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43 and trade patterns) that must be respected in seeking best solu- tions. These challenges do not respect city or state boundaries and, with the emergence of megaregions, sometimes do not even respect regional boundaries. The primary goal of strategic visioning is to identify and preserve the widest range of best choices or future possibilities. Strategic visioning uses the analy- sis of future alternative scenarios to empower stewards to make wise decisions and establish robust strategies that will enhance Source: Grow & Bruening. the probability of the best choices actually coming to fruition. Figure 6-5. Regional visioning and It has been said that the most common strategy for dealing land-use decisions. with the future is denial. As humans, we show an uncanny ability to ride old, expiring trends into the ground before we will engage in deep thinking about the future. A regional vision- tonnage, value, routes utilized and density of goods on the ing process is an attempt to engage in such deep thinking routes, capacity of facilities, vehicle trips, economic impacts, in light of existing trends and future uncertainties--to con- jobs created, taxes paid, and current bottleneck areas. Data sider various scenarios for the future of the region in order also should be gathered regarding current trends and future to explore answers to the question, "What if?" What if the projections. Interviews with industry experts can reveal population of the region expands over the coming decades? current and future issues. Where and how will these people be accommodated? What · Inclusion of freight-related stakeholders in the vision- if the price of gas eventually rises to $10 per gallon? What if ing process to serve on technical and other committees. potential new transportation corridors to or across the region These stakeholders would include railroads, ports, trucking become blocked by surrounding development? companies, airports and air freight carriers, government Most regional visions do not currently deal with freight in officials, industry organizations, and consultants with depth, but tremendous potential exists to significantly affect expertise in the field. decision making that impacts freight. Regional visioning pro- · Public outreach that includes freight issues. Freight can cesses can expand their thinking about the future to include be included in public workshops and open houses, surveys, freight concerns. How important is freight to the economy of and other outreach mechanisms. the region? What role can freight play in the economic future · Creation of land-use and transportation scenarios that of the region? How will rapidly expanding freight needs in a take significant note of freight considerations. Land-use region be accommodated? What if the creation or expansion scenarios should consider freight needs, including possible of freight corridors and facilities is blocked by development? future expansion or creation of facilities. Transportation The regional vision is the proper scale for tackling freight scenarios should not focus on movement of people without issues. An important component in making informed land-use adequate consideration of the movement of goods. · Technical analysis of the impact of various future scenarios decisions as they relate to freight transportation is an under- standing of the economic costs and benefits of these decisions. on freight. Various measures that can be modeled might include congestion and its costs in terms of money, time, In the context of freight transportation corridors, economic and air quality; public safety impacts; freight corridor costs and benefits must be viewed on a large-scale perspective externalities; economic impact of the freight industry over because freight transportation infrastructure is an important time; and overall assessment of costs and benefits of alter- factor in the performance of the U.S. economy and a region's native land uses. competitiveness on a global scale. Decision makers at the · Vision goals and strategies that include freight as a key local level are typically subject to local political pressure from component of the economic, land-use, transportation, and both residents and developers who often have little concern environmental future of the region. for local impacts on freight systems. In this context, the cliché "freight doesn't vote," is relevant. Figure 6-5 illustrates how regional visioning fits into land-use decisions. Mapping Freight Corridors The freight portion of a regional visioning exercise should and Facilities include the following aspects: Much of the research conducted over the past 25 years re- garding corridor protection and preservation has noted that · Baseline information gathering, including maps of com- mapping of freight corridors and facility elements is a critical ponent parts of the freight system (freight routes/corridors, element to ensure continued viability. distribution hubs, inland ports, waterways, air cargo, etc.), In some states, advanced planning and approval of trans- as well as data related to these component parts, such as portation corridors do not require a change in statutes or