In The Media

HDR’s Performance-Based Practical Design Practitioners Share Expertise in ITE Journal

Transportation agencies and planners across the United States are recognizing the benefits of performance-based practical design, or PBPD. This flexible design process focuses on a program’s needs and measurable performance to choose corridor improvements based on the most pressing need rather than applying a one-size-fits-all standard.

Modern industry tools and data collection capabilities have supported this shift, allowing designers and owners to make nuanced decisions about individual projects. The result is cost-effective projects with focused improvements that enhance safety and reliability while avoiding overbuilding.

Three of HDR’s experts on PBPD explained the method and its benefits in an article for ITE Journal, the publication of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Jon Markt, P.E., RSP1; Michael McVaugh, P.E.; and Robert Frazier, P.E., used real-world examples from Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska to show how the approach has advanced projects and promoted valuable flexibility. They also offered strategies for success and suggestions on project types that agencies or practitioners can focus on to get the most benefit out of the gate.

“Our industry is in the midst of a strategic shift to make better use of data and analytics, allowing progress toward performance-based practical design,” the authors wrote. “Using a targeted approach to improve performance without unnecessary construction costs can save substantial portions of a project’s budget — and that’s money that could fund additional safety upgrades or other needed improvements.”

Read the entire article, “Maximizing Project Benefit Through Performance-Based Practical Design,” in the November 2021 issue of ITE Journal.