Minnesota’s state highway system operates today at a high level, meeting many of the performance goals established for the system. Over the next 20 years, however, the highway system is expected to experience a steady decline in performance, as projected state transportation revenues are unable to keep pace with the needs created by Minnesota’s growing population and aging infrastructure.
In response to this shortfall, Smart Growth America is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and a diverse group of transportation stakeholders to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) or business case for additional state-level transportation funding.
Assessing the return on Minnesota’s transportation investments (2013)
During the first phase of this effort, Smart Growth America worked with MnDOT to assess the return on state highway investments using traditional transportation performance metrics, including changes in travel time, vehicle operating costs, and safety. The resulting study found that there is a sound business case for proposed transportation investments in the state.
Download the summary report: Assessing Return on Investment in Minnesota’s State Highway Program
Download the full technical report
Incorporating new Economic, Environmental, Public Health, Livability, and Equity Metrics into MnDOT Decision-Making (2014)
Building on the 2013 effort, MnDOT and Smart Growth America partnered again in 2014 to investigate new transportation performance metrics that the Department could use to demonstrate the benefits of state transportation investments to diverse constituents and better align investment decisions with state and community goals. Recognizing that transportation investments have implications extending beyond the transportation system itself, SGA and MnDOT worked to conceptualize new metrics encompassing a range of outcomes important to Minnesota decision-makers and residents, including impacts on:
- Economic competitiveness
- The environment
- Social equity
- Public health
- Community livability
The new metrics will help demonstrate the role Minnesota’s transportation system can play in achieving the future residents envision for the state. It will also help MnDOT align future investments more closely with the goals outlined in Minnesota Go, MnDOT’s fifty-year vision for the transportation system.