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CHAPTER 2 Methodology 2.1 Compiling the Guidelines This section presents a brief overview of the underlying research conducted in support of this report, including a description of case studies of 12 active congestion pricing projects. 2.1.1 Underlying Research The guidelines in this report are a direct result of NCHRP Project 08-75, "Guidelines for Eval- uation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects." The research behind these guidelines was conducted from early 2009 through mid-2010. The methodology to compile the main body of the guidelines as presented in Chapters 3 and 4 was based on a comprehen- sive examination of active national and international congestion pricing projects. Inventories of these projects were made and a subset of 12 was selected for detailed study based on size of population served, possession of unique attributes, ease of obtaining relevant information within the constraints of the project, and general level of awareness in the transportation com- munity. The 12 projects were grouped into the three basic types of congestion pricing defined in Chapter 1 (see Table 2-1). Their case study locations are shown in Figure 2-1. 2.1.2 Case Studies Detailed case studies were prepared for each of the 12 projects selected for examination. This work was completed in two phases. Initially internet-based research was conducted to identify germane reports and other documentation available on performance measurement activities associated with these active congestion pricing projects. Reports and other publicly available materials were identified describing the methodologies used and the results of these perform- ance evaluation programs. Following this initial effort, telephone and in-person interviews were conducted with staff from most of the sponsoring agencies of the 12 pricing projects to better understand each facility's goals and performance evaluation programs, what they measure and why, what they wish they would or could have measured and why, any challenges associated with project or evaluation program implementation, and other lessons learned in the context of guideline development. The 12 project case studies, included as Appendix A, provide · An overview of the agency sponsoring the congestion pricing project · A review of the agency's congestion pricing program · A discussion of the different measures used to monitor agency's congestion pricing project performance · Identification of other data collection efforts associated with the agency's congestion pricing project's implementation 12
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Methodology 13 Table 2-1. Case study congestion pricing projects by type. Colorado Department of Transportation I-25 Express Lanes Florida Department of Transportation 95 Express Harris County Toll Road Authority Katy Managed Lanes Variably Priced Managed Minnesota Department of Transportation MnPASS Lanes Lanes Orange County Transportation Authority 91 Express Lanes San Diego Association of Governments I-15 Express Lanes Washington State Department of Transportation SR 167 HOT Lanes Ontario Ministry of Transportation Highway 407 Express Toll Route Toll Facilities with Variable Pricing The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Congestion Pricing Program Central London Congestion Charging Cordon and Area Pricing Singapore Electronic Road Pricing Stockholm Congestion Tax Figure 2-1. Case study congestion pricing projects by location.
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14 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects · A review of why performance evaluation takes place and how the agency uses the performance monitoring data it collects · A review of lessons learned and discussion of additional data or information that would be helpful to the sponsor or other agencies considering the use of congestion pricing Each case study is accompanied by a detailed Facility Per- Performance Data Curtails an Anti-HOV-Lane formance Monitoring Summary Matrix providing a compre- Movement in Seattle hensive record of all current, known measures used to moni- tor performance on the facility, organized by evaluation area. After the de-commissioning of the I-80 and I-287 (Evaluation areas, which can be related directly to specific HOV lanes in New Jersey in 1998, there was a project goals, are explained further in Chapter 3). Evaluation groundswell of opposition to the continued areas in each matrix consist of operation of HOV lanes in the Puget Sound region in the Washington State Legislature. This · Traffic pressure actually compelled the Washington · Public perception State Transportation Commission to hold hear- · Users ings and consider a motion to decommission · System operations HOV lanes in the greater Seattle region in 2001. · Environment As luck would have it, the pushback against HOV · Transit lanes occurred at the same time that Washington · Economics State DOT was gathering initial findings from an · Land Use extensive performance monitoring program for In addition, the matrices provide the following information the region's HOV network. for each individual measure: The Department's performance data demonstrated unequivocally that the region's HOV lanes were · Frequency of collection moving more people in fewer vehicles than on · Purpose the parallel general purpose lanes. Director of · A simple indication of overall importance the Washington State Transportation Center Mark · Characterizations of the metric that relate back to agency or Hallenbeck recalls that one item of particular inter- facility goals est was the greater distances separating vehicles · Sources of information on the region's HOV lanes compared to the gen- · Other related notes eral purpose lanes. The answer was simple: traffic in the HOV lanes was moving at greater speeds 2.1.3 Guideline Synthesis than on the parallel general purpose lanes and therefore to drive safely HOV motorists needed to The case studies described in the previous section provide maintain greater distances between vehicles. the underlying foundation to these guidelines. Each facility's performance monitoring program and suite of performance When Hallenbeck presented the findings of the measures used in practice were synthesized to provide these Department's performance monitoring program to guidelines' recommendations, as presented in Chapters 3, 4, the Commission he recalls one commissioner stat- and 5. For each of the three types of congestion pricing, the ing, "It's so great to have real data. It's not as if we best practices and lessons learned were culled from among the won't argue, but at least we have got numbers subsets of respective projects. A primary component of this that mean something." Once the data from the synthesis involved developing summary matrices of perfor- HOV performance monitoring program was avail- mance measures used in practice for each congestion pricing able and demonstrated that the Puget Sound HOV type. These matrices form the basis for distinguishing between network was robust, the argument to decommis- the "must-have" measures and the "nice-to-have" measures sion it lost traction. One lesson that Hallenbeck (as well as those that may provide little value). These guide- took away from this experience was to have the lines do not simply repeat verbatim the performance mea- facts and "be careful to speak in language that can sures identified in this manner, but by applying the case be easily understood." studies' findings on what facility operators wish they had done in retrospect and overall conclusions from the research,