Kansas DOT offers a fascinating demonstration of how a state DOT can work along with community and business leaders to develop an improved process for project prioritization and selection. A white paper produced by KDOT Staff describes the process (see web link below). As noted in that document...
..."During development of the 2008 Kansas Long Range Transportation Plan and in a subsequent 2009 report by the Governor's Transportation - Leveraging Investments in Kansas (T-LINK) Task Force, stakeholders called on KDOT to overhaul important elements of the state's process for choosing major highway projects. In particular, they asked KDOT to make its project selection process more adaptable to changing needs, more responsive to economic opportunities and local priorities, and more accountable to the people of Kansas. The timing of these recommendations coincides with completion of KDOT's 10-year Comprehensive Transportation Program and heightened interest in the direction of future transportation investments in Kansas." The white paper "describes how KDOT has worked with the T-LINK Task Force to create a three-prong approach for scoring possible highway projects and then pilot tested that approach."
..."KDOT selected TREDIS to support its economic impacts scoring approach based on advice from an external Economic Impacts Working Group. That group met three times in 2008 to examine KDOT's existing processes for considering economic impacts during project selection and to make recommendations on a practical approach for improving consideration of economic impacts as a factor in the state's transportation project selection process." The approach "portrays the Kansas economy based on customized county-level economic data about employment patterns, business activity, and freight movements by type, amount and value. For each project, it also includes information on local economic conditions collected by KDOT's area engineers from local officials and economic development experts. This information is combined with projections KDOT engineers make (based on regional travel model data where available) about project-level changes in congestion, travel times, travel distances, or accessibility."
...After scoring more than 190 projects using the expanded selection process criteria, KDOT staff presented the results of this effort at eight local consultations meetings (Abilene, Chanute, Dodge City, Hays, Hutchinson, Mission, Topeka and Wichita). More than 400 Kansans participated in these meetings, and in general they were very supportive of this process."