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CHAPTER 6 Putting It All Together: A Process for Evaluating and Addressing the Impacts This chapter suggests steps to help local planning officials evaluate goods movement issues in their urban areas. The process outlined is intended to assist planners in identifying impacts and determining whether existing regulations may be producing unintended consequences such as higher congestion, air or noise pollution, or lower competitive conditions for businesses. This section also presents ideas, solutions, and strategies for integrating freight into the planning process and changing local regulations to support efficient goods movement operations. Recognize the Political Environment As with any planning process, it is important to acknowledge that changes to policies, goals, and the regulations intended to implement them require buy-in by elected officials and the public. Affecting the impact of urban goods movements through both policy and regulatory changes begins with an understanding of the political complexity of moving goods into, and within, urban areas. Urban goods movement issues may create challenges for local elected officials and decision- makers who must balance competing demands between citizens who vote and businesses that create jobs. For example, if a business located in a residential area generates a significant amount of truck traffic, residents are likely to complain about trucks on residential streets. Even if the business provides jobs, voters from the neighborhood command attention. The economic effects from losing the company are less likely to be apparent to the voters in the neighborhood. As discussed earlier in this guidebook, as urban areas grow in population and density, demands for consumer goods grow as well. High urban populations and similarly high demands for goods and services are increasing levels of urban highway congestion. Modern supply chain management practices such as just-in-time delivery have become the norm for competing in the new economy. Regulations imposed by local agencies intended to combat congestion (e.g., time- of-day delivery restrictions) may have the unintended result of creating increased tension between freight delivery needs and the quality of life residents expect. An increasing number of consumers are ordering products via the Internet for home delivery, yet many do not want trucks in their neighborhood. Trucking companies and others responsible for delivering goods and services in urban areas find it increasingly challenging to operate in urban environments. Receiving Support or Authorization to Integrate Freight Analysis into the Planning Process The specific work conducted by most local governments and planning agency staff is based on answering questions or addressing issues, principles, or policies identified by local elected offi- cials and decisionmakers. Therefore, the decision, directive, or authority to conduct freight 52