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Highway Information Quarterly Newsletter, October 2003 title with picture of fall road scene.

Office of Highway Policy Information - Federal Highway Administration

Table of Contents

This edition is in electronic (web) only format.

Highway Information Seminar

graphic of people huddled together in conversation.The Office of Highway Policy Information will host the annual Highway Information Seminar on November 18-20 2003, at the Renaissance Hotel 999 9th St. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001.

The seminar provides FHWA and State/MPO data providers the opportunity to address issues related to the Highway Statistics reported to FHWA on motor fuel, highway finance, the HPMS, traffic and other data issues.

The seminar also allows for special focus workshops to allow participants to share their concerns and questions, and provide in-depth information on the Highway Statistics reporting. This is a great opportunity to share experiences with other data providers, and gain insight into the yearly Highway Statistics reporting procedure each year.

If you would like more information on the upcoming Highway Information Seminar, contact or call 202-366-0180.

State Practices Used to Report Local Area Travel

The Office of Highway Policy Information has recently posted State Practices Used to Report Local Area Travel at /policyinformation/hpms.cfm. The report provides survey information on promising and innovative State practices used to estimate local area travel in rural, small urban, and urbanized areas.

States are required to report annually to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) aggregate estimates of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on the rural minor collector and local functional systems in rural, small urban, and urbanized areas. The current practices used by the States to prepare these local area estimates vary significantly and often are not thoroughly documented. To gain an understanding of the various practices in use, FHWA conducted a survey of the States in April 2002 through its field division offices; the information from 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the basis for the report. The most noteworthy State activities were found in Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, and Texas. For more information, contact Paul Svercl at or call 202-366-5036.

Highway Statistics 2002

Cover of Highway Statistics 2002

The annual publication Highway Statistics 2002 is expected on the web in early November 2003, followed by hard copies in January 2004.

This report provides a host of analyzed statistical data on motor fuel, motor vehicles, driver licensing, highway user taxation, State and local highway finance, highway mileage, Federal-aid for highways, and selected data on international data comparisons.

This report has been published each year since 1945. Publications from 1992 to present are also available in electronic format on the web at:

For more information, contact the Editor at or call 202-366-0160.

Changes in Demographics (1969-2001) as seen in the 2001 National Household Travel Survey

Since 1969, the greatest changes and impact in demographics have been the decrease in household size, and the corresponding increase in the number of vehicles per household. According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), the number of persons per household shrank from 3.16 in 1969 to 2.58 in 2001. During the same period, the number of vehicles increased from 1.16 in 1969 to 1.9 by 2001. Equally important is the increase in the number of vehicles per driver (up from 0.70 in 1969 to 1.07 by 2001).

This would suggest that Americans are more affluent and mobile than ever before in our nation's history.

Line graph showing demographic changes from 1969-2001. For data points see chart1.htm

The number of workers and the number of drivers per household have remained fairly consistent over time, with only slight increases.

If you would like more information on the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), contact or call 202-366-5026.

Latest publications on the Highway Peformance Monitoring System (HPMS)

The Office of Highway Policy Information has recently posted several HPMS related reports and resources on its web site at /policyinformation/hpms.cfm.

HPMS Workshops planned for 2004

HPMS Data Quality Workshop - Promoting CPI Principles

An HPMS Data Quality Workshop was held on August 26-27, 2003 in Nashville for FHWA Division and Resource Center Offices. Participants discussed FHWA data review activities and the application of a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) model to the HPMS. More than half of the Divisions participated in this 2-day workshop; which included presentations, discussions, and group activities. The format of the sessions followed the CPI process that has been recommended to the Divisions for use in conducting HPMS program reviews; identifying at-risk areas using risk assessment, conducting the review using the FADE (Focus, Analyze, Develop, Execute) model, implementing recommendations, developing an action plan, and gaining support and commitment from the State through the SPR work program. Examples of tools readily available to the Divisions were explained, and methods for information sharing were discussed. The breakout sessions on risk assessment and developing action plans were well received and produced useful information.

Showcase presentations by four pilot Divisions that have initiated CPI reviews discussed topics such as how they got started, steps completed, State support and endorsement, and implementation activities. Each of the pilot CPI reviews was on a different at-risk area - traffic monitoring, pavement data, sample management, and truck data - and each was at a different stage of the CPI process. Each review followed the 10-step process and guidance contained in the February 24, 2003 memo to all Division Offices on applying the CPI process to the HPMS. The presentations were well received by the participants as were the discussions on SPR work program development and monitoring, identifying at-risk areas, and completing annual Division reviews. Copies of the four pilot presentations will be provided to each Division Office for use in getting started with CPI reviews in each State. As Divisions undertake CPI reviews, we would appreciate receiving information on activities underway, implementation plans, and State support and acceptance of quality improvement recommendations, so we can share this information with other Divisions. For further information on this workshop and assistance on implementing the CPI review process for HPMS, please contact Fred Orloski at or at 517-702-1840.

Office of Highway Policy Information Addresses Planners

On August 14, 2003, Mr. Barna Juhasz addressed 30-40 FHWA Planners and other DOT staff at the Advanced Planning Seminar in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mr. Juhasz covered a wide range of topics in the area of Information Management and Planning. His main theme were the following:

Mr. Juhasz stressed the importance of data based on the key purposes for which the State-reported data is used. These include:

He noted the apportionment factors of vehicle miles of travel, public road mileage, and motor-fuel used on highways, explaining that motor fuel is the factor used in "TEA-21 Minimum Guarantees". This is the single most important factor in determining how much Federal-aid a State receives in Federal-aid funds.

Mr. Juhasz pointed out that changes in the information environment include such things as reduced VMT growth, increasing congestion, ITS data, and Asset Management. He also noted that turnover in FHWA and State staff involved in information management was very important challenge if data quality is going to be maintained and improved. He suggested that training and good documentation were the best tools to meet this challenge.

He discussed the Data Quality Act and described DOT's and FHWA's implementation of OMB's implementation guidelines. Mr. Juhasz, while claiming no reading of a "crystal ball", predicted however, that Federal re-authorization would call for more data, with higher quality demands, and with no additional funds.

Mr. Juhasz spent some time describing recent steps that the Office of Highway Policy Information had taken to improve data quality in the HPMS and fuel areas. He told the attendees that his office cannot "do it alone" and urged them to be partners in this work.

Traffic Data Quality Workshop: Proceedings and Action Plan

The report entitled Traffic Data Quality Workshop was released by the Office of Highway Policy Information in September 2003.  The quality of traffic data for performance monitoring, planning, and operations is increasingly important.  The primary objective of this project was to define an action plan to address traffic data quality issues.

The development of this plan involved several steps.  First, the issues associated with traffic data quality were reviewed.  Second, three white papers were developed on issues identified from published reports and through interviews with state and local agencies involved with traffic data collection, use, and management.  These white papers were then used to stimulate discussions and obtain inputs from workshop participants in Columbus, OH, and Salt Lake City, UT, and to develop an action plan that addresses traffic data quality issues.  To view online, go to:

For more information contact or call 202-366-5042.

Office of Highway Policy Information / Federal Highway Administration

Director: Barna Juhasz

Newsletter Editors: Bryant Gross and Sharon Smith

Division Chiefs: Ed Kashuba, Travel Monitoring & Surveys | Jim Getzewich, Highway System Performance

(202) 366-0160 | 400 7th Street, SW | Washington, DC 20590

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