Does the travel-time index really reflect performance?

Last week’s release of the Texas A&M Urban Mobility Report, with its charts and lists, prompted the usual flurry of media coverage. However, the travel-time index, a staple of the UMR, may not adequately reflect the performance of a transportation system. If the index becomes an official performance measure under MAP-21, optimizing system performance could become harder for DOTs.

Does the travel-time index really reflect performance?

Last week’s release of the Texas A&M Urban Mobility Report, with its charts and lists, prompted the usual flurry of media coverage. However, the travel-time index, a staple of the UMR, may not adequately reflect the performance of a transportation system. If the index becomes an official performance measure under MAP-21, optimizing system performance could become harder for DOTs.

Expanded Transportation Performance Measures to Supplement Level of Service (LOS) for Growth Management and Transportation Impact Analysis (University of Florida Transportation Research Center, 2012)

New performance measures are needed to support a more multimodal system of transportation in various Florida jurisdictions. This report outlines an effort to develop these measures.

Reform STIP documents for greater transparency

A new report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign evaluates the STIPs of all 50 states. Although analyses of individual state STIPs are useful in understanding state priorities and near-term transportation spending, information gleaned from STIPs alone is insufficient as a basis for comparison between states. While all STIPs must be updated at least every four years and are required to cover a period of at least four years, federal standards for STIP development and content leave states with considerable leeway. To provide a better platform for state-to-state comparisons and national trends, the report provides four key recommendations for states interested in increasing the utility of their STIPs.

Economic Effects of Public Investment in Transportation and Directions for the Future (CNT and SSTI, 2012)

This report examines current economic analysis practices in state Departments of Transportation through examples in nine state transportation agencies and an extensive literature review. For additional understanding of the methods in practice, we also incorporated information …

Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects (NCHRP, 2012)

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 694: Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects is designed to help transportation agencies select or develop measures to evaluate congestion-pricing projects; collect the necessary data; …

Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report (Alliance for Biking and Walking, 2012)

This 3rd biennial benchmarking report looks at data and policies in all 50 states and the 51 largest US cities to examine how they stack up for walking and biking. This is a useful tool for local and state officials that would like to improve conditions and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, or to promote non-motorized transportation.

Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report (Alliance for Biking and Walking, 2012)

This 3rd biennial benchmarking report looks at data and policies in all 50 states and the 51 largest US cities to examine how they stack up for walking and biking. This is a useful tool for local and state officials that would like to improve conditions and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, or to promote non-motorized transportation.