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Assessing Transportation Agencies' Response to MAP 21


Signed into law by President Barack Obama in July of 2012, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) has significantly increased the planning and performance management requirements of transportation agencies. It introduces newly required statewide plans, such as the Freight Investment Plan and the Transportation Asset Management Plan, each with a specific requirements and performance measures to gauge progress toward the strategies identified in the plan. MAP 21 also introduces and requires states and MPOs to establish targets in eight different performance areas. Since MAP 21 and subsequent federal rulemaking, transportation agencies have been striving to meet these new requirements and to adapt their processes and structure to support these efforts long term.

However, each transportation agency has a unique structure with performance management and planning processes that are designed to meet not only these Federal requirements, but also to meet state requirements, not to mention to support strategic long term objectives established by the agency. Because of the unique nature of transportation agencies, there is no singularly optimal method for meeting these new Federal requirements. There are, however, many lessons to be learned in the assessment of peer agencies.


The objective of this synthesis is to compare and contrast practices and strategies among states DOTs and MPOs. Questions to be answered would include, but not be limited to:

• How do states link the newly required plans to their federally required statewide multimodal plans as described in 23 United States Code?

• How are Safety Plans, Freight Investment Plans and Transportation Asset Management Plans linked to State Transportation Investment Programs or other comprehensive investment plans or programs?

• How have newly required plans and performance targets affected investment decisions?

• How are agencies establishing performance targets? What is the governance model for review and revision of targets?

• How are transportation agencies working together to share data, establish targets, and discuss best practice strategies

• Where have agencies realized notable successes and failures in the incorporation of new plans and implementation of new performance measures and targets?


MAP-21 has changed transportation planning process more than any reauthorization in almost three decades. Transportation agencies are quickly adapting and evolving in response. The product of this research would allow for an assessment of the strategies, process changes and even organizational changes that have resulted. Sharing lessons learned will allow each of the states to benefit from the collective experience of their peers.

Sponsoring Committee:AEP10, Transportation Policy and Processes
Research Period:6 - 12 months
Source Info:On August 1, 2017, during the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Conference on Performance-Based Transportation Planning in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Transportation Research Board’s ADA10 Committee (ADA10), and AASHTO held the one-day peer exchange “One Vision, Many Goals, Many Objectives. The findings and all presentation materials from this peer exchange can be found on AASHTO Website.
Date Posted:01/02/2020
Date Modified:03/31/2020
Index Terms:Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, State departments of transportation, Transportation policy, Performance measurement, Compliance,
Cosponsoring Committees:AJE20, Performance Measurement
Administration and Management
Planning and Forecasting
Transportation (General)

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