The objective of the community outreach program is to solicit input through an open, dynamic process that includes as many of the residents, businesses, property owners, agencies, stakeholders, and community groups within the study area as possible. The process has been structured to involve people early and often, and to share information as it becomes available.
Community outreach for the I-70 East EIS has used a variety of techniques, including:
We have used a variety of techniques to ensure meaningful involvement from the community. The outreach process was designed to be personal and extensive. It began at a one-on-one level and expanded to bring together the many interests in the corridor. A variety of opportunities have been made available for the community to get involved and stay informed about the project. These include:
Advertisements are placed in weekly newspapers, Denver daily newspapers, and other relevant local publications to announce meetings and other important study information. Look for ads in the Denver Post or Rocky Mountain News, El Seminario, El Hispano, Denver Urban Spectrum, Denver Weekly News, La Voz, and other local publications.
The project website is being used to disseminate information and provide a schedule of events. The site includes English and Spanish options and includes features such as an on-line feedback form, an automatic update email distribution for when new information is posted, a location for media information, and technical documents or reports. The website is updated on a regular basis with the intent of providing real-time project information.
The project team holds informal meetings monthly at locations in the corridor to answer questions and provide updates. Walk-ins are welcome at any time to talk to project team members, ask questions, express concerns, and provide comments. These meetings are held as open discussions and there are no presentations.
The I-70 East EIS project team utilizes an innovative outreach technique to reach out to a large number of community members at comfort of their home. The telephone town hall technology allows the project team to contact thousands of phone numbers within the project area to invite them to listen to a live presentation on the project and ask questions from the project team members live or leave a voicemail to talk to them offline. Polling questions can also be designed and asked by the presenter to solicit input from the public on various issues by asking them to choose the best answer by pressing a number on their phone.
Due to a lack of strong support for any of the 2008 DEIS alternatives, CDOT and FHWA initiated a collaborative process to identify a preferred alternative. The Preferred Alternative Collaborative Team (PACT) was formed in July 2010 made up of a group of stakeholders representing federal and state agencies, local governments, and community and business interests. After extensive deliberations – including two corridor-wide meetings – the PACT was unable to reach consensus on a preferred alternative. After the conclusion of the PACT process, the City and County of Denver initiated an outreach effort with several community work groups, with more than 90 participants. This outreach developed a list of neighborhood goals and expectations, to be integrated in CDOT’s environment evaluation.
The Highway Working Group included members of all of the highway-related working groups (community impacts, interchanges, alternate routes, bike/pedestrian/open space, economic development, trucking/motor carriers) from the I-70 East Corridor project. The group discussed issues and approaches to various project concerns and was open to the public.
Various agency committees had been meeting throughout the project prior to the 2008 Draft EIS to discuss issues and develop recommendations. Forums were provided at these committee meetings to hear community input.
Stakeholder meetings have been held on an as-needed basis and typically include property or business owners, business or homeowners associations, special interest groups, religious organizations, neighborhood associations, police/fire personnel, and others as appropriate. These are typically a presentation at the group’s regularly scheduled meeting, but can be specially-arranged meetings.
Scoping is a formal coordination process used to gain input on the extent of the project and the major issues that need to be addressed.
In the scoping portion of the study, which is now complete, the project team met with the community, stakeholders, and numerous government agencies to identify issues in over 50 scoping meetings. Through these meetings participants offered numerous ideas about transportation-related issues in the corridor. Major topic areas identified in scoping included:
Issues unrelated to the EIS that were brought up during the scoping process have been passed on to appropriate agencies. A summary of the community outreach and scoping process has been documented in a Scoping Report, available for review at the project office.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are required to follow specific policies and procedures established by federal law when buying residential and business properties for projects. These links provide specific information on these processes, and the rights of residential and business owners involved:
FHWA guide to real estate: www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/realprop/index.html
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Brochures: