Performance-based Planning and Programming - White Paper
4.0 Next Steps
Many transportation agencies have begun to implement performance-based planning and programming. An important next step related to the current effort is being conducted by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning in collaboration with the FHWA (NCHRP Project 8-36 (104)). Through NCHRP Project 8-36 (104), three performance-based planning and programming pilot studies are being conducted with a focus on collaboration across State DOTs, MPOs, rural planning organizations, and transit agencies. The pilot studies locations and focus areas include:
- Kansas City, including Kansas and Missouri DOTs; the Mid-America Regional Council, the MPO for the Kansas City region; and the Kansas City Area Transit Authority. The focus of this pilot study is on safety.
- Pennsylvania, including the Pennsylvania DOT and all of the MPOs and regional planning organizations in Pennsylvania. The focus of this pilot study is on infrastructure condition.
- Washington, D.C., including the Maryland DOT; the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the MPO for the Washington metropolitan area; and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the transit provider for the region. The focus of this pilot study is on congestion, with an emphasis on integrating highway and transit considerations.
Some additional next steps that may be relevant for this effort include:
- Support efforts by transportation agencies to implement a performance-based planning and programming process. Key activities within this area may include providing workshops and peer exchanges for practitioners to discuss and advance the concepts of performance-based planning and programming, supporting additional pilot studies, and providing technical assistance to these agencies. Clarifying how the application of the performance-based framework should vary by agency function (e.g., planning, operations, budgetary) will be critical to successful implementation.
- Improve availability and quality of data and tools to support performance-based planning and programming. Key activities within this area include researching and developing better methodologies for tradeoff analysis, identifying gaps in data and tools for common performance areas, compiling case studies of best practices on target setting, documenting the relationships between actions and performance outcomes and similar efforts.
- Increase collaboration on performance-based planning and programming. Key activities in this area may include improving how agencies communicate performance information to the public, developing review bodies or a performance council comprised of practitioners to provide feedback on individual agency performance-based planning efforts, establishing benchmarking groups to share best-practices in a protected environment, investing in the development of visualization tools to support communication with the public and decision makers, and other similar efforts.