Fort Collins Active Modes Plan

Merit - Innovative Partnerships & Collaborations

by: Cortney Geary, MCRP – Active Modes Manager, City of Fort Collins

The City of Fort Collins was honored with a merit award from the Colorado chapter of the America Planning Association for community engagement for the Active Modes Plan. As one of only five Platinum Bicycle Friendly communities and a Silver Walk Friendly Community, the city consistently tops lists of the best places in the nation to walk and bike. Yet the city still has much room for improvement to meet aggressive climate action and Vision Zero goals. The Active Modes Plan establishes a vision and framework for working towards these goals.

The Active Modes Plan combines and updates the City’s 2011 Pedestrian Plan and 2014 Bicycle Plan as well as incorporating micromobility devices such as scooters and skateboards. The plan identifies key opportunities to significantly improve and expand the City’s active modes networks, support facilities, policies, and programs.

When the City started working with Toole Design Group to develop a community engagement strategy for the plan, they emphasized that engagement efforts should elevate the voices of historically underrepresented groups. The project team deployed a wide variety of engagement strategies from more traditional workshops to online web mapping activities and pop-ups along trails and at community events.

Some of the most effective strategies have included focus groups with middle school students in partnership with the City’s Safe Routes to School program and contracting with the Community Connectors, a local Latina-owned business which hires mobile home community residents to survey their neighbors. Thanks to the work of the Community Connectors over 30% of the survey responses received were in Spanish. The community feedback has informed the vision and strategy for Fort Collins to become a place where walking, bicycling, and using other active modes are safe, accessible, convenient, joyful, and desired by people of all ages and abilities.


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