FHWA proposal offers performance measures to reduce congestion

snow trafficThe U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a proposed rulemaking that would include “performance measures” aimed at analyzing travel reliability, congestion and emissions.

The proposed rule, “National Performance Management Measures; Assessing Performance of the National Highway System, Freight Movement on the Interstate System, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program,” is a requirement under MAP-21. It would call for increased “transparency and accountability” for setting and reaching performance targets.

These include requiring states to evaluate and report “more effectively and consistently” on travel time reliability, delay hours, peak-hour congestion, freight movement and on-road mobile source emissions.

“These measures will enhance a data-driven approach that will lead to better informed decisions on how and where to focus our efforts to reduce congestion,” says FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Ultimately, the goal is to improve the system, enhance our nation’s productivity, and support the economy.”

Under the proposed rule, states would use FHWA’s National Performance Management Research Data Set to collect actual travel times from vehicles and monitor system performance. FHWA would require all state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations to use travel time data sets to create “performance targets” and to create progress reports.

FHWA says the regulation would “bring about greater accountability nationwide in addition to more consistency in data collection and analysis and more comprehensive practices.

Overall, the proposed rule will provide FHWA with better information to more fully understand how different investment strategies have led to improved system performance.”

“The department is taking a major step to improve accountability and address the costly congestion problem that is plaguing our nation every day. Commuters and truck drivers from every State and region will be able to learn valuable information about how transportation investments are performing in delivering reliable highway travel with minimal delays and less air pollution,” says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are also taking a hard look at how to track progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and I’m looking forward to what we hear back on this important topic.”