Minnesota is one of five states leading the way using data to guide and prioritize transportation investments, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation. The other top states are Maryland, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia.
States spent an estimated $131 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2010, but many cannot answer critical questions about what returns this investment is generating the report says.
The study comes at a time when some members of Congress are proposing that the next surface transportation authorization act, the law that governs the largest federal funding streams for states’ transportation systems, more closely tie dollars to performance.
The report, Measuring Transportation Investments: The Road to Results, found considerable differences among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in linking transportation systems to six key goals important to states’ economic well-being and taxpayers’ quality of life: safety, jobs and commerce, mobility, access, environmental stewardship and infrastructure preservation.
In all six categories, Minnesota was found to be “leading the way”; the highest rating given by the Pew-Rockefeller study.
“We’re pleased to learn that we’re among the top in the nation in tracking the performance of our transportation system because it’s a key part of our business practices and helps guide tough investment decisions in this era of tight budgets,” said Tom Sorel, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner.
The report cites Mn/DOT’s use of performance measures for 10 policy areas identified in its 2009-2028 Statewide Transportation Policy Plan. These measures include adjusting to the transportation needs of a growing and aging population as well as enhancing mobility by reducing congestion on the 9% of the highway system that carries about half of the state’s roadway travel.
The full report and fact sheets for each state are available at: www.pewcenteronthestates.org/transportation.
The Minnesota Statewide Transportation Policy Plan is at: