FHWA publishes toolkit for bike-ped performance measures

By Robbie Webber
FHWA has released its Guidebook for Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Performance Measures. Establishing performance measures that go beyond delay, congestion, level of service, and safety for drivers—especially including good metrics for non-motorized modes—has been a difficult but important goal for many transportation agencies. This publication is a big step forward to help states, regions, and communities in both project selection and progress toward community goals.
The guidebook offers 30 metrics that can be used in various combinations depending on whether an agency wishes to gather base information, compare alternatives, target investments, or work toward improvement of already existing priorities in other areas.  Recognizing that each state, region, or community may have established local goals unrelated to transportation, the toolkit shows which metrics are most appropriate for a variety of purposes.
A matrix is included showing which performance measures address one or more common community goals:

  • Connectivity
  • Economic
  • Environment
  • Equity
  • Health
  • Livability
  • Safety

Under each of the 30 metrics, there are sections that cover how to track, which goals are addressed, relationship to other measures, in what context (application or geographic scale) it can be most effectively used, data sources needed, peer organizations that are using the metric, and additional notes on how to use the measure.
The guidebook makes it easy for government agencies, or even non-government entities to find performance measures that meet their goals. Whether a state or city is just beginning to measure pedestrian and bicycle performance or has been doing so for quite some time, the tools contained in this publication will be useful.
The guidebook is available both online and as a PDF, with the latter providing embedded links to references and other resources.
Robbie Webber is a Senior Associate at SSTI.