US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

US Department of Transportation

FHWA Planworks: Better Planning, Better Projects

LRP-3: Approve Evaluation Criteria, Methods and Measures

Long Range Transportation Planning

Description:

At this Key Decision the evaluation criteria, methods and measures are approved that will allow decision-makers to compare scenarios to the vision and goals and to one another. The evaluation criteria, methods and measures are developed with input and data from both partners of other planning processes and stakeholders, including interagency consultation on the regional emissions analysis and other topics. The evaluation criteria, methods and measures used in long range transportation planning inform those used in both corridor planning and environmental review in order to ensure consistency across the entire transportation decision making process.

There is information developed in prior Key Decisions that informs this step. In order to effectively execute this Key Decision there is essential information created at LRP-1 related to land use, natural environment, and air quality partners and supporting plans.

Basics:

The first table describes the purpose and anticipated outcome of a Key Decision. If the decision is federally mandated, the purpose and outcome will relate to the legal intent.

The second table describes roles for key partners with legal decision making authority in the transportation process. The roles indicate the influence a partner can have on a decision, and show each partner where their input is most needed. For a full understanding of roles see the Partner Portal.

Purpose

To provide a reasonable and measurable basis for:

• The creation of scenarios that represent the identified strategies and
• The comparison of scenarios in order to select the preferred scenario.

Evaluation criteria and measures should include consideration of the identified goals and objectives for the plan and vision for the region.

Outcome

The specific criteria, methods, and requirements that will be used to compare strategies and scenarios so that the adopted plan will meet the approved goals for the planning area.

Partner Role Type Description
MPO Decision Maker Approves evaluation criteria that allows a broad comparison between scenarios and with respect to the goals and needs as well as transportation options.
FHWA/FTA Observer Observes that all pertinent criteria are included in the evaluation of scenarios.
State DOT Advisor Provides an understanding of state data to support criteria and performance measures.
Resource Agency Advisor Support the use of evaluation criteria, methods and measures that apply to protection of the environment and incorporate environmental planning. Support the use of an environmental crediting strategy.
Public Transportation Operator(s) Advisor Provides an understanding of transit data to support criteria and performance measures.

Questions to Consider

Questions are a way to gather input from partners and stakeholders that can be used to inform the decision. Decision makers can discuss the questions provided to ensure a broad array of interests are considered to support a collaborative process. Questions also allow staff to collect stakeholder interests, ensure these are included in the decision, and provide a response based on the decision outcome. Although Public Transportation is not represented by a PlanWorks Application, the information provided may be useful in a collaborative transportation process.

Category Questions to Consider
Long Range Planning
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures clearly understandable and meaningful to the full range of partners?
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures broad enough to reflect the full range of goals we approved as well as allow a full range of strategies?
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures effective to differentiate between scenarios?
  • Are there appropriate tools, technology, technical capacity and data to support the evaluation criteria?
  • Is there agreement on which plans and data will be used in the assessment?
  • To what extent does the agency have "control" over the factors that influence the measure outcome?
Programming
  • What measures will be used to evaluate transportation investments?
Corridor Planning
  • Is there an active corridor planning study to inform?
Environmental Review
  • Are there active projects to be informed?
Bicycles and Pedestrians
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures clearly understandable and meaningful to modal partners?
  • Has consideration been given to bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity, equity, activity (both activity level and mode share), and safety?
  • What data and metrics are available to support bicycle and pedestrian analysis?
  • What will be the baseline for bicycle and pedestrian measures?
Capital Improvement
  • Are there existing Capital Improvement-11 criteria, measures, or methods that inform this selection?
Economic Development
  • Are the evaluation criteria, methods, and measures consistent with any criteria, methods, and measures identified through existing regional economic development plans or competiveness strategies?
  • Have all available data sources and performance metrics related to transportation used by the local government and/or private organizations to track economic vitality and competiveness been considered?
Freight
  • What data and metrics are available to support freight analysis?
  • To what extent are freight stakeholders engaged in the selection of evaluation criteria, methods, and measures?
  • Is there an existing freight plan that gives guidance on evaluation criteria, methods, and measures to use for evaluating the system from a freight perspective?
  • Can the approved criteria, methods, and measures evaluate the extent to which the plan achieves the freight stakeholders’ needs?
  • How will the criteria, methods, and measures assist in balancing tradeoffs between freight and other topical areas?
  • Will the criteria, methods, and measures adequately assess both the plan’s impacts on freight and the resulting impacts or benefits that freight would provide?
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Is a target GHG emissions reduction established externally under state or federal requirements? Will one be established internally?
  • What will be the baseline for measuring GHG emissions reduction? For example, business as usual or GHG emissions in a given year, like 2010?
  • Does the agency have the technical capacity to produce the necessary GHG analysis?
Health in Transportation
  • How can the degree to which proposed transportation strategies and scenarios affect progress toward achieving health goals be measured?
  • How do the selected criteria, methods, and performance measures reflect the priorities and goals of health stakeholders and the community?
  • Are the selected criteria, methods, and measures compatible with existing health goals, plans, and policies for the region?
  • Does the agency and participating health partners have sufficient data and analysis capabilities to evaluate the potential health outcomes of the strategies and scenarios?
Human Environment and Communities
  • Are evaluation criteria and measures included that will demonstrate how transportation choices influence the community and its goals?
  • Have community stakeholders proposed any evaluation criteria, methods, and measures that should be considered?
  • Do any potential human environment partners have the data and analysis capabilities needed to apply these criteria, methods, and measures?
Land Use
  • Are there existing land use criteria, measures, or methods that should inform this selection?
  • Is land use data available to support selected criteria, measures, and methods?
Linking Planning and Operations
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures clearly understandable and meaningful to the operations partners?
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures broad enough to evaluate operations projects, if these are included?
Natural Environment and Implementing Eco Logical
  • Are the evaluation criteria, methods, and measures consistent with any criteria, methods, and measures identified through ecological planning and/or an agreed-upon ecological crediting strategy?
Performance Measures
  • Has consideration been given to reliability or system performance as a performance measure? How can this be measured?
  • How will stakeholders identify or understand what is good performance on approved goals?
  • How do the approved criteria, methods, and measures relate to required and/or agreed-to performance monitoring and reporting?
Planning and Environment Linkages
  • Have the evaluation criteria and measures been documented to inform future projects or studies?
Public Private Partnerships
  • What evaluation criteria and metrics are recommended by a trusted P3 advisor or state/local agency that supports P3 investment in the region?
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures broad enough to evaluate P3 projects if these are included?
  • Do we or finance partners have the data, technical capacity, and analytical tools to conduct a risk analysis for private investment?
Public Transportation
  • Are the evaluation criteria and measures clearly understandable and meaningful to modal partners?
Safety
  • Will the safety measures only account for total crashes and injuries as well as crash rates?
  • What is the best way to analyze safety impacts at the systems-level? Are there specific criteria and methods that should be considered?
Stakeholder Collaboration
  • What stakeholder input was received about interests and priorities?
  • What stakeholder groups were represented in this input?
  • Is the purpose of the evaluation criteria and measures clearly understandable and meaningful to the full range of stakeholders? Do they understand how their input will be used?
  • To what extent are stakeholders engaged in the selection of evaluation criteria, methods, and measures?
  • How do the evaluation criteria reflect consideration of all stakeholders?
  • Are there conflicts among stakeholder interests?
  • How do the approved evaluation criteria and measures balance both stakeholder inputs and professional judgment?
  • How will the outcome of this decision be shared with stakeholders?
Transportation Conformity
  • By what year are the target emission levels to be achieved and how can this inform the design of scenarios proposed for different plan years?
Visioning and Transportation
  • Are there goals and objectives from a visioning process to inform this decision?
  • How do the visioning goals and objectives relate to transportation?

Data

The following list of data may be needed to support the Key Decision. Practitioners collect this information for decision makers to consider. Although Public Transportation is not represented by a PlanWorks Application, the information provided may be useful in a collaborative transportation process.

Category Data to Consider
Long Range Planning
  • Information related to current plans and projects in the region
  • Analysis comparing goals and strategies to current data collected in scoping
  • Information on current methodologies and criteria used in other similar locations
Programming
  • Information related to applicable transportation funding programs
Corridor Planning
  • Information related to any active corridor planning studies
Environmental Review
  • Information related to any active projects
Bicycles and Pedestrians
  • Pedestrian and bicycle performance measures

    See Transportation Alternatives Program Performance Management Guidebook and Guidebook for Developing Pedestrian and Bicycle Performance Measures

Capital Improvement
  • Specific evaluation criteria, measures, and analysis methods that have been identified for Capital Improvement
Economic Development
  • Specific evaluation criteria, measures, and analysis methods form the economic development perspective
Freight
  • Data and metrics to evaluate freight impacts and performance
  • Freight stakeholder interests and information provided
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • GHG measures of interest
Health in Transportation
  • Health stakeholder and community input on evaluating health impacts
  • Health-related data specific to the region
  • Population data
  • Analytical tools and methods for considering health data
  • Analysis/data from health partners
Human Environment and Communities
  • Approaches for evaluating impacts to community interests
  • Data availability and analysis capabilities
  • Input from community stakeholders and agencies representing the human environment
Land Use
  • Current land use maps and/or zoning
  • Predicted land use changes over time
  • Options for analyzing the potential for induced development and demand
  • Specific evaluation criteria, measures, and analysis methods that have been identified and/or used for land use planning
Linking Planning and Operations
  • Probe data and other operational data to inform the selection of criteria
Natural Environment and Implementing Eco Logical
  • Specific evaluation criteria, measures, and analysis methods that have been identified for the natural environment
Performance Measures
  • Performance monitoring information
Planning and Environment Linkages
  • Documented outcome of the decision to inform future corridor studies and projects
Public Private Partnerships
  • Metrics and criteria used to evaluate P3 projects
  • Methods for assessing the pros and cons of different procurement models and technical innovations
  • Assessment of the data availability and analysis capabilities relevant to P3
Public Transportation
  • Relevant public transportation criteria, measures, and methods
Safety
  • Specific criteria, measures, and analysis methods that have been used for safety planning.
  • Have safety targets been identified at the national, state, and regional-level that should be incorporated or reflected?
Stakeholder Collaboration
  • Data on stakeholder interests and expectations
Transportation Conformity
  • Interagency consultation data and information
Visioning and Transportation
  • Criteria or approach for comparing the preferred scenario to the community vision

Examples

In - depth case studies of successful practices in collaborative decision making were used to develop the Decision Guide.Links in this table point to a specific paragraph or section of a case study that supports a Key Decision. It is not necessary to read through an entire case study to find the example; however, full versions are available in the Library.

PlanWorks Case Study Examples:
I-5 Beltline Interchange Plan - Using Community Values as Performance Measures lrp-3

Other Examples:
Prioritizing Criteria: Colorado http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/processes/pedestrian_bicycle/pedestrian_bicycle_handbook/page13.cfm#Toc400104191