MAP-21: The final rule is out!


Throughout the MAP-21 rule-making process, the CATT Lab helped dozens of agencies evaluate and comment on the highway system performance measures that were proposed, by providing easy-to-use tools and dashboards to understand the local implications of each requirement under consideration. As the premier traffic data analytics lab in the country, the CATT Lab has special expertise working with the data sources that will underlie MAP-21 performance reporting.

Today we are actively re-tooling our analytics to align with the final rule and new NPMRDS. We are also working with our partners, including other universities and AASHTO, to produce written step-by-step procedures (and suggested strategies) to guide agencies through the process of setting appropriate targets for each required metric; and designing templates for all of the required submissions to FHWA.

We will be launching updates of our tools in the coming weeks, starting with tools for Subparts E and F. You can sit back until then and relax—we’ve got this.

Sit back and relax. We’ve got this.

(If you haven’t done so already, please send us contact information if you would like us to keep you updated. If you would like to talk with us about MAP-21 before then, feel free to reach out to us directly at packml@umd.edu.)

MAP-21 Resources

Older MAP-21 Resources

We provided the resources below during the NPRM comment period. These became obsolete with the release of the Final Rule on January 18th, but remain available for reference.

Are you ready for MAP-21?

Our goal is to enable MPOs and DOTs to evaluate the proposed measures, assess their impact, experiment with alternatives, and respond to the docket. Comments on the latest Systems Performance NPRM are currently due by August 20.

Understanding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (coming soon)

FHWA’s MAP-21 NPRM Website has a lot of good information about the rule, but here is our quick and dirty interpretation of what is being asked, how it will affect you, and how complicated it’s going to be. (Coming soon.)

Free MAP-21 Performance Calculation Tools

The CATT Lab has developed some free tools that are available to states, MPOs, and consultants working on behalf of an agency to better explore the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) data (one of the datasets that FHWA suggests using for computing performance). Within this suite of tools is a MAP-21 widget that allows you to quickly and easily calculate your region’s performance as described in the NPRM subparts E, F, and G.

The tool outputs the systems performance measures as charts, maps, and data files that can be used to report up to FHWA or to simply understand your agency’s performance.

The tool can be found at npmrds.ritis.org.

Detailed tutorials will be added soon, so please check back often.

How do I see these tools?

If you already use RITIS tools, your existing login is all you need to access the NPMRDS analytics tools.

If you do not have a RITIS account, click now to request a login. Most accounts will be ready within 1 business day.

Any users experiencing issues with access or login should email support@ritis.org.

Our databases already include everything needed to calculate Level of Travel-Time Reliability (LOTTR) across all states and MPOs nationwide. However, we do not have all data needed to calculate all measures for all areas. We can work with you to load your data for immediate analysis of additional parameters such as speed limits and traffic volume.

Experimenting with the Rule (coming soon)

Many who read the NPRM may question the algorithms, methods, data, etc. Our goal is to modify our free tools described above to allow your agency to experiment with variations to the proposed rule to see how those variations might impact both your performance and the intent of the rule. We encourage you to email us (or post to the forum) your questions and/or requests for what you’d like us to experiment with. Time permitting, we will attempt to add options to the tools to allow you to test each possibility (or combination of possibilities). Examples could include things like:

Providing Your Data to Us

The current version of the rule encourages agencies to use the NPMRDS (or an equivalent) data source. It also requires two other data sets:

  1. Speed Limits: agencies must fill NPMRDS gaps in speed readings with posted speed limits.
  2. Volume Data: agencies must use volume data for computing some subparts.

The CATT Lab is working with our data partners to develop national volume data sets from the HPMS; however, we encourage agencies to submit their own volume and speed limit databases to us.

Please contact us at intake@ritis.org to discuss the specifics of your data.

We can incorporate your speed limit and/or volume data into our free tools at no charge if you can provide them in the following formats:

Speed Limit Data Format

Posted speed limits for your region should be provided in miles per hour (mph) for each individual TMC segment.

Speed Limit Sample Data
TMC Posted Speed Limit (mph)
108+05158 70
108P05158 70
108+05159 70
108P05159 70
108-04817 45
108N04817 45

Volume Data Format

Volume should be provided per TMC, and can be provided as AADT or broken down by time bins. Broken down by time bins is the preferred method, as it is a significantly more accurate measurement of hourly volume compared to AADT. The following definitions are used below:

Volume is provided for each individual TMC as either AADT or broken down by time bins. We expect to receive data that is unidirectional per TMC; please contact us if you have only bidirectional data.

AADT Sample Data
AADT Year TMC Comm %
9580 2009 108-04996 28
9912 2010 108-04996 28
9544 2011 108-04996 29
29300 2009 108+04457 5
29050 2010 108+04457 5
27500 2011 108+04457 6
Time Bins Sample Data
Volume Time Bin Day of Week TMC Comm %
536 0 0 108+04918 7
578 1 0 108+04918 7
590 2 0 108+04918 7
678 3 0 108+04918 7

So you want to do this on your own?

Sample Data Files

Don’t want to use our tools? You want to verify that we’re doing this right? Here are some resources that we have put together to help you compute the performance measures on your own. These calculations use sample data from 6 segments on I-66 in northern Virginia as an example. Here is our guidance on how to compute the measures using the sample data file as an example:

Also see the MAP-21 Proposed Measures for Congestion, Reliability, and Freight: Step-by-Step Calculation Procedures White Paper prepared for FHWA.

FHWA Resources

Coming Events

Past Events

Discussion Forum

State DOTs and MPOs are welcome to participate in our MAP-21 NPRM Forum to discuss questions and concerns about the proposed performance measures.

What is the CATT Lab & Why Are We Doing This?

We specialize in transportation data analytics, TSM&O, performance management, and information visualization. As a non-profit entity, our goal is to solve problems for Federal, State, and Local transportation departments and first responders through technology and data-informed policy guidance. In short, we’re offering our support because it fits within our mission, we feel we have knowledge and tools that can make this less painful for everyone, and it’s the right thing to do. To learn more about our other capabilities, the RITIS platform, or anything else we do, please contact the CATT Lab Director, Michael Pack at PackML@umd.edu.

See our Press Release: UMD Advanced Transportation Lab Offers States and Cities Free Tool for Complying with Newly Proposed Federal Reporting Rules for Highway Performance

Contact Us

If you have questions, we have answers! Please feel free to contact us at PackML@umd.edu.