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Performance Measures

system planners

Under two federal laws, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP‐21) and its successor, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, State DOTs and MPOs are required to conduct performance‐based planning and programming by tracking performance measures, setting data‐driven targets for the measures, and selecting projects to help meet those targets. This performance-based planning ensures the most efficient investment of federal transportation funds by increasing accountability and transparency and providing for better investment decisions.  
A chart (updated January 2024) prepared by NJTPA summarizes the federal requirements and their timeframes for implementation.  The required measures focus on key outcomes related to seven national goals:

  • Safety
  • Infrastructure preservation
  • Congestion reduction
  • System reliability
  • Freight movement and economic vitality
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Reduced project delivery delays

NJTPA has developed collaborative, standardized performance measures, targets and reporting for northern New Jersey aligned with these national goals. 

  • The current targets were adopted during 2022 and 2023 by the NJTPA Board of Trustees. (Targets for transit safety and transit asset management measures are updated annually by NJ TRANSIT, but these updates do not need to be adopted by the NJTPA Board of Trustees. The initial targets for transit asset management measures were adopted by the Board in 2019; initial transit safety targets were adopted in 2020.)
    • The NJTPA adopted its regional Roadway Safety Performance Measure Targets for 2024 with a data-driven timeline for reaching the goal of zero fatalities by 2050. This timeline is based on five-year rolling averages of five different road safety performance measures, tracking fatal and serious injury crashes. Despite gradual reductions in serious injuries and fatalities between 2007 and 2017, there were significant increases from 2018 through 2022. Thankfully, the estimated fatalities in 2023 are markedly lower than in 2022, and serious injuries also declined somewhat. However, the total number of nonmotorized fatalities and serious injuries continued to climb in 2023. Reaching the goal of eliminating severe crashes by 2050 will rely on increased investment in creating a safety culture through a holistic Safe System Approach
  • FHWA maintains "dashboards" for the required reporting by state DOTs. The following pages contain information submitted by NJDOT (click on the "learn more..." links for more complete information):
  • Appendix B of Plan 2050 addresses the federal requirement (under 23 CFR § 450.324(f)(3–4)) for a system performance report that evaluates the condition and performance of the transportation system with respect to the performance targets.
  • Appendix M of the TIP addresses the federal requirement (under 23 CFR § 450.326(d)) to describe how the TIP is anticipated to help meet established state, regional and urbanized area performance measure targets.  
  • Because the NJTPA region contains designated nonattainment and maintenance areas that overlap an urbanized area with a population above 1 million, regulations require that the NJTPA prepare a biennial CMAQ Performance Plan, covering the CMAQ traffic congestion and CMAQ emissions reduction performance measures. To date, three CMAQ Performance Plans have been prepared:
    • The CMAQ Performance Plan - Sep 2018 was prepared to accompany NJDOT's Baseline Period Performance Report for the first four-year performance period (2018-2021).
    • The CMAQ Performance Plan - Oct 2020 was prepared to accompany NJDOT's Mid-Period Performance Report for the first four-year performance period (2018-2021).
    • The CMAQ Performance Plan - Dec 2022 was prepared to accompany both NJDOT's Full  Performance Period Report on the first four-year performance period (2018-2021) and the Baseline Period Performance Report for the second four-year performance period (2022-2025).
  • A short video below illustrates and explains one of the key measures.
  • Some FHWA videos that provide additional information about the performance measures (many others are available in the TPM Essentials Playlist):
Performance-Based Planning and Programming
Safety Performance Measures Pavement and Bridge Condition Performance Measures
Travel Time Reliability and Freight Reliability Performance Measures CMAQ Performance Measures

The measures vary in geographic scope: some are statewide and others encompass entire urbanized areas that cross state and MPO boundaries.  As a result, development of the measures and targets involved extensive collaboration by NJTPA with other agencies. Coordination groups for the various measures include: the NJDOT Complete Team; a New Jersey air quality working group; a group of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut agencies involved in the New York-Newark urbanized area; and similar groups of agencies involved in the Philadelphia and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton urbanized areaa. The NJTPA's coordination on the national performance measures and targets is documented in a series of written procedures. Each document covers a particular group of performance measures:

The NJTPA recognizes that mandated federal measures only tell part of the story of transportation in its region. Therefore, NJTPA has developed regional performance measures (updated in October/November 2020) to supplement the required federal performance measures, particularly in the areas of: livability; natural environment and resiliency; freight and economy; infrastructure condition; and mobility, congestion, reliability, and systems operations.
The NJTPA also performs detailed studies and computer simulations to better understand where and how people move throughout the region and estimate future travel demand. Outreach to residents, businesses and local elected and community officials helps ensure performance assessments reflect local preferences and needs.

For more information contact: Keith Miller