As one more indication of its ongoing population growth challenges, the City of Denver has put on this fall’s ballot a question asking voters to approve the creation of a single department that would be tasked with handling most of the city’s transportation facility needs.
In making the new department official, voters would be amending both the city and Denver County’s charter.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure would be a separate agency, removing from Denver’s current Public Works Department all programs and initiatives related to transportation services, as well as non-motorized transportation facilities.
Initially unveiled last spring, the proposal for the new department was presented as a one-stop means to more efficiently tackle transportation projects.
In doing so, the building or upgrading of sewer infrastructure, as well as pavement work, would be rolled into a single project, rather than two separate projects handled by two different agencies.
Denver officials estimate that a combined transportation and infrastructure department could save the city as much as $7.3 million on an annual basis.
Funding saved as a result of the effort, said Eulois Cleckly as the proposal was aired, could then be devoted to building “the rest of our bicycle infrastructure, all the multi-modal projects we have slated.”
Clecky, executive director of the Department of Public Works, further stated that by allowing the city to focus more on those multi-modal projects, it could build them more efficiently.
The new department, if approved by voters, would additionally supplement the work of the city’s Regional Transit District.
The proposal, appearing as Question 2A on Denver ballots, has won the support of most city leaders.
According to analysis presented by the Denver Department of Finance, the creation of the new department would bring with it a one-time price tag of $200,000 for rebranding expenses.
By Garry Boulard
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