Performance Measures

Performance-based planning refers to practices that apply system level, data driven performance management principles to transportation policy and investment decisions. CDTC has long employed a data and results driven approach to transportation planning, and has been practicing performance based planning in particular since the adoption of the first generation New Visions Plan in 1997. Recent federal transportation bills including MAP-21 and the FAST Act have shown new light on the importance of such efforts, and required MPO's across the country to take such an approach in order to increase the accountability and impact of transportation investments. While the federal government is still in the process of releasing the full spectrum of official nationwide measures, CDTC has its own comprehensive list of measures that provide a rich snapshot of our region's transportation networks. Below are several categories of measures with corresponding graphics that provide the latest data on a host of key metrics. Feel free to expand the sections and click on the graphics to enlarge and navigate through them.

Safety

Transportation safety has long been of paramount importance at CDTC, and safety analytics are indispensible for teasing out locations in our road network most in need of improvement. Our focus goes beyond auto-oriented safety planning by including considerations for bicyclist and pedestrian welfare. Crash data furnished by the state provides us with information regarding each crash's location, intensity, contributing factors and other key inputs that help us analyze from many perspectives what causes the crashes, and what treatments are most appropriate considering a given location's history.

Complete Streets

Complete streets differ from more auto-oriented streets (such as highways) in their accommodation of several travel modes. Such streets provide the versatility essential in many urban centers where bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users and those requiring ADA accommodations make up a significant portion of the traffic. As such, CDTC often promotes the inclusion of complete streets elements such as bicycle paths, ADA compliant curb ramps, crosswalks etc. where appropriate in federally funded transportation projects. We also work to promote the adoption of complete streets policies in local municipalities by facilitating educational workshops, an ongoing advisory committee and written materials. This year 19 complete streets training sessions were held throughout our region by various public and non-profit organizations.

Freight

The CDTC Freight Priority Network (or FPN) is a select system of roadways that are essential for facilitating efficient and safe truck mobility within, to, and from the CDTC region. Characteristics such as the amount of truck traffic, adjacent land uses and road type, among other factors, allow us to discern which roads in the region qualify for placement on the FPN, and subsequently which roads require specialized attention regarding investment, planning, design, maintenance, etc. Monitoring the quality of the road and bridge infrastructure on these roads is essential for maintaining the flow of freight throughout the region. Beyond the FPN, monitoring the mode split of all freight in the region, and noting shifting proportions in modes such as air, water or rail allows CDTC to plan ahead for shifting demand for infrastructure and investments for these modes also.

Infrastructure

While chronic underfunding for transportation infrastructure has contributed heavily to a nationwide decline in road and bridge conditions, strategic investments within the region have helped to maintain our road network. Ideally our current and future investments would produce a downward trend in the number of deficient bridges and the amount pavement in poor condition, however funding over the past several years has stagnated and strategic funding disbursements can only stretch so far. We therefore predict an slight upward trend in the amount of pavement in poor condition and the number of deficient bridges.

Transit

The transit service data summarized here deals exclusively with CDTA's bus service. CDTA's routes are split into five general categories: BusPlus, trunk, express, commuter and neighborhood. The characteristics of routes in each category are tailored to serve a distinct need. For example, the short headways and extensive span of service hours provided by BusPlus are meant to provide high levels of transit access to the core urban area, whereas commuter routes have a shorter span, greater headway and often offer a more extensive geographic service area to primarily accommodate trips to daytime jobs within the urbanized area for those living in more suburban or rural locations. Within towns where CDTA has transit stops, 51% of the population lives within a quarter mile of a transit stop, and 66% live within a half mile. CDTA also reports that the average age of buses throughout their fleet is 7 years.

Bicycle & Pedestrian

The installation of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure often has a wide range of positive effects for the surrounding neighborhood. Bike paths and sidewalks promote active transportation which tends to improve the health prospects of users while reducing the amount of automobile traffic and emissions in a given corridor. Such infrastructure often links parks, waterways and other recreational facilities that can improve community quality of life, economic vitality and adjacent property values as well. Proper infrastructure also provides a safe way for those without the means or desire to drive cars to get around their community without feeling displaced or threatened by cars. Therefore, monitoring the amount of investment in such infrastructure, the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, relevant chronic health indicators and active commuting trends allows us to measure how well our investments are working, and where our region can improve. In CDTC's latest allocation of federal transportation funding (for FFY 2016-2021) approximately 11.8%, or $11,510,000 went to bicycle and pedestrian related infrastructure improvements.