In nearly every US state and region, there is some form of long range vision and/or common core values for development of the transportation system, economy and population growth. This provides a basis for also prioritizing short-run project funding decisions. States are increasingly turning to more transparent prioritization methods with explicit “multi-criteria” scoring systems. EDR Group is at the forefront of assisting states in developing these systems.
Kansas Highway Project Prioritization
For Kansas DOT, EDR Group was part of the leadership team to improve the process for incorporating economic development factors into transportation project prioritization decisions. EDR Group staff participated in ongoing meetings with the Secretary of Transportation and a statewide committee that reviewed alternative decision support methods. Staff of EDR Group reviewed alternative forms of benefit cost, economic impact and economic performance measures, and ways that they can be incorporated into multi-criteria rating systems.
Ohio Project Prioritization
For Ohio DOT, EDR Group updated the scoring system used for prioritizing major highway and public transit projects. This enabled Ohio’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) to better account for local economic development initiatives, current investment in complementary programs, and equitable treatment of distressed areas in the project selection process. The project included outreach to Ohio’s business and economic development leaders and consideration of local, regional and statewide economic development strategies and priorities.
North Carolina Performance Measures and Prioritization
For North Carolina DOT, EDR Group and North Carolina State University conducted a study of best practices for economic transportation performance metrics. This work examined ways in which state DOTs around the US are using economic impact and economic performance measures to support long-range planning, policy development, and project prioritization decisions. The results were presented in a report and workshop on “Best Practices for Economic Transportation Performance Metrics.
Pike's Peak Area Council of Governments
For the Colorado Springs regional planning organization, EDR Group developed and tested economic performance measures desired by the agency to prioritize projects in PPACG's long range plan. The measures were designed and implemented to (1) be sensitive to different infrastructure, land use and underlying economic growth scenarios, (2) differentiate among projects that had different contributions to regional economic vitality, and (3) represent appropriate thresholds for a project to be allocated points in the multi-criteria ratings used to prioritize proposed projects.
Colorado Statewide Prioritization
For Colorado DOT, EDR Group developed a statewide approach to incorporating economic costs, benefits and impacts into a broader prioritization process for funding new projects. This entailed: (1) quantifying the economic impact of Colorado's transportation system to the state's economy, (2) providing case studies showing the long-range economic impact of representative Colorado DOT projects on various modes and (3) developing a spreadsheet "toolkit" to enable the department to evaluate and prioritize projects on a mode-neutral, multi-criteria performance-basis.