Federal Boulevard Framework Plan

At a Glance:

Location: Denver, Colorado

Date: 2015

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Reliable Transportation

Determinants of Health: traffic safety, active transportation, nutrition, neighborhood safety, parks, physical activity, active transportation

Affected Population: Children and Youth, People Living in Poverty

Research Methods: Survey, Primary research, Qualitative research, Literature review

Community Types: urban

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This health impact assessment (HIA) informed the proposed Federal Boulevard framework plan, with a specific focus on the light-rail stations at 60th Avenue and Federal Boulevard and at 71st Avenue and Irving Street in the Denver area. The planning area included the Federal Boulevard corridor in areas of Adams County. Although the goal of the framework plan was to provide guidance for future transportation and economic development investments along the corridor, the HIA assessed the existing conditions and proposed strategies related to health in the area of the two light-rail stations.

The study area has suffered from disinvestment over several decades. Policymakers, business owners, and potential developers are eager to maximize the benefits that a major transportation investment such as the two light-rail stations could bring. The corridor’s previous design encouraged high traffic speeds, posing health and safety concerns from accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. It also created an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for pedestrians, with a high risk of falls.


The Tri-County Health Department—which serves Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties—worked with local government and community partners to inform the planning decision through the HIA and provided recommendations for better health outcomes as part of a Health Impact Project program grant. The department increased the capacity for the development of HIAs in local government planning, developed curriculum and syllabuses for two University of Colorado-Denver classes that were used to educate future land-use and transportation planners, and developed an HIA report framework to be used by local governments and community organizations for future HIA work concerning transportation decisions in the Denver metro area. 

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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