States slow to track transportation spending
In May, a report from the Washington-based Pew Center on the States (PCS) and the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation showed that many states are lagging behind in efforts to track the results of their investments in transportation infrastructure. However, the Washington-based American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) says most state transportation departments do track their investments, and it believes performance measures should be included in the surface transportation reauthorization act, which is still under consideration in Congress.
The report, “Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Success,” examined each states’ use of performance measures and data that show whether their surface transportation systems are advancing in six policy areas: safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation. States were rated according to three levels — leading the way, having mixed results or trailing behind — for each of the six goals. Thirteen states were classified as leading the way, 18 states had mixed results, while 19 states trail behind, according to the report.
“Measuring Transportation Investments” addresses an issue that most state transportation departments already recognize, AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley said in a statement. “Systematic measurement of the results being achieved through highway and transit improvements has been a practice that states have used for many years,” Horsley said.
Horsley also said AASHTO would welcome the inclusion of performance measures in the federal transportation spending bill. “States want to see broader use of performance measurement in how they manage their programs at home, and to document for Congress what is being achieved,” he said.