Measures for Environmental Sustainability Outcomes of Transportation Agencies

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Teresa Adams
Professor, CEE; Executive Director, CFIRE
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Sustainability and performance management are increasingly politically relevant topics, and while the USDOT goals of safety, infrastructure state of good repair, and economic development are known to be central to the mission of transportation agencies as well as well represented in their performance reporting, the non-traditional goals of livability and environmental sustainability are less well defined, are not commonly measured, and have yet to reach a level of pervasiveness within state DOTs. The study of public sector performance systems reveals that non-traditional measures of transportation—measures that do not match closely with the historical DOT mission to provide mobility for people and goods—are often left unmeasured and unlikely put to meaningful use. This report examines the current state of sustainability measurement guidance from international, national, and state perspectives; assesses commonly observed performance measures related to environmental sustainability and livability; and discusses ways to encourage the purposeful use of performance measures through organizational learning techniques. While the evaluated measures do not directly meet all requirements of their respective criteria, these criteria will help state DOTs develop potentially stronger measures going forward.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: January 1. 2016 – December 31, 2016
  • Project ID: CFIRE 10-06
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