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How to improve snow fighting by using performance management and level of service


The consequences of winter maintenance budgets include impacts to safety, longer term effects on pavement quality, and personnel and driver satisfaction. Generally, better budgets can support better performance standards and result in better mobility and safety, and any reduction to budget would lead to a decline. But how budget is linked to performance, safety, and mobility is poorly understood.

Road agencies are required to develop performance measures to secure funding and a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) project is currently developing a guide to selecting appropriate winter performance measures. Agencies adopting performance measures will be challenged to set service level targets without knowledge of the link between the selected targets and safety and mobility outcomes.

What is the trade off between mobility and safety, especially in the case where an agency must choose between one or the other, like for winter road closure?


There are pressing needs in the area of snow fighting performance management and level of service:

  • What are the impacts of implementing levels of service on highway safety and mobility when applied to snow fighting? How should we set service level targets for snow fighting with understanding of the link between the selected targets and safety and mobility outcomes.
  • Explore the effects on snow fighting in the context of the new and broader performance management rules. Where are the opportunities to improve? Where are the barriers to implementation? What are the resource needs to effectively execute it?
  • Examine the various consequences of changes to winter maintenance budgets including safety effects and longer term effects on pavement quality, personnel, and customer satisfaction.
  • When is it best to close a road before cars begin to be trapped? Develop holistic methods to decide when it is best to close a road.
Sponsoring Committee:AKR40, Winter Maintenance
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Joe Horton, Tina Greenfield
Date Posted:07/26/2017
Date Modified:01/11/2021
Index Terms:Level of service, Performance measurement, Winter maintenance, Performance management, Snow and ice control, Mobility, Safety,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Administration and Management
Maintenance and Preservation

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