This technical report summarizes the Prioritization of Capacity Improvements Study (PCIS), the purpose of which was to develop a new methodology for prioritizing mobility improvement projects to reflect State Transportation Policy Plan objectives. This report includes a discussion of the preexisting Category C prioritization formula, an overview of state-of-the-art prioritization methods for regional and statewide project programming elsewhere, a detailed discussion of the proposed ranking methodology for mobility improvements, and finally, a description of the implementation process for the 1995-97 biennial programming cycle at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
This study focused on the safe, cost-effective movement of people and goods; the encouragement of high occupancy vehicles and alternative modes; land use-transportation compatibility; environmental conservation; social and economic impacts; institutional coordination; and local support, all of which are explicit goals in the State Transportation Policy Plan.
The new prioritization framework has several advantages. It is flexible enough to accommodate future changes in state policy. Additionally, it represents a significant step toward the ability to evaluate and rank multimodal mobility projects in direct response to transportation policy and service objectives. WSDOT is clearly in the forefront of such planning efforts nationwide.
There are many opportunities for further study, and it is recommended that the Washington State Department of Transportation continue to push the known boundaries of economic analysis as innovative, multimodal solutions are considered increasingly frequently in the mobility improvement program. Such efforts will allow decision makers to make the best use of limited state resources.