Policy decisions made today will shape the highway transportation system of tomorrow. FHWA evaluates the impacts of a broad range of policy options and analyzes current and emerging issues that will affect the way transportation systems are built, maintained, and used.
Forecasting the effects of proposed legislation and policy decisions requires quality transportation data. FHWA provides guidance and tools that standardize how transportation professionals collect data on highway system characteristics such as road types, funding methods, and travel patterns. Consistent national data provide a snapshot of today's transportation system that is essential for good policy and for projecting future requirements.
By keeping an eye on policy trends, FHWA helps its stakeholders and partners address current transportation challenges and anticipate future needs.
For example, FHWA's policy research initiatives refine current methods and procedures used to analyze the impacts, benefits, and costs of highway infrastructure investments. Through research studies that explore transportation topics pertinent to State, local, and Tribal governments, FHWA helps these entities identify and cooperatively address issues that may have budgetary and legislative implications. FHWA also promotes interagency collaboration and the sharing of program innovations by facilitating information exchanges between the United States, other countries, and international organizations.