-25 corridor. The meeting notes indicated the packages analyzed i n the EIS process included commuter rail general purpose lanes, and special purpose lanes (bus and HOY lanes). The document stated the southern end of the Southeast Corridor LRT system had not yet been determined; it might be Lincoln Avenue or Arapahoe Avenue (PBS&J, 1999h, p. 1). The notes described discussion of the proposed rail technology IfDMUs were employed, there will be issues in downtown Denver because some of the lines 223

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have curves that are too tight for the vehicles. It also indicated that low transit ridership was discussed Ridership was projected to be low because there were no big population centers in the corridor (PBS&J, 1999h, p. 2). The Technical Committee met on July 29, 1999, focusing on the third level alternatives screening process. The meeting notes described discussions of the rail alternatives The meeting notes included a conclusion of the rail alternatives: The committee felt that fixed-guideway packages do not attract the ridership required to justify the cost of the package. It also stated that the alternatives to widen the highway with space reserved for future rail would "meet the current requirements (PBS&J, 1999i, p 3) The Technical Committee held a meeting on August 12, 1999, focusing on "Compatibility of Packages." The meeting notes described a discussion of the third level of evaluation. The meeting notes stated that the rail transit ridership figures were updated. It stated that a comment was made that the ridership numbers may be too low; however, these figures were the same as those used on other corridors (PBS&J 1999j, p. 1). The discussion focused on compatibility of the packages with the project Purpose and Need. It noted that the fixed guideway alternatives (packages 5 and E) should be eliminated from further consideration because they did not meet the mobility needs of the corridor. In addition, the packages with rail transit and highway expansion were "incompatible because of the intensity of the transit capital needed (PBS&J, 1999j, p. 2). The discussion also covered other transit alternatives, such as a bus/HOY lane on l-25 that would end at the northern end of the project, allowing bus riders and auto passengers to transfer to the light rail system or continue on the highway. The committee discussed the need for mobility and capacity criteria and it stated that the committee agreed that mobility criteria would be included and that hours of congestion may be the measure used, rather than LOS (PBS&J, 1999j, pp. 2-3). 224

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On August 17, the Issues Team met to discuss compatibility of the packages. The meeting notes described a discussion of packages that were considered incompatible because they don't meet the stated purpose and need. These include packages 1, 2, 5, A, and B. Packages F and 6 were considered somewhat incompatible because of the "intensity of the capital required for the package" (PBS&J, 1999k, p. 2). Late in August 1999, there was a joint meeting of the Issues Team and Technical Committee to discuss the preferred strategy for the project. The meeting notes included an estimated cost for the project. Mary Jo Vobejda of CH2MHill stated that there was no fixed cost figure, but that the range of $150-200 million should be used as a guide. This was the funding level that was not yet committed for transportation projects over the next 20 years (PBS&J, 1999m, p. 2). Common elements developed for the corridors were listed in the meeting notes. The list for I-25 included adding highway lanes and constructing rail. The U.S. 85 corridor list included adding highway and providing bus service at the north end and preserving future transit options (PBS&J, 1999m, p. 4). Then in September the Issues Team held a follow-up meeting to the combined Issues Team/Technical Committee meeting held in August. The Draft Preferred Strategy for the corridors was presented. It included adding one general purpose lane in each direction on both highways, constructing rail transit along I-25 and preserving the right-of-way for future rail on U.S 85, feeder bus service from Highlands Ranch to the Mineral light rail station, a rail demonstration project along U.S. 85, and consideration for wildlife focused on U.S. 85. The meeting notes stated that it was understood that some ofthe alternative components would not be built until after 2020 (PBS&J, 1999n, p. 2). Barry Schulz ofPBS&J overviewed the EIS process and noted that the Implementation Plan would include "those elements that are anticipated to be built, or under construction, by 2020" (PBS&J, 1999n, p. 2) 225

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During the September 16, 1999, Technical Committee meeting the Draft Vision for the EIS was presented. It included adding general purpose lanes to both corridors and constructing fixed guideway transit on I-25 and bus service on U.S 85 (Highlands Ranch to Mineral A venue), a rail demonstration on the existing freight line along U.S. 85, and other components. The notes of the discussion indicated the only rail component likely to be built in the next 20 years was the segment from the end of the Southeast Corridor south to the Rampart Range intersection. The meeting notes also indicated the agency that would operate and maintain the rail system had not yet been determined, but it didn't have to be RID (PBS&J, 1999o, p. 1-2). The Issues Team held a meeting on October 12, 1999 on, "Vision Analysis and Implementation." The meeting minutes stated "several essential concepts are emerging from the Implementation Plan development process." This list included considerations for the rail transit along I-25 It stated the rail line should be contiguous with the Southeast Corridor project and that participation in a transit authority, travel demand, and public and private funding sources should all be considerations. It also stated bus park and ride facilities should be considered to support interim bus service until light rail was constructed (PBS&J, 1999p, p. 3). Archival records uncovered a January 2000 report analyzing four rail options for the U.S. 85 corridor. The report was titled, The Construction Bypass: Commuter Rail Between Castle Rock and Mineral Avenue by John Valerio. The four alternatives presented in the report included a demonstration project and several commuter rail options The study area was the 19. 4-mile portion of U.S. 85 from Castle Rock to Mineral A venue, creating a connection to the Southwest Corridor light rail line. The study's goals were to provide a bypass for Southeast Corridor construction and to remove cars from the highway before they enter the metro area (Valerio, 2000, p. 1 ). 226

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The first proposed option was a 14-day demonstration project with limited trains operating on existing track. The cost estimated for this option was $411,000. Option B was a longer demonstration project, operating for six months or one year, again on the existing track. The cost estimates were $1.3 million for six months and $2.6 million for one year. Option C consisted of 14 trains operating daily, year round. The cost for the trains, some new siding, stations, signaling, bridge work and other improvements was approximately $40 million capital costs and $3 million annual operating expenses. The final option was similar to Option C and included 18 trains daily. Cost estimates were $150 million capital and $3. 7 million operating (Valerio, 2000, p. 1). The report noted the EIS Technical and Issues Committees expressed support for passenger rail service during the alternative analysis phase of the EIS. It stated the U.S. 85 corridor would be relatively low cost and met the planned project budget (Valerio, 2000, pp. 1-2). This report highlighted the purpose and need for the transit improvements, including a bypass during construction and travel-time savings, linking to the regional transit system, and passenger trip capacity (Valerio, 2000, pp. 3-4). The report also noted this project would be part of the larger rail corridor from Pueblo to Denver, referred to as the Joint Line. The Joint Line was owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. The rail lines were currently used for coal and general freight (Valerio, 2000, p. 7). The project vision was presented to the public in a March 2000 South 1-25 Corridor newsletter. The newsletter described the development of the long-term vision for the corridor and noted that not all elements of the vision could be constructed in the next 20 years due to funding constraints (PBS&J, 2000a, p. 1). The newsletter overviewed the alternatives being considered for the long-term vision including widening I-25 and U.S. Highway 85, fixed-guideway rail along I-25 through Castle Rock, a commuter rail demonstration project along 85, and 227

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improvements to interchanges, and other elements (PBS&J, 2000a, p. 2). The newsletter also defined the alternatives that would be evaluated in the EIS process. These alternatives were widening both corridors with other roadway and interchange improvements (PBS&J, 2000a, p 5) Jon Esty s article titled, "Pardon Me, Boy, Let s Match the Kansas City Choo-Choo appeared in the Denver Post on March 12, 2000 Esty highlighted the apparently low cost commuter rail project that was implemented in rapidly growing Johnson County, Kan. The 23-mile system was noted as operating on an existing rail line. Esty recommended a similar system for the U.S. 85 corridor, stating that it would only cost an estimated $24 to S40 million. He noted state and Douglas County local officials were supportive of the proposal but that there were no evident funding sources. Esty recommended a funding approach similar to the approach used in Johnson County. He suggested Douglas County purchase or lease the trains and Castle Rock pay for stations in their town that could also be used for rail, carpools vanpools, and regional bus service (Esty, 2000a, p. 1-I) Notes from the Technical Committee and Issues Team confirm that rail transit would not be evaluated in the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The March Technical Committee meeting notes stated transit would not be precluded It also stated land would be designated for future rail and Douglas County was being encouraged to work with developers to set aside land for this rail corridor (PBS&J, 2000b, p. 2). The notes from the May Issues Team meeting stated the DEIS would not include transit for the I-25 corridor; however option 3 would preserve the right-of-way on a portion of the corridor (south to Castle Pines Parkwa y ) for future transit. The alternatives planned for the DEIS included No Action, adding general purpose lanes adding general purpose lanes with interchange improvements and a frontage road, and other improvements such as new interchanges and frontage roads. The alternatives for U.S. 85 were similar to the I 25 corridor (PBS&J, 2000b, p 2). The meeting notes indicated that preserving 228

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right-of-way along U.S 85 was still part of the vision but was not included because it "either does not require environmental clearance through the EIS or is outside the 20-year timeframe of the EIS" (PBS&J 2000b p 3) The June 2000 Alternative Evaluation Process report described the three level alternatives evaluation process. As part of this process, the mode alternatives were evaluated against several criteria, including travel time, amount of right-of way needed, number of disturbed acres, ease of construction, capital cost, community and agency support, and ease of use. The alternatives were ranked against the criteria as "least favorable," "moderate," and "most favorable." The highway expansion alternative, involving adding one lane in each direction, ranked high in amount of right-of-way (ROW) required, acres ofland disturbed, ease of construction, and community/agency support. The two-lane expansion proposal was only ranked most favorable for the travel time criteria. The designated travel lane (bus/HOV lane) and the fixed guideway options ranked well for travel time, ROW, and land disturbed, and moderately well for ease of construction. The designated lane was ranked as least favorable for the community/agency support criteria, while the rail options were ranked most favorable. The cost ranking was best for adding one general purpose lane and least favorable for adding two lanes. The cost ranking was moderate for the designated lane and self-propelled rail option. The light rail alternative received a least favorable capital cost rating. The rankings were similar for the I-25 and U.S. 85 corridors (PBS&J, 2000d, pp. 50 and 52). Components of the options were combined into alternative packages. There were seven I-25 alternative packages and six U.S. 85 packages. The report analyzed the packages against 15 criteria, including the expected LOS of the highway, travel time, change in vehicle miles traveled, capacity, safety, noise and air impacts, etc. (PBS&J, 2000d, p. 59) The environmental analysis indicated the rail alternatives would result in significant decreases in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The VMT 229

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measure was used as an indicator of air quality impacts (PBS&J, 2000d, pp 101-1 ). The cost analyses showed that rail would be more costly than adding highway lanes but less than bus service, at $109 million cost for rail, $71 million for highway, and $124 million for bus (PBS&J, 2000d, p. 106). The travel times were presented in the Alternative Evaluation Process report. In the figures summarizing each package, the figures seemed to be incomplete for the I-25 corridor. Travel times for some of the rail alternatives were not included. Travel time data was complete for the U.S. 85 corridor. The data indicated that vehicle travel would take 63 minutes while rail would only take 25 minutes for the alternative involving highway improvements but no new general purpose lanes. The option with added lanes showed vehicle travel time of 45 minutes, still significantly slower than the rail alternative. The DEIS was issued in June 2000. The Purpose and Need was to address transportation capacity inadequacies and safety problems. The report stated that the problem statement for the corridors was developed from extensive public and agency involvement (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. S-1). The problem statement described the growing travel demand in Douglas County that overtaxed the existing roadway system. It also stated that "North/south travel options beyond the use of automobiles on I-25 and U.S. 85 are limited." The specific problem statements for each corridor highlighted congestion, delays, and accidents that were exacerbated by adverse weather (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. S-3). The alternatives presented were the No Action alternative and Mainline Widening, comprised of additional general purpose lanes to both I-25 and U.S. 85. One of the build alternatives included interchange and intersection improvements, bridge widening, and a carpool lot at the intersection ofl-25 and Castle Pines Parkway (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. S-4-S-6). The report stated the Long Term Vision Through 2020 and Beyond was developed "to meet the project objectives and community vision." The alternatives in the vision that would be 230

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implemented within the next 20 years were evaluated as the two build alternatives in the OEIS (USDOT and COOT, 2000, p 2-1). The vision components for I-25 include an additional general purpose lanes, rail extending south from the Southeast Corridor project, and additional interchange improvements, frontage roads, widening Happy Canyon Road, reconstructing Plum Creek Parkway, etc., (USOOT and COOT, 2000, pp. 2-67 2-68). The long-term actions for U.S. 85 included additional generally purpose lanes, bus feeder service from Highlands Ranch Parkway to the southern end of the Southwest Corridor, and a rail demonstration project (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. 2-69). The impact assessment summary tables compared the two highway expansion alternatives for 1-25. This comparison did not include a comparison of these alternatives to the No-Action alternative. Similarly, the impacts of the single U.S. 85 option were summarized but not compared to the No-Action alternative. The air quality impacts were noted as "None" (USDOT and COOT, 2000, pp. 5-128 5-129). The DEIS noted the area was in nonattainment for carbon monoxide (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. S-19). The OEIS report also described the "early action" projects. These were projects that had been previously approved or would be approved separately from the EIS process. The early actions included climbing lanes along 1-25, interchange improvements, a new overpass on I-25 in Castle Rock, and railroad crossing improvements (USDOT and CDOT, 2000, p. S-9). There were a number of comments on the DEIS that related to the modal decision. Jon Esty, President of Colorado Rail Passenger Association, submitted comments to CDOT on the DEIS on August 2, 2000. Esty noted that he had attended Issues Committee meetings. The letter took issue with CDOT' s refusal to consider growing congestion between Castle Rock and Colorado Springs and from reconstruction of the Southeast Corridor. It also stated that the study area boundaries inappropriately segmented the corridors. As a result of this 231

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segmentation commuter rail doesn t compete well against highway expansion alternatives. Esty stated ridership figures for rail travel from Denver to Colorado Springs were not considered because these two cities were not part of the study area. He also referred to concerns expressed by the Colorado Transportation Commission "segmentation of studies along the Front Range by both CDOT and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) obscure and inaccurately represent traffic flow and how communities can be best served by the variety of transportation options available to them" (Esty, 2000b, p. 1) Esty also stated the alternatives were "severely limited with the strong suggestion that pressing highway expansion demands should be taken care of first." He further stated the other alternatives were not given serious consideration and "no recognition was given to a vision of how the communities ofDouglas County might look with the addition ofmore highway lanes." The letter also stated the future travel demand statistical modeling procedures "were seriously flawed Esty recommended that a travel opinion survey be conducted. He also suggested that information about transit preference and use should be considered in the DEIS, such as the Douglas County vote in favor of financing the Southeast Corridor (Esty, 2000b, p. 2). PBS&J, one of the project consulting firms, summarized the comments received on the DEIS. The comments generally supported the proposed highway expansions plans. Some comments emphasized as much highway expansions as possible For example, one comment said "Add as many lanes as you can," (McGinn, 2000a, Attachment p 3). Other comments included "Widen 1-25 as soon as possible" and "Build it as fast as possible, (McGinn, 2000a, Attachment p. 8) The author included another specific comment: Colorado Motor Carriers' Association recommends that Alternative 3: Mainline Widening is implemented as a minimum. CMCA feels these improvements will be deemed inadequate well before the year 2020 and encourages the preservation and acquisition of right-of-way 232

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to ensure flexibility and option for future highway and transit alternatives (McGinn, 2000a, Attachment p. 3). Many comments related to access to the roadways. A few recommended rail transit. One commenter was very insistent: "Building more lanes only encourages more drivers. Stop widening and build light rail," (McGinn, 2000a, Attachment p. 9). There were a large number of comments requesting bicycling and pedestrian facilities, and some relating to noise issues and the need for wildlife crossings. Another summary related to the comments submitted at the November open house meetings. This summary indicated many comments on the proposed changes to highway interchanges (Surrey Ridge Road and Schwieger). It appeared the general comments about the alternatives favored the No-Action alternative : eight comments stated they preferred the No-Action Alternative, four favored the Preferred Alternative, and two supported the Other Alternative. In addition, two commenters stated they didn t support any of the alternatives and one requested that another alternative be developed (PBS&J, 2000i, p. 1 ). Though this summary indicates opposition to the build alternatives, it is unclear if these comments relate only to the interchanges. In December a letter from Marietta Ulrich opposed the widening ofl-25. She stated that the widening of 1-25 to eight lanes would lead to "excessive construction impact and a further diminishing of our quality of life here in northern Douglas County." She noted this new proposal came right after the highway was widened to six lanes because of needed safety improvements. She also noted the decision to widen the roadway to six lanes did not undergo the NEP A process. She protested the additional highway widening because ofland development impacts: "There is a direct correlation between the provision of more lanes and more development, impacts that were never considered in your DEIS," (emphasis in original) (Ulrich, 2000, p. 1 ). 233

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided comments expressing concerns about the alternatives evaluated in the DEIS, specifically stating that its review indicated that the preferred alternative would not resolve the traffic congestion and safety issues. EPA stated that it "would like to see further analysis or explanation of how the build alternatives relieve traffic congestion and problems in that corridor. The data presented seem to indicate that the build alternatives increase traffic volume on the road in numbers that could make problems on that road worse in 2020 than today and worse than if the No Action alternative is selected." The letter also expressed reservations about the environmental effects of the action and suggested further evaluation and possible modification of the proposal (Cody, 2000b, pp. 1-2). EPA asked for an alternative that included highway improvements with mass transit similar to the Southeast Corridor project. EPA also asked for more information on indirect and cumulative impacts including wetlands, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat and vegetation and air quality, floodplains, and prime farmland. (Cody, 2000b, pp. 1-2). A detailed list of comments was attached to EPA's letter. Michelle McGinn, one of the project consultants, prepared a summary of EPA's comments on the DEIS and suggested responses to these comments. McGinn stated that EPA requested additional discussion on secondary and cumulative impacts. The author suggested "reasonable projects" to include further cumulative impacts analyses, specifically for the seven early action projects, the interchanges at Douglas Lane and Rampart Range, and the Southeast Corridor project. Since cumulative impact analyses should identify "past, present, and foreseeable projects," the author's concern was that additional evaluation "could get very extensive and create major precedent," (McGinn, 2000b, p. 1 ). McGinn also stated that EPA suggested further analysis of surrounding development impacts as part of the cumulative impact discussion The author stated 234

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"This would set a precedent for future COOT projects and should be carefully considered. We need to discuss the pros and cons of this as a group, but our initial thoughts are that the impacts due to development may be major and are difficult to assess," (McGinn 2000b pp. 1-2). McGinn provided specific recommended approaches to each of EPA's comments in her memorandum and recommended that PBS&J meet with CDOT and FHW A to discuss them (McGinn, 2000b, pp. 2-6). EPA specifically requested more discussion on alternative modes and other measures, such as transportation demand management and pedestrian/bicycle facilities. McGinn commented that alternative modes were evaluated and that light rail transit was eliminated from further consideration though it was included in the LongTerm Vision. She stated "mass transit was eliminated as an element of the Preferred Alternative because it did not meet the purpose and need of the South I-25 Corridor and U.S. 85 Corridor EIS The cost of mass transit did not justify the benefits provided (the daily ridership was estimated at 1200 along I-25) ." She also stated that other measures, including a carpool lot, pedestrian/bicycle facilities, trail crossing, etc., were discussed in the DEIS and would be further considered in the FEIS (McGinn, 2000b, p. 2). A project newsletter was issued in October 2000. The newsletter described the public involvement process to date. This included open house meetings. The newsletter stated that over 145 comments letters were received from the public and government agencies. The newsletter also described the alternatives being considered, including the No-Action, Preferred, and Other alternatives (PBS&J, 2000f, pp. 1-6). The newsletter indicated the Preferred and Other alternatives were "developed based on comments made regarding the Draft EIS and additional analysis" (PBS&J, 2000f, pp. 2-3). It also provided a time schedule for the EIS process (PBS&J, 2000f, p 1). A South I-25 Corridor meeting was held on October 17, 2000, to discuss the cumulative impacts approach with EPA. Brad Crowder of EPA's NEPA group 235

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attended the meeting. The meeting notes indicated EPA wanted mass transit as part of the EIS The notes stated fixed guideway transit was "not a feasible solution." It w as eliminated from further consideration because the cost was much more than the benefit" (PBS&J, 2000g, p. 2). The FHW A sent a letter to EPA responding to its comments on the DEIS in October 2000 The letter stated that EPA s request for additional cumulative and secondary impact analyses would be addressed It also noted that historically, these impacts had not been adequately addressed in some EIS reports (Bennett, D., 2000, p. 1). An attachment was included that provided responses to EPA' s specific comments. These responses stated that mass transit was eliminated as an element of the Preferred Alternative because it did not meet the purpose and need of the corridors and that the cost did not justify the benefits provided by mass transit (Bennett, D., 2000, Attachment, pp. 1-2). Several technical documents were prepared in the fall of 2000. The air quality analysis report was issued in November. This report included the hot-spot screening analyses for a number of locations along the two corridors, though it also stated that no "hot-spot" analyses would be completed for the project because EPA had not issued its modeling guidance (PBS&J, 2000h). In December, the project consultant prepared a transportation demand management report for the Colorado Department of Transportation in support of the final environmental impact statement's (FEIS) Preferred Alternative. The report included travel demand measures (TDM) for the project area to reduce single occupant vehicle (SOV) travel. TDM programs included incentives and disincentives to encourage alternative modes, such as car pools, van pools, bicycling, walking, alternative work schedules, work at home programs, and transit use (PBS&J, 2000j, p 2). The report described existing TDM measures within the Highlands Ranch area, including discount neighborhood bus and light rail passes, bus stop night drop off services, and the Guaranteed Ride Home Program. The 236

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report stated that Douglas County had very limited alternative modes of transportation. The report also noted that Castle Rock had voted down inclusion in the Regional Transportation District in the past (PBS&J, 2000j, p. 3). The report described the TDM measures including the Preferred Alternative, such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, car pool lot along 1-25, bus information system improvements, Ridesharing Program, and commuter education and outreach. The report presented other measures for consideration. These included a transit system, more car pool lots, additional bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and parking management programs (PBS&J, 2000j, pp. 3-7). The FE IS was issued in May 2001. The project purpose and problem statements were similar to those presented in the DEIS (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-1-S-3). Over 80 alternatives were evaluated as part of the EIS process. After evaluating and screening them, the FEIS presented three alternatives: No-Action, Preferred, and Other alternatives. The No-Action alternative included safety improvements that had already been constructed or were scheduled for construction in the next five to 10 years. The Preferred Alternative was primarily comprised of widening both roadways by adding one lane on 1-25 in each direction, and an additional set of climbing lanes between C-470 and Meadows/Founders Parkway. Other components of the Preferred Alternative included reconstructing and reconstructing interchanges, constructing a new Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, minor roadway realigrunents, constructing a frontage road in Sedalia constructing a bicycle/pedestrian facility (along U.S. 85) and a car pool lot (north part ofl-25). The cost of this alternative was estimated at $152 million (US DOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-4-S-5) The report indicated that this alternative was preferred by FHW A and CDOT because 'it best meets the local communities needs and desires, fulfills the project objectives, and provides flexibility in future transportation needs (USDOT and CDOT, 200Ia, p. S-5). 237

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The Other Alternative was similar to the Preferred Alternative with the addition of a new interchange, frontage road and car pool lot. This alternative was estimated at $178 million (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, pp. S-4-S-5). Some of the improvements in this alternative were included in response to proposed developments in the area. The FEIS indicated funding for some of the components of the Other Alternative were the responsibility oflocal government (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-5-S-6). The FEIS summary highlighted the travel demand projections for the corridors and how the alternatives would address congestion concerns. Between 1997-1999, traffic volumes increased by an annual rate of 15% and 28% (I-25 and U.S. 85 corridors, respectively). By 2020, traffic volumes were projected to increase to 90-142% on the I-25 Corridor and 21-50% on the U.S. 85 Corridor. The level of service on the roadway was LOS E in some areas and expected to fall to LOS F with no improvements. Both build alternatives were expected to improve peak hour LOS in most sections. However, along the northern section of I-25, where the worst congestion currently occurred, the peak hour congestion was not projected to improve (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. S-7). The report showed LOS F projections for the northern portion of I-25, from just south of Castle Rock to C470, for all three alternatives evaluated (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 3-14). The report indicated that implementing either build alternative would dramatically improve the existing hours of congestion. At the time, I-25 had a very short period of congestion, only one hour daily in the southbound direction. However, the length of congestion period was expected to increase to 12.5 and 7.5 hours daily (northbound and southbound respectively) with implementation of only the No-Action alternative. Similarly, the U.S. 85 Corridor was experiencing eight hours of congestion daily (in both directions) and this was projected to remain about the same with the No-Action alternative Implementing either build alternative 238

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would reduce the daily hours of congestion to 1 and 0.5 hours day (northbound and southbound, respectively) (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-7-S-8). The FEIS explained that the level of service was a representation of traffic congestion, as defined by the Highway Capacity Manual. LOS A was considered to have the best operating conditions, generally free flowing and LOS F depicted the worst conditions with heavy traffic flow, usually "stop and go" traffic. CDOT categorized rural roads with LOS Band A as acceptable conditions and for urban highways LOS C and above is considered acceptable (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, p. 1-16). The summary of the environmental impacts and Section 4(f) evaluation was included in the FEIS executive summary. It indicated that nine relocations would be required along U.S 85, adverse impacts on two historic buildings and need for land from four other Section 4(f) properties, impact on Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat, and impact to 0.3 acres of wetlands. It also noted that highway noise would need to be mitigated under any of the three alternatives. This summary also noted that capacity would be increased on the roadways and the hours of congestion would be reduced. It noted in the comparative table (Table S-2) that build alternatives would have no adverse impact on air quality (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, pp. S-8-S-10). The report's executive summary also highlighted the transportation improvements already implemented and those planned. It noted that a light rail system had already been completed on U.S. 85 from its intersection with 1-25 and Broadway to Mineral Avenue and that light rail will be constructed along the I-25 corridor from Broadway Avenue to C-470 and along a portion ofl-225. It also highlighted other improvements including the addition of climbing lanes (one additional lane in each direction) along I-25 between Lincoln Avenue and Castle Pines Parkway Thus this segment of I-25, completed in October 2000, was six lanes wide The roadway expansion would continue to Meadows/Founder Parkway, 239

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to be completed by September 2002 with the addition of one lane in each direction (climbing lanes) The other improvements consisted of remedying interchange and bridge deficiencies (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp S-12-S-13) The executive summary also described seven business and residential developments. The Rampart Range Development seemed to be the largest residential development ofthose described It is projected to include 10,000 housing units over a 30to 40-year period (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-14-S-15). The FEIS described several previous and ongoing studies The U.S. 85 Environmental Assessment (EA) report was completed in June 1994 It recommended widening the roadway to six lanes in the northern portion and four lanes in the southern portion, adding acceleration and deceleration lanes and turn lanes, re-aligning the highway in two locations, and other improvements. It noted that an EIS would follow the EA because the EA identified significant environmental impacts and, "due to community outcry" (US DOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 1-4). An 1-25 Feasibility Study was completed in 1995 recommending expanding the highway from Meadows/Founders Parkway to Douglas Lane Parkway from four lanes to six lanes and to making changes to intersections and an overpass (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. 1-4-1-5). The FEIS also stated DRCOG had prepared a Congestion Management Systems report in 1997, as required by ISTEA. "The CMS provides information on transportation system performance and considers strategies to provide the most efficient and effective use of existing and future transportation facilities. It also defines parameters to measure the extent of congestion." DRCOG identified two objectives for the project-level CMS: (1) evaluate an alternative other than a build alternative that addresses congestion, "to determine whether the need for additional capacity can be met by management strategies" and (2) identify "congestion 240

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management actions that would provide the most effective use of, and support to, the operation of the Preferred Alternative," (US DOT and CDOT, 2001 a, p. 1-6). The FEIS included travel demand projections for 2020 (a 20-year period). These projections apparently included the additional lanes to the northern portion of I-25 that were under construction and planned (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. 3-7 3-9). The projections included the LOS expected for each alternative. The No Action Alternative was expected to result in LOS F throughout the corridor with LOSE and D and the northern and southern ends of US 85. And for I-25, the No Action Alternative LOS projections were F and E for much of the corridor and LOS D near its intersection with US 85 and southbound near Plum Creek Parkway (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 3-14). The Preferred Alternative and Other Alternative showed improvements in LOS for much of U.S. 85 and 1-25. The exceptions were U S.-85 southbound north of Highlands Ranch Parkway and northbound along 1-25 from south of Castle Rock to C-470 (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 3-15). The report noted that a fixed guideway system was not evaluated in the FEIS because of fiscal constraints, but it was part ofthe two corridors long-term plan. It also stated both bus and rail transit were evaluated in the EIS process but eliminated because ridership numbers did not reduce the number of trips made by single occupant vehicles to improve north and south mobility (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p 3-15). The transit ridership projections for 1-25 ranged from 160 to 1,630 one way trips by rail and 95 to 255 trips by bus. For the U.S. 85 corridor the projections were: 120 to 1,260 trips by rail and 20 to 300 trips by bus (USDOT and CDOT, 2001 a, pp. 3-17 3-18). The report further stated fixed guideway was included in the LongTerm Vision for 1-25; however, it would not likely be built within the next 20 years (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a p. 2-93). The FEIS noted the project resided in the Central Front Range Air Quality Region, which was in nonattainment for Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Particulate 241

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Matter (PMlO). The allowable emissions levels were 800 tons/day for CO and 60 tons / day for PMIO (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, p. 5-21) The summary of air quality impacts for both corridors for the preferred alternative appeared in the report is "none" (USDOT and CDOT 200la, p. S-9). The report stated the Carbon Monoxide hot-spot modeling analyses showed that none of the alternatives resulted in exceeding the CO one-hour and eight-hour standard (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p 5-27). The report concluded the direct air quality impacts of the project were considered as part of the Regional Transportation Plan and were considered to meet conformity requirements and the indirect cumulative impacts were part of the State Implementation Plan and that this "ensures compliance with NAAQS" (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, pp. S-139-S-140) The project history portion of Volume 2 of the FEIS described the earlier studies, including the 1997 South Front Range Corridor Ass e ssment Study (CAS) It stated that the CAS report concluded that capacity improvements would be needed in the short-term to the segments of the I-25 corridor from Denver to Castle Rock and Colorado Springs to Monument. It also stated that when a study was needed for the corridor from Castle Rock to Monument that it would include "consideration of inter-regional transportation needs between Denver and Colorado Springs (USDOT and CDOT, 2001b, Section 1, p 1). Volume 2 of the FEIS included the agency and public comments and responses to those comments. Volume 2 stated that over 80 different alternatives were evaluated, including commuter rail, and that these altern a tives were screened out in the FEIS. It noted that even though light rail transit was included in the relevant long-term planning documents it was eliminated from consideration because it did not meet the purpose and need of the corridors. It stated that the mass transit alternative did not justify the benefits provid e d (USDOT and CDOT, 2001b, Section 4.0 Public and Agency Comments and Responses, EPA, 26.h). 242

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With regard to public involvement, the FEIS summarized the comments received during the DEIS process The summary indicated that 152 letters were received, of which 26 were from government agencies and the remainder from the public The comments addressed a wide array of issues, from widening the highway, environmental concerns, interchanges, funding, etc. Three major issues were identified: request for bicycle/pedestrian facilities along U.S. 85, wildlife crossings along U.S. 85, and change to two 1-25 interchanges (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 1-34). A review of the government agency letters appearing in Volume 2 does not indicate any comments relating to transit (US DOT and CDOT, 2001 b, Section 2.1 ). Volume 2 also included responses to specific public comments. There was a set of responses to Jon Esty's August 2, 2000, letter commenting on the DEIS. Esty had criticized the segmentation of both 1-25 and U.S. 85 because commuter rail would not be able to compete with highway expansion on short segments of the corridors. The response provided referred to the South Front Range Corridor Assessment Study and the U.S. 85 Environmental Assessment study The Front Range study recommended that 1-25 be evaluated in separate segments and that, when the portion of the corridor between Castle Rock and Monument warranted further study, then inter-regional transportation needs would be evaluated. The response relating to segmenting U.S. 85 appears to state that the project scope was defined by the environmental assessment report No other justification was provided (USDOT and CDOT, 2001b, Section 4, Esty, p 1). The responses included other specific answers to Esty' s letter (US DOT and CDOT, 2001 b Section 4, p. 1-3). Esty submitted comments for the Colorado Rail Passenger Association in May expressing concerns about that the "narrow confines of the EIS predetermined the outcome ofthe study : the recommendation to add general lanes on U.S. 85 and 243

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on I-25." He stated that by segmenting the corridor into three separate parts prevented: any meaningful look at travel between those two cities thus eliminating alternatives such as intercity rail which most likely would have drawn ridership from those individuals who either could not or did not wish to drive the congested and sometimes very hazardous highway (Esty, 2001, p. 1 ). Esty's letter also criticized the refusal to use other travel demand analysis methods, other than the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DR COG) travel demand model to predict transit ridership. He also expressed strong opposition to the use of driver cost estimates that do not include a full allocation of cost (Esty, 2001, p. 1). In June, David Pampu ofDRCOG wrote to CDOT sending comments on the FEIS. The letter indicated the additional changes that would reflect CDOT's Desired Alternative would likely be approved by DRCOG (Pampu, 2001, Attachment p. 1). The Desired Alternative is described in the Record of Decision. DRCOG's comments also referred to other aspects of the FEIS. Bill Van Meter ofRTD commented on the FEIS. Van Meter's letter stated much of the FEIS project was outside of the Regional Transportation District. He noted there appeared to be no transit alternative in the FEIS and asked if there were "preliminary findings that precluded transit from being studied further, or was transit not included in the scope of the project?" The other comments related to coordination of the Southeast Corridor and Southwest Corridor with the South 125/U.S. 85 project (Van Meter, 2001, p 1). Paul Cawood Hellmund, of the Chatfield Basin Conservation Network, sent comments on the FEIS. He stated the Conservation Network consists of over 75 federal, state, and local public and private agencies/organizations focused on protecting open space in the 140-square mile Chatfield Basin. The comments 244

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primarily related to the U.S. 85 corridor. The letter compliments CDOT on changes made during the development of the draft EIS. It also provided a list of questions and comments for further consideration. These questions and comments related to reducing vehicle and animal collisions, bicycle/pedestrian path options, retaining wall and sound barrier design, and land conservation and wildlife resource roadway signage (Hellmund, 2001, pp. 1-2). EPA seemed satisfied with the FEIS. Its June 2001 letter stated EPA's earlier comments were addressed very well and it complimented coordination efforts with other agencies. This EPA letter asked for improvement. "We would like to work with CDOT on better quantification of the secondary impacts for some resources (e.g., induced growth, floodplains, impacts to wildlife and aquatic/riparian communities)" (Cody, 2001, p. 2). 4.3.1.3 Final Corridor Decision The Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in August 2001. The ROD document stated the final decision was to implement the Preferred Alternative appearing in the FEIS with some modifications. The document stated the chosen alternative, referred to as the Selected Alternative, was consistent with DRCOG's 2020 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It also stated that when the DRCOG's RTP was amended, FHWA would issue a revised ROD to include the additional major elements that it preferred. The alternative FHW A preferred was called the Desired Alternative. The document stated the Desired Alternative "best meets the regional transportation need and desires." The Selected Alternative was comprised of roadway improvements including expansion of both highways, interchange improvements, and a transportation demand management (TDM) program (USDOT, 2001, p. l-1) 245

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The major improvements were mostly related to the roadway system. The exceptions included construction of a 500-vehicle carpool lot at the intersection of 1-25 and Castle Pines Parkway (USDOT, 2001, p 2-4). Along the U S 85 corridor, the decision included a pedestrian/bicycle trail and two enhanced wildlife crossings (USDOT, 2001, p. 2-6) In addition, the TDM program included in the final decision was comprised of a program to encourage commuters to use alternative modes of transportation and promote ridesharing. It also included commuter education and outreach. The ROD stated these TDM measures would be implemented in coordination with the local communities (USDOT, 2001, p. 2-7). The alternatives section ofthe ROD described the evaluation process, including the alternatives eliminated at each step. The special purpose lane (such as bus/HOY lane) options were screened out for the U S 85 corridor due to "environmental issues, implementation issues and community values (USDOT, 2001, p. 3-7). The special purpose lane with bus service option for I-25 was eliminated because it did not fully address north/south mobility. The rail alternatives were eliminated from the U.S 85 alternatives because they did not meet mobility needs or had high costs and significant ROW needs (USDOT, 2001, p. 38). The light rail transit and self-propelled rail options for I-25 passed through all three levels of evaluation (USDOT, 2001, p. 3-3). The ROD didn't detail the alternatives that passed the three levels of screening weren't evaluated in the DEIS. The report simply stated "Based on results of the third level of evaluation, the Long Term Vision was developed. The elements of the vision that would reasonably be constructed within the next 20 years were used to develop the DEIS alternatives." The DEIS alternatives included the No-Action alternative and options that involved widening the highway (USDOT, 2001, p. 3-8) The ROD included the problem statement for the project, which was the same as the FEIS. It addressed the rapid growth in peak travel demand. It also noted that travel was primarily to Denver (the Denver Central Business District and 246

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the Southeast Business District) and that this travel demand had "overtaxed the existing infrastructure." It also stated north/south travel options besides automobiles were limited on 1-25 and U.S. 85," (US DOT, 2001, p. 3-9) The ROD document concluded "Of the alternatives that address the project objectives, the Selected Alternative is environmentally preferable," (USDOT, 2001, p. 3-11 ). It appeared there were only two alternatives in the final analysis, the No Action alternative and the Selected Alternative. The report implied the No-Action alternative did not meet the project objectives; therefore there was only one alternative remaining and this one was selected. As noted earlier, the ROD stated the Desired Alternative would be chosen as the final decision once the RTP was amended to include the additional major elements. The Desired Alternative was described in Section 6 of the report. It included all the elements of the Selected Alternative plus removal of an interchange at Surrey Ridge, frontage road changes, and expansion of U.S. 85 to six lanes along a larger segment of the northern part of the corridor. The report stated the Desired Alternative had the same environmental impacts as the Preferred Alternative (USDOT, 2001, p 6-1). The ROD stated the Desired Alternative was also considered "as the environmentally preferred alternative since this alternative meets the project objectives and minimizes environmental impacts (including sociaVneighborhood impacts) (USDOT, 2001, p. 6-2). The Revised Record of Decision was issued in October 2002 to incorporate modifications that were included in the requested amendment to DRCOG's 2025 Interim Regional Transportation Plan. This plan was amended in April 2002. The alternative selected in the August 2001 ROD for the 1-25 corridor included expanding the roadway to six and eight lanes, reconstruction of interchanges, bridge improvements, and construction of a frontage road, new bridge, and a carpool lot. The revised ROD added more interchanges and another frontage road and interchange improvements and extension of a frontage road. The Selected 247

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Alternative components appearing in the 2001 ROD for U.S. 85 were increasing to four and six lanes construction of a frontage road and a bicycle/pedestrian facility intersection modifications a grade separated crossing at High Line Canal Trail, and enhanced wildlife crossings. There were no ROD revisions to the U.S. 85 alternative (USDOT, 2002, pp 1-1-1-2). The Selected Alternative in the revised ROD also included transportation demand management measures: area-wide ridesharing program; commuter education and outreach; information system for promotional opportunities, congestion information and other transportation services, a bicycle/pedestrian facility along a portion ofl-25, and ramp metering (USDOT, 2002, p. 3-6) The ROD report referred to the "Long-Term Vision through 2020 and Beyond" in Section 8 Response to Comments on FEIS. It stated that several comments were received favoring rail for the final alternative. It concluded Upon completion of the extensive alternative evaluation process, fixed guideway did not provide a viable solution for the next 20 years." The report explained rail was not included in the Selected Alternative but CDOT would coordinate with local entities to preserve but right-of-way for future rail where feasible (USDOT, 2002, p. 8-1). 4.3.2 Archival Research -Key Actors As with the other two case studies the archival research for the South I-25 Corridor case study identified a number of individuals and groups that seemed to play significant roles in the decision-making process. The following paragraphs highlight these individuals and groups with a short summary of their role. Candidates for the interview phase of research were initially drawn from this listing of likely key actors or participants. Once the interviews began, the subjects were asked to identify other influential individuals and groups 248

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The archival research identified several government entities that played significant roles in the EIS decision process. CDOT staff and consultants played a lead role in managing the meetings ofthe various committees and teams. FHWA initiated the EIS process through formal notice. This federal agency also appeared in the records as playing an important role. For example, FHW A signed each EIS document. It also handled EPA's issues on the DEIS and FEIS. Douglas County seems to have played a key role. It has several representatives on the committees and teams. In addition, there are records of briefings for the Douglas County Commissioners. Castle Rock staff also participated in EIS-related meetings and correspondence commenting on the documents appeared in the record. There was correspondence from EPA critiquing the EIS documents. Individuals from EPA may be good interview subjects. There was also correspondence from DR COG and RTD, indicating these agencies may have played key roles in the decision processes. Business-related groups that may have been involved significantly include participants of the committees. There were several developers and representatives of homeowner associations. Interviewing some of these representatives may be valuable to the interview phase of research. Pam Ridler, president ofthe Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, may also be a good interview candidate. Meeting notes indicate that she participated in committee meetings. Special interest groups identified from the archival research include the Chatfield Basin Conservation Network, though it is unclear if this is a consortium of government entities or a non-profit organization representing environmental and wildlife concerns. The Colorado Passenger Rail Association seems to be very active in the EIS process so it may be important to interview the organization's president, Jon Esty. In addition, John Valerio authored a report on commuter rail options in 2000. He may also be a good interview subject. Another committee 249

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member representing alternative transportation is Les Lilly, the Operations Manager for Clean Air Transit, a non-profit transportation organization based in Castle Rock. This brief summary of key actors was used to identify an initial list of possible interview subjects. Interviewees will also be asked to identify other individuals who would be ideal to interview 4.3.3 Interview Research The interview phase of the research was aimed at filling in the gaps from the archival research and delving deeper into the South I-25 corridor decision process. Fifteen individuals were interviewed for this case study. Two were business representatives, one of which represented the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, the other was a developer. Both business representatives participated in committee meetings throughout the EIS process. Another interview subject was a member of a special interest group, a rail advocacy group. Eleven of the interviewees represented government; two were federal transportation officials and represented EPA. Three worked for CDOT and one was an appointed official serving on the Colorado Transportation Commission. One interviewee represented Douglas County and one was a Castle Rock employee. Two interview subjects served on regional transportation organizations and one was a local transit operations manager. The large number of government representatives was primarily because the archival record and early interviews indicated that the government entities were the most influential in the decision-making process. The summary of the interviews appears in the following paragraphs As with the other two case studies this summary is organized in the same manner as the interview questions. It initially describes the factors that the interviewees felt were the most influential in the decision processes. The summary then presents the 250

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interview answers relating to the individuals and organizations that were most influential any significant conflict, the technical data and analyses and finally, the appropriateness of the final mode oftransportation selected. In many cases the interview gave similar answers. Where the interviews were in general agreement, this indicated a strong level of confidence that the events actually occurred as depicted. Where there is a diversity of opinions this was included in the summary. Table 4 3 is a table summarizing the interviews and responses to the interview questions. The interview subjects were asked what factors, including community goals and objectives, federal and state government agency needs, land use patterns, people s travel preferences, and political interests, most influenced the South 1-25 the most. In addition, they were asked what constraints or rules, such as federal transportation laws, federal environmental impact statement requirements, and federal and state funding constraints had the most impact on the decision processes. 251

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N VI N -----. ---.. ----------------Table 4 3 Interview Summary Matrix: South I-25 Corridor Case Study Interviewee's Most Significant Most Influential Significant Background Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? Conflict? Government Corridor capacity was CDOT and FHW A were key; Not significant federal important, driven by Town of Castle Rock was conflict transportation growth in the area; influential ; homeowners official public involvement associations were very was also important influential (businesses, citizens, environmental concerns and bicycle advocates especially on US 85) Government High cost and low CDOT was most influential; Yes, conflict on regional ridership projections local communities (Douglas US 85 led by the transportation for rail were key ; RTD County more influential, next rail advocates ; official did not c over much of were Castle Rock and Lone C DOT did not project area (a political Tree) ; FHWA was the de c iding oppose the rail issue) was also agency, but CDOT was lead demo, but knew important the funding wasn't available Special Prevalence ofhighway CDOT, FHW A, and state Special interests Interest interests dominate legislators and county had conflict with Group CDOT ; federal policy commissioners were influential CDOT CDOT representative does not support in that order ; special interest downplayed alternative groups had limited influence, some issues transportation and thus (e.g., getting rail in the US 85 (e.g species little funding available; vision as the north-south habitat) segmentation of the I-intercity rail route) 25 corridor led to predetermined highway expansion; gradually ----Use of Data Right Decision? and Analyses? No issues data Yes, very collaborati v e was very high process, EPA used this quality project as a model for cumulative impact analyses No significant Yes it is consistent issues, just with the regional minor changes transportation plan were needed to technical documents Most data was No the d e ci s ion should okay ; some have included rail on was US 85 corridor from exaggerated the standpoint of cost (e g., air quality transporting consultant's people efficiently and rail plan was ending the continued high frequency expansion of highways and thus high cost when a low frequent

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-M-> o _ -o>To -----.. --------- -------------N Vl w Table 4.3 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? implementing early actions also predetermined the mode Government Didn't know the federal specifics transportation official Business-Current and future local capacity needs of the developer corridors Government Traffic volume and state substandard condition transportation of highway were appointee critical Most Influential Significant Organization( s)? Conflict? CDOT and FHW A were most No significant influential; county government conflict; rail was influential; RTD to a lesser advocates raised extent; special interest groups some conflict had some influence, (e.g., a and probably got foundation owning open space more thorough along US 85 corridor); railroad assessment of was involved with regard to that option crossings Douglas County was key, No significant projecting growth and seeking conflict highway expansion from CDOT; CDOT had predetermined what needed to be done; special interest groups threw up proposals as impediments to the process; small towns, property owners and railroad all had needs relating to design and alignment issues CDOT was key and the No significant Commission supported CDOT; conflict Douglas County was influential; RTD wasn't very involved; developers weren't very influential; the_<:hamber haci -------Use of Data Right Decision? and I Analyses? low cost initial system would have been more feasible) No issues Yes No issues Yes No issues Yes, it will serve the needs of cars trucks, and buses for years to come, with some flexibility for future transit

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N V1 .j:>.. Table 4.3 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? Government-Many factors all state driving the decision : transportation existing corridor can't official Uoint accommodate transit interview modes and allow more with #32) highway lanes, political influence (to a lesser extent), land use planning and growth travel demand patterns / modal preference, cost effectiveness mobility and safety goals, public input, and budget co n s traints; elected officials then respond to these factors and influence the project Government-Many factors all state driving the decision : transportation existing corridor can t official Uoint accommodate transit interview modes and allow more with #31) highway lanes, political influence (to a lesser extent), land use planning and growth, ----. -------. -----Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? I Organization(s)? Conflict? and I Analyses? I some influence through the I Town Council and County Commissioners No one organization was more There was Yes, data and Yes, because it includes 1 influential than the others, it was conflict but not analyses were measures for future rail I a team process where all groups significant, (e.g., factual and had opportunity to participate; special interest unbiased to the public and special interest groups best of groups participated in advisory participated, CDOT's group committees, etc., towns, shared abilities county, CDOT, and FHW A information and participated compromised) I No one organization was more There was Yes, data and Yes, it was the right influential than the others, it was conflict but not analyses were decision bec a use it a team process where all groups significant, (e.g., factual and involved c onsensus, had opportunity to participate; special interest unbiased to the meeting as many needs public and special interest groups best of as possible ; personally groups participated in advisory participated, COOT's would prefer no transit group, committees, etc. towns, shared abilities in the decision county, CDOT, and FHW A information, and participated compromised)

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N Vl Vl Table 4.3 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? travel demand patterns / modal preference, cost effectiveness, mobility and safety goals, public input, and budget constraints; at any one point in time, one factor may have more influence than another Government Funding was the most local natural critical factor to resources CDOT; official accommodating wildlife issues was a significant constraint, they found 'common ground' and worked toward a solution; highway expansion was viewed as a 'done deal' so discussion was how to address conservation needs with this decision Government Meeting immediate non-profit corridor needs was transit official key; other interests raised had some influence (towns needs Most Influential Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Organization( s)? Conflict? and Analvses? County was most influential; No, not No issues, Yes given the needs: then CDOT and FHW A; the significant good data growth accidents ; special interest groups had some (e.g., the building roads doesn't influence but not on overall county hired a solve the problem, but modal outcome wildlife expert that issue is better dealt that developed with through county excellent data and towns addressing on wildlife land use movement, as a result they got concessions for wildlife, such as larger culverts for crossings) CDOT was the most influential, Some conflict, No issues data Maybe, the solution FHW A was in the background (e.g on Issues was factual addressed immediate other interests were diverse and Team and needs and allows for no one was more influential: Technical future rail, but ther e council members homeowners Team), but no could have been a

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N VI 0\ Table 4.3 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints? homeowners, rail, etc ) Business Congestion and organization weather-related traffic issues; safety; and emergency vehicle response issues were all important Government-These factors set the state framework for the environmental mode of transportation : and planning initial corridor study official indicated transit was not a short-term option, regional transportation plan by DRCOG included highway expansion for this corridor and RTD s district did not cover much of the project area Most Influential Organization(s)? rail advocates, etc. Clean Air Transit (non-profit) provided information and voiced concerns but was not ve_!Y_ influential CDOT was the leader, there was already a CDOT plan for expansion; contractor helped to make a 'level playing field' for everyone that participated (no one particular group dominated) : Chamber economic development group (CREDO) Castle Rock staff board and commissions, non-profit transit group and homeowners and ranchers along US 85 County Commissioners had a major role driven by high growth CDOT was the lead agency and Region l Director was involved, but the process went so smoothly that not much intervention by CDOT staff or management was needed ; many players but no one had more influence that the others (e g., towns, rail advocates, EPA etc.); rail and bus/HOY lanes were predetermined by earlier studies and plans; one exception was on US 85, the rail advocates ----Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Conflict? and Analyses? significant stronger push for conflict commuter rail i No significant No issues Yes, probably the right conflict; some decision in light of raised concern financial constraints (e.g., noise (e.g rail was too issues), but not expensive due to major overall topography); future g rowth may warrant rail (e .g., Castle Rock s population estimate i s 103, 000 by 2025 The rail No issues, Yes it was the right advocates were CDOTprides decision given all the tenacious, but itself with factors: growth, traffic, this wasn t producing constrained funding, signficant factual data etc I conflict and analyses I

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----.. . ---------------------------------.. ...... --------N VI -....J Table 4 3 (Cont.) Interviewee's Most Significant Background Factors/Constraints'? Goverrunent Cost and working regional within budget transportation constraints was critical; official equity in transportation funding, regionally and inter-regionally was important ; consistency with the SE Corridor was key (i .e., lane balancing); capacity needs due to growth was important Goverrunent Douglas County master federal, EPA plan was critical; official congestion on both corridors; the 'politics' of County-endorsed form of growth (i.e. low density) constrained transit options; and COOT and FHWA are 'highway' agencies their agency mission and funding relates to highways Goverrunent Most important factor Most Influential Significant Organization(s)? Conflict? persisted until COOT included the future option, this would not have happened without their _l)_ersistence Didn't know who influenced the There was most; knew RTD had a minimal tension but no role significant conflict COOT had the highway There was expansion project in mind; pressure by EPA County had a lot of influence; for other modes, FHW A deferred to COOT; and but this didn't developers had indirect influence overall influence through the County modal outcome; environmental interest groups weren t really engaged COOT was key; County was No conflict Use of Data Right Decision? and Analyses? No issues with Yes, it was the data and appropriate decision analyses No issues, data The decision met and analyses County needs, but it were good was not the best quality decision from the environmental perspective transit would have better met environmental goals No issues Yes right decision

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N V1 00 Interviewee's Background local transportation official Most Significant Most Influential Factors/Constraints? Organization(s)? relating to lack of very supportive as was Castle transit outcomes was Rock, but Castle Rock had that most of the project lesser influence, they knew it was not in the RTD was a highway widening project district; another factor from the beginning; no other was citizens and others groups were very influential participated in meetings weren't concerned with transit, only with noise and related issues ... ----Significant Use of Data Right Decision? Conflict? and Analyses? issues; related to consultant was modal very good at outcome; one managing the issue with lots process and of debate was people's relocating the concerns intersection of US 85 and 125 --

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4.3.3.1 What Factors Most Influenced Decision-making? This interview research identified a wide array of factors thought to be important to the modal decision in the EIS process. Perhaps most striking were the factors identified as not being influential to decision-making Environmental concerns were not viewed as being instrumental in the decision to select highway expansion over alternative modes of transportation. Only one interviewee, a representative from FHW A, mentioned environmental concerns out of the fourteen interview subjects that answered this question, as being important to the overall modal decision. Only one other interviewee stated there was any consideration of environmental impacts. The natural resources specialist representing local government stated that wildlife issues were considered in the highway improvements assessment and some mitigation measures were incorporated into the final decision, e.g., two wide underpasses for wildlife crossing. This interviewee believed that widening the highway was a done deal and committee discussions focused on how to address habitat and wildlife conservation concerns given that the highways would be expanded (Sprunk, 2005) Most of the interview subjects believed the travel-related needs ofthe two corridors were most influential in the decision process, including congestion and weather-related traffic issues, vehicle mobility, highway safety, and emergency vehicle response issues related to congestion In total nine of the 14 interviewees stated that corridor needs were important. One interviewee also identified substandard conditions ofthe highway as an important factor. Several interview subjects specifically stated that rapid growth in the corridors leading to congestion was a driving force And several interviewees described the relationship between 259

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the county-endorsed low-density form of development and the need for automobile oriented transportation systems. Seven interviewees believed that cost and funding were critical to decision making. Three interviewees identified cost-effectiveness ofthe alternatives as important. For example, rail transit was considered too costly in relation to the benefits it provides to mobility. Four interview subjects stated funding was important and two of these people highlighted the funding constraints, specifically that highway funding can only be used for highway improvements and not transit. This was noted as both a federal and state issue by one interviewee, since there was funding from both levels of government. And three interviewees identified the constrained project budget as important to decision-making. One of these interviewees also stated funding equity was important; that is, ensuring transportation funding was fairly distributed across the region and between regions in the state. Public input was considered to be an important factor to three interviewees. These three were the key federal and state project managers. One other interview said that the citizens, such as homeowners near the corridors, had some influence. One interviewee believed citizens who attended the committee meetings weren't concerned with the modal decision. They were concerned with how the highway project would affect them, such as highway noise and size and design of noise mitigation berms. Three interview subjects stated the limited extent ofRTD's jurisdictional was critical to the lack of transit in the final decision. The RTD representative confirmed the agency had limited involved in the EIS process because most of the project was not within the district (Van Meter, 2005). Three interviewees believed previous studies and transportation projects predetermined the modal outcome. Specifically, one interviewee believed the South I-25 project had to include highway expansion in order to be "consistent" with the 260

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Southeast Corridor highway widening (Van Meter, 2005). Another described how segmenting the 1-25 corridor led to a highway expansion decision. This interviewee represented a passenger rail organization. He believed rail was not considered a viable alternative because it was evaluated on a short segment of the corridor rather than the larger corridor from Denver to Colorado Springs. The archival research indicated this segmentation decision originated in the 1998 study of the I-25 corridor (Wilson & Company et al., 1998, p. 3). This interviewee also believed that "early action" decisions further predetermined the modal outcome of the project. For example, the decisions to construct climbing lanes and acceleration/deceleration lanes along 1-25 preordained that the South I-25 project would involve roadway expansion (Esty, 2005). One CDOT representative stated the earlier corridor study indicated that transit was not a short-term option, driving the EIS decision to highway expansion. This interviewee also believed an important factor was the DRCOG regional transportation plan that identified highway expansion for the corridors (CDOT, 2005). Three of the interview subjects stated political influence was important to the decision process. One stated the "politics" of the county-endorsed low-density form of growth constrained transit options. Two said political influence was important but to a lesser extent than other factors. One of these interviewees believed elected officials were pressured by local needs, such as mobility and safety concerns and travel preferences, and in tum these officials influenced the project modal outcome. Two interviewees noted CDOT was dominated by highway interests and this predetermined the modal outcome. One of these interview subjects also said both COOT and FHW A are "highway agencies" thus driving the process outcome. Only two interviewees mentioned that special interest groups had any significant level of influence. The federal project manager bicycle advocates were important to the U.S. 85 decision process. And one other interview subject said rail 261

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and other special interests had some influence. The only other factor mentioned was business interests and only the federal project manager stated that these interests were important to the decision process. 4.3.3.3 Who Wielded the Most Influence? Fourteen ofthe interview subjects answered this question. Twelve interviewees stated CDOT was the most, or one of the most, influential organizations. Two of the CDOT representatives stated CDOT was important in the decision process, but no more important than any other group, including the public, special interest groups, towns, county, and FHW A. These two interviewees viewed the decision-making process as a "team process" where all individuals and groups had equal opportunity to participate. Eleven interviewees believed local government also had an influential role. Three stated the county played a role in driving COOT to the highway expansion decision, particularly because of the mobility needs related to rapid and low-density growth. Several others believed the county played a strong role, second in level of influence to CDOT Two other interviewees stated the Town of Castle Rock played an influential role. Several interviewees believed the local government role was essentially supporting CDOT' s decision. Six people believed the Town of Castle Rock, Lone Tree, and other small towns had some level of influence. Five interview subjects stated that CDOT had predetermined the modal outcome. They understood the highway would be expanded even as the process began. There was some change to the outcome as a result of the public involvement process, such as the inclusion of rail in the long-term vision and the addition ofthe bicycle/pedestrian trail to the U.S. 85 corridor. 262

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Nine interviewees said special interest groups, such as the rail advocates had a limited amount of influence Of the other interviewees, one said homeowners associations were very influential and one said developers had indirect influence through the county commissioners. One interview subject said the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce had some level of influence, but no more than another other committee participant. This interview said the project consultant helped to make a "level playing field for everyone that participated (Ridler 2005). The chamber representative and another interviewee identified the non-profit Clean Air Transit organization as a participant in committee meetings, but noted this organization had the same level of influence as others. 4.3 3.4 Did Conflict Impact Decision-making? Twelve of the interview subjects did not observe significant conflict that may have affected the modal outcome. One interview said there was conflict between CDOT and the rail advocates on the U.S. 85 corridor. Another interviewee said more generally that CDOT had conflict with some of the special interest groups and CDOT downplayed some of these issues, such as species habitat preservation. The EPA representative said there was pressure by EPA to include other modes but this didn't affect the overall modal outcome. Several interviewees noted there was tension and conflict, particularly between CDOT and interest groups or CDOT and homeowners over noise issues, but the conflict was not significant. Several also noted the meetings were managed very well so that information and perspectives were shared and people came to understand each other's needs more 263

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4.3.3.5 How Did the Data and Analyses Influence Decision-making? Fourteen of the 15 interviewees who answered this question believed the data and analyses were presented in a factual and unbiased manner. Only one stated that some ofthe data was exaggerated, such as the CDOT consultant's rail plan. The plan involved high frequency service leading to very high cost estimates. The lower frequency and thus lower cost option the rail advocates presented was much more feasible. This interview believed this issue could have influenced the modal outcome on the U.S. 85 corridor (Esty, 2005) 4.3.3.6 Was it the Right Decision? Twelve of the interviewees believed the modal outcome selected for the project was the right decision. In contrast, two stated the project did not address environmental impacts and that a transit alternative would have been a better decision One other interviewee answered "maybe" it was the right decision in terms of meeting immediate needs. But this interviewee believed there should have been a "stronger push for commuter rail" (Lilly, 2005). 4.3.4 Case Study Findings and Discussion 4.3.4.1 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Primary Hypothesis and Planning and Power Models From the archival and interview research, it is clear the modal outcome was selected by CDOT, driven by needs of the corridor and the governments, 264

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organizations, and individuals that are confronted with these needs, particularly traffic congestion and roadway safety. It is also important to note the decision to expand the highway systems seems to have been predetermined by the many factors mentioned above. The hypothesis derived from the literature posited that coalitions of government, business and other interest groups, supporting highway building, significantly influence the large transportation project modal outcomes (highway versus transit). In this case study, the hypothesis is only partially confirmed. Those involved in the decision process seemed to be driven by groups and individuals representing government, business, special interest groups with strong highway building agendas. However, it seems the coalition is comprised of strong government highway building interests, with little influence from business and special interest groups. As the Entrance to Aspen case indicates, the decision making power rested in a "community coalition;" this case study portrays more of a "government coalition" similar to the Southeast Corridor case study The context in which the South I-25 case study evolves does not seem to change during the EIS process. The government institutions seemed to remain stable and there did not appear to be major changes within businesses or special interest groups. In contrast, Aspen and Pitkin County special interest groups seemed to change in their level of influence over time and the general public modal preference changed over time. In the South I-25 case, the level of influence of the special interest groups didn't seem to change. And there was little to indicate that public opinion changed throughout the process. The public meeting summaries indicated general support for highway building, with a few opponents during each public comment opportunity In a manner similar to the other case studies, the planning model developed for the research (appearing as Figure 2 3) is modified to reflect the South I-25 case study (see Figure 4.11 below). This model depicts the overriding influence of the 265

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government coalition. In this planning model the needs of the government coalition override the mandated rational, technical-based decision process. The coalition wields such influence that the modal outcome appears to be predetermined as the EIS process begins. In addition, the coalition identifies its own goals and objectives, drives the data and analyses toward its own preferred solutions, and finally ensures the selected alternative meets the project goals and objectives. 266

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Figure 4.11 Transportation Planning Model: South 1-25 Corridor (adopted from Figure 2.5, Meyer and Miller (2001) p. 53) 'Government Coalition' Identifies Goals and Objectives (Coalition comprised of state and local government, with little influence from business and special interest groups) l Identify Solutions Meeting Coalition's Goals and Objectives Identify Corridor Needs, Community Goals and Objective Aligning with Coalition's Goals and Objectives Generate Alternatives, Including Coalition-based Solutions l Evaluate Alternatives, NEPA-like Process l Select Optimal Alternative Meeting Coalition's Needs 267

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It was clear from the review of the literature that the relationships within planning coalitions are very important. A conceptual representation of the power structure that drive major transportation decision processes was presented as Figure 2.4. As with the other case studies, this proposed model of power is tested to determine its validity. As noted above, the South I-25 case study indicates the government institutions wielded the most influence. Businesses and special interest groups seemed to have little influence on the overall modal outcome. Figure 4.12 Transportation Planning Power Structure: South I-25 Corridor Government/ Institutions 4.3.4.2 Evaluation of Case Study Results: Factors Influencing the Modal Outcome As described in Chapter 2, the literature review identified several factors that were expected to significantly influence the modal outcome of major transportation projects. These independent variables include: the regulatory framework, available highway or transit funding, specific needs of the transportation corridors, and the goals of government institutions. The results ofthe South I-25 case study results are 268

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analyzed against these factors in the paragraphs that follow. This analysis will reveal which factors influenced the modal outcome the most. Chapter 5 provides an evaluation of these factors across the three case studies 4.3.4.2.1 Regulatory Framework As expected, the decision process for the South I-25 case study adhered to the mandated NEP A process. The appropriate EIS documents were prepared, including assessment of environmental and social impacts of the proposed alternatives. However, the bus/HOV and rail alternatives were eliminated from consideration before the DEIS. As a result, the environmental and social impact analyses required by NEPA were completed for the highway expansions only. This approach was similar to the Southeast Corridor case. Neither case seems to fully meet the intent of the NEP A requirements. There were two other concerns with the South I-25 regulatory process. The first is related to the NEP A issue noted above. Since the environmental impact assessment only evaluated highway alternatives, a full comparison of air quality impacts was not conducted The EIS documents concluded the highway expansion alternatives would not result in air quality violations; however, the intent of NEP A is to pursue alternatives that minimize environmental impacts. An air quality comparison of modal alternatives seems to be particularly important because the project is located in an air quality nonattainment region The second issue is segmentation of the project corridor. This is similar to the segmentation of Highway 82 near Aspen. In this case, it appears that segmentation of the I-25 corridor influenced the decision to eliminate rail as a viable alternative. From the research and this analysis, the regulatory framework is an important factor in the modal outcome for the South I-25 project. 269

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4.3.4.2.2 Transportation Corridor Needs As with the Southeast Corridor case, the corridor needs seem to be critically important to the selection of added highway lanes. Congestion, roadway safety, and other highway issues were identified as important factors throughout the archival research and from the interview research for the South 1-25 project. From this case study it is clear that most of the people involved in the decision process believed that only highway expansion and other highway improvements could address these critical corridor needs, at least in the short-term. Needs supporting transit alternatives appeared in the early EIS documents, but ceased once the decision was made to eliminate these alternatives. On the other hand, six interviewee subjects mentioned that transit alternatives would help meet long-term corridor needs. 4.3.4.2.3 Institutions As expected, the government institutions influenced the modal outcome more than any other factor in the South 1-25 case study. CDOT seemed to play the most influential role with Douglas County the second most influential. Castle Rock appears to be an important actor, but to a lesser extent than the county. The other towns along the corridor were involved in the EIS process, but were not highlighted as key players. FHWA seemed to participate in the process, but there was no indication this agency drove the modal outcome one way or the other. The research also revealed DRCOG and RTD participated but didn't have influential roles. EPA carried out its mandated review role though its efforts do not appear to have affected the modal outcome. Several interviewees touted the improved environmental analyses, particularly indirect and cumulative impact assessments, resulting from 270

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EPA's involvement. As noted earlier, these government entities don't seem to change, in terms of leadership, mission or direction during the EIS process. 4.3.4.2.4 Project Costs and Funding Funding, costs, and budget constraints were identified as important factors by half of the interviewee subjects. Funding constraints was also identified in the archival research. 4.3.4.2.5 Political Setting The literature review indicated elected officials would greatly influence the outcome of major transportation projects. Douglas County had a major role in the decision process in this case. The county seemed to be responding to critical needs of improved mobility and safer highways. There also seems to be a direct link between the county's land use policies, supporting low-density development, and the need for improved vehicle mobility. Another aspect of the political setting relates to CDOT's apparent focus on highway building alternatives. This was not evident in this case study archival or interview research; however, the Southeast Corridor research found that Gov. Bill Owens and Tom Norton, CDOT's Executive Director, had a very strong bias toward highway expansion. Since the South 1-25 EIS process was initiated as Owens and Norton took over their roles in early 1999, it follows that their views affected CDOT's position. 271

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4.3.4.2.6 Businesses The literature indicated businesses would have a direct and significant influence on major transportation projects that affect them. In this case, developers homeowners associations, and the Chamber of Commerce supported highway expansion. Representatives of these entities participated on the EIS committees, though it did not appear they were able to influence the process more than other organizations. It was noted that these organizations had indirect influence through the county, but it is not known how much influence was wielded through this route. 4.3.4.2.7 Special Interest Groups Unlike the Entrance to Aspen case study, the special interest groups participating in the South I-25/U.S. Highway 85 process didn't seem to wield much power. This is evidenced by the interview research and the modal outcome. The rail advocacy group seemed to have influenced the decision to include rail in the long-term vision for the corridors, but it did not affect the overall decision to expand the highway. The "level playing" field that CDOT and its consultants created in the EIS committees seems to have limited the influence that any one special interest groups could have over another. 4.3.4.2.8 Public Participation As described earlier, the EIS process includes public notice and opportunities for public comment. It is clear that citizens input helped shape many aspects of the project, but these aspects were unrelated to the modal outcome. For example, the archival research identified significant discussion about interchanges 272

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frontage roads, noise issues, etc., and it appears CDOT addressed a number of these concerns. There was little public interest in mode outcomes for the corridors, other than the rail proposals described earlier. As a result, the public participation process doesn't seem to have been an important factor in the modal decision. 4.3.5 Concluding Remarks This case study revealed a considerable amount of information about the "how, who, and why" of the South 1-25 Corridor decision-making process. The factors that influenced the modal outcome the most were the regulatory framework, government entities, corridor needs, and funding/costs. The political setting also appeared to be important, with Douglas County playing a major role in the decision process. And as noted above, it seems likely the governor and CDOT executive director's views on highway expansion also influenced the modal outcome of the project. This case study found that business, special interest groups, and the public in general had some level of influence, but not as significant as those factors noted above. This case study also found the proposed transportation model was followed, but the coalition driving the decision process was primarily comprised of state and local governments. Similarly, the research hypothesis was found to be only partially valid. The power structure model was also partially validated but the government, business, and special interest groups did not equally influence the modal outcome. In the South 1-25 case study, the power was held and wielded by a coalition of state and local governments. This chapter presented the three case study research findings. It also presented analyses of each separate case with regard to the factors, individuals, and 273

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organizations that most influenced the modal outcome The final chapter of this dissertation provides analyses across all three cases These analyses shed light on the proposed planning model and the conceptualization of the power structure that controls major transportation decisions in Colorado. 2 74

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5. Conclusions This dissertation began by describing how transportation systems shape the built environment and help define the character of neighborhoods, communities, towns, and regions. The dissertation focused on transportation choices specifically the decisions to continue automobile dependence, because of the significant impacts on our health and the air, land, and water. Our transportation choices can also displace homes and businesses. Alternatives to the automobile, especially public transit systems, offer numerous environmental, social, and health benefits. Transit systems can also change our urban and suburban land use patterns and provide mobility to the young and elderly and those who cannot afford a car. Because the modal decision of large transportation projects is so significant, this study honed in on how current transportation decision processes influence modal outcomes. A transportation planning model and a conceptual power structure were developed from the review of relevant literature. Case study methodology, consisting of archival and interview research, was employed to test the planning model and power structure conceptualization. The three case study findings were presented in Chapter 4 Chapter 4 also analyzed the primary research hypothesis and the research factors for each case. This final chapter extends the case study analyses and discusses the planning modal and power structure that attempts to represent Colorado transportation decision making processes. This chapter describes the limitations of the research. In addition, it identifies a number of areas that warrant further research The final section of the chapter describes how the planning model and power structure build upon the body of planning theory that focuses on regime theory and 275

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"growth machines. Results of this study will also be valuable to planning practitioners interested in either predicting project modal selection or shaping decision processes toward more sustainable outcomes. 5.1 Case Study Comparative Analyses As noted above, the overarching question that guided the literature review and research focuses on the transportation decision-making process: How do current transportation decision processes influence modal outcomes? This question incorporates the "how" of the process, including how decision-makers (government officials, planners, and engineers) go about making decisions to build more highways or shift to transit systems This includes the procedures they follow and the constraints imposed on the decision processes. This broad research question also encompasses the key actors, that is, the decision-makers and others who most influence the modal outcome. In addition, it focuses on the role of knowledge in the decision processes. The literature review informs a set of specific research questions that further guides the research. These specific research questions are organized around several focal areas that relate to the primary research question: 1. Decision-making Procedure What is the decision-making procedure, the specific planning process that is followed? 2. Context What are the constraints and opportunities that most influence the modal outcome? What types of policies, politics, and economics most influence the modal outcome? What other contextual factors shape the modal outcome? 276

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3. Key Actors Who are the decision-makers? 4. Power Who wields the power to influence key decisions? How is power distributed? Who holds/uses/controls knowledge that most influences decision-making? 5. Knowledge What is the role of knowledge? How is knowledge/information used in the decision processes? The analyses that follow are organized around these specific research questions. The decision-making procedure and context are addressed in the next section. The analyses draw from the proposed planning model developed in Chapter 2. The analyses also incorporate the archival and interview research results, including an assessment of the regulatory framework, project costs and budget, and corridor needs. The subsequent sections analyze the key actors, distribution of power, and role of knowledge. These analyses describe the research results, provide a comparison between cases, and test the hypotheses developed for the research questions. The hypotheses developed in Chapter 3 are as follows: 1. Decision-making Procedural Hypothesis: Transportation decision processes generally follow the mandated NEP A process and as a result variations in the process do not impact modal outcome. 2. Contextual Hypothesis: Modal outcomes are driven by certain contextual factors, specifically available funding and politics. 277

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3 Decision-maker Hypothesis : Major transportation decisions are made by state and federal highway officials; these d e cision-makers are influenced by business and other interest groups that support hi g hway building. 4. Power Relationship Hypothesis: Power resides in coalitions comprised of government decision-makers and bu s iness and other interest groups that support highway building 5. Knowledge Hypothesis: Technical information doesn't have a major role in modal outcomes even though the NEPA process mandates consideration of social and environmental impacts 5.1.1 Decision-making Procedure and Context The literature indicated that a number of factors would influence the modal outcome. Several of these define the decision-making procedure, including the regulatory framework corridor needs project funding and costs, political setting, and level of public involvement. There were a number of other factors identified during the research that appeared to influence the modal outcome. These additional factors include the project size and ' community character." This latter factor was highlighted in the Entrance to Aspen case, particularly the attributes and amenities of the community that people associate with Aspen, such as its natural beauty, historic nature, and small town feel. For the Aspen case, the high level of public involvement appears to be driven, at least in part, by the value people place on community character. Level of public involvement and community character value may be overlapping factors, but they are presented separately herein to facilitate the analyses. Table 5 1 presents a comparative analysis of these procedural and contextual factors for each case study. In this ana lysis, the context" refers to the 278

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circumstances external to the decision process that may impact the process. The context includes the environmental requirements, transportation laws and policies, and political setting The concept of community character is also considered to be a part of the context in which decision-making occurs. With regard to the broader context, national and state transportation policies generally did not change during the 1990s, thus the case study modal outcomes were not driven by these policies. As noted earlier, a fixed time period was selected for the case studies to reduce the number of expected variables. The issuance of key legislation, specifically, ISTEA and the Clean Air Act Amendments in the early 1990s set the stage for stronger consideration for transit alternatives. In addition, in the same time period, the Colorado Department of Highways changed to the Department of Transportation, with a commensurate broader view of transportation alternatives. Because these broad contextual factors didn't change during the period the case study decisions were made, they are not examined further in the comparative study analyses. 279

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Table 5 1 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Decision-making Procedure and Context Factors Decision-making and Southeast Entrance to South 1-25 Context Factors Corridor Aspen, Corridor Project Highway 82 Project Project Modal Outcome Roadway Light rail Roadway expansion and transit or expansiOn light rail transit designated bus/HOY lanes Decision-making Deviations from Deviations Deviations ProcedurenRegulatory NEP A process, from EIS from EIS Framework change to MIS process, process, decision made segmenting segmenting outside NEP A corridor; corridor; process was unknown unknown significant influence influence Project Size 17 miles ofl-25 4.3 miles of SH 35 miles of 1and 1-225 82 25 and US 85 Project Cost Estimate $1.6 billion $160 million $178 million (FEIS costs); (FEIS cost); (FEIS costs); insignificant significant moderate influence influence, esp. influence local funding Corridor Needs Congestion and Congestion and Congestion and safety; safety; safety; insignificant significant significant influence influence influence Political Settin2 Insignificant Significant Moderate Public Involvement Insignificant Significant Insignificant Community Insignificant Significant Insignificant Character 280

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5.1.1.1 Decision-making Procedure Turning to the procedures employed, the research showed each case generally followed the mandated NEP A process. On the face of it, each case followed the same procedures, indicating the planning model developed for the research (see Figure 2.3) holds true. In addition, the procedural hypothesis seems to be valid: Transportation decision processes generally follow the mandated NEP A process and as a result variations in the process do not impact modal outcome. However, the research reveals that all three decision-making processes deviated from the NEP A process. In this analysis, the use of the term "deviated" is not intended to imply a legal assessment of the procedures. Instead, it refers to an unexpected departure from the procedure depicted in the literature review. The Southeast Corridor case study research uncovered a dramatic change from the MIS transit decision to the EIS decision comprised of highway expansion plus rail transit. The MIS transit decision was developed from a process involving all levels of government, business, special interest groups, and the general public. In addition it was constrained by the budget established in the Regional Transportation Plan. It was also shaped by the environmental and social impacts assessment mandated by NEP A. However, shortly after initiation of the EIS process, individuals from CDOT, FHW A, and FT A redirected the decision outcome to highway expansion without regard to the consensus and analyses surrounding the MIS process. Moreover, this significant modal change was made despite the budget and regulatory framework constraints. The change in decision occurred outside the NEP A process. Subsequently, the EIS steps were followed and the new solution was incorporated into the decision process. For this case, the EIS purpose and need statement was revised to fit the new solution and then the transit-only alternatives were eliminated because they did not meet the new purpose and need statement. 281

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Even though the mandated NEP A procedural steps were followed, the Southeast Corridor case deviated significantly resulting in a significant modal change. The Aspen and South I-25 Corridor cases both involved early decisions to segment the corridors. There is no pattern indicated because both corridors were segmented and the outcomes were different modes. Despite the apparent procedural deviations for these two cases, the process itself did not appear to influence the modal outcome. Each case followed the steps mirroring the planning model developed for the research. However, the modal outcomes were different: transit only for the Aspen case and highway expansion only for the South I-25 Corridor case. These findings are consistent with the procedural and hypothesis developed for the research. 5.1.1.2 Contextual Factors The comparative analysis of the contextual factors also sheds some light on the validity ofthe contextual hypothesis: Modal outcomes are driven by certain contextual factors, specifically available funding and politics. Table 5.1 indicates that the larger and higher cost projects may lead to roadway expansion, but there is not sufficient evidence to support a linkage. The inference is the federal and state transportation agencies are more controlling of the larger, more costly projects, thus driving the outcome toward the mode they advocate. In the Southeast Corridor case, the federal and state officials controlled the decision-making process and the agenda was clearly highway expansion. The South I-25 Corridor project was controlled by state transportation officials, who had a predetermined decision to widen the highways. In contrast federal and state officials deferred decision making to local government in the Aspen case. The small size and low cost of the 282

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Highway 82 project may have contributed to this delegation of authority to local government. The comparative analysis shows that two of the cases were driven by corridor needs, yet the modes selected were contrary to each other. The corridor needs were the same for all three cases. The research indicated corridor needs were important to the Entrance to Aspen and South I-25 Corridor case studies; however, the modal outcome was transit and highway expansion, respectively. Even if the Southeast Corridor needs were considered a significant decision factor, as claimed by the state and federal transportation officials, this still does not indicate a pattern between this factor and modal outcome. The political setting did not seem to be a significant factor in the Southeast Corridor. The state-level political preference for transit did not change until after the decision was made to include highway expansion, thus it did not drive this modal shift. Political setting does not seem to be significant in the South I-25 Corridor project. CDOT apparently initiated the NEP A process with plans to expand the highway corridors and local government supported these plans. On the other hand, the Aspen case was strongly influenced by local elected officials who supported transit alternatives. The last two contextual factors examined are the level of public involvement and community character. The case studies examined the public involvement processes in depth. The public involvement processes employed by all three projects included public forums, technical and citizen advisory committees, and formal public comment periods. The Aspen research revealed a much more extensive process, comprised of expert panels on financing and rail technology, additional technical studies and data gathering, more public forums and outreach to the public. In all three cases many people were involved in the EIS process In the Southeast Corridor case, hundreds of comments were received about the proposed 283

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alternatives, many of them supporting the MIS transit alternative. And a large number of comments responded to the South I-25 Corridor proposed projects solutions. Most of these South I-25 Corridor project comments related to interchanges, noises, and other design features but not to the mode of transportation. The Entrance to Aspen EIS process solicited a tremendous amount of citizen and special interest group involvement. The research identified extensive public comments and participation in forums, letters in the newspapers, and public votes. In summary, Table 5.1 describes two ofthe cases with an insignificant level of influence through the public involvement process, and a high level of influence for the Aspen case. Evidence from the research supports a linkage between a more extensive public participation process and higher level of citizen involvement and transit outcomes. As noted earlier, the community character factor was highlighted in the Entrance to Aspen case The archival and interview research identified a strong sense of value placed on the attributes and amenities of the community, including its natural setting and the historic and small town characteristics. The research found a number of people and groups felt the mode of transportation selected would impact this sense of community character Many people believed a rail line fit the character of downtown Aspen and would promote tourism while others believed the overhead light rail power system would detract from the unique character of the town. We also saw in the Aspen case the powerful elected officials supported the transit alternative, in part because of its positive impacts on community character. Table 5.1 depicts this factor as very influential in the Aspen case. For the Aspen case, the high level of public involvement appears to be driven, at least in part, by the value people place on community character. There is sufficient evidence supporting a linkage, under certain circumstances, between the level of public involvement and community character and transit solutions This is an unexpected finding and contrasts the contextual hypothesis This research 284

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indicates there are influential contextual factors in addition to project cost and funding and politics posited in the hypothesis. In summary, under circumstances similar to Aspen, modal outcomes may be driven by the high level of public involvement and value people place on the unique characteristics of their community. 5.1.2 Key Actors and Power Distribution This comparative analysis examines who made the decision, who influenced the decision-makers, and how power was distributed. Table 5.2 presents the key actor and power distribution analysis The paragraphs that follow describe this analysis. The relevant hypothesis, derived from the literature, posits that state and federal highway officials make major transportation modal decisions in Colorado. Two cases support this hypothesis, but again the Aspen case differs significantly In this Aspen case, federal and state government officials essentially delegated decision-making authority to local officials. With regard to the hypothesis describing who most influences the decision makers, the research found there were no significantly influential individuals or groups in the Southeast Corridor and South I-25 Corridor case studies outside of federal and state government. Federal and state transportation executives made the Southeast Corridor modal change apparently with no direct influence from others. The South I-25 Corridor case study showed that state government officials had predetermined the highway expansion alternative and Douglas County supported this Other individuals or groups had little influence on the decision-makers The Aspen case study revealed several special interest groups and the voting public 285

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significantly influenced the local elected officials. In addition, business moderately influenced the decision-makers. All three cases contrasted the research hypothesis: Power resides in coalitions comprised of business and other interest groups supporting highway building, and government decision-makers Business or special interest groups did not significantly influence the Southeast Corridor and South 1-25 Corridor modal outcomes. And the Aspen case research indicated coalitions were formed between elected officials and business and special interest groups, but their agendas were not highway building. Rather the business and special interest groups focused on meeting their own needs, such as enhancing tourism or protecting open space. 286

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Table 5.2 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Key Actors and Power Distribution Factors Key Actors and Southeast Entrance to South 1-25 Power Distribution Corridor Aspen, Corridor Factors Project Highway 82 Project Project Modal Outcome Roadway Light rail Roadway expansion and transit or expanswn light rail transit designated bus/HOY lanes Decision-makers State and federal Local elected State government officials government transportation transportation executives officials Influential None Special interest Local Individuals and groups, government Groups business, and the public How is Power Retained at state Dispersed Retained at Distributed and federal across local state government elected government levels officials, level; special interest moderately groups, influenced by business, and local the public government The literature review indicated individuals and coalitions comprised of government, business and other interest groups, would drive modal decisions The case study findings and analyses confirmed the proposed conceptualization of the power structure was valid; however, each case study found the constmct of the coalitions varied significantly. The Southeast Corridor project was controlled by officials from state and federal transportation agencies and these officials made decisions without regard to MIS process and the previous decision. The pictorial representation of this power 287

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structure appears in Chapter 4 (Figure 4.4). The South I-25 Corridor project was controlled by state government officials, with a moderate level of influence by local government. In addition, businesses and special interests groups wielded very little influence. In both of these cases, power is concentrated in the state and federal government executives. See Figure 4.12. The power construct for the Entrance to Aspen project is very different. It was essentially the same as the literature-derived conceptualization (Figure 2.4). It depicts a more balanced arrangement of power and influence by government, business interests, and special interest groups, with government wielding the most power. And contrasting the Southeast Corridor case, the powerful government institutions were at the local level, not the state or federal level. Power in the Aspen case is more dispersed than the other two cases. Even though local elected officials had the most power, they were heavily influenced by numerous groups and the voting public. As noted earlier, the hypothesis does not hold true fully because the Aspen coalitions were not comprised of individual and groups with highway building agendas. However, the power structure model depicted in Figure 2.4 is valid for this case. Further, the research provides some evidence that the more dispersed power structure, extensive public involvement process, high level of involvement by the public and groups, and strong feelings about community character identified in the Aspen case leads to transit solutions. This inference is supported by the MIS decision for the Southeast Corridor project. During the MIS phase, the transit solution had significant public support, and backing by local elected officials and governments, and several special interest groups. There is not sufficient evidence to conclude that transit solutions arise from these circumstances beyond the specific cases themselves. These findings, though not conclusive, are very interesting and suggest further research. 288

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The research shows the key actors controlled the knowledge, specifically the technical information employed in the EIS processes. We saw this was true for each case study The Southeast Corridor state and federal transportation decision-makers directly managed the evaluation of highway expansion alternatives. The record showed once the highway expansion alternative was selected, the project staff gathered new information; facilitated meetings toward development of revised corridor goals, objectives, and needs; developed the new alternatives; and structured the alternatives analysis to support the decision. The Entrance to Aspen case was similar in that the local government officials, particularly the mayor of Aspen and key staff, controlled most of the information employed in the EIS process. These officials orchestrated technical expert and public involvement processes that influenced the alternatives in the EIS documents and helped to shape public opinion The South I-25 Corridor study showed the state transportation officials controlled the technical information In this case, state officials seemed to be significantly driven to meet local concerns and needs relating to the congested and unsafe corridors. 5.1.3 Role of Knowledge The case study research also increased our understanding of how information was used in transportation decision processes. NEP A and the other relevant laws mandate a science-based, rational process for developing and presenting technical data and analyses. The research found that generally the data and analyses were factual and sound. However there was sufficient evidence that some technical information was exaggerated or skewed to support the desired conclusion. Further research may be indicated to examine the technical data and analyses in more detail to determine if this occurs in other Colorado cases. 289

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With regard to how the role of knowledge in the decision processes, the research revealed technical information was employed throughout the decision process, but it had little effect on modal outcome (see Figure 5.5). The Aspen transit solution was initially driven by the air quality analyses. Subsequently, the analyses showed all the proposals met the air quality emissions budget. Other than this specific instance, the social and environmental analyses did not significantly influence mode choice. This is primarily because the transit alternatives were eliminated prior to the full analyses in the other two cases. This conclusion supports the hypothesis stating : Technical information doesn t have a major role in modal outcomes even though the NEP A process mandates consideration of social and environmental impacts. This conclusion is not intended to downplay the importance ofthe NEPA process that mandates a comprehensive assessment of social and environmental impacts of the alternatives Rather, the hypothesis reflects the results of the literature reviews and the author's experience reviewing other EIS documents. 290

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Table 5.3 Case Study Comparative Analysis: Role of Knowledge Factors Knowledge Factors Southeast Entrance to South 1-25 Corridor Aspen, Corridor Project Highway 82 Project Project Modal Outcome Roadway Light rail Roadway expansion and transit or expans10n light rail transit designated bus/HOY lanes Role of Knowledge Technical Air quality Technical information information information used to support was critical used to support decision early on; data decision supported the process Significance of Insignificant Significant Insignificant Information to initially, then Modal Outcome insignificant 5.1.4 Comparative Analyses Conclusions The case study comparative analyses present several significant findings. In some instances the specific hypotheses were found to hold true for the case studies. In addition, the examination of the planning model and the conceptual power structure revealed interesting findings. A summary of the significant findings is presented below, following the same format employed for the comparative analyses. 1. Decision-making Procedure and Contextual Factors State and federal governments may exert more control on larger and higher cost projects, thus leading to their advocated highway solutions Political setting, high public involvement, and strong sense of "community character" may lead to transit solutions 2. Key Actors and Power Distribution 291

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Concentration of power in federal and/or state decision-makers may lead to their advocated highway solutions Dispersed power and influence (e.g., in local government, business, and special interest groups; and indirect public influence) may lead to transit mode selection 3. Role of Knowledge Technical data and analyses have little influence on modal outcome, even in areas of air quality nonattainrnent Those who control knowledge use it to support predetermined outcomes This section presented analyses of the three case studies and the results. The significant findings are summarized above. These findings are valid for the specific case circumstances and in some instances they may be generalized to other Colorado projects. The next section discusses research limitations, some ofwhich further describe generalizability of the research findings. The Future Research section suggests additional studies that can help to improve generalizability. 5.2 Research Limitations This study's goal was to increase our understanding of transportation decision-making processes in Colorado and the interrelationship between the processes and modal outcomes. Since only three cases were employed in the research, this description of transportation decision processes should not be generalized beyond Colorado. In some instance, it is reasonable to state that some of the findings represent decision processes in Colorado during the 1990s. The influential factors described in this research should similarly affect other transportation decision processes. In addition, the conceptual power structure can be applied with confidence to other cases in Colorado during this time period, 292

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though the amount decision-makers are influenced by business and special interest groups is expected to vary from case to case. Generalizing beyond Colorado and to other time period should be only done with after further research. Future research can strengthen the validity of these findings and improve generalizability. 5.3 Future Research This study of Colorado transportation decision processes suggests further research. As noted above, additional case studies should be conducted in the state during the same time frame to identify additional evidence supporting linkages between the specific factors and modal outcome. To gather additional focused evidence, in-depth archival and interview research may not be needed. Instead new research could hone in on the key EIS documents to examine the factors, power structure, role of knowledge, etc. Additional case study research should also be done to confirm state and federal governments exert more control on large and high cost projects. In addition, cases with circumstances similar to the Aspen case should be examined to determine if political setting, high public involvement, and strong sense of community character leads to transit solutions. Further, to improve generalizabilty, cases in other states should be selected during the same time period. Examining project decisions from other time periods will require substantial research because there will be more research variables. For example, the study of project decisions occurring prior to enactment of IS TEA, the federal transportation legislation of the early 1990s, are expected to differ based on the effects ofthe legislation, such as conformity requirements with regional transportation plans. Of course, more study is needed to generalize these findings to urban decision-making outside of the field of transportation. 293

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The technical information used in EIS processes should also be examined further. The case study research indicates some data is exaggerated or skewed data and analyses are conducted in a manner supporting desired conclusions or positions. More detailed examination of EIS and related documents would be needed to validate or disprove these claims. The air quality assessments, required under NEP A, and environmental transportation laws are other critical areas ripe for further study. For much of the Front Range of Colorado and other more rural areas, air quality nonattainment status is a principle aspect of the required environmental assessments. In all three cases studies, the air quality assessment was ultimately not a significant factor in the selection of the transportation mode, specifically the EIS documents all included air quality assessment; however, the alternatives appeared to be selected without regard to resultant air emissions projections. The earlier phases of the Entrance to Aspen EIS process is the only exception. In the latter Aspen EIS documents, all the alternatives were deemed acceptable from an air quality perspective. Perhaps the obvious is true-the air emissions budgets are so high that any alternative, highway expansion or transit, would meet the requirements. Further research is warranted to determine the adequacy of the air quality assessments and the appropriateness of the air emissions budgets. The study identified two other significant findings that should be studied further. The first is elimination of alternatives in the EIS process. In each case, a wide array of alternatives was initially identified. Through the screening process, a variety of factors were used to eliminate alternatives from further evaluation. In the Southeast Corridor case, the failure of the transit-only alternative to meet the revised project goals led to elimination of the broadly-supported MIS transit alternative The segmentation of both the Highway 82 and South I-25 Corridor project corridors may have affected the alternatives in the final assessment. In addition, the determination that rail would not be constructed within 20 years and the bus/HOY lanes were inconsistent with the solution for the Southeast Corridor led to 294

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consideration of solely highway expansion alternatives for the South I-25 Corridor. These apparent deviations from the NEP A process warrant more study before conclusions can be drawn. The last area for further study identified during the research is the adequacy of regional transportation planning. As shown in the Southeast Corridor case study, the transportation elements appearing in DRCOG's regional plans seem to react to the specific project decision processes. The transportation laws require the project conforms to the regional plans, when the opposite seemed to occur that is the regional plan was modified after the transportation officials decided to expand the highway corridor. Further study of regional planning processes should also include the concern raised about segmenting corridors and well as implementing "early action" projects, as occurred with the South I-25 Corridor case. The study results infer segmenting the corridor may predetermine mode selection. And this argument could go either way, as discussed in the Entrance to Aspen case study. If Highway 82 had not been segmented the result could have been valley-wide rail or bus/HOY lanes at the entrance to Aspen. Similarly, early actions along the South I-25 corridor may have helped drive the selection of alternatives to solely highway expansion options. 5.4 Enriching Planning Theory Turning back to the discussion of planning theory in Chapter 2, we saw an array of conceptualizations of regime theory and the growth machine. Savitch and Thomas described several types of regime: pluralist, elitist, corporatist and hyperpluralist. The regime typology is based on the strength of the political leaders versus the private actors (Stoker, 1996, p. 275). Stoker criticized their work as not meeting the test of regime theory. Stoker's definition of a regime is an informal, 295

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stable group ofbusiness interests and government decision-makers. These coalitions form because business has access to the resources government needs to implement its goals As a result business gains a privileged relationship to government officials (Stoker, 1996, p. 270). And Logan and Molotch found the business sectors fostered long-term stable relationships with public officials to ensure their growth agendas were met, thus helping to shaping the urban environment (Logan and Molotch, 1996). Dahl's study ofNew Haven identified a "stratified pluralism according to Judge Stoker, and Wolman, where a small group of individuals directly influenced political action while the general public had a lesser indirect influence through voting (Judge, Stoker, and Wolman, 1998, pp. 17 -19). These authors also found Clarence Stone had acknowledged the regime approach may appear like pluralism, but he was insistent the approaches were separate and distinct. As noted earlier, Mollenkopf attempted to reconcile structuralist and pluralist approaches by positing that government leaders relate both to their political and electoral bases and their economic base (Mollenkopf, 1992, pp. 31-2). Chapter 2 also included a brief overview of the modified corporatist paradigm Bianco and Adler applied to implementation of Oregon's Transportation Planning Rule In their study, they believed the relationship between government, the private sector, and the special interest group influenced implementation toward the individual goals of each group (Bianco and Adler, 2001 ). Each description of regime theory or growth machine lends itself to the power structure triangle posited in Chapter 2, comprised of government, business, and special interest groups, operating under the broad, but indirect, influence of the general public. As we saw from the case study comparative analyses, each case can be depicted by this power structure; however, the strength of each comer of the triangle varies. This study of Colorado transportation decision processes has reaffirmed the conceptual model inferred by regime theory and growth machine. 296

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And similar to Mollenkopfs study, this case study research has helped to reconcile perceived differences between structuralist and pluralist views. All three cases demonstrated coalitions of governments controlling the decision process are influenced by business and special interest groups, and indirectly influenced by the needs of the general public. The research also provides empirical evidence of the inner workings of powerful leaders. This builds upon Forester and Flyvbjerg s works. Flyvbjerg studied how government officials responded to the needs of their constituents, including businesses and the police department resulting in major changes to implementation of the downtown transportation plan. And Forester extensively studied planning power relationships. Each Colorado case study examined how those in power identified project needs and influenced the decision process towards their desired outcomes. The other aspect of the study that seems to enlighten planning theory is the potential finding that the operation of pluralist structure may lead to more broad based social outcomes, such as transit over highway building The Aspen case study infers this correlation, though further research is needed for validation. Beyond these general comments about this research effort and regime theory and the growth machine approach, we can look more in depth into several forms of power defined by Stocker. In 1998, Stoker revisited Clarence Stone's regime theory work He highlighted the view that social production, "the capacity to act," is more important than "who governs?" As a result, Stoker moves away from the debate over pluralists and elitists. He focuses on government's interest in forming coalitions with those who hold the resources needed to implement public goals (Stoker, 1998, p 123) Stoker creates a typology of power forms that can be applied to the case study research. He describes two forms that appear to be elite-centered approaches: systemic power" and "command or social control." He states systemic power 297

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involves individuals or groups acquiring power from their position in the socio economic structure In this power form government cooperates with those have needed resources, the holders of systemic power. The command/social control form involves mobilizing resources to "achieve domination over other interests" (Stoker 1998, p. 123) The Aspen case demonstrated this form of power. The chronology of events and interviews revealed the ability of local elected officials to orchestrate expert panels public forums, and other public involvement efforts to shape public opinion. Local government needed to exert control over procedures and information in order to shift CDOT away from its original proposal to expand the highway with designated bus/HOV lanes. Stoker also described "coalition power." In this power arrangement the key actors bargain to achieve their goals The actor's goal is not to dominate other individuals groups, but to cooperate to achieve common goals (Stoker, 1998, p. 123). We saw this form of power in the Aspen case demonstrated by the partnerships formed between special interest groups. In some situations the Friends of Marolt sided with the pro-highway group and at other times they formed alliances with the transit advocates. These shifting coalitions illustrate Stoker's point that these types of coalitions are generally not stable (Stoker, 1998, p. 123). Stoker also defines the last form of power as "pre-emptive" power, wherein successful regimes can overcome the traditional leadership role and "establish for themselves a near decision-making monopoly over the cutting edge choices facing their locality (Stoker, 1998, p. 123). Again the Aspen case illustrates this form of power. The local coalitions were able to assert sufficient influence resulting in state and federal government officials essentially delegating decision-making authority to local government. The Southeast Corridor case doesn't appear to follow any of the four power forms describ e d by Stoker. Stoker noted it is not likely that any one group can control social production in our complex world. However, the Southeast Corridor 298

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case demonstrated just that. The state and federal government officials had the capability to change a major decision without forming coalitions with other groups. On the other hand, these government officials had to involve other groups including DRCOG and RTD and garner the support of special interest groups, to implement the new transportation solution. With regard to implementation the state and federal governments employed the command and social control form of power to carry out their plans. The South 1-25 Corridor case study illustrates forms of power similar to the Southeast Corridor case. State officials seemed to have monolithic control over the decision-process from the beginning. They formed a partnership with local government particularly Douglas County elected officials to ensure support for the highway expansion solution. The formation of this coalition exhibited the command and social control form of power. Using Stoker's typology of power forms, allowed a straightforward application of regime theory to the cases studied. In addition, the research enriched planning theory. The cases provide actual examples ofthe forms of power. Lastly, the research supports Stoker's recommendation that theorists move away from investigating "Who Governs?" and focus on how various forms of power achieve social production (Stoker, 1998, p. 123). 5.5 Guidelines for Planners An anticipated outcome of the research was to provide transportation practitioners with ways to predict modal outcomes or to shape their own planning projects towards a desired solution. First, practitioners can employ the list of influential decision-making factors, developed from the case study research, to evaluate their own transportation planning projects. The case study comparative 299

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analyses examining the level of influence ofthe factors (see Tables 5.1-5.3) can be used before the project begins to identify areas that may need more attention than others For example, the list of factors can help identify that more emphasis may be needed on effective communication strategies with businesses or special interest groups that appear to encourage more involvement. Second, Colorado transportation planners should expect that state and federal government officials will retain control ofthe larger and more costly projects and they may defer decision-making to local government in certain situations. The role ofbusiness and special interest groups in the decision process is also important to understand. Planners should also recognize that the general public, the electoral base, may have an indirect influence on the project decision makers. So, sufficient time should be spent gaining an understanding of the key actors, the role of business and special interest groups, and the views of the general public. The case study findings also instruct planners to identify the important government decision-makers and to learn their motivations and how they go about carrying out decisions. For example, the Aspen case guides us to look for local leaders that are capable and motivated to orchestrate expert and public forums to sway opinion. Since each case is significantly different, planners should carefully evaluate the strength and effectiveness of all the potential influential factors and actors. There were several specific technical concerns that arose during this research highlight areas that may need particular attention by the planner upfront. These include as any proposal to segment a corridor, significantly change the project needs statements, implement multiple early actions that may predetermine a corridor solution, or eliminate alternatives from further consideration. This research should also assist planners with the particulars of their own projects. As noted in Chapter 2, Flyvbjerg and Peattie both highlighted, the value of 300

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in-depth case study research and its value to planning practitioners They describe 'phronesis study as, 'knowing what to do in a particular situation (Peattie, 2002 pp. 260-1 ). Since large transportation projects adhere to the NEPA process, there will be many similarities between future transportation projects and these case studies. The practitioners can review the case studies and envision how their particular decision processes may follow the case studies or differ from them. And practitioners can use the case study results to try to sway their project outcomes. For example, if a transit solution is a desirable outcome planners should examine the Entrance to Aspen case to develop strategies to shift the decision process towards that option. For example, the Aspen case highlighted how special interest groups effectively used news coverage and ballot initiatives to influence public opinion. Many of the specific strategies identified in the Aspen case can be transferred to future transportation projects. A summary of the significant research recommendations to planners is presented below: Expect modal outcomes to vary with the people in power (bureaucrats and elected government leaders) and several factors: power distribution, public involvement, political setting, and community character; Planners should examine all the factors that may influence mode choice; Identify the important government (bureaucrat and elected) decision-makers and understand their motivations; Recognize decision-making occurs outside the NEP A process; Identify decisions early in the process that may deviate from NEP A and impact modal outcome; and Study the research case chronologies to gain a deeper understanding of procedural and contextual factors in the role of power and knowledge 301

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5.6 Closing Remarks This study focused on critical transportation decision processes that drove modal outcomes. The research examined the people and processes shaping transportation decisions in Colorado. This study brought the inner workings of these decision processes to light. The research developed, tested, and validated a transportation planning model. The research also developed and tested a conceptual power structure that described the inner workings. The research identified a number of factors influencing the decision processes. The research identified several factors that seem to significantly influence mode selection, particularly political setting, level of public involvement, and community character. The research also highlighted the decision-making role of state and federal government officials and the arrangement of power that operates within the decision process. More research is recommended to allow generalizing these findings to other decision processes. The lack of evidence to support strong linkages between factors and modal outcome may discourage some planners. However, some practitioners may embrace these research findings with the hope that an examination of those in power and the influencing factors will allow for better prediction of modal selection and opportunities to shift decision-making towards more sustainable outcomes. The author concludes with the sincere hope the study added to the body of planning theory, regime theory and growth machine in particular, and it will aid transportation planning practitioners in their future work. This study has confirmed several research hypotheses derived from the literature Other unexpected findings were revealed. Such is the nature of planning problems. These concluding remarks bring this dissertation back to the discussion of "wicked problems" in Chapter 2. Planning problems ar e considered "wicked" because they have no definable end, the 302

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solutions are neither true nor false, neither good nor bad, and every problem is essentially unique The kinds of problems that planners deal with-societal problems are inherently different from the problems that scientists and perhaps some classes of engineers deal with Planning problems are inherently wicked (Rittel and Webber, I 973, p. 160) 303

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Appendix A. Interview Questions General Interview Questions 1. Describe how you are involved in transportation projects in general. 2. Describe your background as it relates to transportation projects. 3. Describe your interest in transportation projects. 4. Describe how you were involved in this particular project (case study). Interview Questions Broader Context and Case Specific, (based on role of interviewee) 1. Earlier research indicates that many factors influence major transportation projects, including community goals and objectives, federal and state government agency needs, land use patterns, people's travel preferences, and political interests, just to name a few. In addition, transportation projects are subject to a wide array of constraints and rules, including federal transportation laws, federal environmental impact statement requirements, federal and state funding constraints, etc What do you think are the factors, constraints or rules that most significantly influence major transportation projects in Colorado? What do you think are the factors, constraints, or rules that most significantly influenced this project (case study)? Do you think these factors, constraints, or rules are applied appropriately and consistently from project to project? 2. How much do you and/or your organization influence transportation projects in Colorado? Follow-up questions: Is there anything unique about the way you influenced this particular project, for example, how did you influence the project and why did you influence it? 3 What other individuals and groups most significantly influence transportation projects in Colorado? Follow-up question: 304

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Is there anything unique about the way these other individuals or groups influenced this particular project, for example, how did they influence the project and why did they influence it? 4. Are you aware of significant conflicting views and positions within your organization that related to this project? Follow-up questions: Describe some of these conflicts. Do your views of the project differ from others within your organization? How were these conflicts resolved? How did this affect the mode selected? 5. Are you aware of significant conflicting views and positions between organizations relating to this project, such as conflicts between the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation District? Follow-up questions: Describe some of these conflicts. How were these conflicts resolved? How did this affect the mode selected? 6. Significant amounts of data are often used in transportation projects, including corridor travel and safety needs, environmental impacts, economic information, and social impacts, such as displacement of homes and businesses. And frequently various analyses are conducted, such as the assessment of environmental impacts of project alternatives. Describe the data and analyses you think were most important to the selection ofthe mode of transportation (highway expansion or light rail transit) for this project. Follow-up questions: When the data and analyses were presented, were they presented factually and in an unbiased manner? How did the data and analyses influence the mode selected? Who controlled the data and analyses? 7. In retrospect, do you think the mode of transportation selected for this project was the right decision? If not, what could have been done differently? 8. Is there anything else about this project that seems significant or interesting that you would like to tell me about? 9. Can you recommend other knowledgeable individuals who should be interviewed? What was their role in transportation projects in Colorado? 305

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Appendix B. Interview Letter and Consent Form Interview Letter Date Name Address Dear -----I am writing to introduce myself and provide information about my research and the planned interview scheduled with you on November 10, at 3:30p.m. My name is Diana Shannon and I am a doctoral candidate in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver I am currently conducting research for my dissertation on transportation decision-making processes in Colorado In particular, my research focuses on several major transportation corridors including the Southeast Corridor, (commonly called TREX), the South I-25 Corridor, and Highway 82 near Aspen. It also focuses on the mode of transportation selected (highway expansion and alternatives) From my preliminary research comprised of reviewing government records, news articles, and other documents, I identified you as a key participant in decision-making processes. Your insight and experience will be invaluable to my research. The interview should take less than one hour of your time The Univer s ity requires that research subjects be notified of the purpose of the research, benefits and risks of participation, voluntary nature of participation, confidentiality maintenance of records, etc. For your information, I have attached the informed consent form I will use with all the interviewees. I would like to emphasize up front that participation in this interview is completely voluntary on your part. Information from your interview may be incorporated into my dissertation; however your name and identify will be kept confidential, unless you specify 306

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otherwise If you are interested in more information about my dissertation research, please don t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached during the day at 720-9885278 and in the evening at 303-494-5262. My email address is: dshannon@ouray.cudenver.edu Sincerely, Diana E. Shannon, Ph.D. Candidate College of Architecture and Planning Attachment: Informed Consent Form 307

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Informed Consent Form Research Project: Transportation Decision-Making in Colorado Researcher: Diana E Shannon, University of Colorado at Denver, College of Architecture and Planning Research Project Description: This research examines policies, processes, and people that shape major transportation decisions in Colorado. This empirical study will scrutinize how transportation projects are conceived, planned, and produced The results of this study will appear in the researcher's dissertation and may be disseminated through reports, articles, and conference presentations. Description of Interviews: The researcher, Diana E. Shannon, a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado at Denver, College of Architecture and Planning invites you to participate in this research project by participating in a 1-hour interview. The researcher would like to talk with you, tape the conversation and take notes, as needed during the interview. Benefits: Benefits to you are: (1) the opportunity to share your perspectives on a topic of great interest to the field of transportation planning and to the public in general, and (2) the chance to explain how you think transportation decision-making could be improved. The researcher will also send you a letter of appreciation for participating in the interview. Risks or Discomforts: There is the possibility that interview questions may bring up topics that you may have a strong opinion about and/or which may be contrary to the views of transportation decision-makers. In this situation, it could be possible that you might jeopardize your relationship with the decision-maker if you express these views. To avoid any repercussions, such as social embarrassment or a damaged reputation, your names and comments will be kept confidential unless you specify otherwise. Remember that you don't have to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. Confidentiality and Privacy: Please be assured that the researcher will make every effort to keep the information you provide confidential, unless you specify otherwise The interview audiotapes and research notes will be protected from disclosure. The researcher will retain all data and signed consent forms in a secure place throughout the project. Records will be retained for three years and then destroyed. In all research related reports, your comments will be referenced 308

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generically, such as "these views were stated by a representative of the Denver Regional Council of Governments," in order to protect confidentiality. If you feel that representing y our views in this generic manner won't ensure confidentiality please notify the researcher and other methods will be employed, such as being more generic, for example, stating that "these views were expressed by a government representative. Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is voluntary. Refusal to participate or withdrawal from the study will present no penalty or loss of benefits to you. Questions about Project: The researcher is happy to answer any question you may have about this study. Diana E. Shannon can be reached at 720-988-5278 (day phone) or 303-494-5262 (evening phone), by mail at University of Colorado, College of Architecture and Planning, ENVD 314 UCB Boulder CO 80309-0314, or email: dshannon@ouray cudenver.edu. University of Colorado at Denver Contact: The interviewee may contact the Human Subjects Research Committee Administrator at CU-Denver Building, Suite 740, Denver, or at 303-556-4060, with questions about their rights as a research subject. 309

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Authorization: I, as a subject in this study, have read this consent form or it was read to me. All of my questions have been answered to my satisfaction Signing this form means that I understand the above information and voluntarily consent to participate in this research project relating to Colorado transportation decision making. Voluntary consent to participate : _____ (initials) Release from Confidentiality: I, the subject in this study, give permission for use of my name, title, and expressed views in published reports, dissertation, professional papers or conference presentations. I acknowledge and understand that by initialing here I release the researcher from the promise of retaining confidentiality. Release from confidentiality : _____ (initials) Permission to Tape Record the Interview and Take Notes: I, the subject in this study, give my permission for the researcher to tape record the interview and take notes, as needed during the interview. Permission to tape record the interview and to allow note taking: ____ (initials) ----------------(Please Print) Interviewee's Name Interviewee's Signature Date Researcher's Signature Date (The interviewee will be provided a copy of this signed consent form to keep ) 310

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Appendix C. Human Subjects Research Committee Approval University of Colorado at Denver HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH COMMITTEE University of Colorado at Denver Campus Box 129, P.O. Box 173364 Denver, CO 80217-3364 MEMORANDUM DATE: December 29 2003 TO: Diana Shannon FROM: Deborah Kellogg, HSRC Chair SUBJECT: Human Subjects Research Protocol #2004-050-Urban Transportation and Consequences for Automobile Dependence : A Colorado Ca se Study Y our protocol, with changes, has been approved as non-exempt and should pose no more than minimal risk. This approval is good for up to one year from this date Your responsibilities as a researcher include : If you make changes to your research protocol or design y o u should contact the HSRC. You are responsible for maintaining all documentation of consent. Unle s s specified differently in your protocol, all data and consents should be maint a ined for three years. If you should encounter adverse human subjects issues please contact u s immediately. If your research continues beyond one year from the above date, contact the HSRC for a n extension. The HSRC may audit your documents at any time. Goo d Luck with your research 311

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Appendix D. Human Subjects Research Committee Approval Extension University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center Human Subjects Research Co mmittee Institutional Review Board Downtown Den ver Campus Box 120, P 0 Box 173364 Denver, Colorado 80217-3364 Phone : 303-556-4060 Fax 303-556-5855 DATE: December 9 2004 TO: Diana Shannon FROM: Deborah Kellogg, HSRC Chair SUBJECT: Human Subjects Research Protocol #2004-050Urban Tr ans portation and Conse quences for Automobile Dependence : A Colorado Case Study Thank you for contacting us reque s ting an extension for yo ur research After reviewing the material you submitted your protocol has been extended for one calendar year from the a bove d ate. As a reminder your responsibilities as a rese archer include: If you make changes to your researc h protocol or design you s hould contact the HSRC. You are responsible for maintaining all docum e ntation of consent. Unless specified differently in your protocol all data and consents s hould be maintained for three years If you should encounter adverse human subjects issues please contact us immediately. If your research continues beyond one year from the abov e date_ contact the HSRC for an additional extension. The HSRC may audit your documents at any time Continued luck with your research. 312

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Appendix E. Case Study Chronology: Southeast Corridor The Southeast Corridor case study examines a major transportation project in the metro Denver area. The case study project is commonly referred to as the Southeast Corridor or Southeast Multimodal Corridor. It is comprised of 17 miles ofhighway, including the portion of Interstate Highway 25 (1-25) from Lincoln Avenue north to downtown Denver (Broadway intersection) and a segment of Interstate 225 (1-225) from its intersection with 1-25, north to Parker Road. Figure 4.1 is a diagram of the project corridor (from (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999b, p. 1-2). This case study chronology provides detailed information about the major events, key actors, and major decisions. It focuses of the period oftime from mid1995 the initiation of a key transportation planning process, the Major Investment Study (MIS) to issuance of the final decision document in March 2000. The time line of major events appears in Chapter 4 (Figure 4 2). History and Early Corridor Studies 1948-1958-Construction of the Denver Valley Highway (now designated 1-25) was started in 1948 and completed ten years later (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999b, pp. 1-6). 1986-The City of Aurora prepared an Environmental Assessment Seeping Document to address rapid growth in the region resulting in increased travel demand. The report stated that the Colorado Department of Highways (CDOH, later renamed the Colorado Department of Transportation) proposed to widen 1-225 from four to six lanes from I-70 to 1-25 and prepared an Environmental Assessment for the highway-widening proposal. The City of Aurora proposed a new interchange on I-225 at Dayton and other improvements to alleviate some of the future roadway system capacity problems (Aurora, 1986, p.3.) Alternatives included transportation system management (TSM) improvements, high occupancy vehicle (HOY) lanes, collector / distributor roads, in addition to CDOH's plans to widen the roadway. The transportation alternatives were eliminated during this seeping phase because "they did not adequately serve the forecasted Year 2010 313

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travel demand in the 1-225/1-25 Corridor" according to the report (Aurora 1986 p 7). 1986-Regional Transportation District (RTD) prepared a study of designated alternatives for regional rapid transit service. The report reviewed the history of plans for a regional rapid transit system for the Denver metropolitan areas During the previous 15 years, rapid transit had been studied and restudied. The initial technology selected was Personal Rapid Transit. Federal funding was requested and subsequently denied. After that light rail technology was selected and a 77-mile regional rapid transit system was proposed and formally adopted by the RTD board and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG); however, the voters turned down a funding referendum in 1980, 53 percent to 47 percent (RTD, 1986, p 1 ). In 1983, RTD's board changed from appointed representatives to elected directors. The board initiated a study, called the Regional Systems Planning Study, which defined the Southeast Corridor as 1-25 from Broadway south to County Line Road (RTD, 1986, p. 10). The study confirmed that regional rapid transit is feasible for Denver (RTD, 1986, p. S-15). The report concluded that there was "broad consensus among study partners that major transit facilities will ultimately be needed in these corridors to serve growing travel demand (RTD, 1986 p. 44). 1991DRCOG's Mobility in the Southeast Area" report provided an analysis of travel movements and transportation services, national and regional trends in mobility patterns, problems and opportunities for reduction of traffic congestion, and recommendations for improved transit services and carpooling and vanpooling (DRCOG, 1991 p iii). DRCOG received a "suburban mobility grant from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration to recommend improvements in suburban transit services (DRCOG, 1991, p. 5) The report referenced the 2010 Regional Transportation Plan that identifies highway improvements along E-470 and the widening ofl-225, as well as a major transit line along 1-25 and a portion of I-225 (DRCOG, 1991, p. 6) For short-term implementation, the report recommended all forms of alternatives to single occupant vehicl e use to reduce congestion, including carpooling, vanpooling, shuttle buses, improvements to bus shelters, etc., (DRCOG, 1991 pp. 97-107). Major Investment Study (MIS) Phase May 1995-The archival research indicated that the Southeast C orridor Major Investment Study Policy Committee held its first meeting on M ay 19, 1995. The 314

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attendees list from the June 9, 1995 meeting indicated a wide variety of organizations were represented including, Dottie Wham, State Senate; Ken Lloyd, Regional Air Quality Council; Polly Page, Arapahoe County; David Stevenson, Colorado Department ofTransportation; Phil Anderson, RTD Board; Dan Donovan, Federal Highway Administration; and Paul D. Schauer, State Representative (CDOT, 1995, pp. 1-2). September 1995DRCOG updated its 2015lnterim Regional Transportation Plan on September 20, 1995. The report defined the corridors where transit investments were planned. The Southeast Corridor was identified as "a rapid transit corridor with undefined technology." The report stated that it was assumed that the corridor would extend to the downtown Denver light rail line (DRCOG, 1995, p. 28). January 1996-The January Southeast Corridor MIS newsletter overviewed the four alternatives for the corridor that were selected from the nine conceptual alternatives developed in September 1995 The four alternatives were: (1) no build, (2) transportation management (low cost improvements to enhance efficiency of the existing transportation system), (3) light rail transit, and (4) HOV/Busway (adding bi-directional HOV /bus lanes with consideration of joint use as a toll facility) (CDOT, 1996a, p. 1). April1996-The MIS process for the Southeast Corridor included the preparation of several key documents. The first document, the Definition of Purpose and Need, established the existing problems along the corridor. These problems included substandard roadway conditions, insufficient public transit facilities and service, severe congestion, increasing travel times and accident rates, and projected growth in employment and population throughout the corridor (CDOT, 1996b, p. ES-1). This report also summarized the numerous transportation studies that preceded it, many of which endorsed transit alternatives for the corridor (CDOT, 1996b, pp. 1-3 1-5). It further stated that DR COG, CDOT and local jurisdictions recommended road widening, resulting in, "a corridor with a very expensive price tag and no identified funding sources." The study was focused at developing an 'affordable' transportation solution that aligned with the fiscally constrained 2015 Regional Transportation Plan (CDOT, 1996b, p. 1-5). The report described the process of 'conceptual screening' that involved developing modal alternatives, screening them, and then comparing the best to each other (CDOT, 1996b, p. 4-1). The MIS report evaluated the modal alternatives against each other (CDOT, 1996b, pp. 4-274-28), resulting in the additional highway Janes not being advanced (CDOT, 1996b, p 4-29). 315

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April1996-The second key MIS report published in this time period was the Definition and Screening of Conceptual A lt e rnatives report. The report described 13 transportation alternatives for the corridor and screened them down to four proposals: (1) no build, that included basic improvements to meet current highway standards, (2) low cost enhancements to roadway and transit operations, (3) light rail transit, and (4) HOY/bus lanes (CDOT, 1996c, pp E-1-E-2). The report found that construction of general-purpose highway lanes was "not consistent with the region s air quality goals In addition it violated the stated goal of not providing significant competing single occupant vehicle capacity in corridors where rapid transit investments is committed" (COOT 1996c, p. 3-3). April1997Carter & Burgess Inc., prepared a Conceptual Alternatives report for the Colorado Department of Transportation for the Southeast Corridor. Its purpose was to document the development and evaluation of the four alternatives chosen for detailed study in the Southeast Corridor Major Investment Study. The report stated that the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee endorsed the Light Rail Transit alternative, with head ways of 7 'l2 minutes in the peak period and 15 minutes in the off-peak period, with 14 stations (CDOT (April, 1997a, pp. 6-1). Appendix A identified the four Transportation Management Organizations involved with the corridor: Downtown Denver TMO, the Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc (CDOT, 1997a, Appendix A). July 1997-The Southeast Corridor MIS Final Report was issued in July 1997 Its stated intent was to examine mobility needs, identify possible solutions, and involve public and policy makers. Another stated intent was to recommend, "a multi-modal alternative that most closely responds to the mobility needs in the corridor, while preserving and enhancing community character" (CDOT, 1997b, p. ES-1). This study was one of three conducted in the Denver metro area, "initiated to define the preferred mode and design for three corridors designated in the Year 2015 Regional Transportation Plan for rapid transit." It also stated that the results of the three corridor studies would be incorporated into the Region's 2020 Fiscally-Constrained Plan (CDOT, 1997b, p. ES-1). The report stated that the purpose and need factors were the existing severe congestion, high accident rate in the northern portion of the corridor, and the growing population and employment in the corridor. Further, it stated that the MIS recommendations were endorsed by the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee (CDOT, 1997b p. ES-1) Denver region's Year 2015 Interim R e gional Transportation Plan was prepared in response to ISTEA that required long range transportation plans be fiscally constrained. Also, because the Denver region was a non-attainment area for 316

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carbon monoxide and PMlO, the 2015 RTP also considered air quality in the identification oftransportation projects for the region (CDOT, 1997b, p. 1-1). The screening of alternatives included several alternatives: no build, transportation system management, light rail, HOY !bus lanes, automated guideway transit, guided bus, bike tube, and general highway widening. The report found that highway widening along the corridor, adding additional general purpose lanes, was not consistent with the region's transportation goals. In addition, it specifically violated one of the report goals to "not provide significant additional competing single occupant vehicle capacity in corridors where a rapid transit investment is committed" (CDOT, 1997b, pp. 4-1-4-2). The justification for not advancing new highway lanes as an alternative for further consideration, included: Ten lanes ofl-25 and I-225 would be needed to satisfy the demand. The cost of this would be over $1.0 billion; and there would be substantial impact to existing residences and businesses (569 residential relations and 53 commercial structures relocated). This alternative would result in substantially increased traffic and congestion at both ends of the improvement, where there is no capacity to handle the increased traffic. This alternative is inconsistent with adopted regional policies for the Southeast Corridor (CDOT, 1997b, pp. 4-23) The report summarized the screening and analysis of nine alternatives including highway expansion. This analysis showed that the light rail, HOY !bus lane, and fare lane alternatives better meet most of the evaluation criteria, such as air quality, travel time, and environmental impacts (CDOT, 1997b, pp. 4-3-4-4). Several alternatives were advanced for more detailed evaluation: no capacity increase, rebuild existing transportation facilities to meet current design standards, transportation management actions, HOV/bus lane, and light rail (CDOT, 1997b, pp 4-6-4-24). The MIS reports found the transportation management alternative did not meet the needs of the corridor. It also concluded that the HOV/bus and fare lanes were too expensive and resulted in more physical impacts (residents and commercial structures displaced, visual and noise/vibration, wetlands, historic properties, and park impacts) than the light rail alternative (CDOT, 1997b, p. 4-36). The report's final recommendations included 19.7 miles of new double tracked light rail transit, 1 0 rail stations, highway improvements to address safety and operational problems (outside shoulders, improvements to 8 interchanges, replace two viaducts, auxiliary lanes added, and drainage upgraded), improved pedestrian facilities, and transportation management (TM) elements. The TM elements included: five pedestrian crossings, Intelligent Transportation System elements, and Transportation Demand Management elements that are supportive of 317

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land use in the vicinity of stations and continuation of programs offered by the Downtown and Southeast Transportation Management Organizations. The total project costs were estimated at: $510 million capital and $21 million annual operating (CDOT, 1997b, pp. ES-1-ES-2). The MIS report stated that the recommended alternative had numerous benefits including significant transit travel time slight impro v ement to travel time on the highway, provision of almost as much peak hour capacity as five lanes of highway, reduction in congestion associated with incidents and improved safety at several key locations (CDOT, 1997b pp. ES-2-ES-3). The latter part of the report referred to future needs of the corridor It stated that the corridor would continue to carry increasingly large volumes of traffic and that policy makers recommended a fiscally constrained multi-modal transportation solution. It concluded that "There are additional needs in this corridor that can only be addressed if additional financial resources for construction and operation are made available" (CDOT, 1997b p. 5-18). There were many, many organizations represented on the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee which endorsed the MIS findings and recommendations, including Walter (Buz) Koelbel, Jr. Chairman of the Board, Southeast Corridor Transportation Management Organization and Will F Nicholson, Jr. Chairman, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. The final MIS report described the public and agency involvement program and stated that an extensive process was held involving over 90 meetings with approximately 40 groups The major components of this program were Technical Committee, Policy Committee, South Business Focus Group and general public meetings, neighborhood group meetings, business group meetings, and newsletters (CDOT, 1997b, pp. 2-1 and 2-3). The report also referenced opinion polls conducted by DR COG, RTD, the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Rocky Mountain News. All four polls identified light rail as a preferred transportation mode. The MIS report also stated that the general public, neighborhood group, and business group meetings generally supported the light rail transit alternative (COOT 1997b p. 3-8). As noted earlier, the MIS report stated that the Policy Committee endorsed the selection of the preferred alternative. The Policy Committee was comprised of elected officials from Denver Greenwood Village Aurora, Arapahoe County Douglas County RTD Board, CDOT Transportation Commission, and State Representatives (COOT, 1997b, p. 2-3) Mid to Late 1997-The Southeast Corridor Mobility Coalition issued an information document titled The Southeast/I-25 Corridor M o bility Challenge: The Most Cost-effective Solution The publication date was not evident, but estimated to be in mid to late 1997 The document presented a summar y of the MIS findings, 318

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the partnership created between the CDOT, RTD and the Southeast Transportation Management Organization The preferred alternative from the MIS was touted as The Most Cost-Effective Solution for a wide variety of reasons It also described why "a highway only solution" was not the preferred alternative. One of the reasons given was that "Analysis indicates that an additional four lanes would soon fill up and have only a minimal impact on congestion." It also stated ten additional lanes would be required to meet needs but there was not enough physical space to build such a highway (Southeast Corridor Mobility Coalition, 1997 estimated date p. 4). January 1998-The Colorado Department of Transportation issued a Southeast Corridor Information Booklet on January 16, 1998. The booklet described the 'Southeast Corridor Solution' which was the transportation alternative developed by the MIS process. It included the numerous government entities and organizations that support the proposal, estimated costs (totaling $550 million) and project benefits, etc., (CDOT, 1998). The booklet also briefly summarized the alternatives studied. It highlighted the number of homes and businesses that would need to be relocated as a result of any highway widening and HOV /bus and high occupancy toll (HOT) lane options. It also noted how much more expensive road widening was compared to light rail. Specifically, the addition of 4 more lanes would be 45% more costly than light rail transit (CDOT, 1998, p. 8). January 1998-A Rocky Mountain News article described the general support for the light rail proposal. It included the support of Linda Capra, Manager ofthe Southeast Corridor Transportation Management Organization (SETMO). This organization was garnering support for other regional organizations, including the Arapahoe County Commissioners and the South Metro Transportation Advocacy Committee (comprised of Arapahoe and Douglas counties and several area cities) (Duran, 1998, p. 34A). January 1998-This article covered a joint meeting of House and Senate Transportation Committees that involved frustration over the traffic congestion along I-25. It stated that Guillermo (Bill) Vidal, the Executive Director ofCDOT, was proceeding with the Governor s plan to obtain federal funding for the light rail proposal. State Representative Dorothy Gotlieb, a representative from the Denver area, expressed the need to act quickly to address the congestion issues She was quoted as saying: "We don't need to build prison anymore. We can just stick people in cars and have them sit there four hours a day Another colorful quote was from Representative Andy McElhany, from Colorado Springs: "To try to bet on rail solving the problem is putting your saddle on a dead horse. The debate seemed to center on the length of time needed to conduct the environmental impact study and 319

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to acquire federal funds. Vidal stated that the studies and funding request was proceeding. He apparently stated that rail was the best option because building more highway lanes to meet demand would require ten more lanes, displace 500 homes, and likely not meet air quality standards. He also said that if the rail fails they would re-examine construction of highway widening and carpool lanes (Young, 1998a, p. 14A). Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Phase February 1998-The first formal step in the required National Environmental Policy Act (NEP A) process was a notice to initiate the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The notice states that a public scoping meeting would be held. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT), through its agencies the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), issued a notice in the Federal Register on February 11, 1998. This notice also designated CDOT as the lead local agency. Consistent with the MIS, the notice stated that the EIS would evaluate two alternatives: the no build and the light rail alternative, the preferred alternative developed through the MIS process (Federal Register, 1998a, pp. 7044-5). Further, the notice stated that, The proposed action excludes any proposed roadway improvements near I-25 from 61h A venue to approximately the Logan Street crossing, including the I-25 interchanges at Alameda, Santa Fe, and Broadway Transit and highway improvements are intended to alleviate traffic congestion in the Southeast Corridor, address safety problems and help achieve air quality goals by providing an alternative to the single occupant vehicle (Federal Register, 1998a, pp. 7044-5). March 1998 (estimated date)-This environmental impact statement (EIS) "Scoping Handout" stated that the alternatives to be considered did not include highway widening (CDOT, 1998b, p. 1). March 16, 1998-A letter from David W. Phifer, Mayor, Greenwood Village to Robert Sakaguchi, Planning and Environmental Manager, Colorado Department of Transportation expressed support for the MIS recommended alternative, but emphasized the need for additional highway lanes and flex lanes. If light rail funding was not approved, the letter recommended maximizing construction of additional highway lanes and HOY lanes to meet current and future needs of the 320

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corridor. The Mayor's letter transmitted Greenwood Villages' May 20, 1997 letter and reiterated that developing a fiscally constrained set of alternatives, "may unfairly limit adequate consideration of options, further compounding the inadequate transportation improvements now programmed by the Denver Regional Council of Governments for this area" (Phifer, 1998, p. 1 ). March 1998-A CDOT funding request document described the transportation proposal as developed by the MIS process, the estimated costs (totaling $550 million) and state matching funds ($96 million), project benefits, etc., (CDOT, 1998c ). The project benefits emphasized the economic, environmental, energy efficiency, congestion mitigation, and safety benefits. In particular, it stated that, "Environmentally, the light rail option will have the least negative impact when compared against I-25/I-225 highway widening as an alternative." This report also highlighted public concern about congestion: "64% of respondents said the longer commute caused by traffic congestion is a significant issue in terms of employee retention and recruiting." It was references public support for light rail: "just under 80 percent believe, 'Denver's future depends upon the creation of an effective mass transit system'" (CDOT, 1998c, p. 1 0). This report identified Congresswoman Diana DeGette as the primary Member of Congress sponsoring the project (CDOT, 1998c, p. 3). It also included a quote from Colorado Transportation Commission Chairman Garcia: "This decision reflects the types of actions required to solve Colorado's transportation problems now and into the next century" (CDOT, 1998c, p. 6). Another quote indicating full support from Governor Romer was also included in the report: While roads are the primary concern of our rural areas, we simply cannot solve our problems in the urban areas by road improvements alone ... We stepped up to the plate in state government and let Washington know that we intend to secure federal funding for highway improvements and light rail along I-25 from downtown Denver to Lincoln Avenue in Douglas County (CDOT, 1998c, p. 1). This funding request document highlighted support for the preferred alternative. In addition to Congresswoman DeGette sponsorship of the proposal, the report stated that letters of support and resolutions were included from DR COG, Southeast Corridor Transportation Management Organization, Metro Mayors Caucus, Cas Garcia (Chairman for the Colorado Transportation Commission), Colorado Public Interest Research Group, and Colorado Environment Coalition (CDOT, 1998c, p. 8). 321

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March 1998-Louis Mraz, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration, wrote a response letter to Jon Caldara, RTD Board Director concerning the Southeast Corridor project. It stated that the MIS process involved identification of a locally preferred alternative and if alternatives were later developed that differed significantly the MIS process would have to be 'reopened:' Reexamining options which have already been eliminated by the MIS process is not the specific purpose of the EIS. If, during the scoping process of the EIS, the Regional Planning Partners determine that additional alternatives need to be more thoroughly examined, they may jointly decide to reopen the MIS process. Otherwise the EIS will need to document, drawing upon the material prepared during the MIS, the consideration given to alternatives and the reasons for their elimination (Mraz, 1998, p. 1 ). April1998-The Colorado Environmental Coalition wrote to Robert Sakaguchi, Planning and Environmental Manager, COOT, Region 6 on April17, 1998. The letter was on behalf of the Colorado Environmental Coalition and Colorado Public Interest Research Foundation. The letter expressed support for the alternative recommended in the MIS. The letter offered of number of reasons for this alternative, including the extensive MIS public involvement process, reductions in vehicle miles traveled and air pollution, cost-effectiveness, and light rail helping shape regional growth as anticipated in the DRCOG growth and transportation plan. The letter also stated to pursue other alternatives in the EIS would, "raise questions about the meaning and validity of the MIS process and degrade the valued of the countless hours of public participation in the MIS." The authors stated the MIS alternative will meet the needs of the corridor. The letter concluded with the request that if highway capacity alternatives were considered the EIS should include analyses of resultant impacts on development patterns and land use as required by an Illinois highway case (Sierra Club vs. U.S. Department of Transportation, F. Suppl. (N.D. Ill, 1977). The letter also stated an assessment would be needed to confirm if the highway expansion alternatives were consistent with the Metro Vision 2020 regional plan's goals and objectives (Martens and Wark, 1998, pp. 1-2) April1998-James (Jim) Daves, FHWA, sent an email on April 20, 1998, transmitting an attachment summarizing the history and future direction of theSE Corridor project. The attachment, titled, "I-25 Southeast Corridor, Denver," stated that the MIS was fiscally constrained and as a result, highway widening was not recommended. It stated that CDOT was seeking "new starf' funding from FT A. It then stated that FHW A believed the roadway would, "ultimately need upgrading and that the EIS should consider options for transit placement that preserve the 322

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opportunity to increase the capacity of the corridor in the future." The document described a meeting held between FHW A, CDOT, and FTA on March 30, 1998, where agreement was reached to include: "the objective of maximizing the transportation capacity of the ROW" in the EIS. The rail line would be moved to the edge of the corridor right-of-way and EIS alternatives would include full shoulders that could be converted to rush hour lanes, continuous acceleration/deceleration lanes, and reconstruction of interchanges and bridges (Daves, 1998a, p. 1 of Attachment). April1998-A letter from CDOT, Region 6 to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited EPA as a resource agency to the EIS scoping meetings. The first would be held on April 29, 1998 (Warner, 1998, p. 1 ). Participants included Robert Edgar, and Mike Hammer, EPA, Region 8 representatives, and Jim DiLeo, of the Air Pollution Control Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The other agencies represented at the meeting included, COOT, Carter & Burgess (project consultant), FTA, FHW A and the Colorado Historical Society(Warner, 1998, p. 1) April1998-Ricky Young's Denver Post article highlighted plans to add general purpose lanes as an alternative to the environmental study for the corridor. It referred to a "preliminary analysis by state and federal transportation officials." Doug Bennett, FHWA engineer, was cited as saying that FHWA was trying to place additional highway lanes in the existing roadway right-of-way The article also quoted James Daves, FHWA, referring to expanding from six to ten lanes in some portions of the corridor: "That's a possibility that we definitely don't want to preclude. There's room in there to do highway improvements yet to be determined The article referred to increasing pressure by Jon Caldera, RTD Board Director, State legislators, including Representative Dorothy Gotlieb, and the City of Greenwood Village, to build more highway lanes to meet current and future corridor needs (Young, 1998b, p. lA). The article overviewed a debate over the earlier MIS study wherein additional general purpose and HOV/bus lanes were rejected in lieu of light rail transit. Jon Caldera expressed concern that added lanes was not considered earlier. He also criticized the estimated costs for HOV /bus lanes as being inflated because the study used a lane width that was unnecessarily large: "That s the standard if you're building a highway through Kansas and you've got all the room in the world. That's enough room for a double-wide trailer." Robert Sakaguchi ofCDOT defended the earlier cost estimates saying the HOV /bus lane proposal met federal standards and was the safest approach (Young, 1998b, p. 11A). 323

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Apri11998-Carter & Burgess prepared these meeting minutes of the April23, 1998 Technical Committee Meeting The meeting attendees included representatives from CDOT, RTD, Arapahoe County, Denver Chamber of Commerce, Region Air Quality Council, City of Aurora, City and County of Denver, FHW A, Greenwood Village, and Carter & Burgess. The discussion began with an update on events since the MIS was issued. There was discussion about the flex lane approach. The Regional Air Quality Council representatives expressed concern about safety and increasing air emissions was the flex lanes added capacity. And the Greenwood Village representative indicated support for making full use of the existing right-of-way and that additional capacity was needed especially between C-470 and 1-225. CDOT representatives were cited as stating that it was CDOT's intent to, "take the alternative that was developed in the MIS forward and: Look at what could be fit into the existing R.O.W.; Not add additional general purpose lanes" (Carter & Burgess, 1998a, p. 2). May 1998-A Denver Post article, by Ricky Young, indicated support for the March 1998 funding request for the light rail proposal, though it described conflict between CDOT and RTD. The State had requested that the funding be given to the State of Colorado and CDOT, while State law required only RTD could accept transit funding. The article stated that Governor Romer announced he would be taking over the corridor project because RTD's ballot initiative to fund transit failed in November 1997. It also stated this angered RTD board members because they felt 'left out of the loop.' The conflict was also illustrated by a quote attributed to U.S. Representative Dan Schaefer," The biggest problem I've got is the RTD board -if those guys would just make up their minds." The article referred to Bob Sakaguchi as the State's project manager for the corridor (Young, 1998c, p. lA). The article also highlighted the divergent views of the RTD board directors Director Jon Caldera was quoted as saying that the project was a State 'boondoggle' project. He criticizes the Governor's support of rail, "The governor loves choo choo trains. He can build it, and he can operate it." On the other hand, there were Board Directors that supported rail. This article highlighted Bill Vidal's support for transit funding (Young, 1998c, pp. lA and 19A). May 1998-A Rocky Mountain News editorial by Rob Reuteman, Business Editor, overviewed Bill Vidal and Cal Marsella's (General Manager, RTD) views about the 1-25 corridor. Vidal supported adding flex lanes to the existing right-of-way (Rueteman, 1998, p. 1G). Marsella referred to traffic concerns associated with auto dependent development, such as the Denver Tech Center, and he encouraged light rail and other transit-related efforts such as circulator buses (Rueteman, 1998, p. 2). The editorial stated Vidal endorsed adding highway lanes. He didn't oppose cars, just driving habits: "Will people change their habits? I don't know. It's time for us 324

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all to defecate or remove ourselves from the porcelain receptacles The time is now"' (Rueteman 1998, p. 20G) May 1998 (estimated date) -A summary of input from the March and April public scoping meetings and letters indicated few participants wanted additional highway lanes at public meeting, the majority preferred transit. Sixteen comment letters voiced "Support for original MIS recommendation with no additional highway lanes" and one letter supported the MIS recommendation "while preserving flexibility for future travel lanes (CDOT, 1998e, pp. 1 and 3). June 1998-Vince Barone, the project manager for FHWA, prepared this briefing paper on the Southeast Corridor titled, "1998 WASHTO Briefing." The paper described two CDOT concerns. The first was FHWA's commitment to preserve the MIS alternative in the EIS process It stated that COOT believed the MIS process reached a consensus on the preferred alternative. The other issue related to transit funding and the concern that several RTD Board members did not want transit funding to go to COOT. Mr. Barone wrote: "FHWA recognizes the need to preserve the intermodal solution developed through the MIS process." The briefing paper described the agreement reached between CDOT, FT A and FHW A at its March 30, 1998 meeting, including moving the rail line to the edge ofthe right-of way, adding full shoulders to be converted to highway lanes during peak travel, continuous acceleration and deceleration lanes and reconstructing interchanges and bridges for future highway improvements. The paper stated that "This project is of particular interest to the Governor and CDOT's Executive Director" (Barone 1998 p. 1). July 1998-Carter & Burgess, the project consultant, prepared meeting minutes for a July 7, 1998 meeting between FHW A, CDOT, RTD, Carter & Burgess personnel and a representative from Civitas. This meeting's purpose was to: "Discuss Alternatives Defmition and Evaluation Process This was apparently a stafflevel meeting. The notes stated that the Purpose and Need should include congestion: "the possibility that we could reduce it even a little bit." It also referred to the need to 're-open the MIS alternatives and it note that, "it will take six months or more to develop guidance" on whether or not to re-open the MIS (Carter & Burgess, 1998b, p. 1 ). The meeting minutes also summarized discussion on involving the public, a new alternative referred to as a 'hybrid' option, alternatives for the placement of the light rail line in the corridor, and appropriate project funding levels. Attached to the meeting minutes w as a document titled, "SE Corridor EIS Process : Definition of Alternati v es, July 8 1998 ." It stated the Purpose and Need statement from the MIS had to be updated It also stated the MIS alternatives would be reviewed to determin e if there are any changed conditions that would indicate that they should 325

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be re-evaluated." The meeting minutes also stated: "Cost should not be the primary factor in this re-evaluation process, but can be a consideration if it is included with other factors" (Carter & Burgess, 1998b, p. 1 of attachment). July 1998-This Carter & Burgess memorandum summarized a July 8, 1998 call between two FHW A representatives, one CDOT employee, and Gina McAfee of Carter & Burgess. The call focused on fiscally constraining the EIS alternatives The notes highlighted MIS alternatives eliminated from consideration because of cost. Gina stated that she believed the EIS should be fiscally constrained because the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) developed by DRCOG was constrained and the project needs to conform to the RTP. One of the FHWA representatives stated alternatives should be included regardless of cost and then cost would be used as one of the evaluation criteria (Carter & Burgess, 1998c, p. 1-2). July 1998-There was a FAX Transmission memo from Chick Dolby ofFTA to Vince Barone and Ron Speral both ofFHWA, dated July 9, 1998. Mr. Dolby commented on a document he received during a recent meeting that showed FHWA's proposed alternatives for the EIS including two general purpose lanes. His reaction was: "I am shocked at one of these which is 2 general purpose lanes." He summarized the agreement between James Daves, ofFHWA, Louis Mraz of FT A, and Bill Vidal of CDOT: "full shoulders, full acceleration and deceleration lanes between interchanges and also the opportunity for flex lanes on inside shoulders." He highlighted his position, "we believe it is in the best interest of all to go forth with a design not precluding additional lanes but at the same time this is not an appropriate alternative to address since it was discarded during the MIS." He indicated FHW A was the agency that was developing new alternatives at the time, "as it seems FHWA wants to reopen the entire environmental process" (Dolby, 1998, p. 1). July 1998-Douglas Bennett, FHWA, sent an E-mail, dated July 9, 1998 to Chick Dolby, FT A, concerning a recent meeting he had missed which included possible new FHW A alternatives for the EIS. Mr. Bennett stated that Mr. Dolby was misinformed about new alternatives, "I believe there are some trying to look at a wider variety of highway options, but not under our direction." He indicated that FHWA had the same position it did earlier (Bennett, D., 1998, p. 1). July 1998-Carter & Burgess prepared this agenda for the July 16, 1998 Southeast I-25 Corridor, Kickoff Meeting. The agenda indicated the meeting covered project overview, concept overview, and discussion of rail stations and project management plan (Carter & Burgess, 1998d, p. 1). There was an attachment to the agenda summarizing public input received during the EIS scoping period, held in March 326

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and April. This summary stated that the majority ofthe input supported, "light rail transit as the primary mode for the improvements." It also stated that there was some support for adding acceleration/deceleration lanes, flex lanes, or general purpose lanes (Carter & Burgess, 1998d, p. 1 of attachment) July 1998-Carter & Burgess apparently prepared this document titled "SE Corridor EIS Process: Definition of Alternatives, July 21, 1998." The document appeared to be very similar to the document attached to the July 7, 1998 meeting minutes, except the latter part of the document described a "maximum highway utilization" alternative. The document stated that this new alternative would include elements not examined during the MIS process. This new alternative would: "re evaluate specific elements because of the changed conditions of a likelihood of obtaining additional funding." It also specified the new alternative would place the rail system at the western edge of the corridor right-of-way In addition, the alternative would include : "auxiliary lanes (which are either a continuous acel/decel lane between interchanges or in the Narrows, a collector/distributor system that would be developed in lieu of the acel/decellanes)." In addition, the reconstructed bridges would allow for the acceleration/deceleration lanes or high enough to allow for future widening ofthe roadway (Carter & Burgess, 1998e, p. 2). August 1998 -Carter & Burgess prepared these meeting minutes for the August 18, 1998 Southeast Corridor EIS meeting. The meeting focused on air quality analyses. Highlighting one statement relating to the alternatives, it stated that only a preferred alternative and a no-action alternative would be fully analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) (Carter & Burgess, 1998f, p. 3). August 1998"Southeast Corridor EIS, Newsletter #2" summarized progress on the EIS, including the public scoping workshops held in March and April, the Policy Committee meeting held on April22, the Technical Committee meeting of April 23rd, and the Resource Agency meeting of April 29th. The summary of the input stated the majority of the comments supported light rail transit, while some participants expressed support for additional highway lanes and flex lanes. The newsletter indicates that the alternatives now being considered included: "options for use of the remaining right-of-way" (Southeast Corridor, 1998, p. 1 ). September 1998 DRCOG issued its Metro Vision 2020 Regional Transportation Plan, The Fiscally Constrained Element on September 16, 1998. The report defined the transportation systems for the next 22 years: "It includes those regional transportation facilities identified in Metro Vision that can be provided through the year 2020, based on reasonably expected revenues." Transportation facilities included roadways, HOV and rail rapid transit facilities, bus service, bicycle and 327

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pedestrian facilities, etc., (DR COG ( 1998) p. iii) The plan stated: "Only rapid transit and highway facilities included in the Metro Vision networks are eligible for inclusion in the 2020 RTP." Rapid transit and bus service was preferred over expanding highways in the central part of the region. Rail transit was aimed at high volume corridors and bus service at lower volume areas (DRCOG, 1998, p. 28). The report 12 depicted light rail transit for the Southeast Corridor (DRCOG, 1998, p. 29). Appendix 2 of the plan listed the transit and highway improvements and capital costs. The Southeast Corridor improvements included light rail and the highway improvements, i.e., adding outside shoulders, drainage improvements, interchange improvements, reconstruction of the Evans bridge, etc. Adding general purpose lanes was not included in the list of improvements (DR COG, 1998, Appendix 2, pp. 1 and 5). September 1998-In a September 16, 1998 Denver Post article, Ricky Young indicated that Board member Jack McCroskey, a rail supporter, had built support for the proposal with the Denver area Board member Ben Klein, as well as with Jon. Caldera. The article covered the RTD Board's recent action to make the Southeast Corridor light rail their highest priority, delaying other rail projects in the meantime (Young, 1998d, p. 2B). September 1998-A Denver Post article by Ricky Young titled "Owens' Transit Plan Calls for More Lanes," highlighted State Treasurer Bill Owns' support for widening highways and building new roads. Owens is cited as stating: "It really is beyond debate. We need to expand 1-25 and we need to do it last year" (Young, 1998e, p. 1B). September 1998-A Rocky Mountain News article stated the corridor project was comprised of light rail transit and construction of acceleration and deceleration lanes and shoulders along the medians that could be used as through lanes during peak traffic periods. It highlighted the traffic delays that would occur during the construction 10-year period. In addition, the article covered the positions of Bill Owens and Gail Schoettler, both candidates for Governor. It said Owens proposed the week before to add two new lanes of highway along the whole corridor, while Schoettler was a "consistent proponent of light rail" (Garner, 1998, p. 4A). September 1998-Carter & Burgess' Progress Report for September stated that the current project included light rail and highway improvements, involving adding outside shoulders along 1-25 and 1-225 to reduce congestion, major causes of accidents, etc. (Carter & Burgess, 1998g, SectionProject Description). The Conceptual Design involved the specific highway and light rail elements that would 328

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be proposed for the preferred alternative (Carter & Burgess, 1998g, Section Executive Summary) October 1998-The transcript of the KBDI-TV (PBS) Colorado Campaign 98 included a discussion of transportation between Vincent Carroll (host, Rocky Mountain News), Sue O Brien (host Denver Post) and Gail Schoettler Lieutenant Governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Bill Owens, Republican candidate. One of debate items was the proposal to add new highway lanes to the 125 corridor. Both candidates said they supported new lanes and light rail transit. Vincent Carroll made the point there seemed to be little difference between their positions. He noted Schoettler had been a skeptic of adding lanes and she retorted that she had always supported 'highway improvements' and that included adding lanes Carroll also asked Owens about his position since he had opposed rapid transit and Owens replied that he supported targeted light rail projects, while criticizing the earlier Guide the Ride ballot initiative that would have involved $5 billion in expenditures to get little improvement in daily traffic congestion (KBDI TV, 1998, pp 1-3) October 1998 -The meeting minutes prepared by Carter & Burgess for the Southeast Corridor briefing for 'COOT Specialists' indicated that the briefing focused on a "single alternative for the corridor." Dave Stevenson representing Carter & Burgess said: "LRT is the basic backbone of this. Three alternatives were initially examined with a fourth alternative identified in the last week which is a hybrid of the three" (Carter & Burgess 1998h, p. 1 ) It is not clear what hybrid alternative was developed or by whom. The only other reference to possible major changes in the project proposal were comments attributed to Marvinetta Hartwig, also a representative of Carter & Burgess: "We have used the terms minimum and desirable in the past-that is now standard and maximum, respectively" and "The minimum or standard section is one lane less than the desirable" (Carter & Burgess, 1998h p. 2). October 1998-The Carter & Burgess meeting notes describing the October 14, 1998 Policy Committee Meeting revealed changes to the Southeast Corridor alternatives. Dav e Stevenson, for Carter & Burgess, stated: In the last couple of months, we have looked at four alternatives The initial three looked at combinations of highway and light railthis alternative maximizes the location ofboth modes. 329

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We can put a flex lane (16 ) for the entire length of I-25 There are also acceleration/deceleration lanes between lanes In the Narrows we have a collector/distributor system for merging traffic. The flex lane requires replacement of 16 bridges and reconstruction of 11 interchanges this is a substantial cost difference from the MIS (Carter & Burgess, 1998i pp. 2-3) Apparently in response to Mr. Stevenson s presentation of this fourth alternative Denver Councilwoman Foster stated : we have basically changed the scope of the MIS" (Carter & Burgess 1998i p. 3 ). The meeting notes also described the need for road widening in the southern portion ofl-25, from C-470 north to 1-225. Because two interstate highways are connecting with I-25, more lanes were needed on I-25. This was referred to as 'lane balancing.' Denver Councilwoman Foster indicated: "this seems like a lot of pavement," though she says she would not object to the additional highway lane in the south end of the corridor if Arapahoe and Douglas counties were okay with it (Carter & Burgess, 1998i, p. 3) The Policy Committee was comprised of numerous government agencies, transportation and planning organizations and elected officials, including Aurora, City and County of Denver, State Representative District 39 Denver Councilwomen Casey and Foster's offices Transportation Solutions, and the Downtown Denver Partnership (Carter & Burgess, 1998i, p. 1 ). October 1998-The Carter & Burgess Progress Report for October stated the current project included light rail and highway improvements, involving adding outside shoulders along 1-25 and 1-225 to reduce congestion, major causes of accidents, etc., (Carter & Burgess, 1998j, SectionProject Description). However the Executive Summary section stated progress continued towards finalizing the Conceptual Design that would define the maximum multi-modal build-out of the highway and light rail elements (Carter & Burgess, 1998, Section-Executive Summary). This report seemed to represent a significant deviation from the previous report describing progress towards the MIS preferred alternative The October report referred to developing a Conceptual Design for a 'maximum multi-modal build-out' option November 1998-A letter from Thomas Peterson E xe cutive Director, Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association, to Tom Norton, Executi v e Director CDOT, sent congratulations on the successful November 1998 elections. Peterson stated that this successful election could "very easil y b e consider e d the high water mark' for 330

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the transportation industry in Colorado." He touted the success of asphalt pavement, acknowledged the project may involve concrete, and asked CDOT to reconsider the use of asphalt instead (Peterson, 1998, pp. 1-2). November 1998 -A November 20, 1998 article by Ricky Young in the Denver Post described the proposal that now included widening the highway to 8 to 12 lanes which was recently presented to state legislators (Young, 1998f, p. 1A). The article referred to the MIS that indicates a 16-lane roadway would be needed to meet demand and over 500 hundred homes would be displaced as a result. The author stated CDOT stuck with the 'either or approach' -light rail removing only 20 houses versus highway widening displacing 569, until the spring of 1998. At that time Jon Caldera, RTD Board Chair, and James Daves, ofFHWA, "began suggesting lanes could be added without much condemnation,' and gubernatorial candidate Bill Owens used this proposal in his campaign. It also referred to COOT's proposal to use add 'flexible lanes,' and then after further analysis determined that, "flexible lanes make no sense on I-25 because it's rush hour both ways all the time." The flex lanes were lanes at the center of the highway that could be reversed to provide roadway capacity during peak traffic hours. Engineers rejected this proposal because I-25 was under rush hour conditions in both directions, so flex lanes would not work (Young, 1998f, p. 16A). This Denver Post article highlighted the recent proposal to widen I-25 to a minimum of eight lanes for a total cost of $1.1 billion, more than doubling of the original preferred alternative developed during the MIS process. It stated the proposal was recently presented to the State Legislative Joint Budget Committee and would be sent to the Colorado Transportation Commission for approval in December. The article reiterated newly elected Bill Owens' campaign promise to widen the corridor (Young, 1998f, p. lA). The Transportation Commission chair, Roger Cracraft, widening would be possible without displacing many more houses than the rail alternative. Cal Marsella, General Manager ofRTD, also expressed his support: "They're shooting for one more continuous lane in each direction. I don't think anyone could argue that we don't need more highway capacity in that thruway. And it won't hurt rail ridership" (Young, 1998f, p. 1 A). Opposition to added highway lanes was also cited from environmental groups. Lauren Martens of the Colorado Environmental Coalition was quoted as saying: "This is quite different from the study, and it jacks up the price considerably. There are real questions about affordability and the impacts on air quality." The article also stated the new proposal was presented to the 'policy makers for the southeast area' recently (Young, 1998f, p. 16A). 331

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November 1998-The Carter & Burgess meeting notes describing the November 17, 1998 Policy Committee Meeting indicated Mr. Stevenson said further study found the flex lane, presented during the October 14 meeting, "would not be practical" (Carter & Burgess, l998k p I) Bill Vidal gave an update on project funding, highlighting that the MIS "determined that only a few highway elements would be built." He stated that emphasis would now be placed on "adding at least four lanes of capacity for highway, either by flex lanes or continuous acceleration/deceleration lanes, plus LRT built in a location that maximizes the ability to make highway improvements" (Carter & Burgess, 1998k, p. 1 ). Vidal summarized the funding proposal by saying that on November 19, CDOT would propose to its Commission a budget of$1.1 billion ($580 for LRT and $520 for highway improvement). He was cited as stating, "there is a need to build on the MIS recommendations to add highway capacity." Cal Marsella echoed these comments by saying he "perceives the win-win solution is to have highway capacity as well as transit" (Carter & Burgess, 1998k, p. 2). A presentation was given to the Policy Committee by Mr. Stevenson, on the "Maximum Build-Out" alternative. He said the fiscally constrained MIS focused on LRT and adding highway shoulders. He stated upon initiation of the EIS they looked at: what would fit in the right-of-way-without the fiscal constraint. Additional lane alternatives in various locations were reviewed. These included the Maximum, Standard, and the Maximum Build Out (Carter & Burgess, 1998k, p 2). Mr. Stevenson described these alternatives. The Maximum Build-Out alternative was comprised of an inside shoulder flex lane the entire length of the I-25 corridor, an additional through lane in each direction between C-470 and I-225, and an extra lane in each direction on I-225 (Carter & Burgess, 1998k, p. 2). The attendees at this November Policy Committee included numerous government agencies, transportation and planning organizations, and elected officials (Carter & Burgess, 1998k, Meeting Minute Roster). November 1998-The November Carter &Burgess Progress Report stated the current project included light rail and highway improvements, involving adding outside shoulders along I-25 and I-225 to reduce congestion, major causes of accidents, etc. (Carter & Burgess, 19981, Section-Project Description). And again, the Executive Summary section said the Conceptual Design would define the maximum multi-modal build-out of the highway and light rail elements and it would be presented in December to the Technical and Policy Committees (Carter & Burgess, 19981, Section-Executive Summary). 332

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November 1998 (estimated date)-This Southeast Corridor, EIS Draft Q & A document seemed to be issued in November, after the new Governor was elected, but before the end of 1998. It provided more information about why the project alternative was changed from light rail transit to transit and highway widening It stated the State Legislature passed a bill (SB 1) that: "helps to fund many major highway projects statewide, and as a result of this new law, CDOT identified additional highway funds for the corridor" (Carter & Burgess, 1998m, p. 1 ). November 1998-Bill Vidal issued a memorandum to the Southeast Corridor Policy Committee titled "Scope and Criteria for the I 25." In the memo he expressed concern: "we are not staying within the criteria we had specified after our consensus meeting with FTA, FHWA, RTD, and CDOT on March 30, 1998." He offered a summary of the earlier meeting, "For the purpose of getting this criteria on the record." His summary specified that the transit and highway elements would be built at the same time, the rail described in the MIS will be included in the project, there will be two extra lanes of highway added to the project in each direction, the project will be done within the existing right-of-way, and the project budget will be $1.1 billion ($580 million for rail and $520 for highway improvements) He concluded by stating that he instructed the CDOT and consultant design team members to meet the criteria he listed in the memo (Vidal, 1998, p. 1 ). December 1998-The Carter & Burgess meeting notes describing the December 1, 1998 Policy Committee Meeting covered development of a new alternative that now included adding highway lanes. The revised budget was $1.1 billion, however it was not an approved budget. This document focused on approaches to reduce costs. An attachment to the meeting notes presented the revised criteria for developing the new alternative, including adding "capacity to the highway (additional though lanes, acceleration/deceleration lanes, and collector/distributor lanes), where feasible" (Carter & Burgess, 1998n, Attachment). December 1998-A Carter & Burgess internal memo referred to the air quality analyses for the Southeast Corridor project. This memo transmitted a draft agenda that included the topic, "Corridor-Level Modeling Concerns," referencing RTD and EPA concerns about the modeling approach (Carter & Burgess, 1998o, Attachment). Another attachment document was a memo from RTD to Carter & Burgess personnel explaining that the methods used for model were important because rail opponents might use modeling information to criticize the benefits of light rail transit (Carter & Burgess, 1998o, Attachment). 333

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December 1998-A letter from James Daves FHWA to William Harrell of the Virginia Department of Transportation expressed appreciation for Mr. Harrell's evaluation of the use of flex lanes for the Southeast Corridor. The letter stated that based on Mr. Harrell s evaluation the concept of flex lanes would not be pursued instead the team would propose adding a new fourth lane to the roadway (Daves, 1998b, p.1 ) December 1998Carter & Burgess prepared the T e chnical Report: Definition of Purpose and Need report for CDOT in December 1998 It included a long list of studies relating to the corridor. The report noted : Many of these studies have consistently examined and recommended a rapid transit option in the Southeast Corridor. It then stated additional planning efforts by DRCOG, CDOT, and local jurisdictions recommended widening both I-25 and 1-225 (COOT, 1998f, p. 1-6). December 1998Carter & Burgess' Meeting Minutes described the December 29 1998, Task Managers Meeting. The first attachment to the minutes was the "Definition of Southeast Corridor Vision (as of December 16 1998) This attachment listed the MIS elements and what was subsequent added and changed, including "one additional lane added each direction on I-25. It also listed what was not currently included in the vision specifically additional lanes to I-225 (Carter & Burgess, 1998p, Attachment). December 1998-This Carter &Burgess Progress Report stated: Work towards obtaining policy level consensus of the Conceptual Design continued in December. The Conceptual Design will define the maximum multi-modal build-out of highway and light rail elements (Carter & Burgess, 1998q, Section-Executive Summary). January 1999-The document titled "Southeast CorridorA Multi-modal project ," overviewed the corridor vision statement project components, schedule costs etc. The document appeared to be the presentation given to the Policy Committee to gain agreement on the new alternative that included adding highway lanes It states that the goal of the meeting was "Co nsensus on Project Definition for "Opening Day, within $1. 1 billion construction budget." This goal statement ended with the sentence : "Can you live with the pr o ject as defined?" (Unknown 1999 p.1). The project schedule presented in the document indicated the DRCOG 2020 Plan Amendment Process would occur from mid-March through mid-September 1999 (Unknown, 1999 p 2) It also stated on the p a g e t itled "Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Requirements ," the project e lements th a t needed to be 3 34

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included in the 2020 Regional Transportation Plan (Unknown, 1999, p. 13). In addition, the Supplemental Information section at the end of the document included a summary of the alternatives analysis. Here it concluded that the increased highway capacity only decreased light rail ridership by less than 1% and that the added highway lanes "reduces corridor vehicular hours traveled and reduces volumes on arterial streets" (Unknown, 1999, p. 21). January/February 1999-This Carter &Burgess C&B Progress Report included "rebuilding the entire corridor to meet design standards for four through lanes in each direction on I-25 and three through lanes on I-225." It stated the: "project obtained a policy level consensus of the Conceptual Design at the January Policy Committee meeting" (Carter & Burgess, 1999a, Section-II. Executive Summary). The project description was changed in this report to include highway improvements that involved adding one lane in each direction and the addition of outside shoulders along I-25 and I-225 to reduce congestion, major causes of accidents, etc. (Carter & Burgess, 1999a, SectionProject Description). February 1999 -Carter &Burgess prepared Meeting Minutes for the February 16,1999 Meeting with Washington Park East, Washington Park West, West University, and Pearl Street Merchants. Kathleen McKenzie, who was running for Denver City Council at the time, stated: "The overwhelming sentiment is to build a LRT lines. She asked how it would be funded and constructed The recorded answer was: "CDOT, the Governor and RTD are working on a fund plan" (Carter & Burgess, 1999b, p. 1 ). March 1999-A letter from CDOT, Region 6, requested the regional transportation plan be amended: "to include improvements shown within the preferred alternative being carried forward in development of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement." The letter stated that these improvements were consistent with the "vision" adopted by the Policy Advisory Committee at its January 15, 1999 meeting (Warner, 1999a, p. 1). March 1999-A Development and Evaluation of Alternatives report served as a source and technical back-up for the DEIS. It stated: "During the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, all the alternatives considered during the MIS were re-evaluated to determine if there were any changed conditions that might change the evaluation findings" (CDOT, 1999a, p. 1-1 ). The report stated additional general-purpose lanes to I-25 and I-225 were not advanced for consideration in the MIS process because added lanes, (1) would be inconsistent with regional policies for the corridor and inconsistent with air quality goals, (2) had little general public or policy-maker support, (3) would require complete reconstruction of bridges and 335

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interchanges, thus exceed the budget set for the corridor, (4) could result in displacement of hundreds ofhomes and businesses, as well as impacts to wetlands, parks, and other environmental resources, and (5) would substantially increase traffic congestion and congestion at both ends of the improvement, where there is no capacity (nor planned capacity) to handle the increased traffic. The report stated: "The alternative of adding two additional lanes has been developed in more detail, as described in Chapter Three of this report, primarily because additional funding has been made available for improvements in the Southeast Corridor ." The report also stated the MIS concluded that 10 additional highway lanes would be needed to meet the corridor's demand (CDOT, 1999a pp. 2-9-2-1 0). As noted earlier, the Definition and Screening of Conceptual Alternatives report, prepared for the MIS in 1996 described a process of 'conceptual screening wherein modal alternatives were developed, screened, and then the best of the modal alternatives were compared to each other (CDOT, 1996c, p. 4-1). The evaluation of the modal alternatives against each other appeared in Figures 4-7 and 4-8 ofthe Definition and Screening of Conceptual Alternatives report (CDOT, 1996c, p.4-274-28), and the analysis resulted in the additional highway lanes not being advanced (CDOT, 1996c, p. 4-29). The MIS report also followed this same process: the evaluation of modal alternatives appeared in Figures 4-1 and 4-1 (CDOT, 1997b, pp. 4-4 and 4-5) and again the added highway lanes were not advanced (CDOT, 1997b, p. 4-23), nor included in the recommended corridor investment (CDOT, 1997b p. ES-1). The process used in the EIS process contrasted the MIS alternatives evaluation process. The March 1999 Development and Evaluation of Alternatives document employed a system of evaluating the options of each mode against each other. For example, the alignment options for light rail transit were evaluated against each other. The highway alternatives were compared to the MIS modified alternative. The "standard" option was comprised of 3 through lanes in each direction and an acceleration/deceleration lane in the outside shoulders The "maximum" option consisted of 4 through lanes, plus an acceleration/ deceleration lane. This alternative also included, "clearing additional space for an additional lane in each direction, for a total of 5 lanes in each direction. The "combination" alternative included one additional lane and an acceleration/deceleration lane and it was built generally within the existing right-of-way. It also included an additional lane between E-470 and I-225 to, "provide for lane balancing between these freeways" (CDOT 1999a, pp 3-54 and 3-58) These three options including highway expansion were evaluated against the MIS modified alternative in Table 45 This evaluation indicated that the MIS modified alternative had the fewest impacts, including residential and business impacts, and neighborhood, operational, and environmental impacts It also had the lowest cost. The ridership/usage analysis showed that the three highway expansion alternatives resulted in slight 336

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increased in freeway speeds and slightly reduced corridor VHT, and reduction in volumes oftraffic on arterial streets for each of the highway alternatives (CDOT, 1999a, pp. 4-16 4-17). Despite the apparent preference for the MIS alternative based on the analysis, this alternative was not recommended because it did not, (1) meet the redefined goals to provide highway capacity, (2) provide mobility benefits to motorists, (3) replace aging infrastructure, (4) provide as much safety enhancement potential, and (5) improve many roadway deficiencies (CDOT, 1999a, p.4-18). The "combination" alternative provided for varying new highway lanes, (three through lanes from I-225 north to Broadway and 4 through lanes from south ofl-225), was recommended because "additional funding was made available" and it better met the criteria for which the MIS alternative was rejected (CDOT, 1999a, pp 3-58 and 4-18). As a result, this "combination alternative" became the preferred alternative (CDOT, 1999a, p. 5-5). This 1999 Development and Evaluation of Alternatives report also stated the "combination" alternative was selected: "Since additional funding was made available, this alternative met the additional needs identified in the MIS Final Report" (CDOT, 1999a, p. 4-18). This statement seemed to be inaccurate because the MIS had identified two other viable alternatives, the addition ofHOV/bus lanes or fares lanes, to meet corridor needs. Another point of interest in the Definition and Screening of Conceptual Alternatives report was the MIS Modified alternative included highway improvements which involved enhancing the mainline to meet 96 kph (60 mph) design criteria and the upgrading of the outside shoulders to standard design criteria of3.6 meters (12 feet). The Maximum and Standard alternatives included essentially these same highway improvements, except the mainline design criteria were 104 kph ((65 mph). The additional highway improvements included widened inside shoulders of 4.8 meters (16 feet) and an acceleration/deceleration lane (CDOT, 1999a, p. 3-54). Another alternative was a combination ofthe maximum and standard alternatives (CDOT, 1999a, p. 3-58). March 1999-The Colorado Department of Transportation issued the newsletter titled Corridor Conversation -A Newsletter for the Southeast Corridor EIS Project. It stated that the newsletter was intended to alert the communities along the corridor of upcoming briefings and it would expand knowledge of each aspect of the planning process (CDOT, 1999b, p.l). This March 1999 edition described the Policy Committee and its role in establishing "the overall scope and vision of the project" and that it would serve as a 'check and balance' procedure for the design team. It stated that the Policy Committee unanimously supported the multi-modal vision comprised of light rail transit, highway widening, and that the project would generally stay within the existing right-of-way (CDOT, 1999b, p. 2). The newsletter 337

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also defined 'lane balancing as the need to add more highway lanes where the intersections ofl-25, 1-225 and C-470 / E-470 created significantly more traffic volume. It stated that an additional fifth lane was being considered on 1-25 between 1-225 and C-470/E-470 due to lane balancing needs (COOT 1999b, p. 3). Apri11999-Bradley J. Beckham ofCDOT, Region 6 wrote to George Scheuernstuhl of DR COG, to provide additional information about the proposed Southeast Corridor amendment to the Fiscally Constrained 2020 Regional Transportation Plan It responded to DRCOG s letter of March 26 1999 (Beckham 1999, p. 1). Apri11999-An April 9, 1999, Denver Post editorial describes concernd about an RTD Board's closed door meeting with Governor Bill Owens on funding for theSE Corridor project. According to the article, the Board met with the Governor and planned two more closed sessions to discuss former Governor Romer s plan to provide $90 million dollars in state matching funds to help secure the federal grant funds for transit. The editorial stated that COOT Executive Director Tom Norton and the Governor had openly explained the benefits of the new proposal which included state and local contributions for land acquisition and overpass construction costs that would be credited partially towards the 20% transit match requirement. Particular focus was on the potential illegality and loss of credibility related to RTD's closed door meetings (Denver Post 1999 p 6B). Apri11999-The Meeting Notes from the April 14, 1999 West Washington Park Neighborhood Association meeting noted that Kathleen McKenzie presented results of her survey indicating the 317 out of 328 people were in favor of light rail transit (Carter & Burgess, 1999c, p 1 ). April1999-The Resource Agency Team meeting held on April21, 1999, included participants from FHWA COOT EPA Corps ofEngineers, and Carter & Burgess staff. The meeting notes included a list of items relating to Air Quality & NoiseNibration Analyses. One of the items listed under that status of air quality analyses included hot-spot and emission burdens (Carter & Burgess, 1999d, p 1 ). April 1999 COOT issued a newslett e r titled Corridor Conversation-A Newsletter for the Southeast Corridor EIS Project. This newsletter described parking for the light rail stations, bridge upgrade and replacement, and efforts to address drainage problems along the highway, specifically between Broadway and University Boulevard. It provided a little history about 1-25. It stated that the highway was originally built with four lanes, and two lanes were added in the 1960s to address increased traffic With the addition of two more lanes they would not fit 338

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under existing bridges with the light rail transit. Some of the bridges would be completely replaced, others that had 20 or more years of life left would only be improved and widened as needed (CDOT, 1999c, p. 2). Apri11999-The Southeast Corridor, EIS, Fact Sheet stated: "Since the MIS, it has been determined that the solution for the Southeast Corridor should be multi-modal. In other words, light rail transit and highway improvements are both essential in order to make the best use of the corridor and minimize environmental impacts" (emphasis in original text). The alternatives included highway improvements comprised of adding acceleration/deceleration lanes, adding one general purpose lane in each direction on I-25 and I-225, improving inside and outside shoulders, explore ways to minimize right-of-way impacts, reconstructing aging portions of I25, reconstructing and improvements to interchanges, improving storm drainage, and improving lane balance and merging of freeway lanes (CDOT, 1999d p. 1). June 1999-A letter from Laurence E. Warner, Project Director, CDOT to Stephen Mueller of Littleton, provided specific responses to Mr. Mueller's questions on the Southeast Corridor project sent by email on May 23, 1999. The letter summarized the traffic changes (congestion, freeway speeds, and travel time) occurring as a result of the proposal. It also explained the increase in costs for light rail. The letter also partially responded to Mr. Mueller's question: "How far off do the cost estimates have to be before we rethink the recommendations given in the MIS?" (Warner, 1999b, Attachment p. 1 ). Warner responded the MIS was substantially changed primarily by the addition of highway lanes and the associated bridge replacements and interchange reconstructions It did not state what would lead to re-evaluating the MIS recommendations (Warner, 1999b, pp. 1-2). June 1999-Lisa M. Edington ofCDOT, Region 6, sent a memorandum to Dwayne Wilkinson, ofCDOT, and Gina McAffee of Carter-Burgess, commenting on the draft EIS. She referenced the two House Bills that apparently would help fund corridor reconstruction: House Bill 1325, Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS), subject to voter approval in November 1999, and House Bill1206, which would complete the funding for the transportation project. The author also stated: "that the fiscally constrained limit that was present during the MIS was redefined, thereby allowing for evaluation of an alternative, which included investments in the highway elements" (Edington, 1999, p.l). June 1999-Meeting Minutes from the June 29, 1999 Public Meeting note included a comment that mass transit must be part of the project. It also referenced funding, noting that the TRANS referendum did not include funding for mass transit, instead there would be a separate RTD ballet to allow bonding to pay for transit. The 339

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meeting notes also indicated prior to November 1998 the $90 million match funding for transit was assumed to be coming from CDOT (Carter & Burgess, 1999e, pp.l-2). It further stated: Governor Owens removed the $90 million from the state's responsibility then, in May, introduced TRANS, which at first included transit. Then it was removed In June, the RTD Board decided to put the ballot issue on the ballot asking for the approval to bond (Carter & Burgess, 1999e, pp.l-2). June 1999-This June 281h article by Ricky Young, Denver Post titled "More Lanes, More Traffic overviewed concerns that widening 1-25 would only slightly improve congestion and only for a short period of time. The article quoted statements by Todd Saliman State Representative from Boulder, Bill Van Meter of RTD, and David Stevenson of Carter & Burgess (Young, 1999a, pp. 1A and 8A). June 1999-April M Washington wrote an article, appearing in the Rocky Mountain News on June 29, 1999, titled, "Tech Moguls Want RTD Answers The author described conflict between Denver Tech Center (DTC) representatives and RTD over funding for the Southeast Corridor. DTC leaders were concerned RTD was inflating the estimated cost of the project to fund other light rail projects Buz Koelbel, a Denver developer was quoted: "We re trying hard to be partners in this whole deal and not adversaries But we want to make sure R TD is contributing an equitable amount so the southeast corridor gets completed" (Washington, 1999 p. 1 of2). The article also provided a response from Cal Marsella, General Manager of RTD. He was cited as saying the increased project cost estimate was due to a federal requirement to widen I-25 to 10 lanes.' He stated: When federal highway folks told us we had to widen the highway by one lane on each side, it changed the whole scope of the project. We had to add more money for right-of-way, bridge reconstruction (and) environmental impact costs (Washington, 1999, pp. 1 of2 and 2 of 2). July1999A July 13, 1999 article, b y Ricky Young s (Denver Post) titled "RTD Light-Rail Plan Criticized," described RID's proposal to ask voters in November to approve $779 million ($457 million of principal and $322 million of interest) of debt for theSE Corridor light rail project. Young referenced criticism of the project being too costly and too vague. These were some of the same reasons the 1997 Guide the Ride ballot initiative failed. Dick Sargent, the RTD Board Director 340

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representing Golden, was quoted as being particularly critical of light rail. Recently visiting Portland Oregon, he referred to their light rail efforts as, "It's the closest I've ever seen to a communist environment. We do not need to burden ourselves with light rail (Young, 1999b, p. 2). August 1999-The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was published on August 12, 1999 It stated numerous alternatives were considered during the MIS and EIS processes. The alternatives included highway and interchange improvements and transit (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999a, p. ES-2). The report stated the corridor had been studied for twenty years and the studies: "consistently recommended that improvements be made to the highway system and to the provision of public transit" (USDOT, COOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. ES-1) The DEIS presents two alternatives: (1) No-Action which included the highway and transit facilities and services already in the corridor and that were fully funded or committed for construction by 2020 and (2) Preferred Alternative, comprised of highway improvements (including additional lanes on each corridor and other improvements) and 17.9 miles of double tracked light rail transit along I-25 and 4 miles of rail along I-225 (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, pp. ES-2-ES-3). The primary purpose described in the report: "is to improve travel time and enhance safety along these two transportation corridors (I-25 and I-225), while causing the least disruption to neighboring residents and businesses" (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 1-1). The DEIS noted the MIS was approved by DRCOG Board in 1997 (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999a, p. 1-3). However, it stated further: "During the NEP A process, all alternatives considered during the MIS were re-evaluated to determine if there were any changed conditions that might alter the evaluation findings" (US DOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-1 ). The DEIS referenced a statement from page 5-18 of the MIS Final Report: "there are additional needs in this corridor that can only be addressed if additional financial resources for construction and operation are made available" (USDOT CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-5). The report stated: The overall project scope was changed from the recommendation in the MIS primarily in response to an action taken by the SE Corridor Policy Committee in January 1999 to increase the construction budget for the project, and in response to the MIS finding that there are additional needs in this corridor that can only be addressed if additional financial resources are made available (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-6). The Preferred Alternative was comprised of adding one general purpose lane in each direction and a wide inside shoulder, "that could be used either just for 341

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construction staging purposes or for construction staging purposes and as a "flex lane" (or a general purpose land only during peak traffic conditions)" (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-6). The report described the highway alternatives considered, ranging from a MIS Modified option and the standard, maximum and combination alternatives varying with the amount of additional highway capacity. Based on this review, the MIS Modified Alternative was not recommended for a number of reasons, including it did not meet the redefined goals to provide additional highway capacity and it did not provide benefits to motorists or safety enhancements, replace aging infrastructure, nor improve many roadway deficiencies (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-17). The Combination Alternative was recommended since additional funding was made available, it minimized right-of-way impacts, the added lanes would increase freeway vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and reduce volumes and vehicle hours traveled (VHT) on arterial streets, total VMT was relatively unchanged, etc., (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 2-17). The DEIS was then left with two alternatives, the No Action and the Preferred Alternative (light rail with essentially eight general purpose lanes on 1-25 and 5 to 6 lanes on I-225) (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, pp. 2-45-2-53). With regard to environmental consequences the preferred multi-modal alternative was determined to result in no violations of air quality standards (NAAQS) (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. ES-4). The preferred option would result in a slight increase in corridor-level PMlO and a slight decrease in corridor-wide and downtown CO in comparison to the no build alternative (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 5-48). Other environmental consequences included noise, flooding, economic vitality, etc., with some benefits from the preferred option over the no action alternative (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. ES-4). The land use and zoning evaluation showed the Preferred Alternative would be compatible with land use plans while the No-Action Alternative would not (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 1999a, p. 5-101). August 1999-Carter & Burgess apparently prepared the Meeting Minutes for Kathleen McKenzie's Town Meeting held on August 28, 1999. McKenzie was noted as beginning the meeting, "pushing for mass transit" (Carter & Burgess, 1999f, p.l ). One of the questions asked during the meeting was whether or not CDOT would lend money to RTD. The answer was: Initial proposal was that CDOT would loan RTD the money, and RTD would pay them back. Since Governor Owens took office, he stated that it was RTD's responsibility to pay for transit (Carter & Burgess, 1999f, p.2). 342

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The meeting continued with discussion of the draft ballot language to fund transit. A summary was attached: "Why Support Light Rail" (Carter & Burgess, 1999f, Attachment). September 1999-A letter from John F. Muscatell, ofCDOT to Bill Vidal, now the DRCOG Executive Director, requested the 1999-2004 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) be amended to include the Southeast Corridor highway improvements. It noted that the "improvements have already been incorporated into the regional travel model for the 1999 air quality conformity process" (Muscatell, 1999 p.l). The letter transmitted a preliminary schedule for the transportation plan amendments and the environmental process (Muscatell, 1999, Attachment). September 1999-Jon Caldara, President, of the Independence Institute, submitted comments on the draft EIS on September 16, 1999. The document opposed the preferred alternative and the MIS alternative because the analyses were flawed. The document recommended a High Occupancy Transportation (HOT) lane be added to the highway and the rail line not be constructed (Caldara, 1999). October 6, 1999-A request for Review by State Auditor, submitted by state Senators Andrews and Congrove and Representatives Pfiffner, Stengel and Nunez asked the Auditor to review the Southeast Corridor MIS and DEIS specifically the light rail transit and HOV /bus lane alternatives (Andrews et al, 1999, pp. 1-2). The audit request and associated letter to the Legislative Audit Committee indicated there were inaccuracies and contradictions in the documents and: "the public cannot fairly choose between light rail and other, possible superior, solutions to traffic congestion and air pollution" (Andrews, Congrove, Pfiffner, Stengel and Nunez, 1999, p. 1). October 1999-The Colorado Division ofFHWA and FTA's Region 8 Office entered into an "Interagency Agreement for the Southeast Corridor Project." It's stated goal was that FHWA and FTA work cooperatively on the project, employing a "One DOT" approach. This approach would include creating a single management team, sharing information, and reaching agreement on issues. Another agreement goal was to implement a single design/build contract for the highway and transit project elements (USDOT, 1999, pp. 1-2). October 1999-A Corridor newsletter, "Corridor Conversation," described a new interagency agreement between FT A and FHW A that included guiding principles and delineation of responsibilities so that the two federal agencies, "cooperatively 343

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work together to seamlessly implement both agencies' procedures that pertain to the Southeast Corridor Multi-Modal Project in a manner that embodies a 'One DOT' approach" (Southeast Corridor EIS Project, 1999, p. 1 ). October 1999-In a letter commenting on the DEIS, EPA cited: "concerns on lack of disclosure on the potential cumulative and indirect impacts associated with this project and departure form the MIS alternative recommendations." EPA repeated several times it fully supported the MIS recommendation. The letter rated the DEIS as EC-2. The EC-2 rating means: the draft EIS does not contain sufficient information for EPA to fully assess environmental impacts that should be avoided in order to fully protect the environment. The identified additional information, data, analyses or discussion should be included in the final EIS (Cody, 1999, pp.l-2). October 1999-Brad Bartlett and Kelly Wark submitted comments on the DEIS on October 5, 1999. The document expressed support for the MIS alternative and opposed the Preferred Alternative appearing in the DEIS. Specific concerns included the lack of adequate air quality analyses, conformity determination, and cumulative impacts. It also criticized the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) analyses and highlighted the inappropriateness of changing the MIS alternative to include added highway lanes (Barlett and Wark (1998)). November 1999Carter-Burgess prepared this Southeast Corridor System and Project Level Feasibility Study for the CDOT to meet CDOT Policy Directive1601 (Interchange Approval Process). Though this report focused on the planned new and reconstructed interchanges it provided information on congestion and funding. The report's Executive Summary concluded even though the project would provide new highway lanes and light rail transit, it would not, "alleviate congested conditions during peak periods." The project was expected to reduce the duration of congestion, meaning the number of hours the highway operated under congested conditions (Carter & Burgess, 1999g, p. ES-6). The report also overviewed the funding that had been identified to implement the transportation project. The highway elements of the project would be funded through bonding future federal allocations (and state match) and the transit portion would be funded through bonding future federal "New Starts" funds (Carter & Burgess, 1999g, p. ES-12). November 1999-A joint letter from RTD's Board Chairman, Robert Tonsing, and the Transportation Commission Chairman, Daniel Stuart, to FHW A, FT A, and the 344

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Secretary of Transportation, touted the results of Colorado's recent elections. RTD's ballot initiative to fund the light rail system passed overwhelmingly and voters also approved the measure to borrow money to speed up 24 major Colorado highway projects including the Southeast Corridor The letter urged federal funding for this multi-modal project that exemplified USDOT's "One DOT" philosophy (Tonsing and Stuart, 1999, pp. 1-2). November 1999DRCOG completed an assessment ofRTD's proposed light rail system for the Southeast Corridor. The document stated the Colorado General Assembly passed a law (SB 208) requiring RTD to obtain approval for regional fixed-guideway mass transit systems from the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization prior to construction. The law required review of each component of the planned system, the method of financing, and the type of technology selected. DRCOG, the region's Metropolitan Planning Organization, prepared its assessment report on November 15, 1999. The report provided a history of the light rail systems already in existence and the Southwest Corridor, which was under construction (DRCOG, 1999b, pp. 1-2). The same rail technology used on these other corridor projects was proposed for the Southeast Corridor. The plan also reviewed the funding sources. Approximately 40% of the project cost would be paid for by RTD sales and use tax and bonds, allowed by the voters in the November 2, 1999 elections. The other major funding source was federal FTA "New Start" funds. The report stated the FT A had rated the Southeast Corridor project as "not recommended" for New Start funding in its April 1999 annual report It indicated this negative rating was based on the failure of the 1997 sales tax ballot measure and the lack of formal agreement between RTD and CDOT for funding. Since the transit bond initiative passed federal funding was more likely according to the report (DR COG, 1999b, p. 12). The assessment report also stated if federal transit funding was not obtained, the project would be significantly delayed because the project with only highway expansion components and no rail transit would need to go through further environmental review and a new DEIS would be required (DRCOG, 1999b, pp. 4 and 13). November 1999On November 17, 1999, the DRCOG Board ofDirectors approved amendments to the Metro Vision 2020 Plan and the 2020 regional transportation plan adding highway widening to I-25 and I-225. These changes reflected the new preferred alternative for the Southeast Corridor project, as well as other regional transportation system changes (DRCOG, 1999c, p. 3). The Board of Directors Action Memo, an attachment to the meeting agenda, stated approval of revisions to the 2020 regional transportation plan was needed in order for RTD to submit a formal request to FTA for "New Start" funding for the light rail system. In 345

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addition, this approach was needed so COOT could proceed with the highway expansion elements of the Southeast Corridor (DRCOG, 1999c, p. 4) November 1999DRCOG's M e tro Vision 2020, Regional Transportation plan, The Fiscally Constrained Element was amended on November 17, 1999 to reflect the highway widening components of the Southeast Corridor project (DRCOG 1999d, Appendix 2, p 5). The amended plan also described air quality conformity. It states conformity had been achieved through the region s adoption of Transportation Control Measures (TCMs) and because it met, "federally prescribed emissions tests. These tests were demonstrations that the Denver area Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter, and Nitrogen Oxides emissions and the Longmont Carbon Monoxide emissions were within the established State Implementation Plan emissions budgets (DRCOG, 1999d p. 103). December 1999-The final environmental impact statement (FEIS) was issued in December 1999. It defined the project as the 1-225 corridor from its intersection with I-25, north to Parker Road and the portion ofi-25 from Lincoln A venue north to downtown Denver (Broadway intersection) The I-25 portion had six general purpose lanes with acceleration/deceleration lanes between interchanges. 1-225 had four general purpose lanes with acceleration/deceleration lanes between interchanges in the study area The SE Corridor was served by approximately 50 RTD bus routes (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD 1999b, p. 1-6). The report also described the existing 8.5 kilometer (5.3 mile) Central Corridor light rail line providing service between 301h Avenue/Downing Street and Broadway/I-25 (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, p. 1-9). The stated primary purpose of the transportation project was to improve travel time and enhance safety along the corridors while causing the least disruption to neighboring residents and businesses. The report identified a number of issues related to the purpose and need, including highway congestion, express bus travel time equal to auto travel time, inadequate transit serving businesses and neighborhoods, and the transportation needs of transit-dependent people (USDOT CDOT, and RTD 1999b pp ES-1-ES-2) There were two alternatives evaluated in the FEIS: the No-Action alternative and the Preferred Alternative. The Preferr e d Alternative was comprised of the addition of general-purpose highway lanes improvements to collector/distributor roadways, and other highway improvements. It also involved the reconstruction of interchanges and bridges and transportation demand management and intelligent transportation system elements (such as el e ctronic traffic warning signs). And it included 19 miles of double tracked light r ail transit along both corridors (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, pp. ES-2-ES-3) 34 6

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The estimated project costs were presented in the FEIS : $737 million for the highway elements and $883 for the transit elements The total cost estimate was $1.6 billion. The highway construction would be financed through Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS) financing, to be paid back from future Federal Highway funds and state matching funds. The transit system construction would be funded from sales tax revenue bonds and federal funding, 40% local match and 60% federal funding) (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, pp. 7-1-7-3). The FEIS determined that the Preferred Alternative would not result in violations ofNAAQS. It stated emissions of Carbon Monoxide would decrease with the Preferred Alternative versus the No Action alternative On the other hand, it predicted that the Preferred Alternative would lead to a slight increase in PMlO (USDOT, CDOT and RTD, 1999b, p. 5-48). February 2000 -EPA submitted comments on the FEIS stating that its DEIS comments were: "either reworded or reduced comments to one or two lines which did not fully represent the comments." EPA also criticized the cumulative impacts assessment appearing in the FEIS. EPA stated federal regulations required this assessment. EPA stated: "Colorado Transportation Commission documents indicate there are many other projects outside the metropolitan area planned for I-25 and that the Southeast Corridor is only an increment of the overall planned expansion ofl25." EPA stated that consistent with federal regulations the Southeast Corridor EIS should address the cumulative environmental impacts to critical receptors when viewed with other proposed actions as addressed in the Colorado Transportation Commissions documents. The letter stated the Southeast Corridor EIS did not address impacts from these additional planned I-25 and I-225 projects (Cody, 2000a, p. 2). EPA's strongest comment was COOT had selected additional highway capacity over the amount recommended in the MIS: We are concerned that the evaluation and range of alternatives in the MIS was not considered in the DEIS. In particular, the MIS preferred alternative was not carried through as an alternative in the DEIS (Cody, 2000a, p. 2). EPA referred back to the MIS conclusions that highway lanes would not be consistent with the Regional Plan and additional lanes may put the I-25 corridor at risk of exceeding air quality standards in the future (Cody, 2000a, p. 2). EPA's letter also stated it did not agree with COOT's position that: ... the wetlands and streams are not of concern to natural resource agencies EPA asked : "will indirect and cumulative impacts from the expansion ofl-25, in addition to the impacts of urban sprawl on wetlands and streams, be significant to these sensitive 347

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receptor areas?" (Cody 2000a p. 2 ) EPA's letter included several other comments it believed the FEIS and the COOT responses did not adequately address (Cody 2000a). February 2000Ricky Young wrote an article titled EPA Questions I-25 Widening," appearing on DenverPost.com on February 3 2000. The article described EPA's opposition to adding highway lanes to the corridor because it would affect air quality Ms Cynthia Cody was quoted as saying "Denver is already borderline. It s not going to take much to turn the city into a nonattainrnent area. More lanes more cars The article referenced COOT's explanation that the MIS proposal was financially constrained and new funding allowed for expansion of the highway. Ms. Cody was quoted as retorting "I don't think that's a good environmental answer. That's an economic answer. Tom Norton, Executive Director, COOT, countered EPA's comments saying the cars driven today are cleaner and less polluting than in the past and the projections showed the region would stay in compliance with air quality standards (Young 2000). February 2000-COOT's letter, dated February 9 2000 (prepared by the Southeast Corridor) responded to EPA's February 1, 2000 letter. This letter appeared in the Response Letters section of Appendix E of the Record of Decision. The letter stated that the MIS Preferred Alternative was analyzed and screened out in the EIS (USDOT, COOT, and RTD, 2000, Appendix E, p. 2). COOT's comments also stated even though the MIS Preferred Alternative was not consistent with the Regional Plan at the time, the new Preferred Alternative was consistent with the new regional plan, as amended It also stated that the conformity analysis of the 2020 Plan Amendment, "shows that the 1-25 corridor meets the conformity requirements and based on this, would no longer be at risk (USOOT, COOT, and RTD, 2000, Appendix E, p. 2). Concerning cumulative impacts, COOT believed it met the conformity requirements and used the ORCOG regional transportation planning process The COOT letter specifically stated it had to establish "geographic limits to these analyses and bear the criticism that the analysis did not include impacts from other associated project." It stated that it was relying on the DRCOG regional transportation planning process where projects could be evaluated within the context of cumulative impacts on a defined transportation network (USOOT, COOT, and RTO 2000, Appendix E p 3). 348

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Final Corridor Decision March 2000 The Record of Decision, the final EIS decision document, stated that the Selected Alternative would be comprised of 19.12 miles of double-tracked light rail transit, a light rail maintenance facility, additional highway lanes, a collector/distributor roadway between Broadway and Emerson and between Evans and Colorado (on 1-25), new acceleration/deceleration lanes, widened paved shoulders, reconstruction of eight interchanges, replacement of numerous bridges, and drainage upgrades (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 2000, p. 2). The report's Basis for Decision stated the highway elements identified earlier were: increased in scope to reduce travel time, take advantage of efficiencies created when the highway is rebuilt at the same time LRT is added, enhance safety conditions for motorists, and ease the construction process by providing more space for construction to occur (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 2000, p. 9). In the Decision section of the report, it concluded that the various alternatives were screened out because they had greater impacts, higher cost, or did not meet the project purpose or need. It further to stated: "The selected alternative is the environmentally preferred alternative" (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 2000, p. 2). This conclusion did not reflect any analysis of build alternatives, but there was only one build alternative in the final evaluation. The ROD described the public involvement process including a public comment period and a public hearing. The report stated most of the comments were related to concerns, such as noise and vibration, design elements at light rail stations and interchanges, and requests for additional mitigation. It also stated there were some comments opposing the highway widening proposal and the light rail transit elements of the project (USDOT, CDOT, and RTD, 2000, p. 1). April 2000Transit Alliance, a local non-profit organization, issued a report titled, What the People Say: Public Involvement in the Three Major Investment Studies in Metro Denver in April2000. The report concluded the public involvement processes for the West, Southeast, and East Corridors were, "effective in providing citizens with an opportunity to become substantially involved in shaping the outcomes." All three corridor processes resulted in multi-modal solutions that were consistent with public input including rail transit, highway improvements, trails, and bus service (Transit Alliance, 2000). 349

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April2000The Southeast Corridor issued an April 17, 2000 memorandum transmitting the draft report on the Baseline Survey of Residents, Commuters and Businesses in the Southeast Denver-Metro Region The report began by stating that in November 1999, "Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved two bond initiatives that will fund a $1.6 billion construction project that calls for highway improvements and the addition of light rail to the Southeast Corridor" (Southeast Corridor, 2000a, p. 3). The survey seemed to focus most on awareness of the congestion problems on the corridor, the expectations of traffic delay due to construction, the need for timely completion of the project, and how people wanted information about the construction. The survey found that few people knew of the project's specific name, the "Southeast Corridor Multi-modal Project," light rail was the best known element of the project, and highway improvements were less familiar to respondents (Southeast Corridor, 2000a, pp. 4-6). December 2000 This Southeast Corridor newsletter touts the federal Full Funding Grant Agreement that will provide $525 million in funding over seven years for the light rail portion ofthe project. The agreement signing was in Denver on November 1 ih. It also involved $30 million in local matching funds from City and County of Denver, Douglas County, City of Aurora, Arapahoe County, Greenwood Village, Lone Tree, and Joint Southeast Public Improvement Association. Wayne Allard, U.S. Senator, and Chairman of the Senate Housing and Transportation Subcommittee, is citing as saying how pleased his is with the agreement and how he looks forward to riding the light rail line (Southeast Corridor, 2000b, p. 1 ). 350

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Appendix F. Case Study Chronology: Entrance to Aspen, Highway 82 The State Highway 82, Entrance to Aspen case study examines a significant transportation project in Pitkin County. The Entrance to Aspen project lies within the larger Highway 82 corridor located in the Roaring Fork Valley. Highway 82 originates at its northwestern end at Glenwood Springs and extends through downtown Aspen. The Glenwood Springs to Aspen corridor is approximately 38 miles long (Grauer, 2002, p. 2 of 4). The highway continues to the southeast out of Aspen towards Independence Pass, beyond the scope of this study. This project was initially a component of the Basalt to Aspen environmental impact statement (EIS) process; therefore, this chronology includes the EIS for that 15-mile segment of Highway 82. In 1992, the Entrance to Aspen portion of the roadway was separated to its own EIS process. When the separate Entrance to Aspen EIS process was initiated in February 1994, the project scope was the 3-mile portion of the corridor from the Tieback Ski area to the intersection of 7th and Main, entering Aspen (Federal Register (1994) p. 8670). The Entrance to Aspen draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) issued in August 1995 defined the project as the 2-mile segment of Highway 82 from Buttermilk Ski Area to ih and Main Streets near the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. 1-1I-2). Then in July 1996, the project scope was revised in the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS), extending both ends of the corridor: northwest of Buttermilk Ski Area to the Airport and further into downtown Aspen, on the other end, to Rubey Park. The final scope of the project was 4.3 miles (US DOT and CDOT, 1997, p. S-1). Figures 4.5 and 4.6 depict the project scope and the final selected transportation alternative as it appears in the Record ofDecision issued in August 1998 (USDOT and CDOT (1998) pp. 4 of37 and 5 of37). This case study chronology provides detailed information about the major events, key actors, and major decisions. It focuses of the period of time from initiation of the EIS process in February 1994 to publication of the final decision document in August 1998. Some project implementation activities are presented in the latter part of this Appendix. Refer to Figure 4.7 for a timeline of the major events and decisions. The final cost estimate for the Entrance to Aspen project is $160 million This includes $34 million for roadway improvements, $57 million for light rail transit, and $68 million for two multimodal facilities (park and ride facilities) (USOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-10) 351

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Aspen and Pitkin County are growing in population. The County's population rose from 14,827 in 1990 to 17,258 in 2000. It is expected to increase to 20,598 people by 2015. The City of Aspen s population makes up about 1/3 ofthe County. Visitors to Aspen are also increasing. The visitor population rose from 10,658 to 11,345, and is expected to climb to 12, 336 in 2015 (USOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. IV-4). History and Early Corridor Studies 1911 -The Colorado Highway Commission approved adding Highway 82 to the state highway system (CDOT, 2004, p. 1). 1962-1974-Highway 82 was widened from two to four lanes from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale (CDOT, 2004, p. 1). 1970An election was held on constructing a four-lane roadway. Pitkin County voters approved the measure, while City of Aspen defeated it by 54% to 46% (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary ofVotes). 1972 -City of Aspen voters approved a sales tax measure to support mass transit (US DOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). 1975-City of Aspen voters approved a measure to support a County plan for light rail (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). June 1975-The DEIS for the segment of highway from Basalt to Aspen described an early corridor study titled, Colorado State Highway 822 Design Concept Study, prepared by Lawrence Halprin & Associates. The report included several transportation alternatives for the area near Aspen, including highway widening and widening with a fixed rail transitway (USDOT ad CDOH, 1989, p. 2). 1983Pitkin County voters approved a 1% sales tax to support mass transit (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). 1984Pitkin County voters supported construction of four lanes from Brush Creek to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary ofVotes). 352

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1986 -Aspen voters defeated two measures to construct a 4-lane roadway one along the existing alignment and the other across open space (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). 1986-John R. Parten and Noel V. McGaughey prepared a report proposing a passenger train system between Denver's Stapleton Airport and downtown Aspen. The trains would operate mostly on existing rail track and the system would utilize currently available equipment. The author s stated their proposal would succeed because the people in Pitkin County are different than in most other US cities, the visitors to Aspen are different than most other tourists, and the service would be superior to any past service. The authors said believed the people Aspen placed a priority on environmental considerations over those of developers (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, p. 1 ). The report also stated that Aspen has resisted the State's attempts to widen State Highway 82 to four lanes (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, p.2). The report provided historical information about Aspen and other Roaring Fork Valley communities and relevant transportation studies. It stated that an Aspen Citizen Task Force held several forums in September 1983 to solicit community input about the future of the Aspen/Snowmass Village area. Transportation issues rose to the top of the forum's Top 1 0 Goals list. Community comments emphasized the need to improve the local and regional transportation system, including addressing highway safety issues. Expanding Highway 82 to four lanes was suggested, as well as developing a regional mass transit system (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, pp. 7-8). The authors also referenced the 1973 Aspen Land Use Plan that included a primary goal of placing emphasis on pedestrian and mass transit transportation modes (Parten and McGaughey, 1986 p. 9). According to this report, Aspen had rail service until 1969 One of the railroads, the Colorado/Midland company, lost its right-of-way to Route 82. A 1974 report, referred to as the Ross Report, indicated that a light rail system was feasible to link the as yet to be developed Snowmass ski area and Aspen. This system could also be linked to the Glenwood Springs rail system (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, pp. 26-30). The report also referred to a 1980 Transit Study that described four fixed transit systems to serve Snowmass Village and Aspen (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, pp. 30-34). The authors also referred to other rail studies and the 1975 "Colorado State Highway 82 Study" (Parten and McGaughey, 1986, p. 74) 353

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Basalt to Aspen Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Phase September 1987 -A Federal Register Notice of Intent was issued on September 11, 1987, announcing the initiation of the Basalt to Aspen EIS process for improvements to Highway 82. The project scope was the 17-mile segment from just east ofBasalt to Aspen (Federal Register, 1987, pp. 34450). August 1989-The DEIS was issued on August 9, 1989, for Basalt to the intersection of ih and Main Streets, located at the west end of Aspen. The purpose and need included addressing roadway congestion and high accident rates. The DEIS clearly stated it was a highway widening project. The first statement in the document was: "The Colorado Department of Highway (CDOH) in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration is proposing to widen to four lanes of an approximately 17 mile segment ofColorado State Highway 82." (USDOT and CDOH, 1989, p. S-1). The DEIS evaluated six alternatives all involving highway expansion from two lanes to four, except the No-Build alternative. The alternatives varied in the route (also referred to as the alignment) through three areas: Snowmass Canyon, near the Aspen airport, and at the entrance to Aspen. All of the alternatives involved relocation of residences, environmental impacts, using lands from parks, recreation areas, etc., impacting wetlands, and other impacts (USDOT and CDOH, 1989, pp. S-1-S-5). The report described the alternatives that were eliminated during the preliminary evaluation These alternatives did not include transit options (USDOT and CDOH, 1989, pp. 28-31). September 1989-Federal Highway Administration (FHW A) records included letters opposing the DEIS preferred alternative. One letter was from Kellee Lasker to President Bush, opposed the four-lane highway proposal through Snowmass Canyon. Lasker referenced environmental and wildlife impacts, loss of homes, negative impacts on quality oflife, etc. (Lasker, 1989, pp. 1-4). October 1989-The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter to CDOH providing comments for consideration for the preparation for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The letter stated EPA's major concerns expressed in its scoping letter had been adequately addressed in the DEIS (DeSpain, 1989 p. 1). 354

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1990City of Aspen voters approved a measure to construct a 4-lane roadway along the existing alignment near the entrance to town (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). February 1990-CDOH issued an EIS newsletter on February 1, 1990, providing information to the public about the EIS process. This newsletter described the open house where over 100 citizens attended and a subsequent public hearing where over 200 citizens were in attendance. It also described Aspen's planned ballot measures asking voters to approve use of open space and their preference of the alternatives for the entrance to Aspen (Maroon Creek Road to ih/Main Streets). The newsletter described the two alternatives for the entrance to Aspen, both involving expansion ofthe roadway to four lanes: one alternative along the existing alignment and the other a more direct route across MaroltThomas open space (CDOH, 1990, pp. 1-7). October 1990Judith Brimberg wrote an article appearing in the Denver Post on October 28, 1990. She wrote about recent studies of a possible passenger rail line from Basalt to Aspen. Since the 1970's, rail was considered an option for the Roaring Fork Valley. She indicated new concerns were revitalizing the rail option. Concerns involved construction delays when the State began to widen Highway 82. In addition, many Aspen workers were now living down-valley and need to commute along the corridor (Brimberg, 1990, p. 9C). April 1992 The FEIS for the segment of Highway 82 from just east of Basalt to the Buttermilk Ski Area was issued in April 1992. It stated the portion of highway near the entrance to Aspen was being deferred to a separate environmental evaluation and that this decision to shorten the study area was made in April 1992 (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. Sumrnary-1). 1992-1995-Several construction projects occurred during this time period to expand the highway from two to four lanes from Carbondale to just east of Basalt; approximately 25 miles of the corridor (CDOT, 2004, p. 1). August 1993 -Centennial Engineering, Inc., of Arvada, prepared a transportation demand model technical report for the FEIS. The report noted that the Roaring Fork Valley and State Highway 82 corridor were unique in that there was only one highway in the corridor, and Aspen, at the upper end of the valley, was served only by Highway 82 from the northwest from November to June, because Independence Pass was closed during this time each year. It also highlighted the air quality nonattainment status ofthe Aspen area, due to exceedances of particulate matter, an air pollutant. The Aspen nonattainment plan was incorporated into the State Implementation Plan, specifically requiring that, "any future improvements on State 355

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Highway 82 do not exceed the no-build or do-nothing alternatives for the SIP in place." (Centennial Engineering, 1993, p. 1) The transportation demand model used origin/destination studies completed by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Mount Sopris Project in 1992 and 1993 (Centennial Engineering, 1993, p. 2). Growth projections were presented, including low and high growth scenarios (Centennial Engineering, 1993, p. 7). The traffic model calculated future traffic volumes. These analyses were particularly important because the SIP required a limit on vehicle miles of travel for the nonattainment area. Five modal alternatives were selected for evaluation: (1) No-Build, (2) conventional four-lane highway, (3) four lanes with bus/HOV lanes and Park-n-Ride facilities, (4) four lanes with bus/HOV and a transit envelope (the Preferred Alternative), and (5) improved two-lane highway with fixed guideway transit (Centennial, 1993, pp. 9-1 0). Each alternative was evaluated against five criteria: growth in traffic, induced traffic, down-valley shift of employees, diverted traffic, and converted traffic (shifts between modes). As expected, the alternative that was solely highway expansion rated poorly in the areas of induced traffic, down-valley shift, and modal shift to transit. The fixed rail alternative rated best for induced traffic and down-valley shift, while alternatives (3) and (4) rating better on single occupant vehicle (SOV) reduction (1 0% and 20% respectively) (Centennial Engineering, 1993, p. 13). October 1993-The FEIS for the segment of Highway 82 from just east of Basalt to the Buttermilk Ski Area was issued in October 1993. The beginning of the Summary chapter stated that the portion of highway near the entrance to Aspen was being deferred to a separate environmental evaluation and that this decision to shorten the study area was made in April1992 (USDOT and COOT, 1993a, p. Summary-1 ). A description of the 'purpose and need' for each project was required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report stated that the purpose was: "to improve the safety and needed capacity of State Highway 82 in a manner that is affordable, that recognizes public concern, and that complies with all applicable regulations." It further maintained that the need for action was based on existing traffic congestion, travel demand growth, and highway safety statistics (USOOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. 1-1). The FEIS evaluated several options: (1) No-Build, (2) expanding the two lane highway to four lanes with no transit improvements, (3) expanding to four lanes with bus/HOV lanes added to the three miles of the 15-mile project closest to Aspen, and Park-and-Ride facilities, and (4) an option similar to option (2), plus a multimodal transfer lot at Buttermilk, a transit envelope in the corridor, and a bicycle/pedestrian/recreational access trail. The fourth alternative was the Preferred Alternative (USDOT and COOT, 1993a, pp. Summary 8-9). The cost estimate for 356

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the Preferred Alternative was $104 million, including highway construction, right of-way, and transit equipment costs (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a p VI-86) The report stated the alternatives to construct a rail system were screened out in the DEIS phase. This was significant because most, if not all, of the environmental impacts and costs were associated with the highway widening components that were included in all the alternatives As important the FEIS report itself questioned road widening as a long-term fix: Adding lanes is generally a proven method of reducing both congestion and accidents. It is a viable solution that is often used to solve transportation problems but doesn't always get at the long-term causes and solutions to the problem. This solution can end up in the future just as congested as the problem it was designed to address. (USDOT and CDOT, 1993a, p. II-13) The FEIS described controversy surrounding the EIS process, including opposition to roadway expansion. Some members of the public wanted 2 or 3 lanes of highway constructed more quickly at lower costs (US DOT and CDOT, 1993a, Summary 12) November 1993EPA submitted its comments on the East of Basalt to Buttermilk Ski Area FEIS on November 15, 1993. Though the final document reflected consultation with EPA, EPA had comments and continuing concerns on wetlands and air quality (DeSpain, 1993, pp. 1-3). December 1993-The Record of Decision (ROD) for the Basalt to Buttermilk Ski Area EIS was issued on December 21, 1993. It stated that the selected alternative for this segment of Highway 82 was widening the roadway to four lanes with two lanes dedicated to bus/HOY traffic during peak hours, plus a transit envelope along the corridor (USDOT and CDOT, 1993c p.1). February 1994-The Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project's newsletter, called Transportation Tracks, highlighted the ongoing and planned projects that were "Moving Toward a Congestion Free Valle y !" These plans included the approved reconstruction of the highway from Basalt to Buttermilk to four lanes, which involved bus/HOY restricted lanes during peak hours Other plans included a mass transit feasibility study for the corridor from Glenwood Springs to Aspen and the purchase of Denver Rio Grande right-of-way for a future dedicated rail system (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994a, p. 1 ). 357

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Entrance to Aspen Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Phase January 1992-According to an Aspen resolution passed on June 26, 1995, the Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP) was developed by over 400 citizens and adopted by the Aspen City Council, Board of County Commissioners, Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission, and Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission in January 1992. The AACP stated that, "Aspen cannot build its way out of traffic problems anymore than Los Angeles was able to solve its problems with ever larger and wider freeways." It included policies of balancing private and public transportation and creating less congestion in the Aspen downtown area (Aspen, 1995a, pp. 1-2). October 1992 and January 1993-Joint Resolution (#396) was adopted by Pitkin County Commissioners on October 27, 1992, Snowmass Village on January 4, 1993, and Aspen on October 26, 1992 It was endorsed by CDOT, Aspen Ski Company, Roaring Fork Transit Agency, and Planning and Public Works departments of the Town, City and County. This resolution presented the transportation strategy for the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. It stated the three government entities had been meeting to develop the strategy, known as the Snowmass to Aspen Transportation Plan. The resolution also stated CDOT and federal highway funding had changed as a result of recent federal transportation legislation (ISTEA), allowing more flexibility in the use of the funds (Pitkin County, 1993, p. 1). The resolution set out criteria that any transportation solutions, "must lend themselves to," including improvements to Highway 82 must fit within an overall transportation plan, effects on mass transit use are considered, provision of incentives to reduce auto use, and fixed guideway systems be pursued, etc. (Pitkin County, 1993, p. 2). The resolution included travel demand management, transportation enhancements, (including HOV lanes, maintaining Brush Creek Road as two lanes, purchase of the Rio Grande right-of-way, bike/pedestrian facilities, and pursuing a peak hour dedicated mass transit corridor on Owl Creek Road). It also stated that there would be "every reasonable attempt to develop a fixed guideway system(s) between Snowmass and Aspen within the next two years" (Pitkin County, 1993, pp. 2-3). It also anticipated a possible passenger rail system from Glenwood Springs to Aspen in its endorsement of transportation improvements proposed by Glenwood Springs. It stated the endorsement was conditioned on any future by-pass or alternative vehicle route not precluding a rail system (Pitkin County, 1993, pp. 4 and 9). June 1993-Aspen's Transportation Implementation Plan was issued in June 1993. It was a culmination of nine months of work by a broad-based citizen's committee. 358

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It set out a plan to design a transportation system for the Aspen area that met travel and environmental goals and that was attractive. This plan was based on a number of earlier studies and analyses including: Aspen Transit/Transportation Development Program (1986), Roaring Fork Railroad Plan (1989), Aspen Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan (1991), Snowmass to Aspen Transportation Study (1992) and others. The plan's elements included changes to parking in commercial and residential areas, enhancing bus service, improvements to pedestrian and bicycle facilities, etc. (Aspen Area Community Plan Transportation Implementation Committee, 1993). August 1993-A Citizen's Round Table Symposium was held on August 3rd and ih. The meeting summary appeared to have been prepared by the Aspen Institute because the symposium was held at the Aspen Institute. The summary document first described the "general consensus points" that were reached. These included holding traffic at current levels, exploring a fixed guideway system between the airport and Aspen, and developing alternative modes of transit that were superior to the car, and others (Aspen Institute, 1993, p. 2). It also included assumptions made for development of a conceptual master transportation plan and major elements of the plan (Aspen Institute, 1993, pp. 3-4). November 1993-Aspen and Pitkin County voters passed a Y2 percent sales tax for transportation improvements, including a dedicated, separate transitway from Snowmass Village to Aspen, increased bus service, transit parking facilities (park and ride facilities), and purchase of the remaining right-of-way for possible future rail use (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-4). February 1994-The EIS Notice oflntent for the entrance to Aspen project was issued on February 23, 1994. The project included transportation improvements to Highway 82 from milepost 38.80 (Tieback Ski area) to milepost 42.00 (ih and Main, in Aspen), a distance of approximately 3.20 miles. The notice stated that the alternatives being considered included, no action, improving the existing highway, widening the highway, fixed guideway, transit enhancements, and/or combinations of these alternatives (Federal Register, 1994, pp. 8670-1 ). February 1994-An initial agency coordination and scoping meeting was held on February 28, 1994. According to meeting notes prepared by Centennial Engineering, Inc., the project consultant, there were representatives from Aspen, Pitkin County, Roaring Fork Transit Agency (RFTA), Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations, CDOT, Centennial, and Corps of Engineers. From the meeting notes, Ralph Trapani, CDOT, appeared to lead the meeting with Dick Bauman of Centennial. Presentations and discussion covered a variety of topics: the 359

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need for the project, draft schedule, potential alternatives, significant environmental impacts, etc., (Centennial Engineering, 1994a, pp. 1-2). February 1994-The Mount Sopris Transportation Project Final Report included a travel origin and destination study and traffic count information. The report stated that several local governments including RFT A and CDOT studied the surface transportation needs of the Highway 82 corridor. This study was referred to as the Mount Sopris Transportation Project. In 1992, CDOT conducted an origin/destination study near Carbondale and the Tiehack Ski Area for the environmental impact statement for the corridor between Basalt and Tieback. This newer study focused on winter travel patterns because during the EIS process, ''the decision was made that travel patterns was needed to accurately assess the alternative transportation solutions" (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1994, p. 1 ). The 1994 report included information collected at two locations, one near Aspen and one just north of Carbondale, considered approximately the middle of the study area. An external or roadside survey method was selected which involved conducting interviews of selected vehicles passing these points. Traffic count information was also collected. The study results included average trip length, trips by trip purpose, vehicle occupancy, volume of travel, etc., (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1994, pp. 1-4). The report also stated the Transit Agency conducted an on board transit survey during the same timeframe as the roadside survey (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1994, p. 273). February 1994-An interoffice memo from Leslie Klusmire, Project Manager, Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, to Barb Cole, of Community Matter, Inc., summarized input received from the project decision-makers in their February 2, 1994 meeting. The memo summarized the discussion of the air quality concerns, specifically particulate matter (PM1 0) and stated the upper valley needed to develop a solution that works for them and not necessarily just a federal solution. It also indicated PMl 0 should be delinked from transit "Transit is on its own track" (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994a, p. 1). The memo also mentioned that bus shuttle or similar approaches, referred to as, "rubber tire solutions that move many people," was still being considered, as well as an elevated transit system (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994c, p. 2). February 1994-The DecisionMaker meeting held on February 2, 1994 was summarized in meeting notes apparently prepared by the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project. These notes included, "small group recommendations" which the project team would use to manage the project. Three overarching assumptions were first described: traffic congestion through the period 2015 would be kept at levels that were no greater than today, transportation solutions would 360

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comply with the Clean Air Act, and constructing a four lane, unrestricted roadway into Aspen and on Brush Creek would not be an option This document also listed how transit fares would be established that were competitive with automobile related costs, that mode transfers would be efficient and effective, and that the solution would preserve environmental and community character (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994c, pp. 2-4). March 1994-FHW A's "Minute-Memo" dated April 28, 1994, stated that the purpose of the March 10-12 transportation symposium was to: (1) better understand the viable transit alternatives, (2) identify design and technology characteristics that would meet community needs, and (3) explore how the transit system could best interface with existing and planned improvements (travel demand management, transportation enhancements, and capital improvements). This meeting summary indicated that it was not clear if the community would commit to a rail or bus system and that a mass transit system, in particular rail, would be difficult to accomplish due to the high cost. It also stated the Aspen to Snowmass project team needed to select an alignment and technology for the November bond election (USDOT, 1994a, pp. 1-2). March 1994 -The record of the March symposium, prepared by the Aspen Institute, included a summary of the four alternatives that were discussed: (1) electric bus on guideway, (2) the 'ultimate system' with possible components of high occupancy lanes, rail right-of-way, personalized rapid transit, etc., (3) fixed guideway to the airport and bus to Snowmass Village, and (4) fixed guideway to airport with skier transfer facility from Buttermilk to Snowmass Village (Aspen Institute, 1994a, pp. 3-6). The conclusion of this meeting synopsis stated, "Final consensus of Roundtable: we do need to pursue mass transit to meet future transportation needs" (Aspen Institute, 1994a, p. 6). March 1994-On March lOth, the Aspen to Snowmass Project Team issued a memo to the Snowmass to Aspen decision makers. It summarized how Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, and the Town of Snowmass had agreed to work together on transportation issues, who the decision makers were, what legal status the decision makers had, the groups involved in developing a transportation system, what issues go to the decision makers, a set of procedural guidelines for meetings and process, and notes relating to, "The starting point for developing the fixed guideway system" (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, p 5). It seemed clear from this memorandum that the decision makers group believed they were empowered to make the transportation system decision for the upper portion of the Highway 82 corridor. The document indicated CDOT, RFTA, and the Aspen Ski Company would be involved, but only as non-voting members of the decision 361

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making group (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, pp. 1-2). It was also clear that a transit system would be built and even though the light rail transit option was expensive, it would be considered (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994b, pp. 1-6). March 1994-The Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team issued a memo to "elected officials" on interviews and group meetings relating to community involvement efforts. The memo indicated that there was a significant amount of support for mass transit; however, there was frustration over perceived "mixed messages from government decisionmakers ." It also concluded "The community is very fragile right now ," and some key constituents don't feel government decision makers would take their concerns seriously (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994e, p. 1). The memo highlighted some of the mixed message concerns centering on the County Commissioners perceived attempt to change COOT's plan to widen SH 82 to four lanes from Basalt to Tieback. This was apparently a top priority to some people. Another mixed message related to air quality concerns: many people voted for the transit tax in the Fall of 1993 and they wanted this honored by the policy makers and they were confused by the elected officials opposing the federal government's position on PMIO. Some people viewed this opposition as "the elected officials don't believe or don't care that there is an air quality problem" (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Team, 1994e, p 2). March 1994 The public scoping meeting for the Entrance to Aspen EIS was held on March 241h. Notes of the meeting dated April41h were prepared by Centennial Engineering, Inc. The notes included Q&A's from the meeting. One question related to the EIS process working with the political process. The recorded answer was: "Because of the difficulty discerning the true controversy versus the noise, there is much technical quantification." Another question related to political power versus public power, and the answer was: "Must coordinate extensively with elected officials. Rhetoric is common The data is synthesized with the Draft EIS, Public Comments, Public Hearing and Final EIS." The final question in the notes asked if the engineers could develop the technical solution and then consider the environmental concerns and the answer was: "We must come at it from both sides to develop the ultimate solution" (Centennial Engineering, 1994b, p. 4). April1994-Diane Moore, the Aspen City Planning Director, issued a letter to Ralph Trapani with the City's EIS scoping comments. This 5-page letter presented a series of questions and comments about a wide range of concerns, from air quality and wetlands to construction The air quality concerns relate to PM10 nonattainment issues and Carbon Monoxide and visibility. The letter asked CDOT 362

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to consider amending the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS to provide "flexibility to meet the conformity provisions of the federal Clean air Act. It also stated : The preferred alternative outlined in the SH 82 Basalt to Buttermilk EIS may need to be expanded to help reduce future traffic volumes on SH 82 in order to meet the conformity provisions of the Clean Air Act for the SH 82 Entrance to Aspen EIS. There is concern that complying with the conformity regulations of the Clean Air Act for the SH 82 Entrance to Aspen EIS will hinder the timely completion of the EIS (Moore, 1994, p. 1 ). Apri11994On April12-14, a transportation symposium was held in Aspen. The meeting summary of the Aprill31 h session was apparently prepared by the Aspen Institute The summary stated "four unrestricted lanes into Aspen and on Brush Creek is not an option" (Aspen Institute 1994b, p. 2). It listed the 'key elements' of the Upper Valley Transportation Strategy including developing the appropriate transit system between Aspen and Snowmass Village and supporting the Basalt to Buttermilk EIS that included safety improvements, four-laning of highway, and use ofHOV lanes (Aspen Institute (1994b) p. 3). It also delineated the d e cision makers: Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, and the Town of Snowmass Village plus CDOT, RFTA and the Aspen Ski Company (Aspen Institute 1994b, p. 6) Lastly, it listed the legal support for transit, including the 1991 Joint Resolution, 199 2 Intergovernmental Resolution #396, Basalt to Buttermilk EIS, Resolution #61 and 62 that committed the decision makers to Y:! cent sales tax, and several adopted plans : Aspen Area Community Plan (1992), Aspen Area Transportation Implementation Committee, and Vision Plan, Town of Snowmass Village (1993) (Aspen Institute, 1994b, p. 7). Apri11994Cameron M. Burns, wrote an April14 article appearin g in The Aspen Times titled, "Cold Shower for Hot Transit Dreams ." It overviewed the April13 transportation roundtable and indicated that the panel of experts supported a dedicated busway over rail because it was much less costly and could meet demand for years to come The article also stated rail transit could be much more cost effective in the long-term; however, the point at which it was more cost-effective than buses was not clear (Bums, 1994 pp. 1 an 12) May 1994-Jim Hooker, Mayor of Snowmass Village, wrote an ess ay in the Snowmass Sun newspaper on May 11, 1994. He highlighted the work of the team comprised ofhimse1f, Aspen Mayor John Bennett, and Pitkin Count y Commission Chair, Bob Child to move ahead with a transit option and ask for voter approval in the November elections He stated they would identify a system "which best fits 363

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our needs and our pocketbook" and the team would develop a financial plan and voters would be asked to approve it (Hooker 1994 p. 4). May 1994-Ellen Miller s article in the Denver Post overviewed several aspects of the Highway 82 transportation project. She first highlighted the safety issues identified on the corridor from Basalt to Aspen, specifically that the accident rate, 1. 73 accidents per million vehicle miles, was higher than the state average of 1.2 for, primary rural roads that get federal money" (Miller, 1994 pp lA and llA). The article quoted Ralph Trapani as saying "We didn't find any stretch with more accidents than that" (Miller, 1994, p. 11A) Miller then overviewed the transit options being considered for the linkage between Tieback, Aspen, and Snowmass Village, including buses, electric buses, light rail, and gondola. She referred to traffic level projections and goals. She wrote Trapani projected traffic would be at the level of 44,900 cars per day by 2015 with a four-lane road, and the goal was to lower that to 38,000 by the same year. Trapani was cited as saying the higher level of traffic was unacceptable from an air quality perspective. Aspen Mayor Bennett. stated citizens would support a four-lane highway if it was combined with other travel options, including enhanced pedestrian, bicycle, and bus facilities Miller emphasized concern over finding the funding sources, because transportation funding was limited and there are other priorities in the state. Bernie Buesher of Grand Junction, who was the State Transportation Commissioner for the district, indicated the funding problem was not likely to get any better soon. Also Trapani was cited as saying that more funding would be available if Highway 82 was incorporated into the federal highway system (Miller, 1994, p. 11A). June 1994-A transportation symposium was held on June 8-9 titled, "Financing the Upper Valley Transportation System, 1994 Aspen to Snowmass Financial Symposium." The agenda for the meeting indicated it had three goals: (1) to better understand the range of funding option, (2) to understand what the funding options would mean to area residents, commuters and visitors, and (3) to discover what option the community was "willing to seriously consider" (Community Matters Inc., 1994a, p. 1 ). June 1994-Community Matters, Inc. prepared a document titled, "Principles of Project Finance which was apparently for the financial symposium Attached to this document was a one-page figure labeled "Potential Sources of Funding Preliminary Estimate of Bonded Debt." This figure indicated there would be approximately $17-20 million in sales tax and paid parking ($2 million per year) The possible funding sources included: RFT A ($2-3 million), Aspen Skiing Company ($8-1 0 million), state and federal funds ($18-25 million) and an unknown 364

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amount from congestion pricing for a total estimated project cost of over $60 million (Community Matters, Inc., 1994b, p 5). July or August 1994 (estimated date)-The Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project issued a booklet, apparently in late July or early August (the estimated date was based on the description of what activities had already occurred and those planned appearing in the booklet). It was titled "Getting There from Here It described the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project including the five-year goals comprised of travel demand management, enhancements to existing transportation systems, and a fixed guideway system (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, p. 4). It also identified the DecisionMakers that direct the project and it described the past-related activities, and some activities leading up to the November election (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, pp. 5-7). The booklet also discussed traffic congestion levels, the cost of driving, and the estimated costs for the transportation solutions (Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, 1994d, pp. 8-15). August 1994-A letter from Ralph Trapani, Project Manager, Mt. Sopris Transportation Project, to Amy Margerum, City Manager, City of Aspen, described the EIS process. Trapani proposed a schedule for proceeding with the environmental documents for the Entrance to Aspen portion of the transportation corridor. He stated screening of the alternatives would begin soon. He also highlighted concerns with the Aspen State Implementation Plan (SIP). Tranpani reiterated concerns about the SIP, particularly the PM10 portion that he originally expressed in March 1994: "it appears that any transportation improvement between Tiehack and Aspen, that requires any Federal or State funding, and/or any Federal or State permits, will not conform to air quality regulations." He stated that a different SIP strategy must be developed in order to proceed with the environmental process (Trapani, 1994a, p. 2). August 1994-Amy Margerum, Aspen City Manager, sent a letter to the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding the State Implementation Plan (SIP) and the EIS schedule. Ms. Margerum requested a meeting to discuss Aspen s plans to work with CDOT to collect transportation data, run the relevant models, and then prepare a draft SIP. She indicated the Aspen area would likely meet PMlO requirements for the third year and thus be able to shift from a nonattainment plan to a maintenance plan. The letter noted the maintenance plan would not be in place soon enough to accommodate the EIS schedule: "The highway project will not have a positive conformity determination without a maintenance SIP with additional control measures to offset traffic increases in the area" (Margerum 1994, p. 1 ) 365

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August 1994-An opinion piece in The Aspen Times, by Su Lum, critiqued the November ballot measures. Lum highlighted the estimated cost of the 'transitway' linking Aspen, the airport, and Snowmass Village. She stated it would be over $30 million, far more than the $18 million that the ballot measure was expected to gamer. The ballot measure would ask voters if the current transportation tax could be used for the transitway. Ms. Lum indicated voters were being misled into believing that the ballot measure would cover the costs of a busway that would later be converted to rail; however, both proposals far exceeded the expected revenues. She referred to a possible ballot measure by Jeffrey Evans, a proponent of using the transportation tax for expanding Highway 82. She said the reasons for the misinformation to voters was because of this proposal: The reason behind the desperation and high level fact-bending hocus pocus now in progress is the fear that voters might approve Jeffrey Evans initiative to divert the transportation tax to speed up construction of a Highway 82 four-lane between Basalt and Aspen (Lum, 1994, p. 7). Lum also criticized the other anticipated ballot measure asking voters which route they wanted the highway to take near the entrance to town: along the existing alignment or across the Marolt open space property. She declared this was a ploy to divert voters' attention away from the issue of how to cover the cost of the proposal to their preference for the alignment (Lum, 1994, p. 7). September 1994-Meeting notes of the Technical Advisory Committee appeared to begin in September 1994. These notes were prepared by Centennial Engineering, Inc. Attendees were from several agencies and firms, including City of Aspen and Pitkin County, Federal Highway Administration (FHW A), Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, CDOT, Centennial, etc. (Centennial, 1994, p. 1). Barry Schulz, of Centennial Engineering, Inc., gave a presentation on corridor accidents. Ralph Trapani, CDOT, seemed to be the meeting leader. Joe Kracum gave a presentation on the Glenwood to Aspen Rail Corridor Feasibility Project. Kracum indicated there was a Transit Council and a newsletter would be issued shortly (Centennial Engineering, 1994c, p. 1). November 1994Pitkin County and City of Aspen voters defeated a measure for bonding authority to use the 1993 sales tax funds for the Aspen to Snowmass Village transit plan, called the Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project Plan (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-4) 366

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November 1994-Aspen and Pitkin County voters disapproved several ballot measures. Two measures would have allowed use of the Y:!% sales tax to bond for (1) a separate busway from Aspen to Buttermilk and Snowmass and (2) a 4-lane roadway into Aspen across open space. The other defeated measures would have allowed a busway across open space and relocation of the existing highway near Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). November 1994-Gill J. Rudawsky's article in The Aspen Times overviewed the ballot measure election results. All the transportation-related measures failed, including one favored by Jeffrey Evans asking to use local sales tax money for highway expansion and measures asking for approval of a mass transit plan for the upper valley and separate ballots items asking to allow the mass transit line or the new highway segment to cross Marolt open space. Aspen Mayor Bennett was cited as saying he believed the citizens still supported transit, they just needed a clearer plan than was presented in the ballot measures (Rudawsky, 1994, p. 1 ). Another Aspen City Council member, Rachel Richards also indicated she didn't consider this a defeat. She claimed it was a half-victory, because some of their campaigning efforts were to defeat Evans' measure for roadway expansion (Rudawsky, 1994, p. 11 ). November 1994-Ralph Trapani sent a memo to George Osborne, FHWA, and Guillermo (Bill) Vidal, Robert Moston, Harvey Atchison, and William Reisbeck of CDOT, regarding the Aspen/Pitkin County election results. The memo stated all the transportation ballot items were defeated: (1) bonds for highway expansion, (2) bonds for mass transit, (3) use of open space for transit way, and (4) use of open space for Highway 82. Trapani commented on the election outcome. He said he believed that voters were not excited enough about the transportation solutions and they were turned off by the negative campaigning and personal attacks that occurred during the transportation debate. He also said he believed the election polarized the community and "CDOT's consensus building efforts will be even more difficult." Trapani also commented on how the election outcome may be used: '"no build' advocates will use the negative vote on the use of open space for transportation ... to influence the Aspen City Council's position on any 'build' alternatives" (Trapani, 1994b, p. 1 ). November 1994-Community Matters, Inc., issued an interoffice memo to Dick Bauman, Bill Eager, Barry Schulz, and Ralph Trapani, summarizing the September Entrance to Aspen Open House. The memo indicated 34 of the 50 attendees responded to the Community Matters, Inc., questionnaire. The respondents preferred the two-lane unrestricted roadway option over the four-lane unrestricted 367

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option In addition, the respondents favored the two additional lanes if the lanes were for peak bus/HOY or dedicated transit (Community Matters, Inc., 1994c, p. 1 ). 1995 Aspen voters approve continued paid parking and collected revenues to go to improved transportation services (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary of Votes). January 1995-May 1995-A series of presentations occurred on the Entrance to Aspen EIS beginning on January 27, 1995 at the Friday Men's Lunch Club Joe Kracum, of DMJM, documented his presentations in Contact Reports. At the January meeting he gave an overview of the process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the alternatives being considered, and the evaluation process. Mr. Kracum made other similar presentations in February, March, and May 1995 (Kracum 1995a-1995e). March 1995-The Transportation Project Team wrote a memo to the 'Snowmass to Aspen DecisionMakers summarizing decisions made by the DecisionMakers group over the past 2 'l'2 years. The memo stated Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass Village entered into a joint resolution in 1991 to develop a transportation plan for Aspen to Snowmass The memo highlighted the resolution goal to reduce and manage traffic levels. The DecisionMakers group also included nonvoting members from CDOT, RFTA, and the Aspen Skiing Company (Transportation Project Team, 1995, pp. 1-2). The memorandum also described staff participation, stakeholders and public involvement, and use of the Yz% transit sales tax In addition, it described the types of issues that will be presented to the DecisionMakers group and the group s authority. Lastly the memo listed the "performance criteria appearing in the I 992 intergovernmental agreement. These criteria emphasized mass transit solutions. The memo included three additional guidelines adopted in 1994: (1) maintaining vehicular traffic at 1994 levels (2) complying with Clean Air Act requirements, and (3) the unacceptability of constructing four unrestricted lanes (Transportation Project Team, 1995, pp 2-6) April 1995 -A Mount Sopris Transportation Project report included travel data for the corridor between Buttermilk and Aspen. The report stated this information was needed for the environmental assessment and it was part of the effort to, reach a consensus on the transportation solution" for this portion of the Highway 82 corridor. This information was also needed for the City of Aspen's assessment of possible transportation control measures to address the non-attainment area particulate air quality issue (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1995 p. I-1 ). The 368

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interview process employed was similar to the earlier surveys (Mount Sopris Project Team, 1995, p. III-1). April1995 -An agreement was developed between CDOT and Aspen for "a Cooperative Process Contributing to the Entrance-to-Aspen EIS." The agreement was prepared to support further citizen education and involvement in the EIS process. It was endorsed by Pitkin County. It recognized Aspen's and the Town of Snowmass Village's goals of alternative transportation and improving safety and reducing congestion, air pollution and other automobile impact. It also recognized that many highWay users supported automobile accessibility and citizens were concerned about quality of life and the environment. The agreement set out educational and planning activities, including facilitated meetings, open house meetings, transportation charette, and a public forum to engage all stakeholders and other interested parties (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, pp. 1-3). The parties agreed to work together on the project and to identify funding sources for the preferred alternative to be developed through the EIS process. In the agreement, CDOT reaffirmed "funding of alternative transportation projects and enhancements through federal and state funding sources is consistent with the principles of IS TEA and should be supported as committed to in the EIS" (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, p. 4). The agreement stated Aspen endorsed the project objectives that were developed for the EIS, appearing as Attachment A, dated March 1, 1995 (CDOT and Aspen, 1995 p. 2). The project objectives included community-based planning, achieving 1994 traffic levels by 2015, safety improvements, minimizing environmental impacts, meeting nonattainment requirements, etc., (CDOT and Aspen, 1995, Attachment A). May 1995-The report, titled, Glenwood-Aspen Rail Corridor Feasibility Project, Final Report, prepared by the CDOT Mount Sopris Transportation Project, was issued in May 1995 (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. I-8). May 1995-At the May 23, 1995, Technical Advisory Committee, an update of the project was given and the schedule for the DEIS was reviewed. Copies of the CDOT-Aspen agreement were distributed. Copies ofthe internal DEIS were distributed and Barbara Cole, of Community Matters, explained that the Committee's role was to focus on reviewing the DEIS for technical errors, evaluating if the data was current, looking for confusing wording, improving readability, and identifying missing critical information. The Aspen representatives indicated they were considering a design symposium on the DEIS once it was issued. George Osborne, ofFHW A, announced that FHWA planned to Larry Cunningham of the University of Colorado at Denver conduct an attitudinal survey using a random sample of people that used the corridor (Centennial Engineering, 1995a, pp. 1-2). 369

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June 1995-This editorial, published in The Aspen Times, centered on local versus state/federal decision-making. "The question of whether main responsibilities of government should reside with local community authorities or with distant state and federal governments is, of course, one of the most hotly debated issues of our era." The editorial posited state and federal officials should consider the needs and concerns of those affected by decision-making, particularly where there was no broad national or state impacts. It stated CDOT presented alternatives that were really variations of the option to expand Highway 82 to four lanes directly into Aspen, thus increasing air pollution and exacerbating parking problems. The editorial also highlighted a recent debate between City and CDOT officials that, "forced a more innovative, city-preferred alternative to the four-lane straight shot back into consideration." The editor summarized the debate in these colorful terms: Distant government bureaucrats with pat formulas or state engineers interested only in building the model highway of their college dreams, should not be allowed to ride roughshod over the needs and desires of the people and community most affected by their acts (The Aspen Times, 1995, p. 22-A). June 1995-Aspen City Council Resolution (Resolution No. 42) passed on June 26, 1995, specifically requesting a new alternative be analyzed in the EIS process. The new alternative, referred to as Alternative G, was comprised of intermodal parking facilities, an emphasis on transportation demand management, developing a transit route, traffic calming measures to enhance pedestrian travel, etc. The resolution specifically stated a four-lane highway into town would increase vehicle trips into Aspen and would violate the project objectives agreed to by the City and CDOT (Aspen, 1995b, pp. 1-3). The Aspen resolution requested CDOT not limit the screened DEIS alternatives to variations of a four-lane highway (with or without bus/dedicated vehicle lanes). It stated further: that under no circumstances should a four-lane be considered until the kinds of measure contained in Alternative G have been built, implemented and tested. If these measures were to prove unsuccessful, only then should other options, including a restricted four-lane, be considered" (emphasis in original) (Aspen (1995b) p. 4). This 1995 resolution referred to an October 26, 1992 Joint Resolution (#396), adopted by Pitkin County Commissioners, Snowmass Village, and Aspen 370

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and endorsed by CDOT, highlighting incentives supporting alternatives to the automobile and use of mass transit and support for pursuing a fixed guideway system between Snowmass and Aspen. This 1995 resolution endorsed the community goal of holding auto traffic in 2015 to levels at or below those in 1994 (Aspen, 1995b, p. 2). Aspen s 1995 resolution also acknowledged the City did not, but could have objected to the segmenting of the Basalt to Aspen EIS. It stated Aspen cooperated with this EIS process and agreed to the four-lane highway alternative (Aspen, 1995b, p. 3). June 1995-A June 27, 1995 letter from Aspen Mayor John Bennett to Guillermo Vidal and Bernard Buescher, Colorado Transportation Commissioner, transmitting the City's resolution requested CDOT add "Alternative G" to the DEIS. Mayor Bennett's letter emphasized the City wanted a more "enlightened solution to its transportation problems." It also asked CDOT to use the entrance to Aspen "as an opportunity to explore what the federal IS TEA legislation really means for the future of American transportation." The letter also transmitted a copy of a recent Aspen Times editorial because the Mayor believed it fairly represented the views of Aspen citizens (Bennett, J., 1995a, p 1). June 1995 -A June 29, 1995 memo was sent from Aspen Community Development Director, Stan Clauson to potential August transportation design charette participants. The memo summarized the purpose of the planned charette, the funding sources, format, suggested invitees, etc Clauson highlighted congestion and energy use issues that were not unique to Aspen (Clauson, 1995, pp. 1-2). Aspen intended to use this event, "as a laboratory for innovation" and that the charette results would not only benefit the local community, but it would help other communities confronted with similar problems (Clauson, 1995, p. 3). July 1995-The EIS Alternatives Screening Analysis report s purpose was to narrow the range of alternatives for the corridor to a group of reasonable alternatives to be further evaluated in the EIS process" (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, p. 1 ). This report noted that the entrance to Aspen area "has been a controversial subject since the late 1960's and early 1970 s (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, p. 1). It referred to several recent studies of the area: Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission Traffic Committee, 1989 East ofBasalt to Aspen DEIS, 1993 East of Basalt to Buttermilk Ski Area FEIS, and Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project. The Traffic Committee studied entrance alternatives to address traffic and parking issues and selected a direct connection to Main Street alternative (across the MaroltThomas property) The DEIS focused on the direct alignment, that would cross the MaroltThomas property; however, a decision was 371

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subsequently made to change the scope of the EIS to end at the Buttermilk Ski Area rather than at Aspen, so further alternatives could be analyzed while the down valley portion ofthe corridor could proceed (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, p. 1). The Aspen to Snowmass Transportation Project, which was funded by a local 'li percent tax for improved transit, selected the self-propelled bus technology on a separate transitway along Highway 82 and across the MaroltThomas property Other alternatives included light rail transit, personal rapid transit, and cable systems. In 1994 County voters rejected a proposal to authorize the bonding necessary (from the existing transit sales tax) to construct the dedicated transitway. Voters also rejected proposals to use local sales tax to fund the corridor roadway widening to four lanes. The report also referenced the Glenwood Springs to Aspen rail corridor study completed by CDOT. This report recommended a rail alignment that followed the Denver and Rio Grand Western railroad corridor to near Brush Creek Road and then ran parallel to Highway 82 to the airport (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, pp. 2-3). The Alternatives Screening Analysis looked at alignment alternatives as well as laneage and modal options. The number of lanes ranged from the existing two lanes up to four lanes. The bus/HOV alternatives included one and two dedicated lanes. The separate transit envelope was also included. Because this was a CDOT project and financed by highway funds the report did not examine transit envelopes outside of the roadway right-of-way (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, pp. 10-11 ). The transportation technology alternatives included buses, light rail transit, commuter rail, cable systems, guided busway, electric trolley buses, and personal rapid transit (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, pp. 12-13). The alternatives were evaluated against ten objectives: community based planning, transportation capacity, safety, environmental sound alternative, community acceptance, financial limitations, Clean Air Act requirements, emergency access, livable communities, and phasing. The report recommended several alternatives be further considered in the full EIS evaluation process. One alignment alternative was recommended, the direct option across the MaroltThomas property. The only laneage option forwarded was the alternative with two general purpose lanes plus two dedicated lanes. The technology options included: (1) buses for use on dedicated lanes, (2) electric trolley buses for dedicated lane use, and (3) light rail transit (Centennial Engineering, 1995b, pp. 4-6). July 1995-The CDOT Air Quality Analysis was a technical report relating to the Entrance to Aspen EIS. Its purpose was to evaluate the air quality impacts of each alternative and to provide the basis for the required conformity determination. The report noted particulate matter (PM10) violations had been monitored since 1988 and EPA approved the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Aspen area in 1994. As a result of this federal nonattainrnent designation, the Preferred Alternative for 372

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the Highway 82 corridor must "conform" to the SIP (CDOT, 1995a, p. 1 ). The report described the conformity requirement for rural areas: Projects in rural nonatttainment areas can be found to conform only if all transportation related emissions for the time frame of the State Transportation Plan (about 20 years) are less than the emission budget identified in the SIP. In addition, the project must facilitate, or not interfere with, implementation of transportation measures included in the SIP. Finally, in some cases, a localized "hotspot" analysis must be completed to ensure no new violations of the air quality standards will occur (CDOT, 1995a, p. 2). The SIP Emissions Budget was 6,337 kilograms. The report concluded conformity could be demonstrated for a number of the scenarios if several actions were taken, in some combination, including reducing sanding on Highway 82 outside of Aspen, no sanding on Highway 82 in Aspen, implementation of transportation demand management measures, and a change in the emission budget (CDOT, 1995a, p. 14). The associated tables showed that unrestricted four-lane option results in the highest predictions for VMT and PM 10 levels. The scenarios with two lanes of roadway and two dedicated transit/HOY lanes and the light rail showed the lowest VMT and PM10 levels. The four-lane scenario dropped to within the emissions budget with moderate and aggressive transportation demand management measures and with the no sanding alternatives (CDOT, 1995a, pp. 15-19). July 1995-The report titled, State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen Transportation Demand Model, prepared by Steve Pouliot and Barry Schulz of Centennial Engineering, Inc., was issued in July 1995 (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. IX-1). July 1995-There was a July 4th article by Robert Ward appearing in The Aspen Times highlighting the planned August design charette. It stated experts, hand picked by the City, would work on issues CDOT had identified relating to Alternative G. City officials were cited as touted the charette was a "shared, collaborative design cram-session," involving brainstorming solutions. The article also referred to skepticism expressed by Ralph Trapani noting the decision could also be affected by comments received on the DEIS received during the 45-day comment period (Ward, 1995, p. 2-A). July 1995-A July 10, 1995, memorandum from Manager Amy Margerum to Aspen Mayor and City Council summarized a July i meeting with CDOT and FHWA officials. Ms. Margerum's memo recorded positions and statements made 373

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by several attendees of the meeting. George Osborne ofFHWA said he was committed to including the City's preferred alternative, Alternative G, in the DEIS. However, he said that FHW A and COOT would make the final decision as required by law, but they would honor "the prerogative of Aspen to choose its own preferred alternative" (Margerum, 1995, pp 1-2). Guillermo (Bill) Vidal was cited as saying he was committed to not building any alternative that the City didn't want, but that he was concerned funds set aside for Highway 82 would be moved to other project: "if there is not a reasonable project that can be built within a reasonable period of time" (Margerum 1995, p. 2). The consulting engineer was cited as saying that he had previously committed to including Alternative G in the FEIS but it needed to be refined. For example, he wasn't clear which transportation demand measures should be included (Margerum, 1995, p. 2). July 1995-A July 11th letter from Bill Vidal to Mayor Bennett, Mayor and Mick Ireland, Chairman, Pitkin County Board of Commissioners, was in follow-up to the July ih meeting between FHWA, COOT, Aspen and Pitkin County officials. This letter showed the concurrence of George Osborne, Division Administrator, FHW A. The letter stated recent meeting would help refocus efforts towards a collaborative process resulting in a solution acceptable to all parties. Vidal stated Aspen was correct in proposing its preferred alternative and Alternative G would be included in the soon-to-be-released OEIS. The letter also recognized this alternative would require great effort to meet the goal of no increase in traffic levels, but COOT was willing "to make 'G' work" (Vidal, 1995, p. 1 ). Vidal committed COOT would not proceed with an alternative which "is not acceptable to Aspen and Pitkin County." He apparently responded to an earlier comment in concluding: "It is not now, nor has it ever been out intent to force anything down your throats" (Vidal, 1995 p. 2). July 1995Pitkin County passed a resolution requesting the new alternative (Alternative G) developed by Aspen be included in the EIS evaluation (Pitkin County, 1995, p. 1 ). July 1995-A July 13, 1995 letter from Mayor Bennett to George Osborne and Bill Vidal asked for a letter of commitment that FHW A and COOT would select, "a preferred alternative for the Entrance to Aspen which the elected officials of Aspen can support ." Mayor Bennett's letter also stated Aspen appreciated the agencies' willingness "to provide for joint management of the EIS once the draft is released" and Aspen intended to hire a staff person to work directly with Ralph Trapani (Bennett 1995b, p. 1 ). July 1995-A letter from Ralph Trapani to Amy Margerum, City of Aspen clarified COOTs earlier comments about participating in the August 6-8 transportation 374

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design charette. Trapani stated CDOT would agree to send one representative to the charette as an observer. He stated CDOT's legal counsel was concerned about participation in "closed sessions or meetings that focus on only certain alternatives," because this could "jeopardize our process. Legal counsel was concerned about a possible future lawsuit, "for CDOT predetermination of a preferred alternative prior to the Final EIS ." Mr. Trapani also clarified CDOT's offer to involve the City directly working on the FEIS, but that this can only occur after the draft was issued (Trapani, 1995a, p. 1). July 1995-A letter from George H. Osborne distributing the DEIS was issued on July 27, 1995 (Osborne, 1995). August 1995-The Entrance to Aspen DEIS was issued in August 1995. This project covered the 2 mile segment of Highway 82 from Buttermilk Ski Area to ih and Main Streets near the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. I-1 12). The stated primary purpose was "to develop solutions that will improve transportation and safety along the State Highway 82 corridor between Buttermilk Ski Area and Aspen while avoiding or minimizing adverse environmental effects" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. I-3). The project objectives were also identified in the DEIS. The report stated broad consensus was reached on the objectives, including members of the public, representatives of local government and a technical advisory committee (T AC) comprised oflocal, state and federal staff(USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. I-3). The ten objectives included: ( 1) consideration of local community plans, (2) meeting future capacity needs, particularly through mass transit and improvements for truck transportation, (3) reducing safety concerns along the S-Curves at the entrance to Aspen, (4) minimizing and mitigating environmental impacts, (5) fitting community character, (6) being financially realistic, (7) meeting Clean Air Act requirements, particularly for PM10, (8) providing for alternative emergency response route across Castle Creek, (9) meeting the small town character and scale of Aspen, and (10) providing an alternative which allowed for future transit options (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. I-3-I-4) The Purpose and Need section of the DEIS included a discussion of "Potential Future Rail Travel." This portion of the DEIS stated "There is significant interest in establishing passenger rail service within the Roaring Fork Valley." However, this was qualified by the statement that this would not help relieve traffic congestion on Highway 82 and "a rail feasibility study has shown that rail ridership will not eliminate the need to increase the capacity of Highway 82" (US DOT and CDOT, 1995, p I-8). 375

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The rail study it referred to was the Glenwood-Aspen Rail Corridor Feasibility Project, Final Report, prepared by CDOT, Mount Sopris Transportation Project, May 1995 The report was cited as concluding that the Aspen to airport segment of the corridor would have a rail ridership level of7,900 person trips per day (the high winter average ridership estimate in 2015). The same projection for the roadway (the No-Action Alternative) would be approximately 71,000 person trips per day. Thus the rail system would only carry 11% of the person trips projected along this portion of the roadway and the DEIS stated this vehicle demand of32,400 vehicles per day would exceed the capacity of the two-lane highway (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. I-8-I-9). This section of the DEIS concluded with the statement that the 1994 Snowmass to Aspen Transportation Plan screened out the rail options because they "were not considered as cost effective as improved bus technology" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. I-9). The alternatives section of the DEIS stated an innovative approach was sought. One that would provide a 'balanced solution' including transportation management, transit, multi-modal centers, and incremental staging to help control single occupant vehicle (SOV) travel demand (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-5). The screening analysis had eliminated commuter rail: Because of commuter rail's inability to operate efficiently in mixed flow traffic conditions, this mode does not meet the capacity objective or the limited resources objectives. Also, there was a strong chance that diesel locomotives entering the City of Aspen were not consistent with local planning objectives. Commuter rail, however, may be a valleywide solution and should not be precluded from future consideration (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-26). The alternatives were passed through a three-level screening process, resulting in several alternatives that varied the alignment, laneage, profile, and modes. The only laneage option to pass the screening was the new roadway alignment across MaroltThomas open space comprised oftwo general purpose highway lanes plus two dedicated transit/HOY lanes (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-8). The report stated the general-purpose 4-lane alternative was screened out because it "does not provide the incentive for transit or carpool use that is essential if the traffic growth on State Highway 82 is to be controlled." In addition, this option was not consistent with community goals and it would be disruptive to discontinue the planned bus/HOV lane at the Buttermilk Ski Area (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-26). The profile alternatives were 'at-grade' crossing over the MaroltThomas open space or a 'cut and cover' alternative. This latter alternative was a tunnel that extended for 400 meters below the open space property (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p III-43). 376

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The DEIS alternatives also included an option to improve the existing roadway and to construct only a transitway across the open space property. This option was included at the request of the Aspen City Council. The report stated this option would meet project objectives "only if specific measures are taken to reduce the anticipated future vehicle demand" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-8). The roadway improvements in this option involved widening shoulders and travel lanes and flattening the S-Cm-ves near the entrance to Aspen (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-9). The alternatives included varying alignments at different segments of the corridor. For Buttermilk to Maroon Creek Road one option was the current alignment, the other added a separate transit envelope. At the entrance point to Aspen several alternatives were along the existing highway alignment and several were more direct alignmentd across open space (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. S-9). The alternatives included a separate transit envelope, which was, "right-of-way set aside for future technologies" (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. S-11 and 12). The Alternatives section of the DEIS stated the transit alternatives were flexible so they could adapt to the selected technology. The technology alternatives may involve dedicated lanes, a separate transitway, or a transit envelope for self-propelled buses, electric trolley buses or light rail (US DOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III-21 ). In addition, the alternatives evaluated included transportation management measures, such as expanded bus service, pedestrian and bicycle amenities, preferential HOY parking programs, etc (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, pp. II-8-II-9). The DEIS screening ended with three alternatives for the Buttermilk to Maroon Creek Road, one No Action and two others, and for Maroon Creek Road to Aspen there was the No Action and six other alternatives. All the alternatives except the No-Action alternatives involved construction of two additional highway lanes that would be dedicated to bus/HOY traffic during peak hours (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. III31). The DEIS summarized the Clean Air Act conformity requirements: The 1990 Clean Air Act (CAAA) require that transportation projects within a nonattainment area will not: (1) cause or contribute to a violation of federal air quality standards; (2) increase the frequency or severity of any existing violations of any standards; and, (3) delay attainment of any standard. The 1993 Air Quality Conformity Final Rule (published 11//24/93 in Federal Register notice 58FR62188) provides the criteria for establishing a conformity finding. The Preferred Alternative which will be identified in the FEIS must demonstrate air quality conformity (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. YI17). 377

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This project was in a nonattainment area for PM I 0. Aspen s State Implementation Plan (SIP) included transportation control measures to reduce vehicle miles traveled, including expanded transit services and paid parking in the core business area, use of clean sand for winter street sanding and more frequent street sweeping (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. IV-42) The DEIS stated over 80% of the PM10 problem was caused by vehicles on heavily sanded paved roads resulting in re-entrained dust (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. IV-43). The report stated that in order to meet conformity requirements, the Preferred Alternative must fall within the emissions ceiling as specified in the State Implementation Plan (SIP). This would limit the transportation options to those that met the 1997 PM10 emissions budget of6,337 kg/day (13 974lbs/day) (USDOT and CDOT, 1995, p. VI-19). The DEIS stated all the scenarios modeled would exceed the emissions budget if there was no change in the SIP measures and no change in roadway sanding practices and transportation management measures. As a result questions about sanding, transportation management, and change to the emissions budget must be addressed in the FEIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1995 p VI-20) September 1995EPA's letter to Mount Sopris Transportation Project commented on the DEIS stating the only outstanding comment related to compliance with the Clean Air Act (Brown 1995 p. 1). September 1995 -A September 12th letter from Mayor Bennett to Ralph Trapani requested a 90-day extension to the DEIS comment period. Bennett requested the extension to allow for more time for staffto complete their review and to present the alternative, referred to as Alternative H, developed during the August design charette to the public. The Mayor indicated Alternative H might be a good compromise option that could increase transportation capacity without some of the negative effects of roadway expansion (Bennett, J., 1995c, p. 1). September 1995-Ralph Trapani responds to Mayor Bennett on September 14th allowing for an extension of the comment period until December 18, 1995 (Trapani 1995 p .1). December 1995On December 1995, Aspen City Council adopted a resolution recommending CDOT select Aspen s "Alternative H (Aspen 1995c, p.l). This resolution included many of the same community, environmental, and transportation goals a nd objecti v es of the 1992 joint resolution (Aspen, 1995c pp. 1-3 ) It also described the development of alternative G that was endorsed by an Aspen resolution in June 1995 and the subsequent development of and support for Alternative H (Aspen, 1995c p. 4) The specific resolution language stated the 378

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Preferred Alternative selected "should not contain a 'four-lane platform," because of the detrimental effects, including increasing vehicle miles traveled and negatively impacting the historic character and scale of Aspen and the Valley's tourist-based economy (Aspen, 1995c, p. 8). 19962004There were numerous construction projects to expand the highway from two to four lanes from just east of Basalt to Buttermilk, near the entrance to Aspen (CDOT, 2004, pp. 1-2). January 1996-An Internal Teclmical Advisory Meeting was held on January 12, 1996. There were attendees from CDOT, FHW A, FTA, Aspen, Pitkin County, RFT A, and several consulting firms. The meeting notes indicated light rail alternatives and alignments were discussed during the meeting. The focus of the meeting was the new alternative, called Alternative H, which began at the Pitkin County Airport and ended at either the intersection of Galena and Main Street or at Rubey Park in downtown Aspen. In this option, two general lanes of traffic and the HOV lane were no longer included from the airport to Buttermilk Ski area (MK Centennial, 1996a, pp 1-4). January 1996-MK Centennial prepared meeting notes for the January 241 h meeting of CDOT, FHW A, and Dick Jones, a legal consultant. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the legal implications of adding Alternative H to the EIS. The notes indicated the extension of the project from the intersection of Main and Galena streets in Aspen to Rubey Park "would likely create significant impacts and require a SDEIS" (emphasis in original). It also indicated a reevaluation of the Basalt to Buttermilk FEIS would need to be done once the Entrance to Aspen preferred alternative was selected (MK Centennial, 1996b, p. 1 ). January 1996-In a January 291h letter, Aspen City Manager Amy Margerum notified Ralph Trapani that Randy Ready would be Aspen's contact person working with CDOT. Randy is noted as replacing George Krawzoff (Margerum, 1996, p. 1 ). February 1996-A meeting was held at Aspen City Hall to discuss the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS) on February 13, 1996. Attendees included representatives from Aspen, Pitkin County, CDOT, RFTA, and several consulting firms. The DSEIS process was described. A public comment period and public hearing would be held and the comments would be incorporated into the FEIS (MK Centennial, 1996c, p. 1 ) 379

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April1996-An Elected Officials Transportation Committee (EOTC) meeting was held on April 3rd. The agenda, prepared by Community Matters, Inc., indicated the meeting covered Alternative H, air quality conformity, the 4(f) process, etc. (Community Matters, Inc., 1996, p. 1 ). George Gerstle of CDOT prepared a memorandum overviewing his planned presentation at the EOTC meeting on air quality conformity and the 4(f) process. Gerstle's memo indicate the community policy/objective/goal of keeping traffic at existing levels could meet air quality conformity requirements if the transportation management measures were enforceable, such as implemented by a City or County resolution. His memo also indicated if these measures weren't feasible or effective then other actions could be taken, including reducing emissions from road sanding, increasing road sweeping, or increasing the emission budget (Gerstle, 1996, p. 1 ). Gerstle's commented on the 4(f) process including a list of the affected properties (parks, golf course, open space, recreation facilities, etc. (Gerstle, 1996, p. 2). April1996-MK Centennial prepared a technical report for the DSEIS titled, Technical Memorandum, Evaluation of Phasing Options for Alternative H Entrance to Aspen DSEIS. The technical report memorandum stated phasing was being considered "because financial resources may not be available to build LRT, the stations, and the parking facilities at the same time" (MK Centennial, 1996d, p. 1 ). The cost comparison showed the non-phased alternative was the least expensive to construct ($32.1 million). The three alternatives involving an initial busway and construction ofballasted track were higher (ranging from $35.3 to $38.1 million) and the phased busway with embedded track cost the most ($44.5 million) (MK Centennial, 1996d, p. 5). The analysis also examined options for continuing bus service during construction of the light rail system and the corridor cross sections (MK Centennial, 1996d, pp. 5-6). The memorandum concluded one of the phasing options would be incorporated into the DSEIS (MK Centennial, 1996d, p. 7). May 1996-The meeting notes for the May 1st Technical Advisory Committee meeting discussed issues relating to the DSEIS. With regard to the discussion of a Preferred Alternative, the notes stated a first-phase busway was realistic because CDOT could fund this alternative, but it could not fund the light rail system. As a result the DSEIS should present the initially lower costs ofbusway and rail as the ultimate solution. The document also stated that Barbara Cole and Ralph Trapani would prepare the initial "politically correct" version of the Preferred Alternative for the DSEIS. The meeting notes also indicated changes to the air quality emissions factors now provided all the alternatives would meet conformity requirements. And since the SIP emissions budget could not be changed, a comparison of future projected emissions to the budget was not reasonable and as a result "CDOT will resolve this problem by showing that the future emissions of all 380

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alternatives (including the DEIS) are still consistent with the intent of the Clean Air" Act (MK Engineering, 1996e p. 2). May 1996-A letter from Bill Vidal, CDOT, invited FTA to participate in development of the DSEIS as a cooperating agency Vidal indicated FTA's "special expertise in LRT is needed and will greatly assist us in analyzing LRT and other transit options" (Vidal, 1996, p. 1 ). June 1996-Hans R. Gramiger submitted a set of public comments for the Shale Bluffs Design Public Hearing. His comments, dated June 3, 1993 stated the FEIS and ROD for the segment of Highway 82 from Basalt to Buttermilk must be re evaluated because of flaws in some ofthe assumptions. In particular, Gramiger believed these documents were based on erroneously assumptions including, the western end of the Aspen rail line would be at Buttermilk, the appropriate end of the study area was Buttermilk and not Aspen, that four-laning the Shale Bluffs segment of roadway was necessary, etc. (Gramiger, 1996, pp. 1-2). July 1996-An Air Quality Analysis, by CDOT, was prepared for the DSEIA. This report updated and replaced the Draft Air Quality/Conformity Analysis included in the DEIS because the current analysis was significantly different from the earlier analysis. The primary differences included: (1) new alternatives in DSEIS (two new light rail alternatives) were not considered in the DEIS, (2) EPA had adopted a new method for calculating the PM10 emissions from roads, and, (3) federal conformity regulation required alternatives be evaluated using the most current method for calculating projected emissions (COOT, 1996d, p. 1). The report concluded the alternatives presented in the DSEIS met the conformity requirements, falling well below the emission budget in the current SIP (CDOT, 1996d, p 9). July 1996-The DSEIS was issued in July 1996. This report was a supplement to the DEIS issued in 1995. It was prepared because of several new alternatives that were identified during the DEIS public comment period. The DSEIS report stated federal regulations required a DSEIS be prepared: if there are changes in the proposed action that would result in significant environmental impacts not evaluated in the EIS, or new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns and bearings on the proposed action or its impacts that would result in significant environmental impacts not evaluated in the EIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1). 381

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The report also stated these new alternatives must be analyzed in the same manner as the DEIS alternatives (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1). These new DSEIS alternatives included the City of Aspen's Alternative H, in v olving light rail transit, the "Highway and Underground Transitway Solution (HUTS)" alternative and an alignment option along the Denver and Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) right-of-way (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p S-1). In order to provide for these new alternatives, the project scope was revised in the DSEIS, extending both ends of the corridor: northwest of Buttermilk Ski Area to the Airport and further into downtown Aspen, on the other end to Rubey Park The report noted that because of the project extension to the northwest the DEIS project scope overlaped with the Basalt to Buttermilk Final EIS scope. The DSEIS project covered a distance of 4.3 miles (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. S-1). The alternatives evaluated in the DSEIS were screened down to four alternatives: Alternative H (no phasing, couplet alignment, at grade), Modified Direct (no phasing, alignment across MaroltThomas open space cut and cover), Phased Alternative H (first phase bus, couplet alignment, at-grade), and Phased Modified Direct (first phase bus, alignment across MaroltThomas open space, cut and cover). All the alternatives were essentially the same on the northwest end of the project; each included the roadway expansion similar to the Basalt to Buttermilk FEIS : two general purpose lanes and two dedicated bus/HOY lanes. The dedicated lanes would change to bus only between the airport and Buttermilk to encourage parking at the airport intercept lot. The alternatives also included the light rail system originated at the light rail transit (LRT) maintenance facility near the airport and terminated at Rubey Park in downtown Aspen The DSEIS Preferred Alternative was the "Phased Modified Direct" alternative (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, pp. III-5 III-9). The variation in the alternatives was primarily the corridor segment from Maroon Creek Road to ih and Main Streets (near the entrance to Aspen). Alternative H deviated from the existing roadway alignment at Cemetery Lane (near Castle Creek). A roundabout was constructed and a couplet (splitting inbound and outbound traffic). The inbound single lane veered to the south along the top of the Castle Creek gorge, while the outbound two lanes stayed on the existing alignment. The rail line ran with the new inbound lane and a new bridge was constructed over Castle Creek for inbound travel (USDOT and CDOT, 1996 p III-9). Alternative H was noted to operate under a congested highway traffic scenario to encourage transit use and discourage vehicle use." The report added the transportation man agement programs and parking facilities would aid in reaching the 2015 goal of maintaining traffic at current levels The estimated total capital cost of this alternati v e was $116 million (construction costs of$53.6 million, right-of-way costs of$9.4 million, and transit vehicles/stations and multimodal facilities of$53.2 million) (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. III-10) 382

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The Modified Direct alternative was similar to Alternative E in the DEIS The corridor was moved from its existing alignment to the alignment across Marolt Thomas open space with the cut and cover tunnel. In this alternative a second outbound lane was added between Maroon Creek and Monarch Street to accommodate the two-lane traffic on Main Street. A new bridge was also constructed over Castle Creek in this alternative. The estimated total capital cost of this alternative was $120 million (construction costs of$58.1 million, right-of-way costs of$9.5 million, and transit vehicles/stations and multimodal facilities of$53.2 million) (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. III-14). The Phased Alternative H proposal was similar to Alternative H except separate bus lanes were constructed outside the two general purpose lanes until they were converted to the LRT lines. The right-of-way requirement was the same for Alternative H. This alternative's estimated initial total capital cost was $67 million (construction costs of$19.7 million, right-of-way costs of$9.4 million, and transit vehicles (buses only) and multimodal facilities of $31 million). The light rail phase would have a total capital cost of $54 9 million. Thus the total project capital costs would be $121.9 million (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p III-17) The Phased Modified Direct alternative was similar to the Phased Alternative H proposal except the alignment was across the open space lands with the cut and cover. This alternative's estimated initial total capital cost was $75 million (construction costs of$27. 9 million, right-of-way costs of$9.5 million, and transit vehicles/stations (buses only) and multimodal facilities of$37.6 million). The light rail phase would have a total capital cost of$52.7 million. Thus the total project capital costs would be $127.7 million (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, pp. III-17 III-18). The air quality update in the DSEIS noted EPA adopted a new PMl 0 emissions calculation method and the conformity regulations required the new alternatives be evaluated using the most current method "even though the State Implementation Plan (SIP) emission budget, to which the new calculations are compared was calculated using the old method. Emissions estimates using the new method are significantly less than those obtained from the old method" (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. VI-16). The report noted CDOT and Aspen had implemented air quality improvement measures that went beyond the requirements of the SIP, including paid parking in downtown Aspen a cross-town shuttle program, no sanding of Highway 82 inside the City of Aspen, and use of non-sanding deicers on the highway outside of the city. The new DSEIS alternatives were compared to the newly calculated emissions budget of 1,680 kg/day (3,700 lb/day) and the report found all the DSEIS alternatives conformed with the adjusted emissions budget (USDOT and CDOT, 1996 pp VI-17-VI-18) The social and environmental impacts were analyzed and presented in a summary table (Table VI-1 0, Summary of Quantitative Environmental Impacts). 383

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There appeared to be very little difference in the costs and social and environmental impacts. In this table the costs of the alternatives varied from $106.2 million for Alternative H, up to $118.3 million for the Phased Modified Direct alternative The main social and environmental impact differences were the amount of open space land impacted, right-of-way land needed, and other 4(f) resources (USDOT and CDOT, 1996, p. VI-45). And, as noted above, all the alternatives fell within the PM10 newly calculated emissions budget. July 1996-Aspen Mayor John Bennett sent a letter to Ralph Trapani marked "Urgent and Confidential,' on July 15, 1996. The letter indicated Aspen could support the language in the DSEIS that said the Preferred Alternative included light rail and if local funding was not obtained then the project can be initially phased as a dedicated bus lane. It appeared this support was granted because the Mayor was confident funding already existed. The letter expressed concern with use of the title for the Preferred Alternatives "Phased Modified Direct Alternative" (Bennett, 1996, p. 1). The title recommended by Aspen staff was "Modified Direct, Phased or Unphased." The Mayor referred to Mr Trapani having "sided with the County against the City on the most critical issue before us" (Bennett, J., 1996a, p. 2). July 1996-Robert Ward's article published on July 19, 1996, in The Aspen Times, summarized CDOT's announcement on the DSEIS. It stated Ralph Trapani announced the State had selected a light rail Preferred Alternative that would cost an estimated $113 to 125 million. Mayor Bennett's support was highlighted in the article: "Today is a landmark milestone in the 30 years this community has debated Highway 82 and the Entrance to Aspen I feel excited and very pleased, but at the same time I've got to temper that with the knowledge of how much we have left to go" (Ward, 1996a, p 1-A). The article also overviewed the ballot measure that was needed to approve use ofthe open space lands (Ward, 1996a, p 12-A). July 1996-Mayor Bennett sent a letter thanking Ralph Trapani for his presentation at the July 18 press conference. He specifically thanked Trapani for emphasizing the environmental benefits of the rail alternative and for stating "it will cost us less to build rail initially than to phase it" (Bennett, J ., 1996b, p. 1 ). August/September 1996-An article in Roaring Fork Valley Magazine highlighted Ralph Trapani's work on the Glenwood Canyon and Highway 82 Basalt to Aspen projects. Trapani was cited as saying the Department of Transportation was one of the last agencies nationwide to change from a department of highway to a department of transportation. The state agency had a long history of successful highway-building, and now Trapani was going to "embrace concepts such as mass transportation, light rail, and wildlife mitigation .... The article also highlighted 384

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Trapani's views of the communities as his "customers." Trapani said "The people in Aspen and the commuters are our customers and it's our job to produce projects that satisfy the customer." He also said the community had many decisions to make about the transportation route, whether mass transit is appropriate, and if so, should it be bus or rail. "The issue of light rail in Aspen is an issue of community character and what they want their community to look like." (Hubbell, 1996, p. 12). September 1996-There was an internal document was from Ralph Trapani to Ron Spera! of FHW A titled, "Rough Draft for Ron Speral, Narrative for Current FHW NCDOT Position on the Entrance to Aspen Transportation Solution." The document stated the DSEIS's Preferred Alternative, termed the "Phased Modified Direct Alternative consisted of a two-lane highway that, "includes a light rail system, that, if sufficient local support and funding are not available, can be developed as a phased busway." The document said the EOTC endorsed this alternative on September 6th_ It also highlighted FHW NCDOT's position which wss supportive of this Preferred Alternative because it addressed safety issues caused by the S-curve, provided for additional transportation capacity, allowed for future extension to a down-valley rail system, and other benefits (Trapani, 1996, p.1). September 1996Su Lum's opinion article in The Aspen Times (dated September 11, 1996) discussed the alternatives developed for the project and the upcoming ballot item. She stated CDOT originally proposed a four-lane highway, then Aspen Mayor Bennett presented Alternative H, and subsequently Mick Ireland, Pitkin County Commissioner proposed Alternative I. The author indicated the community debate was over four or two lanes entering Aspen, bus/HOY lanes, and rail transit, and whether to keep the existing S-curve alignment or create a new more direct alignment across open space. Lum advocated for the ballot measure that would allow use of the open space for a two-lane highway with an envelope for future rail transit (Lum, 1996, p. 7-A). September 1996-Robert Ward's article in The Aspen Times overviewed opposition to the ballot measure seeking approval to use Marolt open space for the two-lane with a rail envelope proposal. Ward indicated the opposition was willing to approve a rail only alternative across the Marolt open space, but not a new highway. The article expressed the need to preserve the land by Yasmine Simmons of the Marolt Park Association. In addition, Simmons and Ed Zasacky, representing the Mount Sopris Group of the Sierra Club, opposed the proposal because oflarge Cottonwood trees that would be removed as part of the highway project. The Sierra Club apparently did not believe a new two-lane highway would address congestion and it preferred the rail alternative be built first (Ward, 1996b, p. 1-A). The article 385

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also cited Aspen city officials and state engineers as supporting the two-lane highway across the open space lands because it would ease congestion by providing better traffic flow. City officials apparently also supported constructing the rail line and new highway together because CDOT could purchase the right-of-way and build the platform and construct bridges for both systems. City Manager Amy Margerum was quoted as saying, "The state feels the S-curves need to be fixed In order to do rail, we will have to show we're solving that problem." The City Manager also said the "two-lane with rail" proposal was not the solution everyone wants but was "the best compromise we've come up with so far." The article mentioned efforts to provide flexible funding, so gasoline taxes could be used for both highway and rail. The article referred to Zasacky and his peers' plans to lobby Governor Romer for flexible funding (Ward, 1996b, p. 13-A). September 1996-A Joint Resolution was signed on September 23, 1996 by Pitkin County, Aspen, and the Town of Snowmass Village. The resolution stated the Preferred Alternative for the entrance to Aspen was the "Modified Direct" option and design and construction should proceed forward without delay (Pitkin County et al 1996, p 2) It sets out commitments by the various government agencies and a set of conditions. In this resolution Aspen, Snowmass and Pitkin County committed to developing a funding plan for the alternative with CDOT, FHW A, and FT A. Other commitments were the local elected officials would seek voter approval for the necessary funding and public open space use, seek private funding, pursue creation of a Regional Transportation District, develop the necessary transportation management measures, etc. (Pitkin County, 1996, pp. 4-5). The many conditions presented in the resolution included that valley-wide rail was the preferred technology and the entrance to Aspen project would be integrated with a valley-wide rail system and the bus system (Pitkin County, 1996, p. 3). The resolution seemed to clearly state the Preferred Aalternative, the 'modified direct alignment' option was acceptable provided "no more than two widely-separated traffic lanes with adequate shoulders are constructed and a double rail platform provided" (Pitkin County, 1996, p. 3). September 1996EPA sent a letter to Mount Sopris Transportation Project commenting on the Entrance to Aspen DSEIS. The letter concluded "EPA agrees the Preferred Alternative, the Phased Modified Direct Alternative, will have minimal air quality impacts" (Campbell, 1996, pp. 1-2) October 1996-Robert Ward's article in The Aspen Times overviewed the October 9th forum on the November ballot items relating to the entrance to Aspen transportation project. The author highlighted the position oftransit advocates: Charlie Tarver, Jamie Knowlton, and Howie Mallory, who supported a two-lane 386

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highway with light rail alternative. The article stated Marc Friedberg, a local real estate broker, argued for expansion of the roadway to four lanes with two ofthe lanes dedicated as bus lanes Friedberg advocated for road widening as the way to ease congestion and allow for flexibility in the future (Ward, 1996c, pp. 1 and 8). October 1996-The Mt. Sopris Group of the Sierra Club and the Marolt Park Association issued an October 15 letter to Governor Roy Romer expressing opposition to the DSEIS Preferred Alternative. The letter and attached position paper stated the alternative was comprised of a six-lane right-of-way that includes two lanes of highway, two lanes for bus traffic, and two lanes for possible future rail. The two groups believed this alternative was "gross overkill, destructive of open space and the environment, and damaging to the character of Aspen." It further stated the solution should include rail transit and traffic demand management as the first option and leaving the alignment as it was currently with improvements to enhance traffic flow and safety (Mt. Sopris Group, 1996, p. 1 ). October 1996-These meeting notes appeared to have been prepared by the Centennial Engineering Office in Denver. The notes referred to the Technical Advisory Meeting held on October 16th. Under the section labeled "FTA Update," the notes indicated Aspen would need funding assistance for the rail system to Brush Creek Road. It also stated FHW A's position : "FHW A supports FT A exclusion from funding consideration due to the additional workload impacts, time delays, and political interference with project development." It also said FTA involvement "might lead to national platform and precedence for future highway projects involving transit facilities" (MK Centennial, 1996f, p. 1 ). October 1996-A letter from the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Howitt to Spera!) asked for help with a research project on implementation of the conformity regulations of the Clean Air Act (Howitt, 1996, p. 1). November 1996-Aspen Mayor John Bennett's letter to the citizens of Aspen appeared in The Aspen Times on November 18 \ four days before the elections. He strongly argued the town character would be greatly impacted by increases in auto traffic "What's at stake is nothing less than the spirit & soul of one of the most remarkable small towns anywhere .... The Mayor advocated for the solution "The Parkway/Rail plan is a beautiful solution to a 26 year old problem," which was developed by the citizens and not government. He committed to seek funding from the federal government if the ballot measure was approved (Bennett, 1996c, p. 15A) 387

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1996 -Aspen voters approved use of open space for "a transportation corridor" (USDOT and CDOT, 1993b, Section I, Summary ofVotes). November 1996-Robert Ward's article in The Aspen Times highlighted the outcome ofthe transportation ballot measures voting. Voters approved the Parkway/Rail Plan by a 60-40 margin. This plan involved a two-lane highway with a rail line crossing Marolt property (Ward, 1996d, 1-A). Mayor Bennett was cited as saying the proposal had the support of CDOT and the three upper valley government entities. The article also overviewed the opposition to the ballot measure that included those supporting a four-lane highway and others that didn't want to give up Marolt property for roadway (Ward, 1996d p. 12-A). November 1996-Robert Ward's article in The Aspen Times highlighted the recent announcement that the five Mayors, representing all the municipalities in the Roaring Fork Valley, would go to Washington, D.C. to seek funding for a rail system for the valley (Ward, 1996e, p. 1). Aspen Mayor Bennett was cited as saying that he believed the proposal would fare well because the local governments' planned funding of the first portion of the project, estimated at $52 million would be a significant match for the overall project with a cost estimate of $130 million. The article also referred to the $4.9 million already raised, of the total $8.5 million needed to purchase of the Denver and Rio Grand Western railroad right-of-way (Ward, 1996e, p. 12). November 1996-City of Aspen voters approved use of the Marolt property for transportation purposes, specifically for a two-lane parkway and a corridor for transit (USDOT and CDOT, 1998, Appendix A, p. 2 of 12). November 1996-Francis Whitaker of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, in Carbondale, Colorado, wrote to the Honorable Federico Pefia, Secretary of Transportation, about Highway 82 issues. He stated the existing two-lane roadway could be modified to provide smoother traffic flow. He referred to a legal case and laws relating to approving projects that used publicly owned parks, recreation areas, including: Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, 401 US 402,28 LEd 2"d 136, 91 S Ct 814, Administrative Law Sections 155 and 236, 49 USCS Section 303, and Federal aid Highways, 23 USCS Section 138. He asked the Secretary to comment whether the Preferred Alternative was contrary to the national policy (Whitaker, 1996 p. 1 ) Whitaker listed his qualifications in a note titled: "My Qualifications to Speak on the Entrance to Aspen." Whitaker served on Carmel City Council for 2 years 3 years on Carmel Planning Commission, Aspen Planning Commission member (1963-1967), 11 years on Aspen Board of Zoning Adjustments, 6 years on Aspen City Council, etc., (Whitaker, 1996, Attachment to Letter). 388

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November 1996-Karen Chamberlain of Aspen, Colorado wrote to Federico Pefia stating she opposed the use of dedicated open space for a transportation corridor. She referred to the Overton Park (Kansas) case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the park could not be used as a transportation corridor because an acceptable alternative already existed. She believed the same situation had occurred in Aspen, with the recent voter approval of the ballot measure. Chamberlain asked the Secretary how the Overton case would apply to the Aspen situation (Chamberlain, 1996, p. 1). November 1996-A memorandum from Alice Hubbard, Aspen Transportation Programs Manager to the Elected Officials Transportation Committee (EOTC), dated November 10, 1996, covered suggested changes to the public involvement process Ms. Hubbard presented staffs approach to improving citizen input, understanding ofkey issues, and support for the project. She stated many of the issues were linked to valley-wide rail proposals, thus there was an emphasis on collaborating with other regional transportation efforts. The memo proposed two new citizen task forces, public presentations and discussions, and information disseminated via newspapers, local TV shows, etc. (Hubbard, 1996, pp. 1-2). January 1997-Eugene W. Cleckley, Chief, Environmental Operations Division, of FHWA responded to letters to Secretary Pefia from Bruce Berger, Karen Chamberlain, and Francis Whitaker. The letter summarized the EIS process to date and stated the No-Build and existing alignment alternatives did not meet the purpose and need of the project, particularly, they didn't reduce congestion, lower accident rates, nor provide for "an alternative emergency access route to Aspen" (Cleckley, 1997, p. 1 ). As a result these alternatives were not "prudent and feasible" and other alternatives were considered. The letter specifically interpreted the Overton Park case Supreme Court ruling as it applied to the Aspen situation (Cleckley, 1997, p. 2). January 1997-Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., prepared a report titled, Colorado Passenger Rail Study Executive Summary" for CDOT. The report stated CDOT published its 20-year multimodal plan in February 1995, but it lacked passenger rail service. CDOT decided to prepare a statewide study "to determine the feasibility of implementing passenger rail service in selected corridors" (Kimley-Horn, 1997, p. ES-1). The study evaluated the condition of existing rail corridors and other possible corridors. The study considered 18 corridors (a total of I ,223 rail and highway miles) (Kimley-Horn, 1997, p. ES-1). The corridor evaluation included costs, cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits (Kimley-Horn, 1997, pp. ES-6 ES-8). 389

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The report recommended several high priority corridors be advanced for further study. These corridors included: Denver to Colorado Springs and Steamboat Springs to Vail and Aspen, through Glenwood Springs (Kimley-Hom, 1997, p ES-9 ES-12) The Glenwood Springs to Aspen rail corridor project had a cost estimate of$114 million (Kimley-Hom, 1997, p. ES-37). February 1997-David Frey's article in the Glenwood Post overviewed the recent trip that local Mayors made to Washington, D.C. seeking funding for a valley-wide rail system. The article indicated US Representative Scott Mcinnis had agreed to sponsor the effort (Frey, 1997, p. 1) In addition, Adler said Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell agreed to support the project (Frey, 1997 p. 12). June 1997-MK Centennial prepared a Noise and Vibration Analysis report It described the detailed noise analysis conducted for the Entrance to Aspen alternatives. The report identified some noise impacts resulting from the highway improvements as well as from the train hom as it approached the planned light rail stations. Mitigation measures were recommended including highway noise barriers and alternatives to the train hom (MK Centennial, 1997, p. 5). August 1997CDOT and FHW A issued the FEIS report for the Entrance to Aspen project in august 1997. The Summary section of the report overviewed the publication ofDEIS in 1995 and the subsequent DSEIS issued in 1996. The report stated that a DSEIS was required: "if FHW A determines there are changes in the proposed action or new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns and bearings on the proposed action (or its impacts) that could result in significant environmental impacts not evaluated in the DEIS. The report stated the DSEIS alternatives were evaluated in a similar manner to the alternatives in the DEIS. The Preferred Alternative presented in the FEIS was an alternative that was modified from one ofthe DSEIS alternatives (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-1). The project's scope was the portion of highway between the Service Center Road (located near the airport) and Rubey Park Transit Center in downtown Aspen. The total distance was 4.3 miles. The purpose of the project was to "develop a transportation solution that addresses the transportation capacity inadequacies and safety problems." The FEIS stated the roadway was substandard, heavily congested, and did not meet travel needs. The accident rate at the entrance to Aspen (the S-curves) was almost four times the state rural highway average and it was 149% of the urban highway rate. The report also indicated traffic would increase and the roadway would be operating above its capacity (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p 1-1). 390

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The final EIS stated Aspen city council developed ten objectives for the Aspen to Snowmass Village project in February 1995, as well as the project need and intent statements for the EIS. These included: Project Need: The capacity of the existing transportation system is insufficient during peak periods. Safety, clean air, the visitor's experience, and resident's quality of life are compromised. Project Intent: To provide a balanced, integrated transportation system for residents, visitors, and commuters that reduces congestion and pollution by reducing and/or managing the number of vehicles on the road system. The system should reflect the character and scale of the Aspen community. Through a process responsive to community-based planning, the EIS shall identify analyze, select, and implement the best transportation alternatives for the shortand long-term goals of community compatibility, safety, environmental preservation, clean air, quality oflife, and transportation capacity. The alternative chosen should be consistent with the Aspen/Snowmass/Pitkin County goal of limiting vehicles in 2015 to levels at or below those of 1994 (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-4). The FEIS report also described an Aspen City Council Resolution (Resolution No. 42), passed on June 26, 1995, that specifically requested a new alternative be analyzed in the EIS process (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-5). Soon thereafter, the County passed a resolution requesting the new alternative (Alternative G) developed by Aspen be included in the EIS evaluation (USDOT and CDOT, 1997b, Section III-Agency Coordination, dated July 12, 1995). This FEIS Preferred Alternative was comprised of highway improvements, a LRT system, and a transportation management program. The highway component included a two-lane divided roadway that generally followed the existing highway alignment. As the roadway neared the City of Aspen it cut across the Marolt Thomas Property and went through a tunnel that connected it to Aspen's Main Street. The light rail system began near the Pitkin County airport and terminated at Rubey Park. The light rail line would be double-tracked except for specific points, such as the stations and Maroon Creek Bridge. The line was aligned with or near the highway and then traveled down the center of Main Street and onward along Monarch Street and Durant Avenue (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-5-7). The transportation management system components included incentives and disincentives to encourage alternative modes of travel, including increased transit 391

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service, paid parking, and information programs. This program would be implemented over time as traffic volume information indicates the need. The goal was to maintain traffic volume at 1993 levels (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-12). The Preferred Alternative also included the construction of two multi-modal parking facilities, Airport and Buttermilk multimodal centers (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-5-14). The project costs were estimated at $160 million, of which $31 million was for the highway improvements, $52 million for light rail, vehicles, and the stations, and $68 million for the multimodal parking facilities (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. S-5-8). The executive summary stated this Preferred Alternative was selected because it met "the local communities' needs and desires," as well as the project objectives. It also stated this alternative "provides flexibility in future design decisions" (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a p. S-5-14). The report also stated several alternatives were screened out because they lacked community support (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. II-1). Aspen City Council requested consideration of a new alternative, called Alternative H, after the DEIS was released. This led to the issuance of the DSEIS that considered four alternatives all including light rail transit. The DSEIS included two phased alternatives that involved initial construction of a busway before the light rail system was built. The report stated the phased light rail approach was eliminated from further consideration because of lack of community and Aspen City Council support and because "The phased approach adds costs and unnecessary disruption to the Section 4(f) resources when compared to the non-phased approach." The couplet alternative was also eliminated, leaving one alternative, the Preferred Alternative, comprised of the roadway crossing open space, with light rail and the cut and cover tunnel and no phasing (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, pp. II-14-II-15). The Preferred Alternative did not involve construction of additional lanes of highway resulting in no increase in roadway capacity. The Preferred Alternative was considered to meet the project purpose and need and meet community desires, with only a few exceptions (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. II-23). The Preferred Alternative also included implementation of an Incremental Transportation Management Program aimed at keeping future traffic levels down. This program was comprised of incentives and disincentives to encourage transit, carpools, bicycles, and walking and discourage single occupant vehicle (SOV) travel (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. III-1). The assessment of environmental impacts indicated the Preferred Alternative would achieve air quality standards, thus meeting conformity requirements. When using the new EPA emission factor the other three alternatives, including the no action alternative, evaluated in the DSEIS did not meet the recalculated State Implementation Plan emissions budget (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, pp. V -24-V-25). The other environmental impacts seemed to be similar across all the DSEIS 392

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alternatives The Preferred Alternative had a higher impact on historical resources, while two of the alternatives had a lesser impact to 4(f) resources than the Preferred Alternative (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-66). The Preferred Alternative would not require the displacement of any homes, while the other DSEIS alternatives would result in the taking of two households (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-14). The Preferred Alternative would require the relocation of one structure situated on the MaroltThomas property (USDOT and CDOT, 1997a, p. V-16). August 1997-The City Attorney wrote to Richard 0 Jones on August 29, 1997 about CDOT's comments that the Record of Decision (ROD) be "conditioned" on local funding for transit. The City Attorney indicated the City didn't have a major concern with this condition in the ROD, but it argued that it was not necessary because the ROD didn't obligate federal funding. Concern was expressed that the conditional ROD might preclude highway improvements, &uch as the roundabout at the Maroon Creek intersection, that were exempt from NEP A and thus would not be held up by the condition of transit funding. The letter offered several suggestions that would mitigate concerns if CDOT proceeded with a conditioned ROD (Worcester, 1997, pp. 1-2). August 1997EPA sent a letter to the Mount Sopris Transportation Project on the Entrance to Aspen FEIS concluding "Our review has not identified any potential environmental impacts requiring substantive changes to the Preferred Alternative" (Cody, 1997,p. 1). October 1997-An article by Robert Ward, published October 10, 1997 in The Aspen Times, overviewed recent interest by the County in an alternative plan for the entrance to Aspen corridor should the rail proposal not be implementable. Wally Obermeyer, the Pitkin County Financial Advisory Board chairperson, sent a letter to the County Commission chair, Bill Tuite, recommending the County seek a contingency plan that would include expanding the highway with two designated lanes for bus/HOV. Obermeyer suggested that if the Record of Decision couldn't include this contingency, then the decision document should be delayed until the County vote on rail. The article indicated Commissioner Mick Ireland supported the recommendation. In addition, Aspen Mayor John Bennett was not opposed to it, but he didn't think such a contingency would be needed (Ward, 1997a, pp. 1-A and 9-A) December 1997-An article by Robert Ward, published December 22 1997 in The Aspen Times, overviewed the large number of comments opposing light rail. The comments were sent in response to the FEIS. More than 800 comments were received by CDOT, many of them form letters prepared by residents of Redstone 393

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and Jeffrey Evans, a noted anti-rail activist (Ward, 1997b, p 1-A). The rail opponents had cited reasons, including concerns about noise, dust, and vibration; costs; traffic congestion on the roadway; and insufficient population to support rail. Ralph Trapani was referenced as saying that surveys and continued election of pro rail council members led him to believe that rail was still supported (Ward, 1997b, pp. 1-A and 12-A). He also indicated the ROD would have a flexible final alternative, specifically "his record of decision will allow a fallback transit optionthat of dedicated bus lanes to run alongside Highway 82" (Ward, 1997b p 12-A). January 1998-MK Centennial issued a technical memorandum on January 61h analyzing the right-of-way needs and presenting cross-sections for the Preferred Alternative (two-lane roadway with light rail) and a new 'phased alternative,' comprised of the addition of two bus lanes that would be phased out if the light rail system was funded (Kinsella and Pouliot, 1998, p. 1 ). This memo indicated an increase of 0.15 acres of Section 4(f) lands was needed if the new phased alternative was implemented (Kinsella and Pouliot, 1998, p. 3). The figures attached to this memorandum were the cross-sections for the phased alternative as it would change over time The cross-sections included four lanes of highway, two general purpose lanes and two bus lanes with the future light rail envelope. If the transit system was funded, the bus lanes will be removed and either converted to a wider median, wider inside shoulders, and/or adding outside shoulders with the roadway remaining the same overall width (Kinsella and Pouliot, 1998 Sheets 1 5). July 1998-A Memorandum of Understanding was reached between CDOT, FHW A and the City of Aspen in July 1998. Its intent was to describe the agreements between the parties in order to move the Entrance to Aspen project forward This agreement reiterated the commitment that the project would not be implemented if the alternative was not acceptable to the City (CDOT, FHWA, and Aspen, 1998, p 2 of 12). The agreement described the specific Section 4(f) mitigation actions each agency would undertake (CDOT, FHWA, and Aspen, 1998, pp. 2 of 12-6 of 12). It also set out the actions relating to historic properties right of-ways medians, and easements (CDOT, FHWA, and Aspen, 1998, pp. 6 of 12-12 of 12). July 1998-A Memorandum of Understanding was reached between CDOT, FHWA, and Pitkin County in July 1998. Its intent was to describe the agreements between the parties in order to move the Entrance to Aspen project forward. The agreement described the actions each agency would take relating Section 4(f) resources, right-of-ways, medians, etc. (CDOT, FHW A and Pitkin County, 1998, pp. 2 of 5 -4 of 5). 394

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Final Corridor Decision August 1998-The ROD for the Entrance to Aspen project was issued in August 1998. The Preferred Alternative was developed from the Modified Direct Alternative appearing in the DSEIS and the Preferred Alternative developed in the FEIS. The report stated FHWA a nd CDOT decided to create a variation ofthe Preferred Alternative analyzed in the DSEIS The ROD Preferred Alternative was comprised of roadway improvements a rail transit system, and an incrementally implemented transportation program. The change from the DSEIS Preferred Alternative involved a specific condition: "The transit component includes an LRT system that, iflocal support and/or funding are not available, will be developed initially as exclusive bus lanes (US DOT and CDOT, 1998 p. 1 of 3 7). The report summarized the reasons for the final decision: "CDOT and FHW A have chosen the Preferred Alternative because it best meets the local communities' needs and desires, fulfills the project objectives, and provides flexibility in future design decisions" (USDOT and CDOT, 1998 p. 7 of 37) The Section 4(f) analysis concluded it was unavoidable that the Preferred Alternative would impact nine resources, seven owned by the City of Aspen, one by Pitkin County, and one privately owned Actions to minimize harm to these resources were identified (USDOT and CDOT (1998) p. 25 of 37). The report stated there were no alternatives that met the project purpose and need, thus there was no feasible and prudent alternative (USDOT and COOT, 1998 p. 26 of37). The Record of Decision summarized the public involvement activities: public meetings, open houses presentations to elected officials and citizens, and formal public comment periods. These public involvement activities occurred throughout the EIS process The report said over 950 comments were received on the FEIS (US DOT and CDOT, 1998, p. 2 of 3 7). The ROD incorporated the two Memorandum of Understanding documents between CDOT FHW A, and the City of Aspen and one with Pitkin County These two agreements described the agreements between the parties in order to move the Entrance to Aspen project forward (USDOT and CDOT, 1998 Appendices A and B) November 1998-An editorial in The Aspen Times highlighted the transportation measures that were part of the elections. Two of the ballot measures asked ifvoters supported a rail system from Gl e nwood Springs to Aspen. By narrow margins the City of Aspen voted yes ," and Pitkin County voted "no The voters approved the other measure directing the County to put the rail system financing question to the v oters by November 1999 and if a pproval was not gained by then the County was to quit studying the idea .. The article declared that the election indicated citizens 395

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were unclear about the rail line financing and they needed more information. The author referred to recent polls showing the voters supported the valley-wide rail proposal but they had great concerns about implementation: they don t have a lot of faith in the governments of Aspen and Pitkin County to get the system built and keep it running without incurring such a massive debt that we'll go bankrupt" (The Aspen Times, 1998, p. 7-A) December 1998-Donna Daniels' article in The Aspen Times overviewed a Roaring Fork Transit Agency policy committee meeting The committee agreed to support valley-wide rail transit and recommended Alignment C as the Preferred Alternative. This alignment followed the existing rail line from Glenwood Springs to County Road 100 at Catherine Store and then shifted to the Highway 82 corridor past the towns of Jebel and Basalt. The rail line then connected with the planned light rail system near the entrance to Aspen. The article stated this recommendation was intended for the planned EIS and Corridor Investment Study which would be needed to pursue federal transit funding (Daniels, 1998, pp.l-A and 16-A). March 1999-Anthony Hershey, an Aspen resident, wrote to Ralph Trapani on March 4, 1999 expressing his opposition to a rail system and stating he campaigned extensively against the rail ballot initiative. As a result of the local officials continued efforts to promote a rail system, he decided to run for City Council. Hershey said rail was a long-term solution, but it should not be built in the near future. He believed monies were better spent on the Southeast Corridor where it could serve 2 million people as opposed to 40 000-50,000 people in the Roaring Fork Valley (Hershey, 1999, pp. 1-2). May 1999-The Friends ofMarolt Park filed suit against the USDOT, CCDOT, Pitkin County, and Aspen on May 21, 1999 challenging the decision to construct Highway 82 through publicly-owned parks and open space (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, p .l.) The Complaint stated that Friends of Marolt was a non-profit organization with about 150 members (U.S Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, p. 2). The lawsuit challenged construction of the roadway across the Marolt Thomas Park including a tunnel under the property (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, p. 4). Some of the specific claims alleged in the legal action included violation of the Aspen City Charter that forbade use of open space without voter approval (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, p. 9). A ballot measure was approved in November 1996 for a two-lane roadway with light rail and this was not the final ROD decision. Another claim was the ROD decision to construct the two additional bus lanes either temporarily or permanently, if rail funding was not obtained, constituted a conditional decision 396

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which violated the National Policy Act (NEPA) (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, pp. 8-9). Another claim was the final decision violated Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act by using open space lands (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No 99-979, 1999, p.ll ). The lawsuit also claimed US DOT violated NEP A by "improperly segmenting the analysis and thereby ruling out feasible alternatives to the highway and/or light rail siting and construction." This referred to splitting the entrance to Aspen project from the larger Carbondale to Aspen corridor analysis (U.S. Dist. Court, Colorado, Civil Action No. 99-979, 1999, pp. 13-14). July 1999-Roger Cracraft, Chairman of the Transportation Commission of Colorado, wrote to Tony Hershey, Aspen City Councilperson on July 22, 1999 regarding Entrance to Aspen unresolved funding issues. Cracraft said he hoped Aspen and Pitkin County would not try to re-open the EIS process because it would lead to more delay. He also expressed his support for rail solutions: "Rail, in my view, must provide the needed future capacity for the 82 corridor because it is highly unlikely this state will ever widen 82 to 6 or 8 lanes, given all the highway needs statewide" (Cracraft, 2001, p. 1). June 1999-Allyn Harvey's article in The Aspen Times highlighted CDOT's conflicting statements about fund the remaining Highway 82 improvements. Tom Norton, the Executive Director of CDOT had met with local officials and was citing as stating that funding was not guaranteed for the Snowmass Canyon portion of the highway (part of the Basalt to Buttermilk project), nor the Maroon Creek intersection, which local taxes were currently funding and reimbursement was expected (Harvey, 1999, p. 1-A). The article also referenced statements apparently made by Colorado Transportation Commission Chairperson Roger Cracraft earlier the same day. Cracraft supported funding the Entrance to Aspen project and reportedly said it was always considered to be part of the State funding plan, referred to as the "ih Pot," and still was (Harvey, 1999, p. 5-A). October 1999-John Colson of The Aspen Times summarized the recent Aspen City Council vote to endorse constructing a commuter rail system from Glenwood Springs to Brush Creek Road. The author indicated the Aspen vote makes support for rail almost unanimous amongst the government entities located in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Garfield County Board of Commissioners was apparently the only jurisdiction not yet supporting valley-wide rail (Colson, 1999a, p. 1 ). The article referred to views of rail proponents and opponents (Colson, 1999a, pp. 1 and 14). 397

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November 1999-An article in The Aspen Times touted the success of two ballot measures that passed helping to fund completion of the Highway 82 expansion project. There was a Pitkin County measure and the state-wide initiative to borrow future federal gasoline tax revenues for highway construction. The additional funding was expected to speed up Highway 82 construction so it could be completed in 2004 instead of2005 (The Aspen Times, 1999, p. 3-A). November 1999-An article in The Aspen Times by John Colson described the failure of the ballot measures to use government bonds to fund the planned light rail system and a dedicated busway. The rail measure lost by a larger margin than the busway measure, providing support to anti-rail activists. The article also reported on an advisory question included on the ballot asking voters if there should be another vote, within a year, to compare rail versus buses as the alternative for the entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor (Colson, 1999b, p. 1-A). November 2000Kathleen Carlson wrote an article in the Aspen Daily News, on November 8, 2000, titled "Transportation Improvement Bond Passes Pitkin County." The article stated voters approved a $10 2 million bond measure to help fund the Basalt to downtown project. The funding was to be used as a local match to encourage the State Department of Transportation to approve monies to complete the work. The specific work included the 'cut-and-cover' tunnel across the Marolt open space property, two new bridges over Maroon and Castle Creeks, and realigning the highway so it connects directly with Main Street and ih as it entered Aspen. The article indicated State transportation commissioners were not confident there would be funding "because of the severe state highway dollar shortage ... (Carlson, 2000, p. 3). The funding would also be used to, "buy buses, improve the bus maintenance facility, and affordable housing for RFTA employees" (Carlson, 2000, p. 1 0). December 2000An Aspen Daily News article, published on December 24, 2000, described Senator Allard's views of the valley-wide rail proposal. The article indicated the Senator was aware of local controversy over the commuter rail proposal and he asked for the Rural Transportation Authority's near-unanimous approval of a resolution supporting the completion the valley-wide Corridor Investment Study (CIS). An estimated $100,000 was needed to complete the study. The article also highlighted the different opinions over how long the CIS would be valid for, once completed. The Roaring Fork Rural Holding Authority's executive director was cited as saying the study would have a shelf-life of 15 years, allowing more time to arrange for the local funding match. Others said the study would be valid for a much shorter period and therefore it was a waste of money to complete 398

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the study when rail would not be implemented for 20 to 30 years (Grauer 2004, pp. 1 of2 and 2 of2). May 2001An Aspen Daily News article, published on May 9, 2001, described the outcome of the local elections relating to the Entrance to Aspen. Voters disapproved a ballot measure to allow use of parkland for the project and the proposed roundabout at Cemetery Lane (Carroll, 2001, p. 1). The article stated that if the measures had been approved the Colorado Department of Transportation would have gotten the nod to build a four-lane 'platform,' with two lanes designated for buses only." Terry Paulson an Aspen City Council member, recently re-elected, said he believed the roundabout proposal never should have happened He also stated that with the creation of the Rural Transportation Authority, approved by voters in November 2000, he believed building a light rail system would be supported by the electorate (Carroll, 2001, p. 8). May 2001 -Allyn Harvey wrote an article on the election outcome on May 10, 2001 titled, "COOT Still Planning 82 Across Open Space ." The article cites Ralph Trapani, COOT project manager, on the voters disapproval of a measure to allow construction of a four-lane highway with designated bus/HOY lanes across the Marolt open space. Trapani was quoted as saying approval of the measure would have been preferable; however, CDOT could still proceed with plans for a two-lane roadway with light rail across the open space lands (Harvey, 2001, p. 1). On the other hand, Aspen City Attorney John Worsester said constructing a two-lane road with a rail platform, with no certainty of building the rail transit system, would not meet the environmental impact statement requirements because it requires a transit solution" (Harvey 2001 p. 12). October 2001Jeffrey Evans wrote to Eva Ludlow, FHWA, on October 18, 2001 regarding reevaluating the ROD to include other alternatives. He asked specifically about the regulations as they related to amending the ROD without preparation of another supplemental EIS (E v ans, 2001 pp. 1-3). December 2001A letter from Williams C. Jones, FHWA, responded to Jeffrey Evans' October 181 h letter. Mr. Williams letter confirmed that re-evaluations to NEP A documents could be accomplished with "as little as a few sentences, or few pages, unless major changes have occurred ." The letter also affirmed re-evaluations of final EIS might be required if no significant implementation steps had been taken However, the letter noted that three aspects of the Entrance to Aspen project were underway: Maroon Creek Roundabout, relocation of Owl Creek road/Buttermilk intercept lot, and changes to the roadway at Truscott Place. The letter also stated re399

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evaluations should be done to ensure there have been no major changes and this type of re-evaluation could be brief(Jones, 2001, p. 1). November 2002Adam Preskill wrote an article appearing in the Aspen Daily News on November 6, 2002, titled, "Voters Favor S-Curves." The article stated Aspen and County voters approved ballot advisory questions supporting the S curves as the route for the highway as it entered Aspen. Voters indicated they did not support the "Modified Direct" alignment across Marolt/Thomas open space (Preskill, 2002a, p. 1 ). November 2002 -Adam Preskill wrote an article appearing in the Aspen Daily News on November 7, 2002, titled, "Aspen Entrance Still on Uncertain Ground." The article stated the recent County and City election favored the S-curves for the highway alignment as it entered Aspen. The vote was an advisory question and thus was not binding. However, Joe Elsen, CDOT's acting project manager, stated CDOT would adhere to the wishes of the local communities. He referenced the interagency agreement, which was incorporated into the ROD. This agreement said CDOT would not proceed with a project that was unacceptable to Aspen (Preskill, 2002b, p. 1 ). December 2002 Bernie Grauer wrote an article appearing in the Aspen Daily News on December 21, 2002. It focused on the high accident rate on Highway 82 and the apparent causes. It states that the Colorado State Patrol identified the highway as, "one ofthe 15 most dangerous highway stretches in the state." The accident data did not clearly reveal the accident causes. Possible causes included the higher speeds on the expanded portions of the roadway, the original highway engineering, and unsafe intersections (Grauer, 2002, pp. 1 of 43 of 4). The article also noted 75% of the accidents involved alcohol (Grauer, 2002, p. 2 of 4) March 2003A letter from Jeffrey Evans, a Redstone resident, to Lamar Smith, NEPA Team Leader ofUSDOT expressed concerns about the Entrance to Aspen FEIS and ROD. Evans stated the Basalt to Aspen EIS was inappropriately segmented to separate the Entrance to Aspen portion of the corridor to a subsequent EIS. He also stated that eliminating the highway expansion alternative with designated bus/HOV lanes alternative was not proper. Evans also took issue with the decision-making process. He said Aspen's 1990 ballot measure was inappropriate because the "practical effects of this approach was to override and supplant the NEPA process for gathering public input..."(Evans, 2003, p. 1). Evans also expressed a number of concerns with the technical information used in the EIS documents, including different criteria in evaluating the different alternatives, measures dramatically reducing traffic volume projections and conversely not 400

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taking into account other measures that would lower travel projections (Evans, 2003, pp. 3-5). March 2003 -Randy Ready, Assistant City Manager, City of Aspen, wrote a memorandum to the Mayor and City Council to update them on implementation of the Entrance to Aspen Record of Decision and to recommend next steps. The memo described the projects that had already been implemented, including construction of the Maroon Creek roundabout and pedestrian overpasses, conveying easements to CDOT, facilities, etc. The memo recommended actions be taken to endorse state funding for the Maroon Creek bridge replacement project and that staff evaluate signalization options for the Cemetery Lane intersection and options to improve traffic flow along the S-curves (Ready, 2003, pp. 1-7). May 2003Fred Skaer, Director ofNEPA Facilitation, FHWA, responded to the March 101h letter sent by Jeffrey Evans to Lamar Smith ofFHW A. Mr. Skaer stated responsibility for NEP A approvals rested with the FHW A Division Offices. It state the Colorado Division Office had decided "no further NEP A action is necessary at this time," and Mr. Skaer agreed with this conclusion (Skaer, 2003, p. 1). The letter reiterated "FHW A is not planning any further review of the State Highway 82 Entrance to Aspen Project under NEP A" (Skaer, 2003, p 2). October 2003 -A CDOT memorandum, dated October 23, 2003, described the need to replace Maroon Creek Bridge due to serious deterioration of the 115 year old structure. The total estimated cost was $24.69 million, which included $2.5 million of rehabilitation work on the existing bridge required by the ROD (Elsen, 2003, pp. 1-2). April2004A letter from Jeffrey Evans, Basalt resident, to Inspector General Kenneth Mead ofFHWA, expressed concerns about the Entrance to Aspen FEIS and ROD that created a "fundamental distortion of a government process ... (Evans, 2004a, p. l ). Evans' letter expressed similar concerns to his March 2003 letter to FHW A. He referred to a response to this earlier letter from the Colorado Division ofFHWA stating the bus/HOV lane alternative was not the chosen alternative for the Entrance to Aspen because "it resulted in unacceptable air quality impacts." In this April 2004 letter, Evans stated this was not true based on his review of the EIS documents. He claimed FHW A's position, that the bus/HOY alternative was not acceptable environmentally was "the most egregious error or falsehood contained in the Entrance to Aspen EIS" (Evans, 2004a, p. 2). Evans indicated further communication with FHW A led to the conclusion that the matter would not be re-evaluated due to lack of project funding (Evans, 2004a, p. 3). 401

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June 2004Ed Fink, Region Transportation Director, Region 3, CDOT, wrote to Ron Speral ofFHWA on June 22, 2004, concerning Maroon Creek bridge replacement. Fink overviewed the history of funding for the bridge, specifically that Aspen, Snowmass Village, and Pitkin County had approved an interagency agreement with CDOT to fund $1.5 million for the replacement structure. It noted the bridge would be built consistent with the 1998 ROD. The letter referred to a May 12, 2004 conference call wherein Spera} stated FHWA's position that construction of bus lanes would require re-opening the ROD. Current plans for the bridge replacement "in the absence of a reevaluation of the FEIS was strictly limited to a replacement structure that provides two lanes of traffic" (Fink, 2004, p. 1). Fink then stated CDOT had approval to proceed with constructing a 73-fooot wide bridge with only two lanes. "The proposed bridge deck would feature raised medians, or similar features, to preclude conversion at a later date to four lanes without reevaluation of the ROD, and subsequent bridge deck reconstruction." (Fink, 2004, pp. 1-2). July 2004David Frey's article in the Aspen Daily News highlighted the recent Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board's rejection of a proposal to sell the railroad tracks and ties to A&K Railroad Materials. The article indicated the board wanted to keep the rails in place for possible future rail along the corridor from Glenwood Springs to Woody Creek. Dan Richardson, a Glenwood City Councilperson and board member said "I'm very confident that some day there will be rail." On the other hand, Jeffrey Evans, a rail opponent, was cited as criticizing the decision because the rail tracks and ties wouldn't be of any use in the future, so the board "just threw away $900,000" (Frey, 2004, p. 3) July 2004-On July 26, 2004, Douglas Bennett, Acting Division Administrator, FHWA, responded to Mr. Fink's letter confirming constructing a 4-lane bridge would require formal reevaluation of the final EIS. He also affirmed that proceeding with a two-lane, 73-foot wide platform, "would only require an environmental update analysis and not a formal reevaluation of the FEIS" (Bennett, D., 2004, p. 1). September 2004 -A Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment news release touted the success of Aspen's "Transportation Options Program (TOP)." It stated the TOP program was a City initiative to promote alternative transportation. It involved 30 large employers. Aspen had been able to keep traffic volume at 1993 levels and in compliance with air quality particulate matter (PM10) requirements. The news release also said EPA recently identified Aspen as the first Best Workplaces for Commuters in the US because ofthe TOP program (CDPHE, 2004, p. 2). 402

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October 2004 -A news article in the Boulder Daily Camera announced the completion of construction of Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to Aspen It noted the lanes should be open in November. Joe Elsen of CDOT was quoting as saying the entire corridor project has been hugely successful in increasing safety and capacity for the traveling public (Daily Camera, 2004, p. 18A). November 2004A letter from Jeffrey Evans to FHWA's Washington, D .C. office asked for an evaluation of the rail alternative selected for the Entrance to Aspen FEIS so that the highway expansion with transit/HOY lanes alternative would be chosen. He raised technical and procedural concerns, similar to those raised in earlier letters (Evans, 2004b, p. 1 ). 403

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Appendix G. Case Study Chronology: South 1-25/U.S. Highway 85 (South 1-25) Corridor) The South I-25 Corridor case study examines two significant transportation corridors in Douglas County. The I-25 segment of the corridor lies within the larger interstate highway system traveling the length of Colorado, from north to south, through the Denver metropolitan area. The case study focuses on the 17 -mile portion of the I -25 corridor from C-4 70 to the southern limit of Castle Rock. The US Highway 85 (US 85) project is 16 miles long, similarly from its intersection with C-470 to Castle Rock (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. S-1). Figure 4.9 depicts the project scope and the final selected transportation alternative as it appears in the Record ofDecision issued in August 2001 (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 2-2). Both corridors were combined under one environmental impact statement (EIS) process. This EIS process was initiated formally in November 1998. This case study chronology focuses on the start of the EIS process through issuance of the final, revised decision document in October 2002. This chronology provides detailed information about the major events, key actors, and major decisions obtained from archival research. Refer to Figure 4.10 for a timeline of the major events and decisions. The final alternatives evaluated in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) were comprised primarily of highway expansion and other highway and interchange improvements. The total capital costs of the two build alternatives, the Preferred Alternative and Other Alternative, were estimated at $206 million and $257 million for both corridors, respectively (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, p. 2-89). The decision document, the Record of Decision (ROD), did not include the project cost estimates but there were expected to be similar to the FEIS cost estimates, because the ROD alternatives were modified versions of the FEIS alternatives. Douglas County was a rapidly growing county. The FEIS included population information. It stated the County population almost doubled from 1980 to 1990, from 35,238 to 60,391. By 1998, the County's population was 142,000 and the estimate given for the year 2020 was 385, 000 (USDOT and CDOT, 200la, p. 130). 404

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History and Early Corridor Studies December 1983Parsons BrinckerhoffQuade & Douglas, Inc., (Parson) prepared the 1-25 Corridor Study, Denver to Colorado Springs report in December 1983 for the Colorado Department of Highways. The report was intended to examine future development and associated transportation needs. The report noted that while the 43-mile corridor between Denver and Colorado Springs was primarily rural, it was experiencing "tremendous development pressure, both on its northern end from the Denver metropolitan area and at its southern end from Colorado Springs." The study objectives included examining the effects of development on the highway system, developing a highway system plan, identifying other modes of transportation and their influence on the highway corridor, examining highway improvement financing options, etc., (Parsons, 1983, p. 2). The report noted there was public transit service in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas and daily intercity bus service between the two cities: "However public transit accounts for a relatively small percentage of travel in the corridor" (Parsons, 1983, p 12) The report presented a transportation plan with various proposals for roadway improvements for several growth scenarios: slow, moderate, and rapid growth. The transit analysis stated even though growth was expected in the I-25 corridor, rail transit would not be warranted. "Even with projected growth in the corridor, inspection of overall trip making characteristics and the travel demand patterns indicates that a fixed guideway transit system is not warranted." It noted only bus transit was considered in the study. The reported stated the simplest approach to bus transit service would be to extend the existing service from Denver south and from Colorado Springs north (Parsons, 1983, p. 116). June 1994 -An environmental document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEP A), an Environmental Assessment report, was issued to evaluate improvements to US 85. At the time of this study the highway was part of the state highway system, called State Highway 85. This early study was focused on actions to widen the roadway, correct design deficiencies, add acceleration/deceleration and tum lanes, implement access control, improve an intersection, and realign the highway at two locations. The environmental evaluation concluded the proposed US 85 project would require an EIS (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 1). The cost for the roadway improvements was estimated at $62 million (USDOT and CDOT 1994, p. 2). The project need was to address capacity and safety issues (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 3). The report stated the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) would conduct a transit feasibility study as required by 405

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federal legislation, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 13). The report described the public involvement process. There were several public meetings, the first in May 1989 There were also public hearings and small group meetings, including meetings with County and town officials, railroads, Colorado Department of Health, Denver Regional Council of Governments, Army Corps of Engineers, Colorado Division ofParks and Outdoor Recreation, US Fish and Wildlife Services, other agencies, and individual citizens (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 57). The report described the air quality requirements, specifically the need to adhere to the relevant Congestion Management Plan and to conform to the State Implementation Plan (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, p. 51). It also described the region's air quality nonattainment status for particulates (PMlO) and Carbon Monoxide. The information provided in this Environmental Assessment report indicated that the planned highway improvements would not lead to air quality issues (USDOT and CDOT, 1994, pp. 52-3). 1995CDOT prepared a Corridor Feasibility Study in 1995. The study examined 1-25 through Castle Rock, focusing on "safety, accessibility, and efficiency of mobility." The report noted Castle Rock was growing rapidly Its population was expected to quadruple between 1990 and 2015. Its existing population was about 10,000. The report noted Castle Rock was located about 45 minutes (driving time) south of downtown Denver. The report stated rapid growth would impact transportation and "necessitate a continuous review of transportation network needs" (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 1-1). The report noted ISTEA required transportation deficiencies would no longer be addressed solely by increasing capacity for single-occupant vehicles (SOVs). As a result, the study included multimodal options (CH2MHill, 1995, pp. 1-1-1-2). The report described Castle Rock as a "satellite community" so it was a "candidate for alternative transportation modes to connect the Town with the primary attractions in Denver and its surrounding suburban communities" (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 2-3). The primary mode of transportation in Town was portrayed as being SOY travel, historically and at the time of the report. The town had limited bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The report noted two major freight lines passed through Town, the Santa Fe Railroad along the west side ofl-25 and the Southern Pacific Railroad entering town from the west. Burlington Northern Railroad also provided freight service under a shared agreement with the other two railroads. There were no stopovers in the Town and citizens had expressed concern about vehicle delays at intersections, car-train collisions, noise, emergency vehicle delays, and possible hazardous materials spills (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 2-3). 406

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The report found roadway capacity met the needs of existing traffic The Level of Service rating for the highway was determined to be LOS C to LOS D. The report indicated some improvements were needed, such as operational improvements at the Wolfensberger Road interchange (CH2MHill 1995, p. 2-11) Future traffic projections to 2015 indicated that without major corridor changes, road conditions would drop to unacceptable levels, LOS F, along the I-25 corridor, north of Plum Creek Parkway at the major intersections. The report noted several forces might encourage development of alternative modes including the Town's association with jobs in the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver ISTEA's focus on improving use of existing facilities before adding new capacity for SOVs, and Denver's air quality non-attainment status. It also described IS TEA s restrictions on use of federal funds for projects that significantly increased SOV capacity. The only exceptions noted were projects incorporated into an approved Congestion Management Systems (CMS) plan It noted the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DR COG) was preparing a "CMS to address methods to develop alternative modes within the region" (CH2MHill, 1995 p 4-1). The report described an array of Congestion Management Strategies including variable work hours, carpooling and vanpooling programs congestion pricing, land use planning and growth management policies, etc. It also summarized transportation system management options such as improved bus transit services and bicycle and pedestrian facilities (CH2MHill, 1995, pp. 4-1 45). The report noted Castle Rock was not part of the Regional Transportation District, but it was expected to be included within the next 20 years. The report found rapid transit was not likely within the next 20-year period; however commuter rail was being discussed Also, heavy rail was not likely during this planning period, but Amtrak had shown interest in the study area (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 4-5). The report concluded that even with investments in alternative modes, mobility levels in the corridor would still not be acceptable, as defined by unacceptable Levels of Service. As a result highway investments would be needed (CH2MHill 1995, p. 4-1 0) The report also described the potential financing for corridor improvements. It stated approximately $14 million of federal funding was available and possibly some local funding. Due to these funding constraints, the report recommended a number of interchange improvements and changes. It stated that I-25, north of the Plum Creek intersection should be expanded in the future, from four lanes to six lanes, due to level of service projections. The report stated the Level of Service (LOS) projections for US 85 and State Highway 86 did not justify highway expansion (CH2MHill 1 9 95, p. 6-1) Several Congestion Management System measures were recommended for long-term implementation. These measures included trip-reduction stra t egies, such as telecommuting and compressed work 407

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schedules. The report noted that 60% of Castle Rock residents commuted to Denver or its suburbs, so this strategy was expected to result in travel demand reductions. Other measures discussed included land use planning and growth management measures and improved bicycle, pedestrian facilities, and bus facilities (CH2MHill, 1995, p. 6-2). 1997DRCOG prepared a Congestion Management Systems report as required by ISTEA. The report described its purpose : "The CMS provides information on transportation system performance and considers strategies to provide the most efficient and effective use of existing and future transportation facilities It also defined parameters to measure the extent of congestion." DRCOG identified two objectives for the project-level CMS: (1) evaluate an alternative other than a build alternative that addressed congestion "to determine whether the need for additional capacity can be met by management strategies" and (2) identify "congestion management actions that would provide the most effective use of, and support to, the operation ofthe Preferred Alternative" (USDOT and CDOT, 2001a, p. 1-6). January 1997-Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., prepared a report titled, Colorado Passenger Rail Study, Executive Summary" for CDOT. The report stated CDOT published its 20-year multimodal plan in February 1995, but it lacked passenger rail service. CDOT decided to prepare a statewide study "to determine the feasibility of implementing passenger rail service in selected corridors" (Kimley-Horn, 1997, p. ES-1). The study evaluated the condition of existing rail corridors and other possible corridors. The study considered I 8 corridors (a total of 1,223 rail and highway miles) (Kimley-Horn, 1997, p. ES-1). The corridor evaluation included costs, cost-effectiveness and envirorunental benefits (Kimley-Horn, 1997, pp. ES-6 ES-8). The report recommended several high priority corridors be advanced for further study. These corridors included: Denver to Colorado Springs and Steamboat Springs to Vail and Aspen, through Glenwood Springs (Kimley-Horn, 1997, p. ES-9 -ES-12). April1998-Wilson & Company and other consultants prepared a report for CDOT in cooperation with DR COG, Pikes Peak Area Council of Goverrunents, and Pueblo Area Council of Goverrunents. The report titled, South Front Range Corridor Assessment Study, Final Report, was in response to rapid growth in the area and "to widespread concern that major transportation improvements are needed in the I-25 corridor." The study focused on passenger and freight needs on the 1 00-mile segment ofthe corridor from Denver to Pueblo (Wilson & Company, 1998, p 1 ). The corridor assessment study examined transportation conditions, future 408

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conditions problems that needed to be addressed, and possible alternatives and their feasibility The study found peak period congestion was highest in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas and at the I-25 and U.S. 50 interchange in Pueblo with no routine congestion in the rural areas. It also identified limited bus and rail service and limited use ofvanpooling and carpooling programs (Wilson & Company, 1998, p. 3). The study also described opportunities for agency and public input. A survey was conducted that indicated most respondents supported highway widening with commuter rail as a second choice and carpool/bus lanes a distant third choice (Wilson & Company, 1998, p. 5). The report highlighted the major environmenta