AASHTO Journal, 14 September 2012
The State Smart Transportation Initiative, in partnership with Smart Growth America, recently released a publication that focuses on the various challenges that state departments of transportation are facing these days.
SSTI promotes transportation practices that advance environmental sustainability and equitable economic development while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency. Smart Growth America researches, advocates, and leads coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. Their Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice highlights recommendations and best practices for states to take into consideration when dealing with such issues as revenue sources and allocation, pricing, transportation system efficiency, improvement of mobility and access, land use decision-making, and organizational processes.
The handbook highlights various keys to success for state DOTs to use across the board in all situations, including:
- Create a collaborative atmosphere and culture within your organization, as the best ideas often come from the lower-end of organizational hierarchies.
- Include stakeholders and partners beyond the agency, as transportation affects just about every aspect of life (such as housing choice, education access, commerce, etc.).
- Break down silos between DOT administrations and across agencies, as everyone is likely working towards the same thing — a safe transportation system that boosts the economy and supports the community.
- Understand the decision-making process within the agency and make the process more transparent to gain trust among staff.
- Prioritize solutions for reform by remaining focused and engaged.
“There is no silver bullet transportation recommendation that fits all 50 states,” according to the handbook. “However, state officials can learn from other DOTs that have successfully charted a new course for transportation in their state.”
The free 214-page publication is available at bit.ly/SSTIhandbook.