Advancing Comprehensive Performance Measurement of Transportation Outcomes

Transportation and its infrastructure are not ends in themselves, but means for accessing places for economic activity, i.e., overcoming the friction between where you are and where you want to be. Transportation agencies, state departments of transportation (DOTs), and other infrastructure owner-operators (IOOs) work to create public value in providing safe mobility. This is balanced with a desire to support societal goals and improve the quality of life. Many agencies continue evolving toward community-centered transportation by adopting more comprehensive and outcome-oriented goals for accessibility, affordability, resiliency, sustainability, public health, and security. Measuring these less conventional outcomes (i.e., compared to traffic delay or pavement condition) remains an immature practice and not widely done. There is a legacy of a strong, institutionalized bias toward infrastructure- and auto-oriented performance. Yet many emerging measures are closely tied to diverse societal goals, and practice is advancing in pockets around the country, including efforts to influence investment decision-making through a more comprehensive performance framework. The objective of this research is to achieve a more coherent national practice by documenting the current state of the art, identifying methodological and institutional gaps, and charting a path toward elevating practice nationwide. Lessons will be identified from the evolution of traditional measures like pavement condition or level of service, each decade in the making and continuing to evolve, be reimagined, or even discarded. Once-novel travel time reliability is also now a “traditional” measure, but not before the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) began 15 years ago. This research will evolve contemporary measures, help expand emerging leading practices for adoption by agencies around the nation, and advance improved measurement, integration, and incorporation of important policy goals into investment decision-making.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-34

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Wadsworth, Trey

  • Start Date: 20230828
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01883938
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-34
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 30 2023 8:31PM