New Hampshire is a largely rural state, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) play an important role in communicating the transportation needs and priorities of local communities to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). With funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) PlanWorks Implementation Assistance Program, the state’s four MPOs and NHDOT came together to work on integrating performance based planning into their plans and processes. The funding helped us formalize our workgroup, gave us excellent assessment tools to improve our collaboration and move the process forward, and provided many other invaluable online and direct tools.
Members of each MPO’s staff attended day-long meetings once a month for 13 months to tackle the complex issues around complying with new, federally mandated performance measures and creating regionally significant measures. During this period, they created a great framework for collaboration that improved not only communication between the agencies but also the speed at which work was completed. Feeling that their work is stronger when they cooperate; the workgroup members have decided to continue collaborating on common issues.
All of us on the workgroup are invested in maintaining a healthy collaboration. We have worked hard to adjust to constrained timeframes, changes in federal regulations, staff turnover, and other unanticipated changes. These challenges have made the workgroup stronger, and we look forward to continuing to work together.