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New Trends in Transportation and Land Use Scenario Planning

Appendix C. Case Studies

Case Study 1: Cheyenne MPO, City of Cheyenne, and Laramie County, Wyoming (for PlanCheyenne)


PlanCheyenne5 is the Cheyenne Area Master Plan. The effort was undertaken by the Cheyenne, WY, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in coordination with the City of Cheyenne, City Parks and Recreation Division, and Laramie County. The PlanCheyenne effort involved an update of the city's comprehensive plan, transportation plan, and parks and recreation plan. The Cheyenne MPO's planning area is at the edge of the zone of influence of Denver and Colorado Springs (see Figure 1) and serves a population of 79,000.

Figure 1. Map of Cheyenne and surrounding area.

Figure 1. Map of Cheyenne and surrounding area.

The Cheyenne MPO did not have previous experience with scenario planning, but chose this approach based on its observation of the success of the Envision Utah6 scenario planning effort. The agency noted that scenario planning was a useful educational tool for the public to see the effects of density.

Summary of Scenario Planning Effort

The PlanCheyenne team engaged stakeholders in developing and evaluating alternative growth scenarios during two workshops in the spring of 2005. The effort showed participants the linkages among development density, roadway costs, and open space. The total cost of the PlanCheyenne effort was approximately $380,000; in addition, the agency dedicated one staff member to managing the project.

The scenarios developed included:

Scenario Development

The MPO and consulting team held several public meetings at which six groups of participants were given a base map showing existing development and were then asked to assign forecast growth to the map using cardboard game pieces. Groups were given a set of game pieces that reflected either "business as usual" growth, growth focused in urban areas, or growth focused in neighborhoods and activity centers. Participants were free to exchange game pieces to achieve various density and open space preservation objectives.

Scenario Analysis

The PlanCheyenne team considered using CommunityViz for the scenario planning effort, but later decided that the software was too complex and cumbersome to be efficient for this effort.

The MPO provided the land use parameters for the business as usual, urban areas, and neighborhood/activity center scenarios to a transportation consultant who modeled each of these scenarios using the travel demand forecasting model. Because the transportation network for each scenario was financially constrained, the model included the existing system and programmed improvements.

The model results allowed public stakeholders to evaluate the congestion impacts of each scenario. In addition, scenarios were compared based on the provision of open space and parks areas, ranchland conserved, the potential for multimodal travel opportunities, and community identity and livability. The scenario evaluation highlighted the links between infrastructure costs and development density and open space.

A modified version of the Neighborhood/Activity Center scenario was selected as the preferred scenario (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Draft preferred PlanCheyenne scenario.

Figure 2. Draft preferred PlanCheyenne scenario.

Outcomes: Implementing the Preferred Scenario

PlanCheyenne was finalized in November 2006. The City of Cheyenne is currently re-writing its development code in a unified format that includes land use, subdivision, street and sited design standards. The development code will be consistent with the recommendations in PlanCheyenne.

City staff also reported that they are beginning to see new types of development that are consistent with the development envisioned in the preferred scenario.

Key Findings

Key findings from the PlanCheyenne effort included:

Challenges of Scenario Planning

Key challenges of scenario planning identified by PlanCheyenne team members:

Key Documentation

Cheyenne Area Master Plan website with links to the final plan and information about the process and outcome:


5 For more information on PlanCheyenne, see

6 For more information on Envision Utah, see

Updated: 10/20/2015
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