The Innovative DOT, 2015

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January 2015

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More for state DOT staff

The Innovative DOT is part of our broader work helping state departments of transportation achieve ambitious goals on limited budgets. Learn more about our DOT Innovation program ››

The Innovative DOT, 2015

Third Edition, January 2015
State officials across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking. Yet state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have ambitious goals: improve safety, address congestion, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few. These goals would be challenging even if money were no object, but dwindling conventional federal and state transportation funding makes these goals even harder to achieve.

In response to these challenges, DOTs across the country are changing the way they do business. Recognizing that America’s transportation network is crucial to economic growth, agencies are taking new approaches to transportation that fit the unique demands of their states and that provide greater benefits at less cost. They are improving existing services in the short term and planning effectively for the long term. They are adopting innovative yet pragmatic reforms. They are reevaluating and retooling traditional practices to ensure that those practices continue to provide users with a robust, economically beneficial transportation network.

These leaders and agencies are better meeting the needs of their residents, galvanizing political support for their work, and supporting the future prosperity of their state. Their successes offer models for others to follow.

A handbook of policy and practice
Smart Growth America has partnered with the State Smart Transportation Initiative to develop The Innovative DOT, a resource for state transportation officials. This handbook provides 34 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. Developed with input from top transportation professionals and officials at state agencies around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.

About the 2015 edition
Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative continue to work with state departments of transportation and track innovative strategies for meeting 21st century transportation needs. In the three years since the handbook’s initial release, state agencies have considered a variety of new funding opportunities, bolstered planning efforts, made better use of existing infrastructure, implemented new design standards and project delivery procedures, and drastically changed the way they do business. The 2015 edition reflects these changes by adding 10 new case studies and numerous updates.

The Innovative DOT, 2014 edition

The second edition of The Innovative DOT was released in January 2014 and includes a variety of new funding opportunities as well as discussion of how state DOTs have bolstered planning efforts, made better use of existing infrastructure, implemented new design standards and project delivery procedures, and drastically changed the way they do business. The 2014 edition reflects these changes by adding three new strategies for reform, 20 new case studies, and numerous updates. Read the 2014 edition ››

The Innovative DOT, 2012 edition

The first edition of The Innovative DOT was released in September 2012 and originally provided 31 recommendations for help transportation position their agencies for success in the new economy. Developed with input from top transportation professionals and officials at state agencies around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied. Read the 2012 edition ››