Evaluation Criteria

In the early 2000s, the Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization (SMMPO) determined that the selection of highway projects for funding in southeastern Massachusetts should be based on clear, easy to document “Evaluation Criteria.”

As a result, the SMMPO directed the SRPEDD Transportation Planning Staff and the Joint Transportation Planning Group (JTPG) to develop and maintain a process for selecting transportation projects to be included in the regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). SRPEDD staff now reviews each project to determine project impacts from the variety of perspectives, or categories. Applying these standardized evaluation criteria allows SRPEDD to assign a 0 to 100-point score to each project. In turn, this score gives the SMMPO a way to prioritize and to properly fund projects under the fiscal constraints of the TIP. The scoring process also assembles documentation to explain assumptions, measures of effectiveness, data sources, potential impacts, and proof of public outreach and support. Finally, the evaluation process also helps communities, state agencies, and project proponents to understand how the SMMPO prioritizes spending.
The SMMPO, through SRPEDD, operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and all related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), as well as on the grounds of age, gender, or disability. Additionally, related federal and/or state laws provide similar protections on the basis of a person’s religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, and other protected characteristics and requires that no one be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity or service receiving federal assistance.

Evaluation Categories

The Evaluation Criteria categories include:

  • Community Impact & Support – This section explores the extent of public support for a project and its impacts on the community.
  • Maintenance & Infrastructure – These questions determine if a project is correcting documented physical defects within the project’s traveled way.
  • Safety & Security – These questions determine the extent to which a project improves safety and security for all users. Safety is the highest priority of the SMMPO.
  • Mobility/Congestion – These questions help to determine if a project addresses congestion issues.
  • Livability/Sustainable Development Effects – This section takes a broad look at potential impacts to surrounding land uses, neighborhoods, and communities.
  • Environmental & Climate Change – These questions examine a project’s positive or negative environmental impacts.
Please note that this document does not evaluate transit projects for the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA), bridge projects, or major transit investments to be implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).