SSTI and Smart Growth America continue working with state departments of transportation and tracking innovative strategies for meeting 21st century transportation needs. The 2015 edition of The Innovative DOT builds upon its predecessors with updated content from a growing number of states.
State departments of transportation maintain ambitious goals of improving safety, alleviating congestion, improving system reliability, accelerating project delivery, preserving valuable assets, enhancing economic opportunities, reducing environmental impacts, and helping to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods. These goals would be challenging even if money were no object, but conventional funding sources continue to stagnate and dwindle, leaving many DOTs with increasingly limited resources.
The answer is innovation
In response to these challenges, DOTs across the country are changing the way they do business. Recognizing that America’s transportation network is crucial to its economic success by forming the backbone of its communities, agencies are taking new approaches that fit the unique demands of their states and that provide greater benefits at less cost. They are improving existing services in the short term and planning effectively for the long term. They are reevaluating and retooling traditional practices, learning new skills, working more closely with stakeholders, and becoming more flexible in their approaches to problem solving. The most innovative agencies and their leaders have valuable lessons to offer and provide a model of success for others to follow.
An updated handbook of policy and practice
The Innovative DOT offers 34 specific recommendations to help state transportation officials position their agencies for success in the coming era. Developed with input from top transportation professionals, agency staff, and officials at state agencies around the nation, this handbook documents many of the innovative approaches leaders are taking to make transportation systems more efficient, governments more effective, and constituents better satisfied.
In the three years since the handbook’s initial release, state agencies have considered a variety of new funding opportunities, bolstered planning efforts, made better use of existing infrastructure, embraced innovative data collection measures to implement new performance measures, and substantially changed the way they do business. The 2015 edition reflects these changes by adding 10 new case studies and a number of other updates and improvements in a more user friendly format that includes hyperlinks and an index.
Help us improve it
This handbook serves as a living document, updated periodically with new and improved policies and practices. We invite reader comments, suggestions, and ideas for additional case studies. Direct comments to Eric Sundquist.