The overarching purpose of planning is to guide communities in establishing priorities and to provide direction toward shared goals and objectives. Without a data-driven framework, it can be difficult to understand the progress toward such goals and the value of the contributing planning efforts.
At the federal level, transportation legislation (MAP-21 & FAST Act) has mandated the use of performance measures to better assess federal transportation investments’ progress to achieving national transportation goals. This requires State DOTs and MPOs to set specific targets and report progress in related transportation documents. Moving forward, this can create a feedback loop and help guide future transportation investment decision making.
In general, State DOTs will need to set targets for each measure one year from the date on which the Final Rule became effective. MPOs have 180 days from the time the State DOTs set their targets to choose whether they will support their state’s targets or to develop their own targets. State targets are monitored by FHWA; MPO targets are monitored by State DOTs.