Alternatives Analysis

As we move towards completion of the NMDOT Statewide Long Range Multimodal Transportation Plan, the team has been engaged in defining and refining potential future alternatives.

In Fall 2014, the planning team developed three distinct plan alternatives (labeled A, B, and C).  Their purpose was to explore different possible approaches to addressing the state’s transportation challenges and opportunities.  Each alternative represented a different mix of investment priorities, management practices, and policies over the 2016 to 2040 timeframe.  Alternatives A and B assumed that there would be no change from NMDOT’s current budget trajectory (i.e., steadily diminishing revenue in inflation-adjusted terms), while Alternative C assumed that one or more new sources of revenue might become available at some point in the future. Alternative A was designed to continue existing commitments with current management practices and revenue base.  Alternative B was designed to expand performance management practices and focus on the most critical infrastructure.  Alternative C built on the approach identified in B, but also considered how new potential revenues might support NMDOT’s strategic goals.  Two files provide additional information

The team held a series of stakeholder meetings in which participants compared and contrasted the strengths and limitations of each alternative. These took place in November and December of 2014.  They included meetings of the seven regional working groups (totaling 78 participants), a single “plenary” meeting of the nine statewide working groups (85 participants), and public meetings in Albuquerque and Las Cruces (30 participants).

Statewide Working Group Plenary Meeting, December 2014

Statewide Working Group Plenary Meeting, December 2014

The team asked the participants to review the alternatives carefully, note comments, and assign scores to them based on how well each addressed the four plan goals as well as the practicality of implementation.  The team then reviewed all of the comments and scores to identify overall themes (see table).  The team is using this input to shape the Public Review Draft Plan, which will be a hybrid of the Phase III alternatives. The Public Review Draft will become available for public comment in late spring, with approval of the Final Draft anticipated in the summer of 2015.

Alternative A:

Trend Based on Current Practices

Alternative B:

Management + Focused Investment

Alternative C:

Aspirational Vision + New Revenues

Least responsive to goals – reactive, not proactive. More proactive and responsive to goals than Alt A, but less than Alt C. Most responsive to goals – a proactive approach.
Status quo – assumes current investment and management practices are the best for future challenges. Invests NMDOT’s funds more strategically and emphasizes strong policies (e.g., life-cycle costing) to support sustainable management of assets. Additional funds and expanded priorities create opportunities to address long-term needs in a strategic fashion.
Recognizes: (a) good things that NMDOT is already doing (e.g., improving safety) and (b) change can be disruptive. Prioritization framework may favor urban areas and high volume corridors Implementation depends on new revenue.  Focus on revenue may draw attention away from the need to be more cost-effective.

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