People, Structure, and Committees
From the Desk of the Director:
Planning for the future by extending past trends is like driving by looking through the rear-view mirror;
it only works as long as the road is straight.
With today’s explosive growth, changing demographics, and evolving technologies, planning for the future has become increasingly complex. Yet, I’m pleased to report that COMPASS is addressing these challenges head-on as a leader in seeking new and innovative ways to address our changing world.
We began fiscal year 2019 (October 2018) finalizing the updated regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties, Communities in Motion 2040 2.0, which the COMPASS Board of Directors adopted in December 2018. For the first time ever, the plan is entirely online, with easy-to-understand web pages for a high-level overview of each topic, supported by technical documents for those who want to dive into the details.
We are working to implement this plan through seeking funding for unfunded projects, coordinating educational programs and campaigns to increase safety for all, and taking the “next step” on planning for projects such as “Rails-with-Trails” and high capacity public transportation.
We have also already begun to update the plan to look to the year 2050. The first phase of this update is focused on exploring what the future may hold, to ensure our plan is boldly moving forward.
The plan is rooted in “performance based planning”; essentially planning with the end in mind. While COMPASS is not new to performance based planning – we’ve been using this approach since the early 2000s – federal regulations now make it mandatory. With these new regulations come specific new goals that must be met.
COMPASS staff have been proactive in addressing these new goals and requirements not only in the long-range plan, but also in the Regional Transportation Improvement Program, or “TIP.” In our TIP, we delineate which federal performance measures a project will help us meet, as well as document success in “moving the needle” in meeting defined goals. Additionally, as a statewide leader in performance-based planning, COMPASS represents Idaho’s metropolitan planning organizations on a Federal Highway Administration/ Idaho Transportation Department workgroup to monitor, facilitate, and guide implementation of Idaho’s performance-based planning efforts.
Further demonstrating success in implementing performance-based planning, our “Performance Measure Framework” tool was honored with three statewide awards this past year:
- 2018 Grow Smart Award (Idaho Smart Growth)
- 2018 Excellence in Transportation - Planning (Idaho Transportation Department)
- 2019 Gem Award (Idaho Chapter-American Planning Association)
Not to be outdone, our GIS program was recognized with ESRI’s 2019 “Special Achievements in GIS” award for innovation and setting new precedents in the GIS community.
In addition, for the 11th year in a row, COMPASS earned the Platinum Level Alternative Transportation Champion Award – the highest award level – in the 2019 May in Motion competition to encourage the use of alternatives to single occupancy vehicles. Our staff not only “talks the talk,” when it comes to transportation options, but we also “walk the walk” (or ride the bike, or take the bus, or work from home…).
Finally, looking back to the beginning of this past fiscal year, in November 2018, COMPASS hosted our 10th annual food drive, benefiting the Meridian Food Bank. Our staff of just 18 people contributed a whopping 411 pounds of food and $1,270 to help curb hunger in Meridian, highlighting that our staff are not only good at what they do, they are good people.
I invite you to peruse this annual report and take a look back at what we accomplished in FY2019. As always, throughout you will find links to more details so you can take a deeper dive to learn more and keep abreast of progress on ongoing projects throughout the year.
FY2019 Annual Report (PDF)