U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Office of Highway Policy Information
Federal Highway Administration
The FHWA has undertaken a very open, interactive approach to this Reassessment. Major emphasis has been and will continue to be directed towards determining the data needs of FHWA’s partners, stakeholders, and customers, the various uses of the existing HPMS, as well as the ability of data providers to support these data needs.
HPMS Reassessment efforts to date have included the following:
Each of these input mechanisms are discussed in the following section.
An HPMS Reassessment Scoping Session was held on February 1, 2006 with FHWA and other U.S. DOT program users of the HPMS data. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss openly the intention of the Office of Highway Policy Information to conduct a Reassessment of the HPMS and learn of the concerns and issues it would raise from those within U.S. DOT, especially FHWA. Detailed discussions were held on the following topics: Planning, Environment, and Real Estate (rural/urban designations, linear referencing system, air quality conformity, capacity analysis); Infrastructure (HERS—ST, data integration and pavement management); Operations (freight analysis, vehicle classification, and ITS); Safety (roadway characteristics) and Policy (HERS and traffic Monitoring). Subsequent meetings were held with individual stakeholders regarding specific data needs and issues. For example, the FHWA Offices of Pavement Technology and Safety were consulted concerning the additional pavement data items and mandatory motorcycle travel data, respectively.
An Executive Resource Committee (ERC) was formed at the beginning of the process. The ERC was formed to assist FHWA staff with identifying present and future data needs for FHWA and users, and balance needs and resource requirements. The ERC is comprised of five state members, one Metropolitan Planning Organization, three FHWA Division Representative, eight FHWA Data Customers and three internal customers.
The role of the ERC was to:
The ERC met four times in 2006 prior to the release of the Draft Recommendations Report and only a couple of times since then. While the ERC provided some excellent input into the Reassessment, the HPMS staff within FHWA found organizing and conducting meetings exceedingly difficult following the loss of the FHWA staff assigned to the Reassessment in mid 2006 and the primary Reassessment support contractor in December 2006. ERC meetings were held as follows:
Initially five Regional Workshops were held as follows:
A total of 92 people attended, and six of them were ERC members. Twenty-three states were represented (Oregon, Washington, Texas, Idaho, Nevada, Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut). Three MPOs also were represented ( Portland, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Southwestern Pennsylvania (SPC)). Nine FHWA Division offices also attended.
In general, states expressed that they would like a better explanation of the connection between HPMS and apportionment. They also requested a table to show existing HPMS items — what they are used for and who needs them along with Reassessment items — who needs them, what they will be used for, cost/benefit of collection, details related to collecting (where), and want versus need. The burden for collection on lower functionally classified roads also was an issue. Some expressed concern over the perception that HPMS is getting down to a project level, despite the program not being intended for that level of analysis. Finally, there was a concern that program changes would create a burden and subsequently lower overall data quality. It was clear from the workshops that the HPMS Field Manual needed to be revised and many states indicated that they would like to be involved in that effort.
All of this feedback was considered in the development of the Issue papers and is summarized in Appendix C.
Following the release of the Draft Recommendations Report, three additional Regional Workshops were held as follows: March 7-8, 2007 in Baltimore, MD; March 13-14, 2007 in Sacramento, CA; and March 27-28, 2007 in Topeka, KS.
The Office of Highway Policy Information, FHWA, staff responsible for HPMS and the Reassessment consultants attended numerous national meetings in 2006 and 2007. FHWA staff and/or the consultants tried whenever possible to get on the agenda and deliver a presentation or briefing on the Reassessment. Below is a list of some of the larger events at which a presentation on the HPMS Reassessment was given.
Fourteen issue-specific webinars were held over the summer of 2006. Attendance averaged about 100 people, with most States in attendance at each one. Interactive presentations and surveys were used to gather input. The poll questions used along with the feedback received during the webinars have been posted on the Docket.
Feedback from the webinars was particularly useful in further refining the Issue papers and developing the Draft Recommendations Report.
Webinars were also used throughout 2007 as a means of helping State data providers understand the proposed HPMS changes and soliciting feedback. FHWA staff made extensive use of webinars for providing support and training for States that had specific questions or concerns in a particular data area. The new data model and pavements were two of more frequently requested data areas for which webinars were provided.
The initial Reassessment outreach conducted with program managers within FHWA and the customers/users of HPMS information through a series of Regional Workshops with state and local data providers revealed 10 major issue areas. Issue papers were written by the Office of Highway Policy Information with extensive coordination with HPMS users. The Issue papers are provided in Appendix C and help the reader gain a better understanding of changes to HPMS that were originally being contemplated in the fall of 2006.
In addition to the aforementioned input mechanisms, feedback was provided directly to the FHWA project manager in the form of documents posted directly to the Docket, No. 23638 (http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp). Additional e-mails and phone calls were submitted to the project manager.
AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning (SCOP) conducted a survey of the states regarding the HPMS Reassessment. The information and feedback received from the states was combined and presented to FHWA. The survey findings are also available at the above-listed location on the Docket.
All were taken into consideration in developing this report, but some may have been withheld at the senders’ request. To the extent possible, all e-mails to the project manager have been put on the Docket with approval of the sender.
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