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MODULE 1 Using the Guidebook The analytical framework for conventional--passenger-oriented--transportation planning, as practiced by MPOs nationwide, has a great deal of uniformity. In many cases, problems and issues from MPO to MPO are quite similar and are closely related to population levels, that is, areas of similar size often have similar transportation issues. The same cannot be said for freight planning. Problems and issues differ significantly and the dynamics of the private sector freight industry often result in smaller regions suffering from the same types of congestion and access issues that used to be reserved for large, urban areas. While there is no standard approach for addressing freight issues in a region, there is a framework for addressing freight planning that has a common sequence and common elements. This Guidebook provides a flexible, problem focused framework that allows individual MPOs to structure a tailored approach to freight plan- ning that reflects their knowledge, resources, and local conditions. Incorporating freight policy, planning, and programming activities into an existing metro- politan transportation planning process may represent additional work for MPO staff and may require the commitment of additional resources, completion of training programs, the develop- ment of targeted outreach efforts, or other strategies. Recognizing this, the approaches defined in this Guidebook represent varying levels of effort designed to help MPO staff effectively man- age the development of their freight programs; the sequential steps provided throughout the doc- ument are "guidelines" that staff should use to develop an approach that meets regional needs and matches available resources. Who Should Use This Guidebook? The Guidebook is designed for those involved in MPO freight policy, planning, and program- ming activities in small- and medium-sized metropolitan areas. It is structured to provide guidance to MPO staff members as they develop or enhance their metropolitan freight planning programs. The Guidebook defines basic approaches to help staff get started in freight planning and advanced approaches for those who are interested in more sophisticated freight planning activities or who wish to enhance existing freight planning programs. MPO staff designated to lead freight planning activities should become familiar with the entire document. Individual components of the Guide- book can then be used by practitioners to get an overview of a subject, delve into areas of particu- lar interest, or identify additional references on specific topics or on terminology of freight planning. How Should the Guidebook Be Used? To reduce the Guidebook framework to its simplest terms, Modules 1 and 2 are introductory elements that describe the process, evaluate current freight knowledge, and identify initial focus 1-1
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1-2 Guidebook for Freight Policy, Planning, and Programming in Small- and Medium-Sized Metropolitan Areas areas for freight program development, including a list of proposed activities. Module 3 provides specific guidelines for a range of subject areas. These guidelines describe key activities that should be undertaken to develop specific elements of a regional freight program. Module 4 provides a set of activities to develop a comprehensive freight planning program. Module 5 identifies cate- gorized references to resources that will assist staff with freight program development activities. To effectively use the Guidebook, it is important to first work through Modules 1 and 2. Upon completion of these activities, staff will be better prepared to select an initial set of freight pro- gram development activities. Once these activities have been identified, the appropriate mix of guidelines should be selected from Module 3. In addition, the Guidebook provides the ability to develop a freight program iteratively over time. Local issues and available resources will likely prevent most MPOs from implementing all the guidelines provided in Module 3. However, as part of regular updates, the Guidebook can be used repeatedly to create a freight program that evolves over time. A description of each of the modules follows and the entire process is shown in Figure 1.1. · Module 1. Using the Guidebook. This module provides (a) guidance on who should use the guide book, (b) suggestions on how to get started, (c) an overview of the entire process, (d) a description of the modules, and (e) instructions on how to effectively use this Guidebook. · Module 2. Getting Started. This module provides a series of exercises designed to help users evaluate the degree to which freight issues and concerns already are being addressed within existing transportation planning programs. In addition, it helps users use the results of this evaluation to identify specific freight planning activities that are most appropriate for their region and organization. · Module 3. Integrating Freight into MPO Activities. This module provides specific guidelines that serve as the menu of freight policy, planning, and programming elements. This menu will be used to develop a priority list of elements to form the initial freight planning work program. · Module 4. Putting It All Together. This module provides a comprehensive list of sequential steps that could be taken to establish a freight transportation program. Although most MPOs will not undertake all of the steps at once, it is critical that staff understands how each step or activity fits into an overall freight program. · Module 5. Identifying Freight Resources. This module provides a variety of critical freight data and resource references, including resources available from FHWA's FPD program, a list of available freight-related databases for North America, federal funding and financing pro- grams, MPO case studies, and several freight glossary sources.
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Using the Guidebook 1-3 Module 1 Module 2 Introduction Using the Guidebook Getting Started Provides users with a brief Provides instructions Freight Self-Assessment backround on the importance of on how to effectively An exercise to assess freight expertise relating to the region's freight system freight transportation policy, use the Guidebook Definition of Freight Planning Program Stage planning, and programming activities, and highlights the Evaluates self-assessment and describes freight planning program as basic or intermediate/advanced motivation for the Guidebook Identification of Program Elements and Freight Planning Guidelines development Identifies appropriate mix of activities to enhance an existing or develop a new freight planning program Module 4 Module 3 Putting It All Together Integrating Freight into MPO Activities Provides a range of specific guidelines to stimulate freight policy, planning, and programming activities within established MPO program functions Provides a comprehensive list of sequential steps that could be taken to Addressing Identifying establish a freight Freight Analysis Freight transportation program in Corridor Needs and Plans/Studies Deficiencies Long-Range Planning 1) Assign lead... Long-range planning covers development and Developing maintenance of long-range plans, data 2) Establish goals... Freight LRP Identifying collection and analysis progams, identification Element Freight 3) Develop profile... Data and of needs and projects, and other research and Analytical Projects planning initiatives 4) Engage partners... Tools 5) Define needs... Developing Developing Transportation Improvement Programming Freight Training 6) Key decisions... and Freight Policy Project Directive Education Transportation improvement programming 7) Refine goals... Evaluation incorporates data and projects from the long- Criteria range planning process into an established 8) Develop data... Outreach set of activities that prioritize, select, and and fund projects 9) Establish measures... Developing Partnerships Identifying Regional Innovative 10) Identify projects... Freight Funding and Profile Financing Unified Planning Work Program 11) Develop criteria... Techniques 12) Integrate into... Assessing Developing The UPWP is the management plan for an Freight Project Freight MPO, which identifies and schedules all of 13) Fund and deploy... Impacts Performance the planning activities that need to be accomplished on an annual basis 14) Develop process... Measures Module 5 Identifying Freight Resources Provides references to available freight resources. It also includes a complete set of the case studies developed as part of this project Identifies available data, resources, and research that could be used by MPO staff to facilitate freight policy, planning, and programming activities Professional Freight Related Federal Funding MPO Case Freight Glossary Development Databases Programs Studies References Resources Figure 1.1. Guidebook architecture.