About the research
The purpose of performance measures in planning operations is to identify and track meaningful, quantifiable measures that reflect progress toward the goals of the plan. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has already adopted performance measures in a number of operational areas, including highway maintenance, highway safety, public transportation, and aeronautics. This report is an initial effort to utilize performance measures for transportation system planning. The selected measures provide a cross-section of system performance indicators across three selected transportation planning goals (safety, efficiency, and quality of life) and five transportation modes (highways/bridges, public transit, railroads, aviation, and pedestrian/bicycle). These performance measures are exploratory in nature, and constitute a first attempt to apply performance measures in the context of a statewide, multimodal transportation plan from the Iowa DOT. As such, the set of performance measures that the Iowa DOT uses for planning will change over time as more is learned about the application of such measures. The performance measures explained in this document were developed through consultation with Iowa DOT modal staff (aviation, railroads, highways, public transportation, and pedestrian/bicycle) and the Office of Traffic and Safety. In addition, faculty and staff at the Iowa State University Center for Transportation Research and Education were consulted about performance measurement and data within their areas of expertise.