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Performance-Based Planning

When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.

—Pearson’s Law

Communities in Motion 2040 2.0 (CIM 2040 2.0) has many lofty goals, but evaluating if the region is making progress toward those goals can be difficult. Determining which projects are most likely to help meet goals ahead of time is harder still. Performance-based planning is designed to help inform planning and financial decisions to help meet regional goals.

While performance-based planning became a federal requirement in 2012, COMPASS has been working toward performance-based planning for over a decade.


COMPASS began tracking and reporting on performance

Beginning with the adoption of Communities in Motion 2030 in 2006, COMPASS issued the first performance monitoring report (now called a “Change in Motion Scorecard”) in 2007 to provide feedback on progress toward meeting regional goals.


Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which began requiring transportation performance management

MAP-21 was the first federal transportation legislation to include requirements for states and regions to set transportation performance targets. This commitment to performance-based planning was reiterated in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).


COMPASS established 56 performance measures and targets for Communities in Motion 2040

COMPASS developed performance measures and targets for Communities in Motion 2040 before federal requirements mandated them, including not only transportation, but also “quality of life” measures addressing community infrastructure, health, farmland, and more. COMPASS measures have since been updated to address federal requirements, while still maintaining local measures.

COMPASS created a “Development Review Checklist” to bridge local and regional planning

COMPASS assists local land use decision-making by providing information on how proposed developments align with regional performance measures using Development Review Checklists


COMPASS received a Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) grant to develop Performance Measure Framework tool

The Performance Measure Framework uses multiple analytical tools to evaluate 25 performance metrics structured across seven categories:

  • Roadway
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian
  • Freight
  • Public Transportation
  • Community Infrastructure and Farmland
  • Economic Development, Housing, and Land Use
  • Health and Open Space


COMPASS launched “TIP Achievement” to demonstrate how projects in the TIP help achieve regional targets

COMPASS began adding information to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to show how each project helps achieve regional performance targets.


COMPASS adopted the first of several federally required performance measures

MAP-21 and the FAST Act require that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), such as COMPASS, adopt targets for specific roadway and public transportation performance measures. MPOs have the option to develop their own targets or support others’ targets. COMPASS is supporting the Idaho Transportation Department’s statewide roadway targets for safety, system performance, and pavement and bridge conditions, and Valley Regional Transit’s regional “state of good repair” targets for public transportation.


COMPASS used the Performance Measure Framework to assist with project prioritization for CIM 2040 2.0

The Performance Measure Framework was used to help prioritize 31 unfunded needs in CIM 2040 2.0.

Next Steps

COMPASS will continue to use its Performance Measure Framework to inform investment decisions for the long-range transportation plan and the TIP and will continue to improve and refine its performance-based planning approach.


COMPASS must adopt federally required traffic congestion targets by 2022.

Performance-based planning is constantly evolving. Learn more about how COMPASS is, and has been, using this process to continually improve its planning.