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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / Part I: Description of Current System - 2015 Conditions and Performance

Conditions and Performance

2015 Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
Conditions & Performance

part I

part I

Description of Current System


Part I Chapters

Transportation Performance Management

Chapter 1: Household Travel and Freight Movement

Chapter 2: System Characteristics

Chapter 3: System Conditions

Chapter 4: Safety

Chapter 5: System Performance

Chapter 6: Finance


In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) developed Transportation for a New Generation, a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–18, outlining the objectives and performance goals for the Nation's transportation system. The plan includes five strategic goals:

  • Safety – Improve public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities, injuries, and crashes.
  • State of Good Repair – Ensure that the United States proactively maintains critical transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair.
  • Economic Competitiveness – Promote transportation policies and investments that bring lasting and equitable economic benefits to the Nation and its citizens.
  • Quality of Life in Communities – Foster quality of life in communities by integrating transportation policies, plans, and investments with coordinated housing and economic development policies to increase transportation choices and access to transportation services for all.
  • Environmental Sustainability – Advance environmentally sustainable policies and investments that reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation sources.

Each goal relates to a different aspect of system conditions and performance and thus relates directly to the types of information presented in the C&P report.

Part I Chapters

Part I of this 2015 C&P Report includes six chapters, each of which describes the current system from a different perspective:

  • Chapter 1, Household Travel and Freight Movement, outlines the trends in travel behavior of households and businesses. The household travel discussion relies heavily on the results of the 2009 National Household Travel Survey and delves into topics relating to traveler demographics, travel geography, and emerging travel trends. The freight section describes the freight transportation system, freight demand, and challenges facing the movement of freight.
  • Chapter 2, System Characteristics, describes the extent and use of highways, bridges, and transit systems. Highway and bridge data are presented for system subsets based on functional classification and Federal system designation, while transit data are presented for different types of modes and assets.
  • Chapter 3, System Conditions, presents data on the physical condition of the Nation's highway, bridge, and transit assets. This chapter relates directly to DOT's State of Good Repair goal.
  • Chapter 4, Safety, relates directly to DOT's Safety goal. The highway section presents national-level statistics on safety performance, focusing on the most common roadway factors that contribute to fatal and serious injury crashes. The transit section summarizes safety and security data by mode and type of transit service.
  • Chapter 5, System Performance, covers a range of topics relating to three separate DOT goals: Economic Competitiveness, Quality of Life in Communities, and Environmental Sustainability.
  • Chapter 6, Finance, provides detailed data on the revenue collected and expended by different levels of governments to fund transportation construction and operations throughout the United States.

Transportation Performance Management

In addition to the DOT goals referenced above, a recurring theme in Part I of the C&P report is the impact of changes under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century legislation (MAP-21), in particular those changes pertaining to transportation performance management.

What is Transportation Performance Management?

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines Transportation Performance Management (TPM) as a strategic approach that uses system information to make investment and policy decisions to achieve national performance goals. FHWA is working with States and metropolitan planning organizations to transition toward and implement a performance-based approach to carrying out the Federal-aid highway program. This transition supports MAP-21, which integrates performance into many Federal transportation programs. In short, TPM

  • is systematically applied in a regular ongoing process;
  • provides key information to help decision makers, enabling them to understand the consequences of investment decisions across multiple markets;
  • improves communications among decision makers, stakeholders, and the traveling public; and
  • ensures targets and measures are developed in cooperative partnerships and is based on data and objective information.

National Goals – Federal-Aid Program [23 United States Code §150(b)]

The cornerstone of MAP-21's highway program transformation is the transition to a performance- and outcome-based program. States will invest resources in projects to achieve individual targets that collectively will make progress toward national goals. FHWA is collaborating with State and local agencies across the country to focus on the national goals MAP-21 established, regardless of resource limitations.

The national performance goals for Federal highway programs as established in MAP-21 are as follows:

  • Safety – To achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
  • Infrastructure Condition – To maintain the highway infrastructure asset system in a state of good repair.
  • Congestion Reduction – To achieve a significant reduction in congestion on the National Highway System.
  • System Reliability – To improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system.
  • Freight Movement and Economic Vitality – To improve the national freight network, strengthen the ability of rural communities to access national and international trade markets, and support regional economic development.
  • Environmental Sustainability – To enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
  • Reduced Project Delivery Delays – To reduce project costs, promote jobs and the economy, and expedite the movement of people and goods by accelerating project completion through eliminating delays in the project development and delivery process, including reducing regulatory burdens and improving agencies' work practices.
Transportation Performance Management Elements

The Federal Highway Administration has organized the performance-related provisions within MAP-21 into six TPM elements to communicate the efforts underway for implementing these requirements more effectively. These six TPM elements are listed below.

National Goals MAP-21 establishment of goals or program purpose to focus the Federal-aid highway program into specific areas of performance.
Measures The establishment of measures by FHWA to assess performance/condition to carry out performance-based Federal-aid highway programs.
Targets Establishment of targets by recipients of Federal-aid highway funding for each of the measures to document expectations of future performance.
Plans Development of strategic or tactical plans, or both, by recipients of Federal funding to identify strategies and investments that will address performance needs.
Reports Development of reports by recipients of Federal funding that would document progress toward the achievement of targets, including the effectiveness of Federal-aid highway investments.
Accountability and Transparency Requirements developed by FHWA for recipients of Federal funding to use in achieving or making significant progress toward achieving targets established for performance.
Summary of MAP-21 Performance Requirements

The MAP-21 legislation integrates performance into many Federal transportation programs and contains several performance elements. FHWA will help coordinate the alignment of MAP-21 requirements and provide guidance and resources. Listed below is more information regarding the performance requirements for the National Highway Performance Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, and Freight Movement, as established in MAP-21.

Implementation of MAP-21 Performance Requirements

FHWA is implementing the MAP-21 performance requirements through six interrelated rulemakings:

  • A Final Rule on Statewide and Metropolitan/Non-metropolitan Transportation Planning published May 27, 2016 to implement a performance-based planning process at the State and metropolitan levels. The Final Rule defines coordination in the selection of targets, linking planning and programming to performance targets.
  • A Final Rule for Safety Performance Management Measures (PM-1) published March 15, 2016 with an effective date of April 14, 2016 defines fatalities and serious injuries measures, along with target establishment, progress assessment, and reporting requirements. The Final Rule discusses the implementation of MAP-21 performance requirements.
  • A Final Rule for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) published March 15, 2016 integrates performance measures, targets, and reporting requirements into the HSIP. The Final Rule contains three major policy changes: Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Updates, HSIP Report Content and Schedule, and the Subset of the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE).
  • An NPRM for a Pavement and Bridge Performance Measures Rule (PM-2) published January 5, 2015 proposes and defines pavement and bridge condition performance measures, along with minimum condition standards, target establishment, progress assessment, and reporting requirements.
  • An NPRM for an Asset Management Plan Rule published February 20, 2015 proposes and defines the contents and development process for an asset management plan. The NPRM also proposes minimum standards for pavement and bridge management systems.
  • An NPRM for System Performance Measures Rule (PM-3) published April 22, 2016proposes and defines performance measures to assess performance of the Interstate System, non-Interstate National Highway System, freight movement on the Interstate System, CMAQ traffic congestion, and on-road mobile emissions. The NPRM will also summarize all three MAP-21 highway performance measure proposed rules.

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) continues MAP-21's overall performance management approach, but includes some clarifications and adjustments to certain provisions pertaining to individual programs. All of the Department's performance management rulemakings will comply with the performance management provisions of the FAST Act.

Page last modified on December 20, 2016
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