Virginia Receives Top Honors for SMART SCALE Transportation Prioritization Process
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Smart Scale, Virginia’s data-driven prioritization process to fund the right transportation projects that generate the greatest benefit for taxpayers, received the State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) award from the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments.
The Southern Legislative Conference, holding its annual meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, represents the interests of 15 states and aims to encourage intergovernmental cooperation on policy issues among its members.
“This STAR award reflects how SMART SCALE is transforming the way Virginia selects, funds and builds transportation projects,” said Governor McAuliffe. “In Virginia, we are no longer allowing politics and subjective wish lists to drive decision making – we are using data to prioritize and build the right projects to promote economic growth and a higher quality of life. I am proud that the Southern Legislative Conference has recognized SMART SCALE as an innovation in government that will make every transportation dollar work better for Virginia taxpayers.”
Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said, “The STAR award is the result of an intensive collaborative effort, made possible by Governor McAuliffe and bipartisan support of the General Assembly, to bring localities and regional bodies across the state together to develop an outcome-based scoring system of transportation projects, the only one of its kind in the country. It took an intensive staff effort led by Deputy Secretary of Transportation Nick Donohue to create and implement the process.”
Last month, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $1.7 billion in funding to build 163 projects that were selected through the Smart Scale process, which became law as House Bill 2 in 2014. The projects, now included in the Six-Year Improvement Program, are fully funded through all phases of project development and construction.
Smart Scale stands for System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation, and the key factors used in evaluating a project’s merits: improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment.
The Southern Legislative Conference gave Smart Scale top scores based on its creative approach to solving problems and issues, far-reaching benefits and solutions, ability to transfer best practices to other states, and overall success in operating effectively and efficiently.
For more information, visit www.smartscale.org.