MAP-21 introduces performance measures and outcome based planning. Specifically, MAP-21 establishes a process by which State and local governments will measure the effectiveness of proposed projects as a part of their planning process. The first step in that process is identifying what to measure and how. Over the last several years, ACT and other organizations have been working with the Federal Highway Administration on the development of appropriate metrics. Performance based polices mark an important turning point in our nation’s transportation policy it represents both opportunity and danger for ACT and its members.
USDOT recently released a proposed rule that looks at system performance and the CMAQ program. The proposed rule fell short on many fronts and if not amended could be considered a disaster. Specifically, the proposed DOT Performance metrics focus on moving more vehicles, not moving more people. The importance of these metrics cannot be overstated as they will serve as a guide to States and MPOs on how to spend billions of dollars of Federal transportation funds. The current proposed rules focus on moving vehicles faster, not on moving people better. If the measures as proposed are finalized, States and MPOs will be encouraged to spend less on highly effective TDM and employer based projects.
Below are ACT’s comments
In addition to submitting comments, ACT sent out a legislative alert to its members. To-date more than 75 ACT members have submitted comments that support ACT’s point of view. These comments join the hundred (and perhaps more) from other organizations who share our view. Include several US Senators.
ACT urges all of its members to become familiar with the importance of this process and understand the impact it will have on future funding decisions. TDM projects rank incredibly high in many performance metrics and measures. However, the process of determining what gets counted and how will have a long lasting impact which will determine how years of Federal (and local) funding will be spent. This process will serve as the cornerstone of decisions for the forseeable future and as such, we cannot overstate the importance of this process to all ACT members.
The ACT website includes a page dedicated to performance measure: