A trade group representing the transportation engineering profession thinks it’s high time for American policy makers to stop focusing so much on moving single-occupancy vehicles.
U.S. DOT is currently deciding how it will assess the performance of state DOTs. Will it continue business as usual and equate success with moving huge numbers of cars? That’s what state transportation officials want, but just abouteveryone else disagrees — including professional transportation engineers.
In its comments to the Federal Highway Administration about how to measure performance, the Institute of Transportation Engineers — a trade group representing 13,000 professionals — said that, in short, the system should not focus so heavily on cars [PDF].
Here’s a key excerpt:
Throughout the current proposed rulemaking on NHS performance, traffic congestion, freight mobility, and air quality, an underlying theme is apparent: these measures speak largely to the experience of those in single occupancy vehicles (SOVs). While such a focus is understandable in the short-term, owing largely to the current availability of data from the NPMRDS and other national sources, ITE and its membership feel that FHWA should move quickly within the framework of the existing performance management legislation to begin developing performance measures that cater to multimodal transportation systems.
Read the rest of the story here.The first step in this process is instituting a program to develop standards and procedures for data collection within this alternative modes of travel, an effort which ITE feels should be undertaken by FHWA and its USDOT partner agencies concurrent to the final performance management rulemaking under consideration. Once this multimodal framework is established, FHWA can work to develop a more comprehensive and holistic set of performance measures that accommodate multiple modes of transportation, while achieving secondary effects of improved public health, community livability, and economic development.