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Mayor Hancock Announces Major Reorganization of Public Works to Emphasize Mobility

Restructuring will Precede Smooth Transition to New Deptartment of Transportation

DENVER - Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced a reorganization of Denver Public Works to elevate and better address the city’s growing transportation and mobility needs. The restructuring will serve as a precursor to the proposed new cabinet-level Department of Transportation and Mobility.

“We all know the challenges we face – worsening congestion and safety and limited mobility options,” Mayor Hancock said. “Those challenges impact our economy, environment, health and overall quality of life. Restructuring Denver Public Works to elevate transportation and mobility – now one of the highest priorities for the people of Denver – and then creating a new Department of Transportation and Mobility will advance our ability to move more people, more efficiently and more safely.” 

The next Public Works executive director will be responsible for implementing the reorganization by first creating two divisions within the department: a public works division and a mobility division. A candidate review process for the new executive director is currently underway.

The reorganization will consolidate mobility policy and planning, parking, right of way and traffic engineering operations and maintenance under one roof, while the Public Works division will continue to manage solid waste, wastewater, water quality, fleet management and other essential services.

“Increasing mobility options in Denver is of utmost importance and the decision to elevate the city’s transportation focus is the right one at the right time,” said Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman (Dist. 5) who serves on the Mayor’s mobility task force. “This move sends a profound message to our community regarding one of their top priorities that the city will be applying concentrated resources for more effective and efficient mobility for our citizens.”

Restructuring DPW in the near-term will allow for a smooth transition to a new Department of Transportation and Mobility and will expedite decision-making and project delivery for Denver residents. Establishing a cabinet-level department with these duties requires an amendment to the Denver city charter, which entails referral by Denver City Council and approval by Denver voters. The decision follows an analysis by Sam Schwartz City Strategies, which examined optimal organizational structures to help city leaders better address Denver’s growing transportation and mobility needs.

“The employees at Denver Public Works care deeply about our city and our goal is for this reorganization to enhance their efforts to keep Denver safe, vibrant and moving forward,” the Mayor added.

The Mayor’s announcement comes as the city prepares to seek voter approval in November for a $900 million General Obligation bond. The largest portion of bond proceeds will fund improvements to Denver’s street, bridge, pedestrian and bicycle networks.