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Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes (2012)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction

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Page 11
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14650.
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Page 11
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14650.
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Page 12

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11 NCFRP Report 16 is the final report of NCFRP Project 24, “Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes” (FY 2009). An important aspect of freight preservation and protection activities is the prevention or resolution of potential conflicts between land use for freight transportation purposes and alternative uses. This report • Presents information about freight transportation and its importance to everyday life; • Illustrates types of conflicts between freight and other land uses, as well as their consequences; and • Provides tools and resources to preserve freight facilities and corridors, including prevention and resolution of these conflicts. The target audience for this study consists of decision makers involved in freight facility operations, freight trans- portation planning, and land-use decisions. This includes state departments of commerce and transportation, MPOs, local officials and their planning offices, legislators and their staffs, freight facility developers, freight operators, and real estate concerns. The Importance of Freight Transportation A smoothly functioning freight transportation network is essential to the operation of the U.S. economy. Efficient freight transportation is a very important part of producing products and getting them to consumers. Freight transpor- tation services are combined with other logistics inputs such as warehouses, inventories, and information technology in order to provide goods and services to final consumers in a timely fashion. According to the most recent information from the U.S. Commodity Flow Survey (CFS), on average, 42 tons of freight worth $39,000 was delivered to every person in the United States in 2007. When considering the distance involved in transporting this freight, an average of 11,000 ton-miles was delivered to every person in the country. To gain perspective on the amount of transportation involved, this is equivalent to carrying one ton of freight for every man, woman, and child in the United States 11,000 miles, or each of the 42 tons of freight for every person over 260 miles. Quite simply, the highly specialized system of producing and distributing products to consumers that is the cornerstone of our economy could not exist without the freight transpor- tation network. Freight is hauled by various transportation modes—truck, rail, air, water—and combinations of these modes. The choice of transportation modes or combinations of modes depends on a number of factors including type and value of commodity, shipment size, distance, and desired speed and reliability of transportation. Conflicts between Freight and Other Land Uses U.S. economic and population growth creates increasing competition for the land resources underlying the freight transportation infrastructure. Amid such competition, a key to preserving freight transportation facilities and corridors is to prevent or resolve conflicts between freight-transportation- related services and other land uses. Some conflicts are obvious, such as bridge interference with the vertical clearance of rail- road corridors or other shipping lanes. Other conflicts may not be as apparent, such as noise, vibration, or environmental effects caused by freight activities. From the perspective of the community at large, these conflicts generally lead to nuisance, safety, or health concerns. From the perspective of freight interests, these conflicts can create barriers to efficient transportation that diminish economic performance. C h a p t e r 1 Introduction

12 Preservation and Protection Strategies and Freight-Compatible Development Preservation of freight facilities and corridors is extremely important. The loss of freight facilities, yards, and other ancillary facilities that may serve the network can create bot- tlenecks, increase costs, and potentially affect consumers through increased prices. Re-parceling lost corridors is often cost-prohibitive and can run up against community com- plaints. Preservation of freight facilities and corridors can be achieved not only through long-range planning activities, but also through other approaches, including delineation of cor- ridors, freight support and preservation initiatives, mainte- nance activities, and purchase of corridors to preserve them for future freight use. The goal of freight-compatible development is to preserve existing freight facilities and corridors, effectively plan for future freight activities, and reduce impacts that occur because of the proximity of incompatible land uses around freight corridors and facilities. Thus, the main objectives of freight-compatible development are to (1) ensure that freight-transportation- related services are not affected by, or do not affect, other land uses placed close to freight corridors or facilities; (2) reduce and minimize community impacts that arise because of the proximity of sensitive land uses, including residences, schools, hospitals, and emergency services; and (3) incorporate the preservation and protection of freight facilities and corridors as a forward-looking component of general planning and economic development policies. In many cases, incompatible land uses already exist close to freight-transportation-related services, and conflict already exists. In these cases, at least in the short run, measures such as design standards and mitigation approaches are a means to minimize conflicts. In the future, preservation of these facilities and corridors should become a normal part of the planning activities performed at the local level. This also requires that local jurisdictions and regional and state planning agencies partner and work together to create seamless integration of freight transportation planning across jurisdictional levels. Four major tools are available—either individually or in combination—to achieve the goals of freight-compatible development. These are 1. Long-range planning, 2. Zoning and design, 3. Mitigation, and 4. Education and outreach. EnvisionFreight Website and Guidebook An innovative contribution of NCFRP Project 24 is the development of a website, http://www.EnvisionFreight.com, which is intended to complement the final report. The “beta” version of the website was previewed at the NCFRP Project 24 workshop, held in January 2011. For many of the topics covered in this report, more detailed materials are available on the web- site. References to these website materials are provided in this report where relevant. Appendices are available on CD-ROM.

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TRB’s National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Report 16: Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes provides guidance to decision makers involved in freight facility operations, freight transportation planning, and land use on how to avoid conflicting land uses or mitigate existing uses.

The report provides information about freight transportation and its importance to people’s everyday lives; illustrates the types of conflicts between freight and other land uses and their consequences; and provides tools and resources designed to help preserve facilities and corridors, including prevention or resolution of conflicts.

In addition to the report, EnvisionFreight.com was developed as part of this project. The website is designed to complement the report by including more detailed materials then could be included in the report.

A CD-ROM packaged with the print version of the report includes the appendices to the report.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image

(Warning: This is a large file and may take some time to download using a high-speed connection.)

An article on NCFRP Report 16 was published in the January-February 2013 version of the TR News.

CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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