Managing Transportation System Health: Setting Performance Targets and Policies in Non-Uniform Regions and Jurisdictions to Achieve Uniform Statewide and National Objectives

The current surface transportation legislation: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), has clearly articulated a performance-based process for decision making with designated performance objectives. As regulations for the legislation are rolled out, a key challenge for performance-based planning will be how best to manage transportation system performance in non-uniform metropolitan regions and local jurisdictions to achieve uniform statewide and national objectives. While transportation agencies must report on all the designated measures, state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) will need to reconcile the needs of multiple geographic and economic regions and local jurisdictions as they make transportation investments to advance their economies and enhance the quality of life in their states.
Jurisdictions and regions with different priorities may sometimes seem to be in competition with one another for the limited resources, as is the case in particular with urban and non-urban areas. As agencies move forward to address the national transportation goals outlined in MAP-21, they will require stronger capabilities for analysis that supports investments to strengthen entire states while require also addressing differences in transportation system health priorities of their different regions and local jurisdictions. Transportation system health is used in this project to capture a broader view of system productivity – including safety, equity and resiliency – that indicates that the transportation system is performing well and supporting its customers and related built and natural systems in a sustainable manner.
Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Tech University Transportation Center, the objective of the project is to develop a focused body of knowledge and tools, including a data-and-expert-knowledge-driven approach for addressing this multi-scalar issue involved in performance-based planning at multiple levels of decision making: namely, how to achieve broader national and statewide objectives while taking into consideration regional and local priorities and constraints.
Research Team:
Principal Investigator: Dr. Adjo Amekudzi Kennedy
Co-PIs: Dr. Frank Southworth, Dr. Michael Rodgers & Dr. Catherine Ross
Graduate Researchers: Richard Boadi, Stefanie Brodie, Tom Wall, Stephanie Amoaning-Yankson, Janille Smith-Colin, Jamie Fischer & Margaret Akofio-Sowah
Amekudzi-Kennedy, A., Akofio-Sowah, M., Boadi, R. S., Brodie, S. R., Amoaning-Yankson, S., Smith-Colin, J., Fischer, J. M., and T. A. Wall.  Transportation System Health: Meeting Deficiency Needs and Growth Aspirations Systematically. Transportation Research Record.  Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2568, 2016, pp. 31-40. 
Boadi, S., Amoaning-Yankson, S., Akofio-Sowah, M., Brodie, S., and A. Amekudzi-Kennedy.  Goal-Oriented Analysis of Transportation System Performance: A Corridor Level Study of Georgia’s State Routes. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems, American Society of Civil Engineering, Vol. 143, Issue 5, 2017, 5p.*