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2019 N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 902 Benchmarking and Comparative Measurement for Effective Performance Management by Transportation Agencies Joe Crossett Anna Batista HigH Street ConSulting group Pittsburgh, PA Hyun-A Park Spy pond partnerS Arlington, MA Hugh Louch Kim Voros alta planning Oakland, CA Subscriber Categories Administration and Management â¢ Planning and Forecasting Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed, and implementable research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing state departments of transportation (DOTs) administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by state DOTs individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation results in increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniquesâthe National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRBâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRBâs relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the Federal Highway Administration. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&Iâs recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs. Published research reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 902 Project 20-118 ISSN 2572-3766 (Print) ISSN 2572-3774 (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-48010-9 Library of Congress Control Number 2019930224 Â© 2019 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP RESEARCH REPORT 902 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Andrew C. Lemer, Senior Program Officer Sheila A. Moore, Program Associate Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Heidi Willis, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 20-118 PANEL Field of Special Projects Deanna K. Belden, Minnesota DOT, St. Paul, MN (Chair) Angela T. Alexander, HNTB Corporation, Atlanta, GA Philip J. Kase, Jr., Oregon DOT, Salem, OR Karen S. Miller, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City, MO David J. Putz, Iowa DOT, Ames, IA Joseph F. Segale, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Montpelier, VT Susanna Hughes-Reck, FHWA Liaison Matthew Hardy, AASHTO Liaison DeLania Hardy, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations Liaison James W. Bryant, Jr., TRB Liaison
Benchmarkingâcomparison of oneself with peersâhas been successfully applied in many fields as a tool for assessing system performance, communicating about system performance with a broad stakeholder audience, and supporting performance management. As state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other such agencies increasingly are pressed to report publicly on performance of the systems for which they are responsible, benchmarking and comparative statistics offer a valuable management tool. NCHRP Research Report 902: Benchmarking and Comparative Measurement for Effective Performance Management by Transportation Agencies presents guidance and examples for selection of peer groups, infor- mation sharing to ensure that benchmarking is effectively applied to enhance transportation system performance. Transportation system performance is a multidimensional concept, encompassing such diverse areas as safety, infrastructure condition, traffic congestion, air pollution emissions, and more. Managing system performance engages DOTs and other government agencies operating in diverse geographic and administrative settings. The definitions, criteria, and standards for measuring system performance continue to evolve. Despite such challenges, work by NCHRP and others has demonstrated that comparisons of performance across agencies and systems can be a valid and valuable management tool. The objectives of NCHRP Project 20-118, âEffective Performance Management by Trans- portation AgenciesâBenchmarking and Comparative Measurementâ were to (a) develop practical guidance on how transportation agencies can undertake and use benchmarking to inform and improve system performance management practices and (b) demonstrate applications of the guidance in two specific components of system performance, for active (that is, non-motorized) transportation and environmental impact. The research was designed to build on prior work by NCHRP and others, produce guidance compatible with current federal regulations, and present results in formats that facilitate usage by the range of responsible agenciesâat state, regional, metropolitan, local, or other jurisdictional levels. The research team was led by High Street Consulting Group, with Spy Pond Partners and Alta Planning. The research team reviewed the literature, interviewed practitioners, and drew on their own experience to characterize current and leading practices in compara- tive performance measurement and benchmarking, developed an effective framework for characterizing peer groups and selecting appropriate performance measures, and worked with several DOTs to test concepts and produce case study examples of use of comparative performance measurement and benchmarking. The resulting guidance for agencies undertaking the application of comparative perfor- mance measurement and benchmarking is supplemented by a comparative benchmarking F O R E W O R D By Andrew C. Lemer Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
platform, a web-based tool that agencies can use to share performance information and explore how aspects of their systemâs performance compare with others. Such comparisons can provide a basis for fruitful intra- and interagency discussions of performance measure- ment and management. The platform is maintained and available through the AASHTO Transportation Performance Management Portal at http://benchmarking.tpm-portal.com/. The research report includes information about the platformâs use.
1 Project Overview 2 Introduction 3 Research Objectives 4 Research Approach 7 Report Organization 9 P A R T 1 Benchmarking Guidebook 10 Introduction to Benchmarking 12 What Is This Guidebookâs Purpose? 13 What Is Benchmarking? 15 Why Benchmark? 17 Who Should Read This Guidebook? 18 Types of Benchmarking 20 Independent Benchmarking 21 Benchmarking Networks 22 Other Forms of Benchmarking 24 The Practice of Benchmarking 26 Step 1: Set the Stage 28 Step 2: Select Peer Agencies 29 Step 3: Define the Approach 31 Step 4: Obtain Data 32 Step 5: Analyze Data 33 Step 6: Identify Noteworthy Practices 34 Step 7: Communicate Results 36 Post-Benchmarking: Step 8: Recommend Improvements 37 Post-Benchmarking: Step 9: Repeat the Process 38 Elements for Successful Benchmarking 40 Use Case Scenarios 42 Example 1: Comparing DOTs 43 Example 2: Comparing Divisions within a DOT 44 Example 3: FHWA Assisting DOTs 45 Example 4: Building a Benchmarking Network 47 Example 5: Estimating Realistic Process Durations 49 Case Studies 51 Case Study 1: National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative 55 Case Study 2: Tri-State Partnership in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont 58 Case Study 3: Virginia DOT District Performance Management Program C O N T E N T S
61 P A R T 2 Transportation Comparative Benchmarking Platform 62 Overview of the Guidebookâs Companion Digital Benchmarking Platform 63 Benchmarking Platform Purpose 64 Platform Use Types 65 Intended Audience 66 Core Platform Modules 67 A Visual Tour of the Benchmarking Platform 81 P A R T 3 Benchmarking Pilot Results 82 Purpose of the Benchmarking Pilots 83 Pilots Summary 84 Step 1: Set the Stage 85 Step 2: Select Peer Agencies 86 Step 3: Define the Approach 87 Step 4: Obtain Data 88 Step 5: Analyze Data 89 Step 6: Identify Noteworthy Practices 90 Summary of Key Implementation Lessons 93 Pilot Results 94 Step 1: Set the Stage 100 Step 2: Select Peer Agencies 106 Step 3: Define the Approach 111 Step 4: Obtain Data 115 Step 5: Analyze Data 137 Step 6: Identify Noteworthy Practices 143 Implementation 145 Resources Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.
This report provides general guidance for transportation practitioners on how to bench- mark. The process of benchmarking uses compatible measures and data to compare perfor- mance outcomes among peers as part of a wider organizational culture that embraces performance management. Benchmarking gives valuable context to individual agency performance results. Done right, it reveals noteworthy improvement opportunities and motivates group-wide advances in performance. The guidance depicts a step-by-step process for starting and sustaining a benchmarking initiative, whether within a single agency or among a network of peers. The report also describes a companion digital platform designed to help agencies identify departments of transportation most similar to their own and populated with demonstration comparative data on bridges and safety. Lastly, the report describes efforts to conduct benchmarking pilots in the areas of nonmotorized transporta- tion and environment using the principles described in the benchmarking guidance. The audience for this report and the companion digital platform includes staff at performance- driven transportation agencies who have responsibility for performance management; division managers responsible for particular disciplines like maintenance, safety, pavement, or bridges; and technical staff who manage raw data. A B S T R A C T
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ADA Americans with Disabilities Act CE Categorical exclusion DOT Department of Transportation EA Environmental assessment EIS Environmental impact statement FARS Fatality Analysis Reporting System FAST Act Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation Act FHWA Federal Highway Administration FTIS Florida Transit Information System GIS Geographic Information System HPMS Highway Performance Monitoring System LOS Level of service MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act MPO Metropolitan planning organization NBI National Bridge Inventory NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NPMRDS National Performance Management Research Data Set NWWBI National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative OSM OpenStreetMap RAP Recycled asphalt pavement RDI Route directness index TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TPM Transportation performance management TTI Texas Transportation Institute VMT Vehicle miles traveled A C R O N Y M S