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The goals and objectives outlined in the MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) provide a framework for regional planning. As for any public agency, it is important to continuously monitor the performance of the region’s transportation improvements and programs to determine if the MPO is achieving those goals and objectives. Monitoring progress towards achieving these goals and objectives is helped by developing performance measures during the planning process.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “Performance measures are a qualitative or quantitative measure of outcomes, outputs, efficiency, or cost effectiveness.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes performance measures as allowing decision-makers to quickly observe the effects of a proposed transportation plan or project or monitor trends in transportation system performance over time.
There are many tools available to assist with the development of performance measures. EPA has developed a Guide to Sustainable Transportation Performance Measures that can be applied to transportation decision-making. FHWA’s Office of Operations has established the Operations Performance Measurement Program, which is “leading numerous activities to advance the implementation and practice of operations performance measurement at the Federal, State, and local level.”
The goals and objectives of the Livability 2040: Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) revolve around 5 Planning Themes: Infrastructure Condition, Safety, Environmental Sustainability, Economic Vitality/Freight Movement, and Congestion Reduction/System Reliability. While some of the planning themes are more quantifiable than others, the Memphis MPO has made an effort to ensure that all themes are represented.
The Memphis MPO has established performance measures to support each of the 5 Planning Themes. The MPO relies on data that is currently available from a variety of federal, state, and local sources to continuously track the performance of the region’s transportation network and the efficacy of transportation investments.
This list of 17 measures will likely evolve over time to take a comprehensive look at the performance of the transportation system within the Memphis MPO region. Data will be updated for each measure as it becomes available. Specific performance measures may also change with new guidelines on national goals and state and local targets under MAP-21, the current federal transportation bill.
1. Is the number of miles of bicycle facilities increasing?
2. Is the number of work commute trips made by bicycling, walking, or transit increasing?
3. Is the number of vehicle miles traveled annually decreasing per capita?
4. Are motor vehicle emissions decreasing per capita?
5. Is the number of traffic crashes decreasing?
6. Is the number of traffic crash fatalities decreasing?
7. Is the average number of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities decreasing?
8. Are the perceptions of unsafe or dangerous conditions for bicycling and walking decreasing?
9. Is the expert-level knowledge of local bicycle and pedestrian ordinances increasing?
10. Are state domestic and foreign shipments increasing?
11. Are the interstates and state routes being better maintained?
12. Is the number of deficient bridges decreasing?
In order to continue the assessment of performance measures established under ther previous Regional Transportat Plan, the MPO maintains the following measures as well.
13. Is the number of monthly transit boarding increasing?
14. Is the number of transit passengers per revenue hour within the range of other peer transit agencies?
15. Is the number of bike/ped facilities that connect jurisdictions increasing?
16. Is the percentage of funds obligated for transportation projects increasing?
17. Is the number of homes increasing within 1/4 mile walking distance to regional attractors and generators?