Moneyball for MPO's

APA Idaho


Wednesday, October 11, 2017
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. MDT

CM | 1.25

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Transportation investments have a broad and lasting impact at the regional, community, and neighborhood levels. In the biographical movie, Moneyball, the Oakland A’s used player statistics and analytical tools to make objective decisions. This approach led to better use of finite resources and ultimately the American League pennant. COMPASS took a similar “plan big” approach of using data for assisting investment decisions which have consequences on the region’s quality of life. 

This session will help participants learn the advantages, pitfalls, and practical steps in performance-based planning. At the conference, COMPASS staff will highlight key efforts that led to the development of the tool, including data collection, stakeholder engagement, and dashboard and visualization tools.  

COMPASS received a grant to develop the tool through the Second FHWA Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). The tool was completed in December 2016 and will be used to support the update to the regional long-range transportation plan, Communities in Motion 2040 2.0. The goals of this performance-based planning process are to better achieve the regional vision and goals, use resources wisely, make objective decisions based on data, be transparent to the public, and tell a compelling story of how transportation investments affect communities.

 For years, COMPASS has collected performance data and used a variety of tools for modeling impacts of investments, including GIS, a travel demand model, an economic impact tool, and Complete Streets Level of Service. This project helped weave together existing COMPASS data and tools for regional performance-based planning.  

To ensure the performance based planning tool would support both regional and local goals, COMPASS brought together stakeholders to consider critical planning and policy questions. Stakeholders identified key business processes, such as corridor planning, development review, project prioritization, and other "real world" situations where performance-based planning would improve the planning process.  

This approach generated “buy-in” and helped ensure that the tool accurately reflected the goals of the region. This approach supported the efforts of local agencies in building communities and considered the impacts of transportation investments on the transportation system as well as on livability qualities such as housing, economic development, farmland preservation, health, and more.

The new tool allows COMPASS to easily compare  different investments at the regional, corridor, and sub-area levels. The tool provides maps and "Report Cards" to help users visualize and compare the relative performance of investments. This performance-based planning approach enables planners to use big data to better understand the impact of transportation investments. Taking a holistic approach to integrating transportation, land use, and other societal benefits is a “plan big” idea. 


Liisa Itkonen, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Liisa Itkonen, Ph.D., AICP, is Principal Planner for transportation at the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS). She is the Planning Team supervisor and project manager for the development of the regional long-range transportation plan, "Communities in Motion." Prior to joining COMPASS in March 2008, she worked for ... Read More

Contact Info

Diane Kushlan,