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17 A FEW GOOD MEASURES VERSUS MANY MEASURES Incident management Emergency response Many experts on performance measurement advocate using Removal of obstructions (dead animals, abandoned just a few good or vital measures, sometimes also referred vehicles, objects on roads fallen off vehicles) to as Key Performance Indicators. However, performance- Litter pickup based contracts can become excessively complex because Graffiti removal. of the large number of maintenance activities they address. A tension exists between having just a few good measures because of their simplicity and manageability versus hav- MAINTENANCE QUALITY ASSURANCE ing many measures in order to be complete and thorough. Transportation agencies throughout the world take different NCHRP Project 14-15 resulted in a report entitled Web Doc- approaches, partly depending on the nature of the contract. ument 8: Highway Maintenance Quality Assurance (MQA) Contracts focused on a single maintenance activity may use (Smith et al. 1997). This report and a subsequent implemen- only a few measures, whereas contracts involving virtually tation manual set out a procedure for monitoring the LOS all types of maintenance and operations pertinent to a major that have been achieved through maintenance activities per- highway are likely to have many measures. formed by agency or contractor personnel. LOS measure- ments are taken on a sample of the roadway network and apply to the condition of various assets or outcomes being COMMONLY RECOGNIZED MEASURES achieved through various maintenance activities and ser- vices. Sample size varies depending on the desired accuracy, The AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance sponsored the statistical confidence being sought, and the degree of a national workshop on commonly recognized measures stratification or number of organizational units from which for maintenance (Booz Allen Hamilton 2002). It was noted information is being collected. All these factors affect the that commonly recognized measures might be useful for a level of effort to collect LOS data, which sometimes is sig- number of purposes including PBMC, benchmarking, and nificant. MQA has been adopted by a large number of states encouraging economies of scale in the manufacture of mea- and is frequently used in PBMC (Smith et al. 1997; Stivers surement instruments. et al. 1999). Great success has been achieved in the bridge area. Com- Although the implementation of performance measures monly Recognized (CoRe) elements and corresponding con- for monitoring outcomes under a MQA framework often has dition states have been defined, adopted by AASHTO, and much in common from state to state, close examination of used in biennial bridge inspections throughout most of the the measures reveals they are not the same. United States (AASHTO Guide for Commonly Recognized (CoRe) Structural Elements 1997). However, even after the In short, using MQA has become a common practice AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance adopted a resolu- in PBMC, but specific measures vary from state to state tion to establish and adopt three new commonly recognized (Smith et al. 1997). Nevertheless, because of the similarity measures for maintenance per year; as of May 2007, little of the measures, transportation agencies do piggyback on progress had been made in developing consensus on a specific the work of others when developing their own performance set of measures. Areas in which maintenance performance measures. measures are needed for PBMC include the following: Roadside (fences, guardrails, crash barriers) EXAMPLE MEASURES, MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES, AND STANDARDS USED IN PERFORMANCE-BASED Shoulder (surface, striping, edge drop-off) CONTRACTING Pavement--bituminous and concrete (roughness, rut- ting, skid, appearance) Signs, markers, striping The crux of a performance-based contract is the perfor- Brush trimming, brush removal, tree cutting mance measures and standards or targets to be achieved. Control of invasive plants An example of some performance measures and standards Planting and care of wildflowers and native vegetation from a trans-Canadian highway project involving design, Noise walls construction, finance, operations, maintenance, and reha- Drainage (catch basins, culverts, detention ponds) bilitation appears in Table 5. Based on survey responses, it Bridges was determined that the agreement between the contractor Snow and ice control and the transportation agency has approximately 50 differ- Signals and other electronic equipment [e.g., intelligent ent standards with 5 to 10 performance measures for each transportation system (ITS) devices] standard on average.