Evaluate and Revise Plans

In order to stay applicable, plans should be evaluated and revised regularly. Plans can be revised for several reasons:

  • Conditions on the ground change
  • New priorities emerge
  • Innovative approaches become available
  • Evaluative information now provides new directions for the plan

Although there is no hard and fast rule about how often plans need to be updated, plans should include a periodic schedule for revision typically every five years and not exceeding 10 to 15 years.

Evaluation of a plan can be used to

  • Guide the efforts of the project staff
  • Demonstrate project success to the public
  • Assure continued support from sponsors

The extent and methods of evaluation may differ for a pedestrian and bicycle plan at the local, MPO, or State level, but the general principles stay the same.

A thorough evaluation:

  • Investigates the achievement of objectives using quantifiable measures
  • Reviews the effectiveness of particular interventions and policies
  • Monitors public opinion
  • Reassesses the specific program plan

Because objectives and interventions are likely to vary across locations, planners should ask the following questions:

  • Were the objectives met effectively (in general)?
  • Did the interventions and treatments work as intended and helped achieve objectives?
  • Did the treatment have unintended consequences?