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74 chokepoints and promising freight strategies, which must be further prioritized into chronological periods. The potential Bottleneck Suggested freight bottleneck projects identified through the Transporta- tion Plan can be further evaluated and prioritized through the methodology for prioritization in the short-term TIP. Those projects that appear to have the greatest benefit in terms of freight volumes, sensitivity to the improvement strategy, or Methodology Applied support by freight stakeholders can be adopted for the TIP. Many MPOs and state DOTs have developed Freight Advi- sory Councils. These tend to be collections of freight-system Site users and consumers, such as trucking firms, port operators, Yes Review No local shippers, local businesses, railroad operators, and water- OK borne freight operators in regions that have marine ports or inland waterways. These councils typically advise the MPO or DOT at both the plan development stage and the TIP devel- opment stage. The methodology would be an appropriate tool Public Involvement for the Freight Advisory Council members to use to help eval- Environmental Review uate the potential scope of projects at congested locations. Confirm Feasibility 6.5.2 Project Development Process Alternative All projects constructed using Federal transportation funds Yes Accepted No must be derived from an approved Transportation Plan and TIP. However, those "planning level" approvals are not suffi- cient to lead to the actual construction of a project or deploy- ment of a strategy. An additional "project-level" evaluation process also is required, which includes analysis of engineering, Project Advances environmental, social, and financial alternatives. This analysis begins with evaluation as to the needed number of lanes; proper Figure 28. Integration into project- horizontal and vertical curvature; sight distances; length of development process. merging or weaving areas; and the type, size, and location of any structures. As those engineering details are refined, the project's more precise scope, cost, footprint, and impacts are ities, and other details will then clarify the impacts upon adja- evaluated against their effect upon the environment, the neigh- cent property and utilities. If these more exact details then borhood, their effect upon the cost of the project, and the pro- reveal impacts upon property or utilities that invalidate proj- ject's overall acceptability to the surrounding community. ect costs or feasibility assumptions, then the rank-order list of Many such details are not known at the earlier planning level. strategies for that location can be revisited. If the leading The methodology lends itself to incorporation into the option is not possible, the second most promising strategy project development process (Figure 28). Once a site has been from the methodology could be pursued. For instance, at an identified for improvement in the TIP, a multidisciplinary intersection if a turn lane or radius improvement is not pos- team could field-review the location for consideration of its sible, then signal timing improvements could be the next-best feasibility. Any obvious constraints to the project could be option. Likewise, the element of time could be applied to the taken into consideration and used to determine if the most solution. If the turning lane or turning radius solution has to highly recommended bottleneck strategy appears possible be deferred until it can be afforded, the signal-timing solution after this initial, cursory investigation. Such initial screening could be implemented in the short term. also may be possible by relying on geographic information In these various ways, the methodology can be incorpo- systems and other inventories if they exist. Reviews of aerial rated into the long-range planning process, the shorter-term photographs, reviews of utility plans, right-of-way maps, and TIP development process, or the specific project development other information sources could provide insight into the fea- process. sibility of a proposed solution. The goal is to encapsulate the methodology in a stand- The engineering details as to precise length of turning lanes, alone software application that can be used at different stages exact radii, elevation of structures, location of drainage facil- of the transportation planning and project development