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38 course. Such consultation and discourse have only partially Objective 6. Maximize the safety and security of the freight occurred. Therefore, USDOT emphasizes that it has pro- transportation system. duced a framework for a national freight policy, and not a Objective 7. Mitigate and better manage the environmen- national policy itself. tal, health, energy, and community impacts of freight USDOT has adopted a vision statement for the framework, transportation. from which the subsequent objectives derive: "The United States freight transportation system will ensure the efficient, Specific program targets and a well-defined methodol- reliable, safe and secure movement of goods and support the ogy for measuring progress toward those targets exist for nation's economic growth while improving environmental the air-quality program. Such targets exist less explicitly for quality." the hazardous materials and safety programs, but targets in The "overarching themes" for this national freight policy those programs are implicit: both programs seek continuous framework include four elements. First, the framework relies reductions in crashes and in hazardous material releases. upon not only USDOT but also upon a large number of The presence of targets and performance-measurement public and private stakeholders. Second, the national trans- architecture in those programs partially explains the com- portation system requires extensive investment, both p ublic prehensiveness of performance data for them. As a corollary, and private. Third, public and private collaboration is essen- the lack of national freight system programs, performance tial not only for investment but also for the operation of the goals, or targets partially explains the lack of freight system freight system. Fourth, the framework and its objectives must performance data. evolve as conditions and strategies change. In "Strategy-Focused Performance Measures," Frigo says The national framework is organized around a tradi- "strategy first, then performance measures."18 This conclu- tional structure of objectives, strategies, and tactics. The sion is shared by many performance measurement authors. objectives are: They first recommend clarity regarding strategy and desired outcomes, then the development of metrics to gauge the Objective 1. Improve the operations of the existing freight strategy's effectiveness. The GAO has made similar recom- transportation system. mendations regarding the national interest in freight: Objective 2. Add physical capacity to the freight transpor- tation system in places where investment makes economic Compounding these challenges facing state and local trans- portation planners is that the federal government is not well po- sense. sitioned to enhance freight mobility due to the absence of a clear Objective 3. Better align all costs and benefits among par- federal strategy and role for freight transportation, an outmoded ties affected by the freight system to improve productivity. federal approach to transportation planning and funding, and Objective 4. Reduce or remove statutory, regulatory, and the unsustainability of planned federal transportation funding. institutional barriers to improve freight transportation When combined, these challenges and factors hinder the ability performance. of public sector agencies to effectively address freight mobility and highlight the need to reassess the appropriate federal role Objective 5. Proactively identify and address emerging and strategy in developing, selecting, and funding transportation transportation needs. investments, including those for freight transportation.19 Endnotes 7 STB, Statistics of the Class I Freight Railroads in the United States, 2004, 1 USDOT, FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations, http://www. /2e8067542777b14c8525702e004144fc/$FILE/ts%20web%20version.pdf (accessed May 13, (accessed May 13, 2010). 2010). 8 FRA, (accessed May 13, 2010). 2 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://www-fars.nhtsa. 9 AAR, (accessed (accessed May 13, 2010). May 13, 2010). 3 USDOT, FMCSA, 10MARAD, Report to Congress on the Performance of Ports and the Intermodal safety.htm (accessed May 13, 2010). System, USDOT, June 2005, p. 43. 4 USDOT, FHWA, 11 Donnelly, Rick (PB Consult, Inc.), "A Concept for a National Freight Data meas/index.htm (accessed May 13, 2010). Program," for the TRB Committee on Freight Transportation Data: A 5 USDOT, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, http:// Frame work for Development, 2003, p. 6. (ac- 12 Harrison, Frances, and Hyun-A Park, NCHRP 20-24(37B), Comparative Per- cessed May 13, 2010). formance Measurement: Pavement Smoothness, 2008. 6 ATA, trends-2008-2009.aspx (accessed May 13, 2010).

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39 13 Crossett, Joe, and Lauren Hines (TransTech Management, Inc.), AASHTO 16GAO, Further Opportunities Exist to Improve Data on Crashes Involving Com- Standing Committee on Quality. Comparing State DOTs' Construction mercial Motor Vehicles, Nov. 2005 Highlights page. Project Cost and Schedule Performance--28 Best Practices from 9 States. 17USDOT, Framework for a National Freight Policy, AASHTO, Washington, D.C., May 2007. gov/freight_framework/index.cfm. 14 Table HM-66, Measured Pavement Roughness--2008 HMPS Data Repor- 18 See Frigo, M. L., Strategy-Focused Performance Measures, Strategic Finance, ting Details, FHWA Highway Statistics 2008, October 2009. September 2002. 15MARAD, Report to Congress on the Performance of Ports and the Intermodal 19GAO, National Policy and Strategies Can Help Improve Freight Mobility, System, USDOT, June 2005. p. 43. January 2008.