The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 48-14 [Active (Synthesis)]

Analyzing Data for Measuring Transportation Performance by State DOTs and MPOs
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/9/2016 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Tanya M. Zwhalen
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Anita Vandervalk
Effective Date: 10/14/2016
Fiscal Year: 2016

Final Scope

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation introduced performance management into the Federal Highway Program through the establishment of goals in which State DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) will be required to report on and make progress towards targets they will set against a number of national performance measures. The objective of this new aspect of the Federal program is to focus Federal funds on the achievement of national goals, increasing accountability and transparency, and improving investment decision-making through performance-based planning and programming. The MAP-21 performance areas include safety, infrastructure condition, system reliability, freight movement and economic vitality, congestion reduction, and environmental sustainability.

Currently, a series of rulemakings are underway to establish the regulations to implement these new aspects of the Federal program and a number of efforts are underway by FHWA, State DOTs, MPOs, and other entities to prepare for these changes. One issue that has arisen as part of the preparation and comments received on the rulemakings has been data. FHWA, State DOTs, and MPOs are in agreement that a critical aspect of the new Federal Highway Program will be the collection and analysis of transportation data. State DOTs and MPOs will need to manage, process, and analyze data to conduct many of the functions needed to carry out a performance-based program.

The objective of this synthesis project is to better understand what data State DOTs and MPOs are using and how they are measuring transportation performance as part of anticipated changes to the Federal program or current performance-based programs an agency may have implemented. Specifically, the synthesis will identify:

1. Current state of practice in the availability and use of data and analysis tools;
2. Research and development underway of promising new tools;
3. Gaps that need to be addressed to better support State DOT and MPO needs;
4. Future research needs, including multimodal approaches.

Information will be gathered through a literature review and survey of State DOTs and a sample of MPOs and university transportation centers. The report should include no less than four case studies of state DOTs and MPOs. The state DOT survey should be sent to the voting members of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Performance Management.

The study will gather information about how State DOTs and MPOs:

• Identify and acquire data
• Process, review, and manage data
• Assess technical competency of staff or contractor/consultant
• Conduct modeling and performance forecasting
• Establish performance targets
• Monitor system performance and progress
• Create visual displays of performance

The findings of the synthesis study will be documented in a final report that can be used by national, state, and local organizations to learn about effective practices and to identify needs for future research, development, and deployment. 

TRB Staff
Tanya Zwahlen
Phone: 585-315-1834
Email: tzwahlen@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel:  October 5, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: November 17, 2016,
Second Panel: June 23, 2017, Irvine, CA

Topic Panel
Alfonso Arana, California DOT
John Engle, Michigan Department of Transportation
Robert E. Griffiths
Matthew Hardy, AASHTO
Brian C. Hoeft, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Catherine T. Lawson, University at Albany, State University of New York
Brad Utecht, Minnesota Dept. of Transportation
Nadarajah "Siva" Sivaneswaran, Federal Highway Administration
Tianjia Tang, Federal Highway Administration
Thomas Palmerlee, Transportation Research Board

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4176