Evaluation and Prioritization Criteria
Developing evaluation factors or criteria is part of the goal setting phase of a TSP process. TSP goals and objectives are the basis for the evaluation framework, which jurisdictions use to assess and compare the suitability of transportation system alternatives and to prioritize projects, programs, policies, pilot projects, and/or refinement studies to address the community’s identified transportation needs. Evaluation criteria may be somewhat general and subjective, similar to goal statements or objectives, or may be more specific and quantitative in anticipation of evaluating the performance of different transportation system solutions.
These guidelines provide a Sample Evaluation Matrix with examples of evaluation criteria that correspond with the Goals and Objectives template. Also included is draft introduction language explaining the evaluation process and the mechanics of project selection and prioritization. The matrix lists example evaluation criteria; depending on the method selected, jurisdictions can develop and apply different scoring approaches [e.g., consumer report; +1/0/-1; +4/+2/0/-2/-4]. Using a qualitative approach, the criteria will not be weighted; rather, the ratings will be used to inform discussions about the benefits and tradeoffs of each alternative. Using a quantitative approach, a point-based technical rating system where scoring depends on how well proposed projects meet the criteria, the criteria can be weighted (if desired) and the evaluation score can be summed to compare alternatives. In either approach, there may be quantitative performance measures for the evaluation criteria (such as volume-to-capacity ratio, bicycle level-of-traffic stress, predicted crash rate, % of completed sidewalks, etc.). In these cases, a jurisdiction can assess how a project is helping the agency achieve or move toward their desired performance levels.
Implementation Tip: Scoring Examples
Sample Evaluation Matrix