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SMART SCALE

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On October 24, 2017, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) passed a resolution adopting a revised policy and approving the guide for implementation of the SMART SCALE Project Prioritization Process.  As of November 15, 2017, the updated SMART SCALE Technical Guide (revision date November 13, 2017) is available on the SMART SCALE website (www.vasmartscale.org). The SMART SCALE process is conducted every two years, and Round 3 of SMART SCALE will begin in March 2018. 

Background

House Bill 2 (HB2), signed into law in 2014, directed the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to develop and use a prioritization process to select transportation projects.  The legislation intended to improve the transparency and accountability of project selection, as well as improve stability in the Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP).  The new process was to score projects based on an objective analysis and provide guidance to the CTB for project selection and funding.  Following a year of development, which included multiple stakeholder outreach sessions across the state, the CTB approved the HB2 prioritization process on June 17, 2015. 

 On June 14, 2016, the CTB approved the FY 2017-2022 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), the first SYIP developed with guidance by Virginia’s new data-driven prioritization process.  In addition, a new name for the process was announced – SMART SCALE.  SMART stands for System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation.  SCALE refers to the six evaluation factors – Safety, Congestion mitigation, Accessibility, Land use, and Economic development and environment.

Evaluation Factors 

The legislation that resulted in SMART SCALE requires that projects be evaluated for each of the following factors:

  • Congestion Mitigation
  • Economic Development
  • Accessibility
  • Safety
  • Environmental Quality
  • Land Use Coordination (for areas with over 200,000 population)

Weighting Frameworks

The legislation that resulted in SMART SCALE specifies that the CTB shall assign different weights to the factors based on the unique needs and qualities of the different areas of the state.  More information on the SMART SCALE weighting typologies, or frameworks, may be found on the Weighting Frameworks page. 

HRTPO Processes Related to SMART SCALE

The SMART SCALE process specifies eligible applicants for three project type categories, as shown in the following table:

 

Project Type
Regional Entities (MPOs, PDCs)
Local Governments
Transit Agencies
Corridors of Statewide Significance
Yes
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity
Regional Networks
Yes
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity*
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity
Urban Development Area
No
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity*
No
Safety
No
Yes, with a resolution of support from relevant regional entity*
No
 * Projects within established MPO study areas that are not identified in or consistent with the regionally adopted Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP) must include a resolution of support from the respective MPO Policy Board.

 

The HRTPO Guidance on SMART SCALE addresses HRTPO actions related to the following scenarios:

  1. When the HRTPO is the applicant
  2. When the HRTPO is requested to support projects submitted by Localities and Transit Agencies
  3. When the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) is requested to support projects submitted by Localities and Transit Agencies 

Other Resources

Complete information on SMART SCALE may be accessed on the web at: www.vasmartscale.org.  

The full text of the House Bill 2 legislation may be accessed at:  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+CHAP0726+pdf

 

Contacts:

For questions regarding the SMART SCALE process, contact:

Virginia Department of Transportation

Eric Stringfield

Hampton Roads District Transportation Planning Director

Eric.Stringfield@VDOT.Virginia.gov

757-925-3669

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Chris Arabia

Policy Planning Manager

Christopher.Arabia@drpt.virginia.gov

804-786-1059

Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization

John Mihaly

Senior Transportation Planner

jmihaly@hrtpo.org

757-420-8300

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