Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) laid the groundwork for a comprehensive national-level performance management framework. The first 4 year reporting period began January 1, 2018, and ended December 31, 2021, and is the first complete set of consistent national-level performance management data. The availability of this data is an opportunity to conduct the first comprehensive analysis and assessment of this unique data set.
Research is necessary to:
a. Understand the metrics and perform sensitivity analyses for the 17 transportation performance measures (TPM) for the three performance areas;
b. Document processes being used to establish performance targets and how these influence performance outcomes;
c. Assess the degree to which the performance analysis is influencing project planning and programming;
d. Identify potential revisions to existing performance measures, identify gaps in measures, and develop mechanisms that could address these gaps that would help to set and achieve meaningful outcomes; and
e. Explain the results of the national performance data analysis in a way that can be used to effectively communicate the current performance of the highway transportation system.
The objective of this research is to develop and implement a framework to analyze and assess the national performance management data from MAP 21 and the FAST Act to present a more complete performance story of the highway transportation system.
The accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
PHASE I — Preliminary Analysis of National Performance Data
Task 1. Conduct an in-depth review and critical evaluation of the following documents, data, and programs:
- National Bridge Inventory (NBI): https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi.cfm;
- 7 National Performance Measure Reporting System: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tpm/reporting/state/;
- National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS): https://npmrds.ritis.org/analytics/;
- Highway Statistic Series: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics.cfm;
- Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Performance Management Data, results from the current reporting period (January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2021);
- Assessment of State DOT National Safety Performance Measures: CY2018 – CY2020 Data; April 2022: https://www.tpm-portal.com/document/assessment-of-state-dot-national-safety-performance-measures-cy2018-cy2020-data/;
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Analysis of the National Performance Measurements Data Set (November 2022): https://www.tpm-portal.com/document/aashto-analysis-of-the-national-pm-data-set/;
- Highway Performance Monitoring System; and
- Public Access Database.
Review and evaluate other relevant, available documents and related data including published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; FHWA; and state and pooled-fund sponsored research.
Task 2. Synthesize Task 1 to identify important elements and key factors that can contribute to the accomplishment of the project’s objective. Address these elements and key factors in this research as budget permits, or in the recommendations for future research. Present the results and findings in Technical Memorandum 1.
Task 3. Develop a research plan to create a framework to analyze and assess the national performance management data to achieve the project’s research objective, to be fully developed in Phase II.
At a minimum, the research plan shall:
- Identify strategies to help transportation agencies deliver a performance-based management program more efficiently utilizing the insights and experiences from previous reporting periods;
- Consider the performance management field is constantly changing and what and how agencies measure performance is dynamic;
- List the proposed methods to solicit agency input for the study;
- Identify and evaluate potential user-friendly applications or similar tools to showcase predetermined and user-defined analyses and assessments about the performance of the nation’s highway transportation system based on the currently available data. The selected performance application tool must be downloadable from the NCHRP project’s webpage and be run without additional software installation or, if web-based, the tool shall conform to the Cooperative Research Program (CRP) WebResources;
- Develop an outline for a user’s guide for the performance application tool; and
- Include detailed capacity building examples (e.g., professional development and other outreach activities) such as training through AASHTO’s Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council (TC3) program, new or updated National Highway Institute (NHI) training, peer exchanges, etc.
Task 4. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents the work performed in Tasks 1 through 3, includes a data archiving and sharing plan, and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. This interim report must be submitted no later than 4 months after the contract award and must be limited to $85,000. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II and III.
PHASE II — Execution of Research Plan
Task 5. Execute the research plan according to the approved Interim Report No. 1.
Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents Task 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the proposed work in Phase III. Interim Report No. 2 must include a table of contents for a webinar/virtual workshop to disseminate the project’s results to DOT staff and other transportation agencies.
PHASE III — Final Products
Task 7. Revise the performance application tool considering the NCHRP’s review comments.
Task 8. Develop materials for a webinar or virtual workshop. The materials and target audience for the webinar need to be approved by the NCHRP panel before conducting the webinar.
Task 9. Prepare the final deliverables for the project including:
a. The raw, cleaned, processed, analyzed, and summarized data. The format of these items shall be compatible with the data requirements of NCHRP Research Report 902: Benchmarking and Comparative Measurement for Effective Performance Management by Transportation Agencies and be able to be imported into its Benchmarking Platform.
b. The performance application tool.
c. A user’s guide that describes how to use the performance application tool, the framework and techniques used to conduct the performance data analysis, a glossary of terms, the source code, and a description of the performance data requirements.
d. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” This technical memorandum must provide conclusions on future revised performance measures, approaches, and technologies that could be used by transportation agencies to implement and deliver an improved performance-based management program (see Special Note M).
e. Conduct two to be agreed-upon webinars or virtual workshops for state department of transportation (DOT) staff and other practitioners to disseminate the project’s results.
f. A Conduct of Research report documenting the project’s activities and lessons learned, including the recorded webinars, list of participants, questions and answers, feedback, and other records from the webinars.
STATUS: The contractor has been selected. Contract pending.