Performance measures are metrics which help monitor and track progress of the transportation system over time, and are used as a basis for supporting investment and policy decisions by comparing alternative solutions.
SMPO is developing performance measures that will help track both the transportation system and its impact on the overall quality of life in the Strafford region. Measures will be integrated into the newest update of SMPO's Metropolitan Transportation Plan (Metro Plan) and will help implement performance based transportation planning within the Strafford region and the state. Check out the interactive presentation below to learn more about the benefits of using performance measures in transportation planning.
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Strafford MPO and the Partnering for Performance NH Workgroup have taken an innovative approach to integrating performance based planning into current transportation planning processes.
As we all know, the workload of MPOs is largely structured by federal regulations. Often, collaboration is overlooked—agencies end up taking "the business as usual" approach to achieve compliance and check the "to-dos" off the list. The passage of MAP-21 and recent performance based planning rulemakings are making siloed, "business as usual" approaches more difficult as many transportation decision makers are being required to work together. Effective performance based planning requires stronger inter-MPO collaboration and knowledge sharing, as well as increased capacity building with key transportation decision makers. The four NH MPOs realized this early on.
Funded by the FHWA Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) PlanWorks Implementation Assistance Program, the Partnering for Performance NH project is tasked with establishing a common framework for performance based planning in the state. One of the project objectives is to establish additional, non-mandated performance measures to enhance and complement the FHWA performance measures. While the project's final product will be a common framework for performance based planning, the ultimate goal of the project is to make transportation decision making more collaborative.
In 2014, Strafford MPO facilitated the creation of an Interagency Performance Based Planning Workgroup (PBP Workgroup) composed of representatives from the four New Hampshire MPOs, New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), FHWA, FTA, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), and a representative from a NH rural planning commission. The efforts of this workgroup evolved into what is now known as the Partnering for Performance NH project.
The in-depth study of potential performance measures relevant to New Hampshire that Strafford MPO conducted in 2014 served as the starting point for the project. In this study, Strafford MPO interviewed more than 50 different groups including state and federal agencies, municipalities, advocacy and non-profit groups, freight operators, and public and private bus providers. Since July 2016, the workgroup has evaluated all of the potential performance measures that were identified in the report resulting from the study. The workgroup rigorously evaluated the proposed measures, selecting those most applicable to New Hampshire. This collaborative effort allowed the workgroup to narrow a list of approximately 652 measures down to 24. Moving forward, out of those 24 measures, each of the MPOs will be setting targets for 7 non-mandated measures in addition to the federally mandated measures.
Not only has the project allowed for the successful development of consistent and shared evaluation criteria, methodologies, and a target-setting framework, it has further improved the working relationships of all the parties involved. Much of the improvement is due to the application of PlanWorks resources, specifically the stakeholder and partner assessments. The workgroup used these assessments to track the strengths and weaknesses in its collaborative health and project's stakeholder engagement. These results allowed the workgroup to develop a stakeholder and partner action plan with strategies to improve performance in both areas.
The project will be completed by September 30, 2017.
Contact Regional Planning and Communications Specialist, Lynn Cherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure cross-regional consistency while incorporating unique regional contexts in determining baseline transportation measures, Strafford Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is collaborating with other MPOs and the NH Department of Transportation (DOT). As part of its collaboration initiative, SRPC/SMPO has partnered with other New Hampshire MPOs, a representative of rural planning commissions, NHDOT, NH Division of Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), and Region 1 of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) via a WorkGroup to establish and implement performance-based transportation planning in New Hampshire, on both regional and state levels. Federal legislation MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) requires MPOs and DOTs to track performance measures in the emphasis areas covered by the 7 National Goals (see below).
1. Safety — to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
2. Infrastructure condition — to maintain the highway infrastructure asset system in a state of good repair.
3. Congestion reduction — to achieve a significant reduction in congestion on the NHS.
4. System reliability — to improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system.
5. 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.
6. Environmental sustainability — to enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
7. 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.
On behalf of the WorkGroup, SRPC/SMPO conducted focused interviews/discussions with stakeholders to ensure that the MPOs considered all angles, perspectives, and key priorities during the establishment process of additional inter-regional and statewide measures (those not covered under MAP-21). SRPC/SMPO interviewed over 80 representatives from approximately 50 groups in the following categories: state agencies, federal agencies, advocacy and non-profit groups, regional planning commissions and MPOs, freight, public and private bus transit providers, passenger rail, expert groups, and other entities.
Qualitative data analysis was performed on all interviews with the help of NVivo software. Results of these focused interviews were summarized via a Synthesis Report, which will guide the WorkGroup in moving forward with performance based planning within the MPO regions and the state.
Contact Regional Planning and Communications Specialist, Lynn Cherry at email@example.com .
Performance Based Planning Panel presentation at the 2015 Tri-State Transit Conference. [ September 9, 2015 ]
Stakeholder and Context Assessment Synthesis Report [ February 4, 2016 ]
Transportation Research Board, NCHRP. Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Prepared by Texas Transportation Institute & Cambridge Systematics. 2011
Strafford Regional Planning Commission
150 Wakefield Street, Suite 12
Rochester, New Hampshire 03867
Tel: (603) 994-3500 Fax: (603)994-3504