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Performance Results: Assessing the Impacts of Implemented Transportation Projects - Dec. 2011

    To better understand the benefits produced by investments in the transportation system, the NJTPA conducted a Performance Results: Assessing the Impacts of Implemented Projects study. Drawing from national and international best-practice research and building on the NJTPA’s commitment to performance-based planning, the study was designed to improve the agency’s ability to use performance measures to assess impacts of investments in the transportation system. The study’s Guidebook for Project Performance Measurement and Final Report offer transportation professionals practical methods for conducting performance analysis of roadway, public transit, pedestrian/bicycle, freight and other improvements.

    The study addressed the challenges of collecting appropriate data, choosing meaningful metrics, and generating analyses that can inform decision-making. The Guidebook is a resource manual that documents the technical issues, approaches and challenges that transportation practitioners will need to consider as part of any project performance measurement process. It includes sections on measuring the impacts of the following types of projects:

    • Bridge and Roadway Preservation Projects

    • Roadway Enhancements, ITS Projects, and Safety Improvement Projects

    • Roadway Expansion Projects

    • Transit Preservation Projects

    • Transit Enhancement and Transit-Oriented Development Projects

    • Transit Expansion Projects

    • Freight Rail Projects

    • Freight Roadway Projects

    • Transportation Demand Management Projects

    • Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

    The Guidebook provides step-by-step instructions to determine data needs and sources, identify the proper scale for analysis, apply the evaluation methods and properly interpret and apply the findings. Particular attention is paid to how planners can separate out the effects of projects themselves amidst the changing conditions in which they are implemented. The Guidebook is designed to serve as a living document. Its techniques can be updated as the state of the practice in transportation system performance monitoring, data management and capabilities of analysis tools improves over time.

    The study’s Final Report underscores both the challenge of discerning project impacts and the importance of doing so. It provides recommendations for future steps towards incorporating performance results into the decision-making process for managing and investing in the region’s transportation system.

    An interagency technical advisory committee contributed to the Performance Results study, with representatives from NJDOT, NJ Transit, NJ Turnpike Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the NJTPA Regional Transportation Advisory Committee. The study was supported by a consultant team comprised of Cambridge Systematics, Inc., Dewberry-Goodkind, Inc. and Fitzgerald and Halliday, Inc.

    For more information, contact Jeffrey Vernick at [email protected].