Martin Leung, Heath Brackett, Matt Hampton, Amy Rose
B.S. URS 2013
Metro allocates hundreds of millions of dollars in federal transportation funds every year, but is the region investing in the most vital transportation projects? Are individual projects done in a coordinated way that contributes to an integrated land use and transportation system?
Performance measurement is key in answering these questions. Once implemented, measurements can help planners at Metro monitor the effectiveness and progress of the region's transportation investments. Working closely with Metro staff in an internship, I assisted in developing indicators, researched the experiences of other regions and local partners, discussed potential pitfalls and applications, and recommended best practices for implementation. I saw firsthand how broad goals such as vibrant communities can be translated into policy, and policy into measurable outcomes. By analyzing Metro’s regional programming, I saw the effects of state and federal planning policy on the ground, and learned how to create a project that can provide useful feedback not only for Metro but also for federal, state, and local partners. Performance measurement is a small but important piece of the puzzle. Once in place, it can ensure that the Portland region is investing limited transportation funds in the most effective way.