National Academies Press: OpenBook

Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes (2012)

Chapter: Chapter 3 - Overview of Conflicting Land Uses and Freight-Transportation-Related Services

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Overview of Conflicting Land Uses and Freight-Transportation-Related Services." 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 20
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Overview of Conflicting Land Uses and Freight-Transportation-Related Services." 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 21

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20 When competing and incompatible land uses exist in close proximity to each other, these uses often interfere with each other, resulting in potential conflicts between them. For example, a freight yard or corridor located near a residential neighborhood, school, or hospital is often a source of conflict. Conflicts could be physical in nature and/or involve nuisance, health, or safety concerns. For the individual, these conflicts often create nuisance and pollution issues that can imperil the peaceful enjoyment of one’s property, or are the source of safety issues. From the perspective of planning agencies, planning to reduce these types of conflicts is extremely dif- ficult given the immense pressure local jurisdictions face to ensure that tax revenues stay constant and that land is devel- oped according to its highest and best use. From the freight perspective, these conflicts often result in barriers to efficient freight transportation. This chapter provides an overview of conflicting land uses and their impact on freight-transportation-related services. Chapter 4 provides greater detail on these issues, including the sources of such conflicts and possible solutions for the preser- vation and protection of freight infrastructure and routes. Conflicting Land Uses Most land uses related to residential, educational, and medical use often are incompatible with freight activity. Among the major conflicts non-freight interests have with freight- transportation-related services are the following: • Air and water pollution, • Light pollution, • Noise pollution, • Effects of vibration, • Safety issues, and • Congestion. Some conflicts—such as noise, light, and vibration—are common to all of the primary freight modes. Other conflicts are more specific to particular modes. For example, the poten- tial for dangerous trespass tends to be specific to railroads. Figure 3-1 shows the main conflicts that arise with respect to freight activity. Another issue that cannot be ignored in this context is that local jurisdictions have an incentive to maximize property and sales tax revenues. In many cases, this has created pressure to change zoning designations from industrial to non-industrial classifications if it is believed that non-industrial uses will generate greater tax revenues. Demand for affordable land that is situated near city and downtown amenities has also aggravated this issue, since many freight facilities are situated in these areas because of their long history. Not surprisingly, these conflicts often affect property values. Differing land uses can have adverse effects on landowners due to either rising or falling values, depending on the use involved. For example, freight-transportation-related services can lower property values because of noise, vibration, pollution, and general access issues, potentially resulting in pressure from other landowners to move the freight operation. On the other hand, land uses such as residential neighborhoods and commercial districts that are incompatible with freight- transportation-related services can cause a rise in property values and property taxes, making freight-transportation- related services in the area more expensive. Barriers to Freight-Transportation- Related Services From the perspective of freight interests, barriers to effi- cient freight-transportation-related services often emerge as a result of unresolved conflicts. Barriers or impediments to the economically efficient transportation of freight can be due to numerous factors, including land-use decisions that create conflicts with other land uses, insufficient funding for the maintenance or expansion of freight facilities and cor- ridors, and public policy decisions that impede or do not sufficiently accommodate the needs of freight transportation. C h a p t e r 3 Overview of Conflicting Land Uses and Freight-Transportation-Related Services

21 Such barriers typically result in increased production and distribution costs. In this context, examples of potential bar- riers or interference with freight-transportation-related ser- vices include the following: • Speed restrictions; • Limitations on hours of operation; • Height and clearance impacts; • Size and weight limitations; • Corridor design impacts; • Environmental permitting; • Limitations on dredging operations and/or depositing of dredged material; • Backlog of waterway lock or channel maintenance; • Hazardous material (hazmat) routing restrictions; and • Gentrification that displaces, impedes, or increases the costs of freight transportation. Some of these barriers can be specific to a particular mode (e.g., highway and road design impacts on trucking activities or dredging impacts on waterway transportation), while other barriers may be more general across modes (e.g., limitations on hours of operation). Barriers not only affect freight activi- ties along particular corridors and facilities, but they also may affect route choices and the ability to access freight and manufacturing facilities. For example, if roads are designed with turning radii that are too tight, particular types of trucks may not be able to use these routes or access facilities that use these roads. Conflicts and Barriers Matrices The types of conflicts and resulting barriers to efficient freight transportation are summarized in the conflicts and barriers matrices found in Appendix A. Figure 3-1. Land uses and conflicts adjacent to freight activity. Source: UT-CTR.

Next: Chapter 4 - Issues Identified and Lessons Learned from NCFRP Project 24 Case Studies and Surveys »
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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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