The program, aimed at supporting highway removals and other projects that work to reverse the impacts of freeway construction, is light on accountability and performance measures, according to a new report.
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program does not have clear, measurable objectives or performance benchmarks, writes Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive.
Reconnecting Communities targets projects that mitigate the damage of freeways by removing them, building accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists, or otherwise improve walkability and connectivity in the areas surrounding them. But without clear goals and measures, it could end up contributing to road expansion projects and band-aid solutions that only superficially improve neighborhood connectivity.
The report recommended that the Department of Transportation take three key steps to improve the program:
Establish performance measures in line with the program’s objectives.
Develop a plan to collect and analyze data from the program aimed at evaluating results.
Find a way to share learnings from the program, such as whether the DOT is attracting enough high-quality projects and whether they can be completed in a reasonable timeframe.
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