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72 implemented projects. For the project reports, the contact ity issues. This information will contribute to the database information of the publishers are also provided. and add to the intelligence of the application. For example, as options and strategies are selected, the program will apply a factor to reflect its level of usage. This will allow other users to 6.2.4 Query Database see the history of the options selected as they make decisions. The framework is structured such that the user can directly Also, the tool will include a feature that allows users to provide query the database of implemented projects based on user- feedback on the level of success or failure of the strategy they defined criteria without having to go through the constraint selected. This information can be used to enhance the value of characterization and improvement selection process. The the strategy to mitigate similar problems. search criteria are constraint, improvement, or project name. In the query mode, once the user selects the search criterion, the 6.5 Integration into list of projects satisfying that criterion is displayed. The user can Planning Process then select a project for detailed review or the user can select multiple projects for comparison. The framework allows the As noted in the introduction, the methodology described user to start a new search or go through the wizard mode to above is intended to integrate into the transportation planning evaluate the constraint and identify appropriate improvements. process and the project development process. Each state DOT and each MPO is required to conduct a systematic and ongo- ing planning process, which, among other things, identifies 6.3 Software Application transportation bottlenecks. Since the 1991 enactment of the The methodology described above is encapsulated in a soft- Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, freight issues ware application tool. The prototype of this tool was developed are required to be included in the planning process. These as a standalone product using Microsoft Windows applica- planning requirements have resulted in a variety of freight- tions based on the .Net Framework 2.0 programming plat- planning activities at state DOTs and MPOs including: form. This application has a wizard-like interface that guides users in making appropriate choices or selections. Improved collection of freight data incorporating: Freight origin and destination data Freight volumes across the network and at selected links 6.4 Feedback and Continuous and nodes of the network Update of Database Forecasts of freight growth rates to enable prediction of To enhance the usefulness of the tool, it is desirable to include future levels of congestion a mechanism to keep updating and adding new options to Creation in some cases of freight models, which gener- the database as additional information becomes available. ate freight demand predictions across the network or at There are two possible methods for doing this: (i) analysts specific links could actively seek additional data for the database, or (ii) prac- Feedback through studies and surveys of businesses and titioners could have the option of sending success stories to a industry to understand the impacts of freight systems on database manager, and the data would then be included as the operations of all modes (rail, road, sea, barge, or air) part of the tool. Regardless of the source of new data, exten- Improved estimates of costs such as the value of time for sive effort will be required to fully populate the database with shipments, the values of cargoes moved, and the estimated good examples. Since no standard process exists to define, contribution of freight efficiency to overall economic describe, or measure such freight mobility constraint allevia- competitiveness tion projects, the process of collecting a substantial number Identification of freight stakeholders including: of candidate examples will continue to be time consuming The formation of freight stakeholder councils and expensive. The methodology as described in this project Identification of major freight producers and consumers would be the beginning of a long, multi-year, multi-state, and among local businesses and industries multi-urbanized area effort to collect sample projects to pop- Solicitation of input from modal operators about their ulate and update the database. The database and methodol- unique issues such as the needs of motor carriers, rail- ogy would need to become part of a collaborative effort by roads, port operators, and other transport sectors many jurisdictions to provide the data for the future analyses. Identification of freight bottlenecks including: Once such a collaborative data collection mechanism is Correlating high truck volumes on freeways to known established, it will be necessary to convert the tool to a web- points of freeway congestion based application that will include a feedback screen to capture Identification of intersections that serve high truck strategies selected by policy/decision makers to resolve mobil- volumes