NCDOT rethinks project selection

North Carolina has developed a new set of transportation project prioritization criteria officials hope will bring greater efficiency and objectivity to transportation investment. The criteria were developed in response to the passage last June of the state’s Strategic Transportation Investments law. Lawmakers and transportation officials have noted that the prioritization scheme will shift more funding towards urban areas due to the use of congestion as a primary factor.

SSTI seeks input on bike-ped performance measures

Many states and MPOs may have criteria for evaluating bicycle-pedestrian proposals for funding, but those criteria often don’t take into account system-level benefits and costs. And compared with highway measures, metrics for tracking ongoing performance are scarce. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic counts are being done in some cases, but these do not equal performance measures.

Guide to Incorporating Reliability Performance Measures into the Transportation Planning and Programming Processes [Draft] (TRB and Cambridge Systematics, 2013)

The purpose of this Guide is to help agencies wherever they are in the process of using reliability performance measurement to (1) understand and communicate reliability; (2) identify the tools and methods to help them track transportation system reliability; (3) begin to incorporate reliability into their existing analysis tools; and (4) identify emerging analysis tools that will better help them evaluate reliability and make program and project investment choices that address the reliability of the system.

Guide to Incorporating Reliability Performance Measures into the Transportation Planning and Programming Processes [Draft] (TRB and Cambridge Systematics, 2013)

The purpose of this Guide is to help agencies wherever they are in the process of using reliability performance measurement to (1) understand and communicate reliability; (2) identify the tools and methods to help them track transportation system reliability; (3) begin to incorporate reliability into their existing analysis tools; and (4) identify emerging analysis tools that will better help them evaluate reliability and make program and project investment choices that address the reliability of the system.

Study highlights importance of travel time as a metric

As commute times increase, married women work fewer hours or even drop out of the workforce according to a forthcoming article. The finding helps explain differences in women’s workforce participation across various metro areas. Its focus on travel time as a driver of economic outcomes, the article has clear relevance to transportation agencies that are wrestling with setting meaningful, outcome-based performance measures.

Time Pollution (John Whitelegg, 1993)

In his 1993 essay, originally published in Resurgence & Ecologist, the author tries to explain why the more people try to save time, the less time they seem to have. This is true of transportation as well, and he uses travel time as an example of this phenomenon. Regardless of what mode people chose, they tend to average the same amount of time traveling. He also points out that there is a fundamental difference between speed and access. This is an interesting read when considering performance metrics for transportation systems.

Aligning Strategies to Maximize Impact: Case Studies on Transportation and Economic Development (National Association of Development Organizations, 2012)

Ten case studies from 11 states document how the fields of transportation and economic development can complement each other and create an environment for increased collaboration and aligning of resources.

Delivering on the Promise: Improving the Performance of Massachusetts Transportation Agencies (SSTI and Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, 2013)

SSTI performed a program review of MassDOT’s three-year-old reorganization and consolidation to document efficiencies and better outcomes achieved, as well as continuing challenges and opportunities for improvement.