A prime focus of transportation planning in the coming decades will continue to be on performance based planning and quantifying the performance of transportation systems in terms of the traditional measures of accessibility and mobility. As part of a pilot project, the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, working with the Virginia Department of Transportation, developed a basic methodology for measuring accessibility for a series of intermodal centers, activity centers and Corridors of Statewide Significance throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The measures that were developed allowed accessibility to be analyzed by travel mode, as well as providing the ability to make comparisons among places and corridors according to their accessibility by each mode of travel. The measures were then applied to a set of activity centers, including intermodal centers and freight activity centers throughout Virginia in order to be able to develop near-term recommendations to improve accessibility and/or mobility to the intermodal connectors/centers. A series of memoranda and maps of recommended improvements were developed as part of this pilot project, including:
The Technical Memoranda summarize the development of the accessibility measures, as well as the use of special approaches, such as the use of INRIX data to develop a standardized mobility measure that incorporates congestion, as well as the resulting comparison of accessibility and mobility measures for a series of centers and corridors statewide. The separate PDF boards summarize a series of recommendations for operational improvements based on the ranking of centers from the accessibility testing.
Although this project represents only one potential approach to the significant challenge of defining accessibility in quantitative terms, the value of a systematic approach such as demonstrated in this effort is that it allows a common standard of comparison, as well as a common language, for discussing accessibility improvements in the transportation planning process for the Commonwealth. The development of this potential set of measures enhances the Commonwealth’s capability to measure progress towards its broad transportation goals for the long term.
The 2012 is currently under review and will be available soon.
The annual Virginia Transportation Performance Report summarizes the performance of five transportation departments. It specifically measures the safety, mobility, land use, maintenance and preservation, economic vitality, program delivery and environmental stewardship of Virginia’s transportation system.
The largest benefit of the Commonwealth measuring and reporting performance is the increased confidence and funding of the Governor, the Legislature and the citizens of Virginia in the projects and programs of Virginia’s transportation agencies. It is our belief that our ability to make transportation investments in the future relies on our ability to deliver results today.
Over the past decade, Virginia has emerged as a national leader in addressing freight issues. Virginia has made, and continues to make, significant investments in its ability to move freight – by truck, rail, water, air, and “intermodally” among and between these modes. There are many studies, plans and programs underway to improve Virginia’s interstate and state highways, its ports and marine terminals, its freight rail corridors and terminals, and its airports. Freight has been addressed by each of Virginia’s modal transportation agencies, through multimodal planning activities, and by several of Virginia’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations. These efforts address not only public projects within Virginia, but also public projects involving partnerships with other states, as well as partnerships with the private sector stakeholders that benefit directly from freight system improvements.
To build on and supplement these efforts, to place them within a larger multimodal investment context, and to establish a guiding framework for near-term and long-range freight policy and investment strategies, the Commonwealth of Virginia undertook the Virginia Statewide Multimodal Freight Study. The Study is designed to:
Phase I of the study primarily addresses tasks related to outreach, data collection, baseline forecasting, system inventory/analysis, and freight improvement opportunities. Phase II develops analysis tools, analyzes corridor and regional freight needs and alternatives, and evaluates infrastructure and policy alternatives based on public benefits and return on investment to the Commonwealth.