Moving People Forward 2023 was presented by Amazon.

Amazon logo

Monday, February 6, 2023

Moving People Forward is Bicycle Colorado’s annual event that brings together thought leaders, innovators, decision makers, business leaders and stakeholders to explore the trends, topics, and technology at the forefront of the mobility revolution. The conference took place on Monday, February 6, 2023 at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver.

This year’s program was titled Critical Measures. Colorado’s transportation system planning was built on an assumption that vehicle throughput was the ultimate measure. Today, Colorado is working to change how we measure success in transportation by incorporating the human impacts.

Thank you for joining us at MPF 2023!

2023 Moving People Forward Conference Agenda

1:30 p.m:
Onsite registration opens
2-3 p.m: Discussion Panels

Measuring transit
Measuring equity
Measuring micromobility

3-3:30 p.m: Break
3:30-5 p.m: Keynote address from Charles Brown, followed by panel discussion
5-6 p.m: Reception

Meet our keynote: Charles T. Brown, Founder and CEO, Equitable Cities

Charles T. Brown, MPA is a nationally-known transportation researcher, and planning and policy expert working at the intersection of transportation, health and equity. He is the CEO of Equitable Cities and senior researcher with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, both at Rutgers University.

His work has been published in several international journals as well as featured by or quoted in the New York Times, Streetsblog, CityLab and various other national and local media outlets. He is the recipient of several notable honors in transportation and receives invitations to speak locally, nationally and internationally. He is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

A Black man wearing a suit and tie.

Keynote address

Centering equity and environmental justice in transportation planning

Colorado is a national leader in the movement to recalibrate transportation as a solution for our most pressing issues starting with GHG emissions. But, until we change how we measure success by centering equity and environmental justice in transportation planning, the system will continue to disenfranchise the people most impacted by historical transportation policies that created the system. How do we need to think differently so we can build differently?

Charles’ address will ground you in a full understanding of what environmental justice in transportation is, demonstrate how new measures of success can lead to new outcomes, and inspire you with leading examples of change from around the country.

Panel conversation: Centering equity and environmental justice in transportation planning

Safe and equitable access to transportation is a human right. The reality is that deeply baked assumptions prevent cities and regions from building transportation systems that serve everyone. How do we need to think differently so we can build differently?

The panel conversation will be moderated by Nathaniel Minor, Growth and Transportation Reporter for Colorado Public Radio. Nathaniel joined Colorado Public Radio in 2014 and has also published award-winning stories and documentaries on racism and power in a small Colorado town; the birth, victory and gutting of Colorado’s unique taxing law; and the trauma survivors are still feeling decades after the Columbine shooting. He’s covered transportation since 2019 and published the “Ghost Train” podcast in 2022.


Senator Julie Gonzales, Colorado State Senator, District 34


Julie Gonzales is a progressive Democrat serving north, west, and downtown Denver as the state Senator for Senate District 34. With roots that stretch back generations in Colorado, Julie has spent her life organizing working people, Latinos, and young people on issues of affordable housing, educational justice, and immigrant rights. In her first term in office, she allocated millions of dollars towards affordable housing, strengthened protections for immigrant communities from ICE, repealed the death penalty, and streamlined Colorado’s marijuana regulations. She serves as Chair of the Judiciary Committee; and as a member of the Local Government & Housing and State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committees. She serves as the Colorado Senate Democrats Majority Whip, the Co-Chair of the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus, and the Treasurer of the Board of Latino Legislative Leaders.

Lynn Peterson, Oregon Metro Council President and “Roadways for People” author


Lynn Peterson is a nationally recognized transportation and land use integration expert with a dedication to building communities that work for everyone. She currently serves as the elected President of the Oregon Metro Council and she recently published her first book “Roadways for People: Rethinking transportation planning and engineering”. Lynn has worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Smart Growth America and was appointed by the Washington State Governor to serve as the Secretary of Transportation. From building and designing roads to serving as an elected and appointed official in both Oregon and Washington, respectively, Lynn has worked on policy and implementation of transportation projects and trained State DOTs on forward-thinking transportation planning processes.
Marsha Nelson, Chief Equity Officer, CDOT


Marsha Nelson is the Chief Equity Officer for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). She leads the departments newly created Equity and Environmental Justice Branch, established as part of SB21‐260, the comprehensive transportation funding and modernization bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Polis the Spring of 2021.Nelson joins CDOT from the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) of the City and County of Denver, where she helped lead the department’s priorities in transportation equity and the development, execution and prioritization of multiple high priority special projects and initiatives, including internal/external stakeholder relations. Prior to her service with Denver, Nelson held multiple roles with M.A. Mortenson Company’s Denver Operating Group; most notably as a chief spokesperson and lead change agent in corporate compliance and social responsibility initiatives. In both her public and private sector roles, she has focused on the implementation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles within practices, policies and procedures of large organizations, community and small business engagement, economic equity for disadvantaged, small, minority, women and veteran owned businesses, leading efforts to advance professional development and career opportunities for underrepresented industry professionals, and helping to eradicate opportunity gaps for students through exposure to industry related professional and trade skill jobs.
Charles Brown, Founder and CEO, Equitable Cities


Charles T. Brown, MPA is an internationally-known transportation policy, planning, and research expert working at the intersections of transportation, health, and equity worldwide. He is the CEO of Equitable Cities and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His work has been published in several international journals as well as featured by or quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian and various other national and local media outlets. He is the recipient of several notable honors in transportation and receives invitations to speak worldwide. He recently received the 2022 Bicycle Friendly America Leadership Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Lastly, Charles is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

About the Discussion Panels

Measuring Transit

How can we improve Front Range options with better measures?

Moderator: Nathaniel Minor, Growth and Transportation Reporter, Colorado Public Radio


  • Molly McKinley, Policy Director, Denver Streets Partnership
  • Brian Welch, Assistant General Planning Manager, Regional Transportation District (RTD)
  • Amber Blake, Director of Transit and Rail, CDOT
  • Justin Begley, Multimodal Planning Supervisor, Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI)
Measuring Equity

How can agencies and communities work together to improve equitable access to transportation?

Moderator: Jenny Gaeng, Transportation Advocate, Conservation Colorado


  • Alvan-Bidal Sanchez, Regional Transportation Planning Program Manager, Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)
  • Carl Green Jr., Director of Civil Rights, RTD
  • James Gillespie, Vice President Development, Servicios de la Raza
  • Juan Madrid, Colorado Clean Transportation Policy Advocate, GreenLatinos
  • Manjari Bhat, Statewide Safety Champion, CDOT
Measuring Micromobility

What is the data telling us about access and use of micromobility options, and how can we remove barriers to access?

Moderator: Carson Priest, Executive Director, Smart Commute Metro North


  • Stephen Rijo, Principal Multimodal Planner, DOTI
  • Emily Lindsey, Mobility Program Manager, DRCOG
  • Kiran Herbert, Content Manager, PeopleForBikes

Moving People Forward was made possible with the support of the following sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Amazon logo

Keynote Sponsor

Coloured Logo - Lyft

Keynote Panel Sponsor

Logo for NRDC.

Mid-Afternoon Break Sponsor

Logo for Gates Carbon Drive.

Supporting Sponsors

Coloured Logo - AAA Colorado
Logo for Denver airport.
Logo of Way to Go by DRCOG program.

Interpretation/Translation Sponsor

The logo of PDC Energy.

Scholarship Sponsor

The logo of Denver Community Active Learning Coalition

Mobility Sponsors

Questions about Moving People Forward?
Interested in supporting it as a sponsor in 2024?

Please email us at

Check out what our last in-person Moving People Forward was all about

And take a look at photos from previous Moving People Forward conferences below! Photos by David M. Budd Photography and Jack Todd.

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