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6 CHAPTER 1 Introduction The private sector is largely responsible for development The objectives of this project were to and management of the nation's freight flow system, but pub- lic agencies at all levels face important investment and policy Investigate, identify, and report on high-priority, high- decisions that may affect those flows. Public sector transporta- payoff improvements in freight-demand models and other tion decisionmakers need to understand the large and shifting analysis tools; increases in traffic generated, for example, by ports, inland Conduct research on several of these improvements; and terminals, and mega-destination centers, in order to make Develop a guidebook to assist model developers in imple- informed decisions about mobility improvements and other menting freight transportation planning, including these investments. improvements. Many states, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and U.S.DOT have developed and implemented analytical The report is organized as follows: tools and models to better understand the impacts of public and private freight investments and their associated impacts Chapter 2--Current Needs and Practices of states and on economic development, environmental quality, and traf- MPOs in developing and applying freight models and ana- fic operations. However, even with these tools, many agencies lytical tools; struggle to identify which freight mobility strategies will be Chapter 3--Research to Fill Critical Gaps lists the gaps most effective or even how to measure the success of differ- developed from Section 2 and conducting additional ent combinations. The goal of this project was to improve research to fill three of those gaps; and and expand the forecasting and analytical tools needed to Chapter 4--Guidebook outlines the steps that can be fol- evaluate freight mobility strategies, so that transportation lowed to prepare freight forecasts. decisionmakers faced with investment decisions can make Chapter 5--Conclusions and Recommendations provides more informed choices. this information from the research effort.