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119 This section of the Guide presents nine primary case studies that document implementations of freight initiatives in six metropolitan areas of varying sizes across the United States: Atlanta, Georgia; the Kansas City area; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Toledo, Ohio. The case studies represent a sample of the initiatives that have been implemented across the country to improve the freight system performance in metropolitan areas. Table 58 summarizes the initiatives presented in each location. Each case study includes the following parts: â¢ Overview â¢ Economic impacts â¢ Regional approach/initiative â¢ Stakeholder engagement â¢ Emerging issues â¢ Concluding remarks The overview summarizes the background and current conditions of the freight activity in the selected city and provides a brief description of the characteristics of the issue affecting the produc- tivity of the system. The discussion of economic impacts describes the effects of not implementing any initiative to improve the freight system in terms of monetary units or in major impacts to the regionâs economy. The regional approach followed by the public agency is presented by relating the planning process followed and initiative selected. In most of the cases, the public agencyâs approach included the participation of key stakeholders, whose role is explained in the stakeholder engage- ment section. Concluding remarks address lessons learned and identification of emerging issues after the implementation of the selected initiative. S E C T I O N 3 Case Studies Table 58. Case studies and initiatives discussed. Case Study Location Atlanta, Georgia Daytime delivery bans Truck routes Kansas City Region Freight quality partnerships Upgraded infrastructure Los Angeles, California Freight quality partnerships Truck routes Upgraded infrastructure New York City, New York Freight parking and loading zones Loading and parking restrictions Removal of intersection constraints Truck routes Seattle, Washington Freight quality partnerships Upgraded infrastructure Real-time information systems Toledo, Ohio Freight quality partnerships Upgraded infrastructure Initiatives Discussed
120 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta Truck Congestion: Daytime Delivery Bans and Truck Routes Introduction The Atlanta, Georgia, region has had extensive planning and practical experience in the field of urban freight movement. Planning efforts to accommodate the Games of the XXVI Olympiad (1996 Summer Olympics) included the introduction and implementation of a temporary off- hour delivery (OHD) program for local businesses. This case study revisits that implementation, its results, and private-sector responses to its effects on current conditions. Existing conditions in the region provide a potential opportunity to reintroduce the program. Planning efforts that originate from the local and regional jurisdictions also are explored. Initially a crossroads for early railroads, in the early days Atlanta was called the âTown of Terminus.â Since then, however, the region has become a center of trade and goods move- ment and evolved into a domestic and international logistics hub for the Southeastern United States. The demand for freight in this region relates in part to the local populationâs needs for goods and services. Figure 9 illustrates the rapid growth in population for the Atlanta region from 1970â2012. Today, the region is defined in numerous ways, but the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) defines it in terms of the 18 county metropolitan planning areas (MPAs) and 10 county regional planning commissions (RPCs) that serve the highly urbanized portions of the region (see Figure 10). The Atlanta region is served by a significant freight transportation system that includes com- plex Interstate and local road networks and extensive modal availability. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) is the worldâs busiest airport. Home to hubs for both air cargo flights and passenger (with associated belly freight) flights, ATL serves as a major generator for time-sensitive freight. Railroads have always had a significant presence in the Atlanta region, with significant facili- ties inside the urban area serving both local and through-freight rail traffic. Extensive trans- portation systems serve as attractors for distribution activities that may be independent of local manufacturing. The region is host to numerous significant distribution centers, promoting extensive truck trips. 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 3,000,000 3,500,000 4,000,000 4,500,000 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2011 2012 Figure 9. Population growth, 1970â2012.
Case Studies 121 Figure 10. ARC MPO regions.
122 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Case Study 1: 1996 Summer Olympics Delivery Experiment The 1996 Summer Olympics took place in the Atlanta area. This sudden influx of traffic created peak-level congestion throughout the region during daylight hours. The region successfully planned for and implemented daytime delivery bans to mitigate congestion levels. After the games concluded, the majority of deliveries returned to daytime. Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 24: Daytime Delivery Bans Overview As Atlanta prepared to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, traffic volumes were projected to increase substantially, as did concerns over safety, congestion, and the ability of freight carriers to conduct business to support increased demand. Numerous travelers to the events would not be familiar with the regionâs roadways, and increased automobile mass transit and pedestrian traffic were expected to add to the congested transportation network. Congestion levels that normally appeared only during peak periods were expected to occur throughout the day. With the sudden influx of visitors, urban freight demand would substantially rise, as deliveries to hotels, restaurants, and tourists spots increased. These additional truck trips would add to the congestion and cause delivery delays, reducing productivity and increasing the need for additional trucks on the roadway. Decreases in productivity would result in rising costs for the carriers, which would be transferred to the shippers and receivers of the goods, and ultimately to the customers. Economic Impacts Lost wages and increased labor costs are two of the economic impacts generated by conges- tion and delays. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), in its 2013 update of annual marginal costs, calculated the routine cost to operate a commercial vehicle in the United States at $65.29 per hour. To accurately capture the impact of delays, it is important to consider that this cost may be expanded by the addition of many other hourly costs. In illustration: â¢ A delay in delivering a shipment of materials or parts for an assembly line may produce a work stoppage. This results in additional costs associated with wages paid to the assembly line workers awaiting the shipment. â¢ A delay in shipping may extend the shipmentâs loading or processing beyond normal operat- ing hours of the shipper. The costs for additional time and wages paid by the shipper must also be considered. â¢ Known delays may require one or more additional vehicles and operators to service a series of shipments. This results in additional charges for each additional truck trip and hourly operat- ing costs. The expansive nature of the Atlanta region amplifies the effects of congestion and delay on the freight industry. It speaks to the need for additional distribution centers to service the region, as opposed to companies having only a single terminal. With the introduction of a second facility (or possibly more), carrier capacity productivity can be regained; however, this regained pro- ductivity comes with the additional capital costs of buildings, vehicles, equipment, and wages.
Case Studies 123 Narrow roadwaysâpresent in urbanized areas where land costs and aged infrastructure cur- tail expansionâcombined with additional traffic, parked automobiles, and lack of off-street parking, result in the need for specialized equipment to move goods. If operations typically involve larger tractor-trailer combinations, a carrier may be required to purchase smaller units. Distribution centers also are affected as they engage these smaller units. The lowered capacity of each truck results in additional loading activity, increased truck trips, and potentially slower responsiveness to outlet or receiver locations. Regional Approach/Initiative To help mitigate the anticipated impacts of the Summer Olympics, a temporary OHD pro- gram was instituted in Atlanta. The program required all commercial vehicle-based pick-up and delivery services to take place during overnight hours, when overall traffic volumes were decreased. By alleviating daytime truck trips, normal traffic levels were maintained throughout the games. Motor carrier operational productivity was impacted to a lesser degree than if freight opera- tions had continued during the day. Operational changes were experienced beyond those in the local area. Because many carriers used the same equipmentâusually during the dayâto support nighttime over-the-road or line-haul operations between other cities and markets, significant changes had to be made to patterns of equipment utilization and work force scheduling outside the region and state. Transit times between cities were affected, disrupting supply chains. The business models adopted by carriers vary, as they support the necessary amount of time required to transport a shipment from one location to another. Transit time is one component of modal selection within the practice of supply chain management. Calculating the inherent and indirect costs for the transportation of goods and materials, a supply chain adopts appropriate modes to minimize those impacts. As carriers responded to concurrent local and over-the-road operations, tempo- rary transit standards were adopted. The temporary nature of these made it possible for supply chains to make corresponding temporary changes. When conditions returned to normal, supply chains made a sharp return to normal operations. Stakeholder Engagement Local jurisdictions hold much of the decision-making authority to improve local roadways and the built environment to enhance urban freight performance. As the MPO for the region, the ARC provides guidance and encourages programs, regulations, land use, and design features conducive to efficient goods movement at the local or regional level. Leading planning efforts at the regional level, the MPO serves as a resource to assist the local jurisdiction. Local jurisdictions observe local conditions, forecast future needs, and respond through regu- lations and policies to meet the needs of goods movement. With limited funding levels, the city establishes design standards (such as 11-foot travel lanes), evaluates access-management requirements, and maintains and protects industrial land use designations, especially where these meet the combined needs of the local citizenry and freight. In Atlanta, freight stakeholders were involved with local jurisdictions throughout this process to ensure that supply chains could adequately shift during the short period of the 1996 Summer Olympics. When the games were over, however, there were significant challenges to overcome regarding permanently altering supply chains.
124 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Emerging Issues Interviewed freight system users and service providers identified the lack of sufficient capacity and resulting congestion as the leading freight impediment in the Atlanta region. The increased presence of automobiles and other vehicles on the roadway, traveling or parked, decreases mobility for commercial trucks. This translates into reduced access, and the inability to service businesses without additional cost. This issue is further influenced by the lack of infrastructure support to provide loading or unloading off-street, or at a dedicated dock or dedicated on-street delivery- only parking area. As a result, commercial vehicles stop in the roadway, generating congestion and delays to the overall traffic flow. Concluding Observations OHD programs require participation across the users and providers of the freight transporta- tion system, with sufficient volumes of goods to warrant the disruption of business models and to offset costs and the inconvenience of conducting operations outside standard business hours. These factors challenged the extension of the program beyond the duration of the 1996 Sum- mer Olympics. Key supporters of the program, such as Coca-Cola, found receivers and shippers available in greater numbers during hours with less congestion and street-side parking, and realized significant productivity gains. Prior to the OHD program, many of these carriers had implemented numerous incremental improvement processes, and they supported other similar strategies but without sufficient participation by the shipping and receiving community. Because providers and the driving public are seen as the beneficiaries of such programs, even the calculated or operational benefits, such as lower operational costs, that are enjoyed by carriers have not induced them to change staffing and other operational functions to support off-hours programs. Users of the freight system generally view higher operational costs as the cost of doing business, similar to the costs of tolls. Increased costs of doing business are expected to be factored into the invoiced price for the services provided by the carrier or supplier. A concurrent potential belief of system users is that a reduction in cost, experienced by the carrier or supplier at the userâs expense, will not be reflected in decreased pricing. The reduction in cost will be realized as profit by the provider. With shippers and receivers establishing when goods are shipped and received, carriers lack the ability to significantly alter these conditions or to promote a program of this type. Case Study 2: Regional Truck Routing The ARC discovered that a major source of freeway congestion was the abundance of local trucking trips taking place on the freeways. Further investigation uncovered that, in many local communities, truck routing regulations were not harmonized and significantly constrained truck driversâ abilities to use the local roadway network. Ultimately, this led the ARC to pursue a regional truck routing plan. Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 19: Truck Routes Overview Local truck trips that were taken on the Interstate to bypass local roadway constraints were seen as a significant contributor to congestion in the Atlanta region. The ARCâs MPO conducted a planning study to designate a regional truck-route network to coordinate truck movement throughout the region. This designated network would identify non-Interstate roadways to be
Case Studies 125 used for local commercial vehicle movements. The proposed system, the Atlanta Strategic Truck Route Master Plan, was developed in collaboration with the local jurisdictions within the region. The plan was adopted in July 2010. Economic Impacts The ability to accurately identify projects as having freight components has the potential to shift local match percentages between federal or jurisdictional sources, though it will not increase the overall funding amounts. Recently the MPO identified the lack of education and experience in freight planning at the local level as a factor in the lack of projects and subse- quent project funding by the MPO. Freight-designated projects can assist in other areas of transportation. An investment in a truck route, such as the widening of travel lanes or improved technologies, can advance a roadway to accommodate other forms of traffic in a more efficient manner. This may improve capacity, or it may provide for other improvements on roadways that may not directly affect trucks, such as pedestrian-bicycle improvements or landscaping. Funding for these freight-related projects improves the overall economic condition of the jurisdiction. Regional Approach/Initiative Local jurisdictions were engaged as part of the overall truck-route planning process by provid- ing policies, regulations, and existing plans. Many jurisdictions lacked a comprehensive plan for truck-route designation and enforcement. Most of the existing plans were significantly dated. During interviews with each jurisdiction, the need for a comprehensive system for regional move- ments was frequently voiced, as was significant endorsement for its establishment. Many county- level jurisdictions noted that a regional effort was needed before initiating a more detailed system encompassing local roads. Several jurisdictions had begun development of similar systemsâ and then ceased the development as a result of community or political resistance. Adoption of a regional system was viewed as a first step toward promoting greater support for local systems. Private-sector incorporation was a key factor in the planning process. As with the local juris- dictions, large motor carriers and suppliers with significant private fleets were invited to partici- pate in the process. Because they were experiencing current and increasing challenges from the congestion and prohibited routes in the region, several key private-sector participants accepted. These participants (e.g., UPS, FedEx Freight, and Coca-Cola) all provided open access to drivers and dispatching staff, and hosted on-site meetings at local terminals for the planning staff. Stakeholder Engagement In their comments and their involvement in the planning effort, local jurisdictions supported the benefits and values of a designated system. The system was placed before the ARC board (which consisted of representatives of the same local jurisdictions) and unanimously adopted. Following the adoption of the regional plan, three jurisdictions pursued initial discussions of more localized networks, forming a development team for a regional plan. However, limited funding was applied to other priorities. Other jurisdictions viewed the central plan as providing sufficient route designation to support local truck movements, and they envisioned potential future planning efforts with increased truck volumes and economic development in their areas. The stakeholder engagement plan relied on a high degree of public-sector and private-sector participation, which presented challenges to gaining participation and the projectâs schedule. The planâs scope included a project life cycle of 18 months from initial outreach to final network pre- sentation for board approval. With 18 counties, the city of Atlanta, and four independent munici- palities for public-sector outreach, and 30 days to solicit policy and plan expectations, presenting
126 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide a valid value proposition statement and a continuing engagement schedule was necessary. An added complexity of the task was the desire to include municipal involvement within each of the county discussions for greater detailed expectations and develop ownership at the broader base. The initial effort to promote participation built on the goodwill from jurisdictional involve- ment activities as part of the Regional Freight Mobility Plan, which had been completed 2 years earlier. The MPO staff, consultant team, and select private-sector leaders with local jurisdic- tional ties approached those with extensive freight-related challenges. With commitments from participants that had greater investment in the plan, the employment of an âif me, then youâ strategy proved successful. The lack of desire to include specified commercial vehicle routings within jurisdictions by local citizenry, the significant level of mixed land use within each area, and the varied levels of education among the jurisdictions on the âbusiness and benefits of freightâ required a value proposition with a broad appeal. Using materials prepared by other jurisdictions to educate the public on the importance of freight, preparatory education was provided before scheduling discussions. The project team extended the preparation process used in the public-sector outreach to the private-sector effort. The variances in planning horizons, lack of engagement on other topical plans with freight implications, lack of knowledge about the public-sector planning process, and limited advertisement of public-sector project responses to previous private-sector inputs were initial challenges to the project. A further area of private-sector reluctance was the man- ner in which they had historically been engaged. Typical efforts had included large concentra- tions of public-sector participants at the sessions, to the extent that public-sector participants sometimes outnumbered the private-sector participants; the use of public-sector venues; and scheduling the sessions during times that limited private-sector involvement. An advance effort in providing relevant education to address each of these obstacles assisted greatly in gaining private-sector support. Emerging Issues The regional adoption of plans, and the preparation for investment in future planning and funding for freight enhancements, continues at the MPO level. The ARC sponsors three goals in preparing the MPOâs future freight efforts to promote MAP-21 objectives: â¢ Identifying, scoping, and costing innovative freight projects that can be implemented through the Freight Operations and Safety Program â¢ Supporting economic development by identifying issues adversely impacting the vital logis- tics industry â¢ Helping support âFreight as a Good Neighborâ Supporting these goals, in a presentation to the regionâs technical committee on March 7, 2013, the ARC presented the following activity schedule for freight programs: 2013 â¢ Identify Regional Facilities to Include on the National Freight Network â¢ Freight Study Program Pilot Project â¢ Enhance Freight Planning Tools â PIERS Export Data â Speed Data (ATRI/INRIX) 2014 â¢ Begin Major Update of Regional Mobility Plan â¢ Emphasize the Economic Development Impacts of Freight in Post-PLAN 2040 RTP
Case Studies 127 As part of a collaborative funding project with the Georgia DOT, a call for projects was announced in 2012. The projects were to be submitted for local jurisdictions, and were intended to have a freight focus and support local and regional goods movement. This identification of the projects as âfreightâ projects was later determined to be an influencing factor in a general lack of response. The designated system, communicated via the ARC website, has not been implemented. The plan to support education, signage, and other necessary actions to produce a usable system are being supported by subsequent actions of ARC and the Georgia DOT, as they collaborate to promote freight-friendly policies and projects. Long-range, local planning efforts in the area of freight are limited by funding and by social- political support to specific freight planning activities. Individual efforts that target specific areas are ongoing. For example, reviews of alternative roadways designation for use as connectors to freight generators is one area where local planning efforts continue to occur. Concluding Observations The continuing efforts to promote a plan with varying degrees of detail and jurisdiction are subject to funding limitations, community priorities, and the observed need to promote projects of this type. Jurisdictional responsibilities and shared strategies influence whether regionalized systems get implemented. The degree of implementation impacts the local jurisdictional priorities for the development of more localized plans. Discussions with the involved private-sector participants on the lack of observable implemen- tation of the regional plan have found: â¢ Reluctance to respond to further planning efforts on this scale â¢ Desire to have the system realized (e.g., signage), to halt further prohibitions in local jurisdictions â¢ Continuing efforts for local jurisdictions to respond with local truck routes conducive to freight needs â¢ Observed local projects that reflect those improvements identified in the regional plan Kansas City Metropolitan Area Kansas City Rail Bottlenecks: Freight Quality Partnership and Upgraded Infrastructure Introduction From its early days as a trading post, location of major cattle stock yards, and site of the first permanent rail crossing over the Missouri River, the Kansas City area has been a historic link to the development and evolution of the transportation and distribution sectors in the region and the nation. Today, the region continues as a crossroads for freight transportation. Freight moving in and out of the region has access to all modes of transportation. The area is served by 10 railroads, including four Class Iâs (NS, BNSF, KCS, and UP); four Interstate highways (I-35, I-70, I-29, and I-49); ports on the Missouri River; and four airports providing international commercial and air cargo services. Kansas Cityâs logistical advantage as a freight transportation hub is strengthened by its geographic location in the center of the nation. Goods traveling by truck can reach 90% of the U.S. population within a 2-day drive. The Kansas City metropolitan area spans the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas. The regional area includes nine counties, with a land area of 4,358 square miles. The total area, including water, is 4,423 square miles. Based on the 2010 Census, the population
128 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide is estimated at 2,086,771. Kansas City is the 29th largest city in the United States, the second- largest metropolitan area in Missouri (St. Louis is larger), and the largest metropolitan area in Kansas. Figure 11 provides a map of its general location. The MPO for the region is the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). MARC serves the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area, including Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte, and Ray Counties in Missouri, and Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. There are 120 separate city governments within the region. The nine-county MPO region is illustrated in Figure 12. Figure 13 shows the metropolitan area, the MARC counties, and the city boundaries for Kansas City. Source: Mid-America Regional Council Figure 11. Kansas City metropolitan area.
Case Studies 129 Source: http://www.marc.org/transportation Figure 13. Kansas City regional area. Source: http://www.marc.org/transportation Figure 12. MARC MPO region.
130 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide MARC has an active Goods Movement Committee that seeks to integrate freight issues and concerns with the overall metropolitan planning process. The committee grew out of the 1995 Intermodal Freight Strategies Study. In addition to growth in manufacturing and distribution centers, four large intermodal proj- ects are being developed in the region. International trade has also emerged as an important interjurisdictional issue in the Midwest. The 1998 Mid-Continent TradeWay Study conducted by MARC reinforced this reality. This study found that a significant amount of international cargo is processed in, or passes through, the Kansas City region. Trade in Kansas and Missouri traveling on I-35 from Texas to Chicago as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is growing. Opportunities exist to provide value-added services for NAFTA goods, and processing brings more freight into the Greater Kansas City area. Figure 14 and Figure 15 show the multimodal transportation system serving the area. Case Study 3: Freight Rail Bottlenecks Approximately 15 years ago, the four Class I railroads that intersect in the Kansas City area were dealing with major bottlenecks. MARC conducted several intermodal freight studies that brought to light regional freight issues. The passage of NAFTA raised concerns about its impacts to the region. Source: http://www.kcsmartport.com/site-location-center/trade-corridors/trade-corridors.php Figure 14. Kansas Cityâs trade corridor network and intermodal facilities.
Case Studies 131 Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 53: Create a Freight Quality Partnership â¢ Initiative 2: New and Upgraded Infrastructure Overview The Kansas City region is a major junction point for freight movements in North America. Kansas City is one of the two major locations where freight shifts from the West Coast to the East Coast on Class I railroads (the other location being Chicago). Kansas City also serves as the junction for railroad traffic from Texas and Mexico to points east and west in the United States. To complicate these movements further, the region also contains several major rail/truck transfer points (intermodal, grain, etc.), and a major river port. Both historically and more recently, freight movement patterns have resulted in rail congestion and conflicts between rail and trucks, with each trying to complete quick modal shifts before continuing to their destinations. Approximately 15 years ago, this situation, combined with the passage of ISTEA (and its freight-related federal focus) and NAFTA, gave rise to a regional dynamic that motivated the public and private sectors to work together to improve regional freight movements. In Source: http://www.kcsmartport.com/site-location-center/trade-corridors/trade-corridors.php Figure 15. Significant intermodal rail and airports in the Kansas City area.
132 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide particular, the four Class I railroads approached the Missouri and Kansas DOTs and local government officials to request improvements to help alleviate the congestion. This resulted in efforts to alleviate critical rail bottlenecks with public/private projects like the Sheffield and Argentine fly-over rail crossings. Economic Impacts A major reason for the new regional dynamic was the passage of NAFTA and its effect on Kansas City. NAFTA was intended to eliminate trade barriers, increase investment oppor- tunities, and establish procedures for resolution of trade disputes. Most importantly, it was intended to increase the competitiveness of the three participating countries in the global marketplace. What this meant for the Kansas City region was more pass-through traffic on I-35 between Texas and Chicago, and increased rail traffic from Mexico. Responding to ISTEAâs guidance that MPO plans should address freight, MARC conducted its first Intermodal Freight Initiative Study (1993â95). This study identified many of the issues and concerns voiced by the railroads, and included strategies and recommendations for address- ing these problems. The studies also identified regional transportation resources, including the recently de-commissioned Richards Gebauer Air Force Base. Soon after this initial study, a Missouri U.S. senator secured an earmark for an international trade study, the TradeWay Study, to be conducted by MARC and the Greater Kansas City Cham- ber of Commerce (1998â99). Regional Approach/Initiative From these studies and partnerships with the railroads; the state DOTs; local governments; local businesses and the chamber of commerce; and, significantly, the MPO, a regional freight initiative was developed to improve freight movements and grow a thriving regional economy. The studies had identified a number of projects and recommendations, including: â¢ The need to include modal projects on the regional list of priority projects. â¢ Identification of critical infrastructure projects, including major improvements and âlow- hanging fruitââtype projects that were relatively inexpensive and quick to complete. (Inter- viewees said most of the major infrastructure work has been completed or was underway; the quick projects were designed to demonstrate to the private sector that improvements could be made quickly.) â¢ The creation of new, and improvements to existing, intermodal facilities. â¢ The concept for the Kansas City SmartPort. â¢ Several ITS solutions that addressed freeway management, smart signalization, trade data, and cross-town movements. â¢ The creation of a regional goods movement committee at the MPO. With regard to the Kansas City SmartPort, discussion had demonstrated that the area needed a new, single organization with a focus on coordinating and expanding the transportation/ logistics industry. Given that this was not the primary mission of MARC, the Kansas City Development Council, or the local chamber of commerce, the concept for the Kansas City SmartPort was born. Kansas City SmartPort, Inc. is a nonprofit investor-based organization supported by both the public sector and the private sector. Kansas City SmartPort investors play an impor- tant role in all of their activities and programs, both local and international. As a nonprofit economic development organization, Kansas City SmartPort promotes and enhances the
Case Studies 133 regionâs status as a leading North American logistics hub. Kansas City SmartPort has two main missions: 1. To grow the Kansas City areaâs transportation/logistics industry through the retention/growth of current businesses and the attraction of new businesses with significant transportation and logistics elements. 2. To make the industry and the region more competitive in the movement of goods into, out of, and through the Kansas City area. Stakeholder Engagement Interviews with eight local public-sector and private-sector leaders involved in Kansas Cityâarea freight planning, studies, strategies, facility operations, partnerships, committees, and economic development efforts provided insights not typically found in the literature as to why the Kansas City freight strategies and SmartPort have been successful. Key factors included: The Right Time The almost simultaneous combination of severe railroad congestion, the passage of NAFTA, the prospect of increasing truck traffic on I-35 to the region, and the development of the regionâs first freight planning studies that identified the same issues that had been identified by the private sector brought the issue of freight to the attention of local and state officials. Freight-Focused Studies The regional freight studies proposed solutions that could benefit both the public sector and the private sector and laid out a clear strategy for the future. These studies gave public-sector and private-sector leaders a shared message and a direction that they could rally behind, as well as a foundation for freight improvements. Champions Regional champions, including leaders of the local chamber of commerce, the Missouri Depart- ment of Transportation (Missouri DOT), and MARC, kept momentum behind freight issues, promoting the need to move the study recommendations ahead and get projects implemented. The project was created when the railroads approached government to help mitigate the rail conflicts. The local chamber of commerce and Kansas City SmartPort served as the vehicle for larger private-sector involvement throughout the project. Private-Sector Partnership and Funding Cooperation from the railroads, both in demanding that the government pay attention to the freight congestion problems and in their willingness to provide funding for improvements, won support from the public and local governments for freight improvements. Government Funding State DOT and MPO funding for freight infrastructure projects helped correct some of the congestion problems and won the support of the private sector. Creating a New Agency Creating a new agency that could focus on selling the concept of Kansas City as a cutting- edge logistics hub made a difference. Each of the other agencies involved had other primary responsibilities, and they would not have been able to provide such a direct and concerted branding effort.
134 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Interviews with local government officials indicated that initially there was a mixed reaction to the freight strategies, and even to the formation of the SmartPort. Not all local governments in the metropolitan area had freight-related traffic problems. Many felt their biggest issue with freight was the impact of trucks on their pavements. This attitude began to change when the railroads invested money in the improvements, and when local residents began to see the benefits to the region. The location of new freight facilities near the Interstate limited the negative impact on local governments and made them more sup- portive of the projects. Today, local government reaction to freight projects and the SmartPort is generally positive, as they are seeing spin-off benefits. Many local governments have freight assets such as docks, have major freight employers in their local area, and believe that what ben- efits one facility or location will have spin-off benefits for them. Local governments are seeing the DOTs continue to make infrastructure improvements, and all cite good highways as a benefit of the emphasis on SmartPort. Several interviewees indicated concern that their small city/region is not high on the regional priorities list. However, they are beginning to recognize that even trucks running through their towns translates into economic improvements in their area and jobs for their citizens. Branding Branding made a big difference. The name âSmartPortâ provided developers with a concept that was new, fresh, and interesting to sell, and that harmonized with other efforts to brand the Kansas City metropolitan area. Several interviewees pointed to the name as a critical suc- cess factor. Emerging Issues Discussions with local motor carriers and governments indicated that freight problems still occur in the region. A local drayage carrier reported that certain area trucks are waiting hours to cross the tracks. Additional rail grade separation is needed, and the northeast quadrant of the region still needs work to improve freight mobility. Nonetheless, all interviewees acknowledged that they had seen improvements over the last decade, they know that more improvements are coming, and regional infrastructure is well maintained. Economic development agencies and SmartPort staff discussed the importance of keeping up with changes in supply chain movements and staying ahead of freight shippersâ and carriersâ needs. They indicated that this is the value of having an agency like SmartPort, whose primary role is to focus on retaining, growing, and attracting freight and logistics businesses to the area. Some of the future trends, needs, and directions they identified include: â¢ The need for more ready-made/ready-to-rent distribution centers. With the increase in e-commerce, freight shippers are seeking large distribution facilities to concentrate and sort inventories, and to ship them across the United States from the Kansas City region. â¢ Selling the area as âvertically readyâ versus âshovel readyââin other words, as a region where the infrastructure is in place for companies to locate to the area. (The term âvertically readyâ was coined as another way of branding the area.) â¢ Recognition that Central American and South American markets are growing, and that dis- tribution patterns are changing from the previous east-west patterns to north-south patterns. â¢ Recognition that more rail grade separations are needed, and that maintaining infrastructure is critical to marketing the area as freight-friendly. â¢ Recognition of the importance of strong partnerships, and making sure that all investors understand that each project brings in employers and jobs, with spin-off benefits to all. â¢ The need for continued work to bring residents, government, and industry officials together to successfully locate future intermodal and freight development sites.
Case Studies 135 Concluding Observations Metropolitan freight strategies and programs need to be nimble to address changes in freight trends and markets. Not all freight strategies work in every metropolitan area. As an inland city, Kansas City is not the end of a line. Kansas Cityâs freight problems and issues are not the same as those of a New York City or a Los Angeles, and will not be concentrated in the downtown area. Kansas Cityâs success in creating a freight-friendly region with improved freight access and mobility was a result of public-private partnerships, cooperation among freight champions and leaders, studies that produced bold strategic recommendations, willingness to prioritize and fund freight-focused infrastructure improvements, an ongoing commitment to identify- ing trends in freight supply chains and movements, and a willingness to modify the approach accordingly, through branding and creative marketing. In general, Kansas City treats freight as an economic development issue, and is positioning itself to create freight-related business opportunities for the region. Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Corridors: Freight Quality Partnerships, Truck Routes, and Upgraded Infrastructure Introduction The Los Angeles metropolitan area consists of Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California. The area spans over 4,850 square miles (12,562 square kilometers). Based on the 2010 Census, it is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, with a population estimated at 15.4 million. In addition, more than 2.3 million people live within its metropolitan commuter shed, which is considered as the Census Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) serves as the MPO for the Greater Los Angeles area. It serves the region north and east of San Diego, including the six coun- ties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura, an area that also encompasses 191 separate cities. More than 18 million people live within the SCAG region, mak- ing it the largest MPO in the nation. The MPO region is illustrated in Figure 16. The role of SCAG is critical, integrating transportation planning activities across one of the most institutionally complex settings of any region in the United States. The six SCAGâregion county transportation commissions (CTCs) and authorities have responsibility for program- ming and funding transportation projects in their respective counties. The SCAG region also has 14 sub-regions, each represented by a council of governments or sub-regional planning agency that works with SCAG and the CTCs to provide the transportation planning for the region. There are also joint power authorities with control over such freight facilities as the Alameda Corridor. Other public agencies with a role in the regionâs freight transportation system include the seaport and airport operators, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the regional air quality management and water quality agencies. In addition, four different district offices of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have responsibility for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the regionâs state highways. As the regional MPO, SCAG leads the coordination across all of these agencies in provid- ing the ongoing goods movement, or freight planning, element of the comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program. The goods move- ment element is included among other plans that attempt to balance the many demands and priorities of individual agencies as they consider improvements to the regional transportation system for households and businesses. This function is one of several that SCAG performs.
136 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide SCAG is mandated by federal and state law to research and draw up plans for transportation, growth management, hazardous waste management, and air quality. Additional mandates exist at the state level, meaning that freight is only one of several priorities for SCAG and the board that oversees it. The SCAG Regional Council has an active Goods Movement Subcommittee. The sub- committee seeks to integrate freight issues and concerns within the overall metropolitan plan- ning process. There is also a Goods Movement Task Force that works to provide policy guidance in developing a more efficient goods movement system across the region. SCAG works with many other public-sector and private-sector stakeholder groups on goods movement. The Greater Los Angeles area is among the largest distribution center hubs, international maritime and air cargo gateways, and intermodal cargo hubs in the nation. With a very large and dispersed population, the numerous urban areas within the region suffer from congestion. The area is served by inadequate and aging infrastructure, and it is physically limited by the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the San Gabriel Mountains to the east. The regionâs population density has increased as it has grown, adding pressure on transportation capacity for both passenger and goods movement. Transportation challenges identified in regional transportation planning activities extend beyond capacity and infrastructure conditions to complicated issues such as air quality, transportation safety and security, environmental justice, and economic redevelopment needs throughout the region. Source: http://www.SCAG.org/transportation Figure 16. SCAG MPO region: six-county complex of planning regions.
Case Studies 137 Freight users have access to all modes of transportation. The area is served by the two Class I railroads (Figure 17); 10 Interstate highways; ports in the city of Los Angeles, the city of Long Beach, Oxnard (Hueneme), and El Segundo (for oil tankers); and five airports providing air cargo services (Figure 18). Combined, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California (Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach) make up the largest container port gateway in the western hemisphere. The Los Angeles Inter- national Airport is the fifth largest in scheduled air freight tons in the country. This great connectiv- ity and location provide Greater Los Angeles with logistical advantages as a freight transportation hub, which have been strengthened in the last few decades by its role as the primary national gateway for rapidly growing Asian commerce. Despite a significant percentage of freight ultimately passing though the region, the economic benefits associated with value-added services in the logis- tics and distribution sector compel regional leaders to focus on goods movement performance. Although trade activities may be the most visible freight generator, the manufacturing sector is critical to the economy of the Greater Los Angeles area. The once-strong aerospace manufac- turing sector has experienced weakness over the past two decades and with the recent recession, Source: http://www.acta.org/; Final_3-19-07_Alameda_Corridor_Trade_Impact_Study.pdf Figure 17. Los Angelesâs trade rail corridor network and intermodal facilities.
138 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide but the Greater Los Angeles area is still number one among U.S. metropolitan areas in manu- facturing output. For 30 years, planning studies across the region have addressed various aspects of freight growth on transportation system demand and performance. Substantial investment has been made to expand the freight network in the region, but SCAG estimates that over $58 billion of improvements will be needed by 2035. Among the projects identified are expanded seaports, air cargo facilities, freight corridors, and new rail intermodal yards. Geography poses a particular challenge to the regionâs freight transportation network. The largest international gateways, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, are located on the western edge of the region. The regionâs primary rail and highway routes follow the network geography established in the middle of the nineteenth century. Consequently, freight destined for eastbound locations travel through the heaviest congested portions of the region, including downtown Los Angeles. Case Study 4: Corridor Development Tremendous freight volume and projected future demand will significantly impact the Los Angeles region. The region is using a series of strategies to mitigate the local impact of the freight industry, while capturing economic development opportunities and serving the nation as a major gateway for freight. Planning Guide Strategies Discussed: â¢ Initiative 53: Create a Freight Quality Partnership â¢ Initiative 19: Truck Routes â¢ Initiative 2: New and Upgraded Infrastructure, Intermodal Terminals Source: George Huang, San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency Figure 18. Southern California airports, highways, and railroad logistics corridors.
Case Studies 139 Overview Despite more than 25 years of progress and innovative approaches addressing increased freight transportation demand, growth in international trade and related truck and rail traffic has continued to contribute to roadway network congestion and poor regional air quality in Los Angeles. The rail network serving the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach could no longer handle the amount of cargo needing to be shipped across the region from the ports to the rail yards on the east side of the region. This resulted in significant impacts on local communities as trains idled and blocked more than 200 grade crossings across the region daily. The environmental and eco- nomic impact on local areas spurred the ports to begin to work with their partners throughout the region and in Washington, D.C., to develop what ultimately became the Alameda Corridor (Federal Highway Administration, n.d. b). Following the success of the Alameda Corridor rail corridor project, which connected the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach with downtown Los Angeles intermodal rail yards, the region has continued to advance plans for freight corridor development within the region. Concerns have been raised about the regionâs ability to handle additional annual volumes of cargo given forecasted freight volumes from the growth of Asian economies, the introduction of larger maritime vessels, advances in trade relationships such as the passage of the U.S. Korean Free Trade Agreement and steps toward a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Los Angeles is the major gateway for goods imported from Asia. As a result, a significant amount of freight transverses the metropolitan area from the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and LAX, where freight is transferred to rail or truck for inland movement. This historic movement pattern has resulted in significant congestion where the modes transverse several confliction points as they complete their intermodal moves. Given an outdated highway system with numerous grade crossings and outdated designs, the regionâs 15 million people regularly overwhelm its roadways for extended periods of time. In 1997, the public and private sectors came together to alleviate some of the major rail/street confliction points. The three Class I railroads implemented a container fee to pay the debt service on a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to build a trench along Alameda Street between Long Beach and the downtown Los Angeles rail yards. This Alameda Corridor consolidated rail lines below grade level, eliminating 180 grade crossings, freeing up surface street passenger and freight truck traffic, reducing emissions, and increasing train speeds between the ports and downtown. The project successfully alleviated congestion from this portion of the network. The success of the Alameda Corridor and its benefits to the entire region provided the momen- tum for regional partnerships on freight issues in one of the most institutionally complex set- tings in the country. Despite the success, however, leaders recognized the Alameda Corridor project as only a partial solution to the much larger freight challenges in the region. Improving connections between the ports and the downtown intermodal rail yards was very beneficial, yet it left a large segment of the rail and truck corridors through the Greater Los Angeles area to the east from downtown inefficient and congested. Economic Impacts Challenges with the freight network in the Greater Los Angeles area have the potential to pose significant problems for the region, for California, and even for the nation. SCAG estimates that more than $2 trillion/about 1.5 billion U.S. tons of freight was moved across the region in 2010. The freight industry supports more than 2.9 million jobs and has an economic impact on the
140 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide region of more than $249 billion. Nationally, freight originating from the region supports more than 3.37 million jobs outside of the Los Angeles area (Southern California Council of Gov- ernments 2012). More importantly, however, freight congestion and the emissions that result have significant health repercussions; CARB estimates that more than 1,200 premature deaths result directly from goods movement activities in the Greater Los Angeles area (California Air Resources Board 2006). These public health impacts affect the economy by increasing healthcare costs and lowering the productivity of the population. Regional Approach/Initiative As the Alameda Corridor was being constructed, the region began planning for what would follow the corridorâs completion in 2002. The freight studies acknowledged the new challenges that the Alameda Corridor presented; as an efficient corridor, it ended downtown. The relation- ships that developed out of the Alameda Corridor and subsequent studies have continued today, as the region works to address its ongoing freight needs. SCAG has become the conduit for the development of a regional freight initiative. The munic- ipal governments, through SCAG and the port authorities, railroads, motor carriers, CTCs, the California Transportation Commission, air quality agencies, and local businesses and groups such as the Goods Movement Subcommittee of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, have contributed to a regional freight initiative that has been incorporated into the SCAG Regional Transportation Plan, the most recent version of which was released in 2012. The latest Regional Transportation Plan identifies a number of projects and recommendations that address, directly and indirectly, the remaining regional trade corridor needs, including: â¢ The identification of projects that serve as regional priorities for goods movement â¢ Quick-start projects, created to both boost employment and rapidly improve system performance â¢ New intermodal facilities and improvements to existing facilities â¢ Development of expanded truck corridors in the Greater Los Angeles area, especially an assess- ment of specific alternatives for a new east-west corridor â¢ Research on the potential for toll lanes, improved ITS systems, dedicated truck lanes, and cordon pricing to help with system performance â¢ The continuation of the outreach work of the long-standing regional goods movement task force for the MPO, with its many constituent stakeholders â¢ The active pursuit of new major rail and highway corridor improvements The plan focuses on the completion of the Alameda Corridor East (ACE) and the creation of a new east-west highway corridor. The ACE is a set of grade separation and rail safety projects along 70 miles of railroad mainline, running east from downtown Los Angeles through the San Gabriel Valley to San Bernardino County. An authority created by the sub-regional San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is overseeing the project. Increasingly, logistics and distribution facilities are locating east of downtown Los Angeles in an area commonly referred to as the Inland Empire. This development pattern is further exac- erbating the challenge of moving freight from the ports on the west side, through downtown, to the east side of the region. Discussions with freight stakeholders clearly identified the creation of a new east-west highway route to improve capacity as a major freight issue for the region. The development of such a corridor could relieve truck volume pressure on parallel elements of the network, and some of the key north-south connecting corridor elements of the roadway network. As with the Alameda Corridor, development requires multi-agency collaboration with several jurisdictions and the private sector, so the region as a whole can benefit.
Case Studies 141 Stakeholder Engagement Interviews with local agency managers confirmed that the obstacles to successful freight planning across jurisdictions are quite significant. Such temporary localized impacts as con- struction and the ongoing concentration of traffic into designated corridors have been a source of potential opposition from affected municipalities. With so many individual cities within the region, agency-to-agency level outreach efforts are critical. Perceived negative reactions to freight in general have been impediments to cohesive regional planning. Although this is not unique to goods movement planning, local officials who see freight as only damaging roads, polluting the air, and contributing to congestion are not always supportive of regional freight plan development. Another challenge identified by public-sector stakeholders was some individual agencies focusing on their own narrow agendas, holding out for attention to their specific local issues and projects (which risked overwhelming a regional plan with smaller tactical considerations rather than the larger strategic needs affecting a greater portion of the system). An additional challenge was continuity in representation over time as personnel changed jobs in both gov- ernment and in the private sector. The continuity challenge was addressed partially through complete written minutes of meetings, records of decisions, and the history of studies and reports conducted previously, to preserve institutional knowledge and minimize duplication of issue consideration. When industry and labor unions have spoken up about project benefits, however, attitudes have generally changed. Also, when the private sector has funded a share of system improve- ments with demonstrated improvements to environmental and other public concerns, local agency officials have been more willing to offer support for regional freight plans. Some local government opposition remains to individual elements of regional plans, but the incorpora- tion of goods movement projects into a broader comprehensive transportation plan, one that addresses all elements of the regionâs transportation needs, has greatly increased support for goods movement projects. A challenge to stakeholder engagement was the varied levels of receptiveness to agenciesâ approaches regarding the projects. The initial enthusiasm to collaborate to address well- documented freight system problems was difficult to maintain when the time requirements to work through the process and the number and nature of compromises necessary became clearer. The planning process takes time, and even with the inclusion of some relatively short- term, quick-fix system improvements, some stakeholders did not perceive these as useful enough to justify their ongoing commitment of time. This was especially the case for some private-sector companies, for whom the regional freight system challenges were just one obstacle in operating profitably. The private-sector stakeholders represented a broad variety of industries and roles within the transportation system, which often led to quite different perceptions of the projects, depending on what the private-sector entities were most interested in or what they perceived as affecting them. Larger transportation carriers were more likely to have a longer-term perspective and an understanding of the institutional planning process, which more realistically constrained initial expectations for how their companies and their customers would benefit from improve- ments to the freight system. The larger carriers were those in the private sector most likely to benefit directly and substantially from major operational efficiency improvements. Shippers and third-party non-asset operating intermediaries were less likely to see direct benefits that would affect their operational efficiency or cost structures, which influenced their perceptions of the usefulness of projects. In many cases, the private sector was likely participating partly out of
142 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide fear of what might happen, either from a regulatory or operational perspective, if they did not contribute to the planning dialog. The packaging and branding of projects together helped facilitate private-sector support for the projects, though not uniformly. Some small businesses affected by construction or diversions of business from new freight operational efficiencies were not uniformly supportive of projects. Some private stakeholders might be best described as apathetic, as they described themselves as not sufficiently affected by the projects either way. Local governments view the regional partnership and the continued infrastructure improve- ments as a benefit. Interviews reveal that even as governmental dealings with the individual cities remain critical, the level of general collaboration has much improved over the past 20 years. In addition, there has been an increased appreciation for freight as an essential and important part of the regionâs business and economy. Interviews with several local public-sector and private-sector leaders involved in Greater Los Angeles planning, studies, strategies, facility operations, partnerships, committees, and economic development have provided compelling insights as to why corridors have worked in the region. Key factors include timing, goods movement studies, regional leadership, private- sector partnerships and funding, government funding, bundling and branding, and creating a new agency. Timing The costs of delays and bottlenecks as congestion worsens puts pressure on the private sector to support cooperation, and brings political pressure to address the problems. In Los Angeles, several factors made political DM easier: the combination of air quality improvement initiatives, growing delays to goods movement, and labor desires to support improved system performance and infrastructure-related jobs. The regionâs goods movement plans established solutions to address documented problems in private-sector freight traffic so that local and state politicians could act. Goods Movement Studies The regional goods movement studies proposed solutions that could benefit the public and private sectors sufficiently for each to support the plans. Perhaps even more critical, strategies were established to give current leaders directions and programs that they could support imme- diately, while still advancing long-term needs for freight. Regional Leadership Regional leaders from each of the critical public agencies, business, labor, and environmental groups worked together on freight issues, moving planning recommendations ahead and con- tinuously updating and advancing the plans as some projects were completed. Private-Sector Partnerships and Funding The unprecedented partnership between the multi-faceted public sector and the private sec- tor to address the regionâs goods movement congestion problems and to provide support for innovative funding solutions has resulted in non-traditional funding sources like congressional appropriations, local governments, and railroads. Government Funding Gaps in private-sector funding to address congestion problems and air quality were filled by voter-approved infrastructure bond funding and special tax measures, Caltrans program fund- ing, and regional transportation agency funding.
Case Studies 143 Bundling and Branding With so many discrete elements of the system needing improvement, plans that bundle indi- vidual projects into larger-scope sets of projects, and provide interdependent performance improvement benefits under one name, have helped to generate public acceptance and support. Branding sets of projects with names such as the Alameda Corridor or Goods Movement Action Plan has provided public officials and the media with a tool for communicating concepts more easily when looking for support at the state and federal level. Interviewees identified project bundling and naming as important success factors in a region with so many individual goods movement project needs. Creation of a New Agency When it is logical to do so, the creation of a new agency with joint powers has proven an effective mechanism for approval, funding, and management of goods movement projects. The establishment of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority was essential to this projectâs successful funding, construction, and administration. Emerging Issues The relationship between freight growth and air quality in the Greater Los Angeles area was identified by all major freight partners as a growing challenge. CARB is an active member of the larger Los Angeles regional freight partnership. Statutorily, CARB is a regulatory agency; however, it attempts to act as a facilitator, working with the private sector to create mutually beneficial solutions that mitigate air quality impacts of the freight industry in the Greater Los Angeles area. CARBâs efforts started in the 1990s when the state of California adopted anti-idling regulations for commercial vehicles. In general, commercial vehicles cannot idle for more than 5 minutes without risking fines of between $300â$1,000. Similarly, CARB executed enforceable agreements to limit idling of railroad locomotives. Although this was a major step forward, it provided only a modest improvement in air quality. Interviewees at CARB stated that the largest air quality improvement comes from diesel engine improvements to truck fleets. Relative to the rest of the nation, the Greater Los Angeles area has a much older truck fleet due to short drayage lengths and the Southern California climate. This presents a unique problem in regard to air quality. New trucks are built with engines that produce 90% less emissions. The Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and CARB have launched several programs to incentivize improvements (e.g., engine filters) to the aging truck fleet. These projects have been funded both through bond issuances and through fees imposed on trucks that enter the regionâs ports and rail yards without the required emissions-reduction equipment. CARB estimates that these programs will effectively create a fleet that meets 2010 diesel engine emis- sion standards by 2023. Much controversy has surrounded the planned development of a new east-west highway route, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroadâs Southern California International Gateway (SCIG). The SCIG is a proposed new near-dock intermodal yard, designed to take container traffic off of the existing major highway corridor between the ports and downtown (the I-710 Freeway). A subsequent major freight challenge for the region will be balancing the economic benefits of these projects versus the localized environmental consequences. Discussions with freight carriers, trade associations, and local governments also have identi- fied challenges that, while geographically smaller, could have a huge impact on everyday freight
144 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide movements. For example, a local drayage carrier indicated that restrictive truck routes are not coordinated between all of the individual cities, creating difficulty and added risk to their opera- tions. In addition signal timing, including ramp meters, does not always accommodate truck acceleration or deceleration requirements. However, all interviewees acknowledged that they saw improvements over the last decade, and they know that additional improvements take time to implement. All said that additional regional infrastructure improvements are required because freight traffic continues to grow. The regional planning agencies are very engaged in freight planning, yet conditions make rapid progress difficult. No matter how comprehensive the plan or how much consensus is achieved, uncertainties around economic/fiscal conditions and environmental permits add to the difficulty of making progress. With the very long lead time infrastructure projects require for develop- ment, planning also is made more difficult because funding availability is sometimes jeopar- dized during lengthy delays. Private-sector interviews revealed an impatience with the planning process to yield results that will make a difference for their businesses, even for medium-term planning such as site selection and service planning, especially when the uncertainty of project schedules is taken into account. Long-term transportation planning can have difficulty keeping current with more-rapidly changing private-sector practices that are driven by industry trends external to the region. For example, changes driven by the growth of e-commerce affect air cargo, while also shifting demand in trucking toward more time-sensitive parcel deliveries. Another issue identified was the need for additional modern distribution centers. With the increase in e-commerce and individual product count proliferation, freight shippers are seek- ing larger distribution facilities to concentrate and sort inventories, and to ship them across the country. There is a desire for recognition that tolling of trucks can be an acceptable cost of doing business and an effective demand management initiative as long as the toll revenues are used for the transportation system, and not punitive to favor other modes. In addition, planning must take into account added security costs for operations in less secure areas, especially if time-of-day shifting to night hours is adopted as policy. Concluding Observations Metropolitan area goods movement strategies and programs need to balance public-sector and private-sector needs to improve freight mobility more quickly. Small-scale improvements and operational changes completed in the shorter term can help build acceptance for larger scale projects bundled together in the long-term planning context. Freight strategies for such a complex community as the Greater Los Angeles area may not be needed or appropriate in other metropolitan areas. As a gateway city, Los Angeles is both the start and the end of the domestic portion of many international supply chains. Its freight problems and issues are not the same as those of inland cities such as Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; or Dallas, Texas. In addition, its freight problems involve a complex mix of affected urban areas in which challenges that have a smaller scope may not command as much attention as they would from MPOs facing less massively complex systematic planning. The regionâs success in improving freight mobility is a result of public-private partnerships; goods movement advocates and thought leaders; studies that have produced innovative stra- tegic recommendations; a willingness to prioritize and fund freight-focused infrastructure improvements; and an ongoing commitment to identifying emerging trends in freight logis- tics and to modifying their approaches accordingly, through project bundling, branding, and outreach.
Case Studies 145 New York, New York New York City Truck Movement: Freight Parking and Loading Zones, Loading and Parking Restrictions, Removal of Intersection Constraints, and Truck Routes Introduction New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with a resident population of 8.4 million, and an additional 52 million visitors per year. New York City is a global finance and banking center, and has significant activities in media, fashion, entertainment, real estate, construction, manufacturing, and commercial property. As one indication of this business activity, the city hosts more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other city in the United States. All of these residents, visitors, and businesses vie for space within the 302 square miles that comprise New York, New York. New York City and its five Boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens) also form part of the wider New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) region, which includes Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley. The NYMTC region planning area covers 2,440 square miles and has a population of 12.4 million, which is approximately 64% of New York Stateâs population, based on 2010 Census counts. The lead transportation agency within the city is the New York City Department of Trans- portation (New York City DOT). Its mission is to provide safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods, and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure. With a budget of more than $2 billion and with 4,700 employees, the New York City DOT is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 6,300 miles of streets and highways, nearly 800 bridges, 1.3 million street signs, 300,000 street lights, and 12,000 signalized intersections, as well as the nationâs busiest commuter ferry service, the Staten Island Ferry, which carries more than 22 million passengers annually. To achieve its transport mission, the New York City DOT works with the New York State DOT and other regional bodies, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), as well as with other New York City government departments and agencies such as the Department of City Planning, New York City Economic Development Corporation, and the Department of Environmental Protection. In 2007, the New York City DOT established an Office of Freight Mobility to improve public safety; provide a high quality of life for residents; balance goods movement with other uses of curb, street, and highway space; and support the cityâs economy. This office manages the New York City truck-route network, which mitigates the impact of truck movements on residential communities. New Yorkâs highway network is constrained. Significant elements of the network, such as the parkways and the lower Manhattan street network, were not designed for todayâs large freight vehicles, nor for the volume of traffic. The New York CityâNewark region was ranked Number 1 in the Texas Transportation Instituteâs 2012 Urban Mobility Report for the most congestion experienced by the freight industry, with nearly 33.5 million hours of congestion, costing $2.5 billion annually. The New YorkâNewark region also had the second highest number of corridors (nine) ranked for truck delay. Trucks account for 81% of all goods movement in the New York City region, with barge, rail, and pipeline traffic carrying the remainder. The New York City area also is served by freight rail,
146 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide though capacity and infrastructure constraints limit the amount of goods carried by this mode. A unique cross-harbor rail float bridge is used to facilitate the movement of rail cars between New York, Long Island, and New Jersey. Barge traffic is largely focused on the movement of bulk supplies, particularly fuels and aggregates. A number of the cityâs aggregate and concrete plants are adjacent to navigable waterways and receive their materials by barge, thereby reducing the number of trucks on the cityâs roads. Figure 19 illustrates the cityâs major road and rail network. Such geographic features as the Hudson River also dictate that the cityâs traffic volume is funneled through Manhattanâs 20 river crossings. Many of these are major crossings, such as the George Washington Bridge, which carried an average of 20,790 trucks per day in 2011. Significant concentrations of warehouses and logistic facilities are located around the periphery of New York City, including those across the Hudson River in New Jersey, and those in close proximity to PANYNJ facilities. New Yorkâs port is the third-largest seaport in North America, and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) is the eighth largest air cargo airport in the United States. The city streets host cars, buses, taxis, cyclists, and pedestrians, in addition to the freight activ- ity that is vital for the prosperity and livelihood of its residents and businesses. Approximately 180,000 truck trips are generated daily by Manhattanâs 37,000 freight-related business establish- ments. The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market (the largest food distribution center in the United States) generates approximately 3,800 truck movements to and from the market each day, serving the cityâs 6,800 food establishments. Studies suggest that truck and commercial traffic in Manhattan accounts for 8% of peak period vehicle miles traveled. The New York City DOT has implemented several freight initiatives during the last several years. Some of these initiatives have addressed specific issues, such as truck routing and the adaptation of freight activity into new transportation plans and studies. Three cases are sum- marized here, along with highlights of the major issues, selected solutions, implementation information, project impacts, and lessons learned. Figure 20 shows the locations of each project. NEW JERSEY NEW YORK Staten Island Manhattan Bronx Brooklyn Queens 495 278 278 95 78 95 80 95 87 Long Island Sound New York Bay Atlantic N Legend Rail Lines Interstates Rail Yard Activity Sites JFK Airport Figure 19. New York Cityâs major road and rail network.
Case Studies 147 The issues addressed by these projects include: â¢ Church Avenue Delivery Window Project: Traffic and parking congestion, combined with conflicting demands from a wide variety of users leading to the need for an improved freight delivery system, including the use of time-specific freight parking and loading zones (i.e., delivery windows). â¢ Columbus Avenue Bicycle Path and Mobility Enhancements Project; First Avenue/Second Avenue Select Bus Service (SBS) Implementation Project: A reduction in parking spaces, resulting from the implementation of larger scale projects geared toward improving condi- tions for transit and/or non-motorized users, leading to the need for specialized freight delivery allowances, including the use of time-specific freight parking and loading zones combined with loading and parking restrictions (i.e., delivery windows). â¢ Maspeth Truck Route Redesignation and Intersection Improvement Project: A heavy flow of truck traffic through a residential and local commercial district, leading to the need for a bypass study and truck-route redesignation with associated infrastructure upgrades, including the removal of intersection constraints. The decision to implement freight projects like these is typically determined by the responsible public agency, such as the New York City DOT. That decision, and the scope of the initiative, may be based on a range of factors and considerations, including: the scale of the issue the project is seeking to resolve; alignment with the agencyâs plans, policies, and strategies; community and stakeholder feedback; number and type of road users using the street; congestion impacts; compliance with road and parking regulations; ease of implementation; and cost and available budget. Church Avenue Delivery Window Project First/Second Avenue Delivery Window Project Columbus Avenue Delivery Window Project Maspeth Truck Route Re-designation Project NEW JER- SEY NEW YORK Queens Brooklyn Manhattan Bronx New York Bay N La Guardia Airport Figure 20. Project Locations in New York City.
148 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Case Study 5: Church Avenue Project Corridor, Brooklyn, New York Traffic and parking congestion, combined with conflicting demand from a wide variety of users, led to the need for an improved freight delivery system, including the use of time-specific freight parking and loading zones (i.e., delivery windows). Planning Guide Initiatives Discussed â¢ Initiative 7: Freight Parking and Loading Zones â¢ Initiative 8: Loading and Parking Restrictions Overview In 2011, the New York City DOT implemented a successful time-specific freight parking and loading zone (i.e., delivery window) project along the Church Avenue corridor from East 16th Street to East 21st Street (see Figure 21). Church Avenue is a major east-west corridor though the center of Brooklyn. It is a two-lane arterial with curbside parking on both sides of the street. The corridor includes significant commercial, residential, and retail development. Truck delivery operations in the larger Church Avenue area range from 150 to 700 per day. In addition to autos and delivery vehicles, the transportation system serves pedestrians, bicycles, and transit riders (subway and bus). The cityâs sixth busiest bus route, with 38,000 weekday riders, is along this corridor. The project was developed in conjunction with the local community board, business improve- ment district (BID), and the New York City DOT. Traffic studies and surveys were conducted Figure 21. Church Avenue Corridor.
Case Studies 149 prior to the development of this block-by-block plan, which balances the need for deliveries with the demand for parking. The project resulted in improved conditions for businesses, residents, shoppers, truckers, and others in the corridor. Conditions Before Implementation In advance of the delivery window implementation, studies of the corridor were completed to quantify the levels of congestion and parking supply and demand. An extensive community outreach effort also was conducted to help identify issues and potential solutions. The results showed that the main issues were: â¢ Chronic Congestion: Daily traffic on this two-lane street (one lane in each direction) was approximately 14,000 vehicles/day in 2010. Travel speeds varied between approximately 6 mph and 10 mph during weekday and weekend peak periods, and were projected to decline further in the future. High delay, poor traffic flow, and recurring congestion were issues in the corridor (see Figure 22). â¢ Lack of Loading/Unloading Spaces: Most businesses in the corridor do not have off-street loading spaces. Street parking typically is occupied by cars. Curbside parking occupancies were observed to be 50% during the weekday a.m. peak, 91% during the weekday midday peak, 83% during the weekday p.m. peak, and 103% during the Saturday midday peak. This situation left little room for commercial loading/unloading. â¢ Double-Parking: At least one travel lane was blocked or partially blocked by a double- parked delivery vehicle about 25% of the time on a typical weekday, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The double-parking caused significant congestion, with drivers having to edge into the oppos- ing lane to pass the double-parked vehicles. This was a particular issue during the midday and afternoon time periods, as shown in Figure 23. On each observation day, more than 30 double-parked vehicles were observed, resulting in a total of 4.5 hours to 6 hours of lane blockages. â¢ Sidewalk Congestion: Pedestrian volumes are high in the Church Avenue corridor, with some areas experiencing sidewalk congestion. â¢ Pedestrian Safety: A 3-year crash inventory indicated a total of 296 crashes within the larger Church Avenue corridor, over 100 of which involved pedestrians. Figure 22. Chronic congestion.
150 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Economic Impacts The congestion on Church Avenue affected freight carriers, local businesses, the local popula- tion, and through travelers (bus and auto modes). Freight carriers were impacted by increased citations and delivery times, including time spent looking for a place to park. In New York City, the majority of the $550 million paid per year in parking tickets is borne by commercial firms, with some delivery firms paying well over $4 million per year. Local busi- nesses are affected through increased delivery costs and reduced customer convenience, which potentially translate into higher costs and lower revenues. Impacts on the local population include additional time costs as drivers search for parking spaces, and potentially higher parking costs if they choose to pay more for parking or park ille- gally (with the strong possibility of tickets). The road and bus user costs center around increased travel times through the corridor. Without action by the New York City DOT, these various costs would not just continue, they would increase over time. Regional Approach/Initiative The implementation of freight parking and loading zones as well as loading and parking restric- tions (i.e., delivery windows) along Church Street between East 16th Street and East 21st Street was selected as one of the main solutions to the issues identified. That portion of the corridor has 90 metered parking spaces (including some on side streets). The new parking regulations reserve 40 of these metered spaces for weekday truck deliveries during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to noon. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 6:00 AM 9:00 AM 12:00 PM 3:00 PM Percent of Time a Travel Lane Is Blocked Figure 23. Typical double-parking activity.
Case Studies 151 Surveys indicated that 65% of deliveries to the area were already occurring before noon, which was one reason for selecting the morning hours for the primary delivery window (see Figure 24). In addition, many of the retail businesses needed customer parking primarily in the afternoon, making the afternoons the most congested time period. For businesses that need deliveries after noon, truck loading and unloading spaces are available until 3:00 p.m. on weekdays on the north side of the street between East 18th and 19th Streets. After the designated loading periods, normal 1-hour metered parking resumes for all vehicles. Figure 25 presents a map of the designated time- specific loading zone (delivery window) spaces. These delivery window spaces are identified by curb regulation signs and parking meter decals, as shown in Figure 26. The project was developed in close coordination with the community, including residents, businesses, transportation providers, community board members, elected officials, local govern- ment agencies, and various interest groups. Due to the continued involvement of these groups and individuals during the development phase, implementation was well supported. Information on the new parking changes was well advertised on the following websites, both before and after the January 17, 2011, implementation date: New York City DOT website, the Church Avenue BID website, the Brooklyn Community Board 14 website, and streetsblog.org. An important part of the implementation process was to step up enforcement of traffic laws and regulations through coordination between the New York City DOT, New York Police Department (NYPD), the MTA, and other key agencies to ensure that maximum benefits would be achieved. The freight parking and loading zones and loading and parking restrictions were 0 2 4 6 6 AM 9 AM 12 PM 3 PM 6 PM Number of Delivery Trucks Figure 24. Commercial delivery activity. Figure 25. Map of delivery windows. Figure 26. Delivery window signs.
152 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Figure 27. Travel speeds after delivery window implementation. implemented along with other corridor traffic and street improvements, so it is difficult to iso- late the benefits of the delivery window project with respect to traffic flow and travel speeds (see Figure 27). However, for the overall corridor improvement project, corridor travel speeds improved substantially. â¢ Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., travel speeds increased from 7.5 mph in January to 9.1 mph in April; a 21% increase. Figure 27 shows the higher speeds in the corridor after implementation. â¢ Travel times are also more reliable, with a 19% lower standard deviation. The construction cost of the Church Avenue delivery window project is estimated to have been less than $10,000. There were additional soft costs, such as 1 year of planning and outreach, consultant costs related to a curb utilization survey, and printing costs related to outreach and initial implementation. Stakeholder Engagement New York City DOT was responsible for implementing the delivery window program, including the study, design, signs, striping, and public coordination. The NYPD was responsible for enforcement of the new regulations, including ticketing and towing. The local community board and other public or nonprofit entities assisted the DOT with publicizing the changes, so that all businesses were aware of the changes in advance. This project presented the DOT with challenges that included extensive local stakeholder engagement, identifying the correct
Case Studies 153 operational issues, and developing and implementing a low-cost feasible solution. One of the most significant challenges, however, was to develop a solution that balanced the needs of the various stakeholders: business owners, delivery drivers, local residents, transit riders, pedestrians, passenger car drivers, and others. These stakeholders all competed for use of the available roadway and curb space. The solution had to take these different users into account, balancing their interests to successfully reallocate curb space among them while improving safety and traffic flow. Accomplishing these goals was both a technical challenge and a public engagement challenge. Business owners, residents, and commercial drivers were very pleased with the outcome of the project. âWe are delighted that this important and thorough study has come to fruition, thanks to the Department of Transportationâs very close collaboration with Community Board 14, the merchants on Church Avenue, and the community at large,â said Doris Ortiz, district manager for Community Board 14. âNow the city of New York is delivering exactly what Church Avenue needs to keep it thriving!â Other comments received included: â¢ âI canât say enough about itâ (truck driver) â¢ âOne of the finest programsâ (MTA bus manager) â¢ âBest thing done east of Flatbushâ (traffic agent) â¢ âPedestrian crossings [are] not blinded by congestionâ (MTA bus manager) Emerging Issues BID staff spoke with several merchants and store employees after implementation of the deliv- ery windows project. In general, they felt that the windows had improved delivery access, posi- tively impacted delivery employees, and had little or no impact on their customers. However, a few issues were mentioned: â¢ Non-Commercial Delivery Vehicles: This was the most common complaint. Many stores receive deliveries from non-commercial vehicles, including stores whose owners have several stores and use personal vehicles to deliver goods between those stores. The non-commercial delivery vehicles were getting tickets for using parking spaces during the delivery window. â¢ Impacted Customers: Although most businesses did not report any negative impacts on their customers, a few who had a higher proportion of customers arriving by car noticed that their customers were receiving tickets for parking during the delivery window, and were concerned that they might not return. â¢ Continuing Congestion: According to a few merchants, congestion continues to be an issue between 18th and 19th Streets after delivery windows end. Deliveries continue to occur through- out the day, and trucks are still double-parking (even though the delivery window is extended to 3 p.m. on this block). Concluding Observations Some of the lessons learned from this case study include: â¢ Collecting detailed freight activity information, including vehicle loading type, location, and duration data, is valuable for accurately assessing problems and developing the best solutions. â¢ Involving a wide range of stakeholders through early and ongoing public involvement can create project partners and advocates, and can improve project outcomes. â¢ Developing a simple, focused solution that addresses the critical issues and key geographic area can improve the chances of project success.
154 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Case Study 6: Columbus Avenue, First and Second Avenues, Manhattan, New York A reduction in parking spaces, resulting from the implementation of larger scale projects geared toward improving conditions for transit and/or non-motorized users, led to the need for specialized freight delivery allowances, including the use of time-specific freight parking and loading zones, combined with loading and parking restrictions (i.e., delivery windows). Planning Guide Initiatives Discussed â¢ Initiative 7: Freight Parking and Loading Zones â¢ Initiative 8: Loading and Parking Restrictions Overview As multimodal projects are implemented along commercial corridors, a common outcome can be a reduction in parking spaces. Although the intent of such projects is to encourage travelers to use other modes besides the personal automobile, an unintended consequence is a reduced capacity for delivery vehicles. This case study describes two such projects designed to address these issues. Columbus Avenue Bicycle Path and Mobility Enhancements Project Columbus Avenue is a major north-south corridor on the west side of Manhattan. In 2010, a parking-protected bike path was installed from West 77th Street to West 96th Street. The project placed great emphasis on providing a safe environment for bicyclists while maintaining vehicular traffic capacity. The proposed concept maintained, but narrowed, the existing moving lanes, and created a âfloatingâ parking lane with a 5-foot buffer and a 6-foot bike lane between the parking lane and the curb (see Figure 28). As a result of moving parking away from the curb, well over 50 of the existing 257 parking spaces were repurposed as turn lanes, mixing zones, or pedestrian islands, essentially reducing the parking capacity by more than 20%. Time-specific freight parking and loading zones (i.e., delivery windows) were implemented to minimize the impact of this loss of parking space. Subsequently, in 2013, the bike path project was extended north to West 110th Street and south to West 59th Street. With the extension project, some parking spaces were gained (because of the conversion of a rush-hour travel lane to parking north of West 96th Street), while other spaces were eliminated, mainly south of West 77th Street. Figure 28. Columbus Avenue configuration with added bike lane.
Case Studies 155 Again, delivery windows were part of the initiative to minimize delivery impacts on businesses, with new delivery windows implemented in both extension areas. First Avenue/Second Avenue Select Bus Service Implementation Project On the east side of Manhattan, First Avenue and Second Avenue are parallel roads, 1 block apart. First Avenue traffic is one-way northbound, Second Avenue traffic is one-way southbound. The study area extended 8.5 miles along both avenues between South Ferry Station and 125th Street. The primary issues driving the overall SBS project were the need to improve bus travel times and customer service. One of the main components of the project was to provide a continuous bus-only lane along First Avenue and Second Avenue between Houston Street and 125th Street. Before that, bus lanes were only present along certain segments of each street. Along some blocks in these corridors, the newly designated bus lane replaced an existing vehicular travel lane. On other blocks, however, the bus lane replaced the curbside parking area. To help mitigate the loss of parking, delivery windows were designated in certain areas. Conditions Prior to Implementation In both project locations, but particularly along the First Avenue/Second Avenue corridor, due to its length, land uses can vary significantly from commercial to residential, and many areas are mixed. Thus the transit, traffic, parking, and delivery demands vary throughout the corridors. Furthermore, most of the businesses and residential buildings do not have off-street loading areas, so access to curb space for delivery vehicles is vital. Data collection performed before implementation indicated that parking and loading space demand is high in both project locations. Survey results reported that business owners along the Columbus Avenue corridor receive from eight deliveries to more than 60 deliveries per week. In addition, a parking inventory, conducted before construction of the First Avenue/Second Avenue project, indicated a total of just over 1,800 spaces on each avenue. The inventory also collected usage data. Table 59 shows, by community district (CD), the busiest hours of the day and how many spaces were occupied during those hours. As shown in the table, some areas had available parking capacity, while two areas exceeded their legal capacity during peak demand hours. Economic Impacts Along both corridors, some business owners viewed the respective projects as potentially negative. Reductions in parking would limit delivery vehicle and shopper parking options, with Time Demand Supply % First Avenue CD 3 (south of 14th) 12:00 noon 165 215 77% CD 6 (14th to 59th) 11:00 a.m. 440 668 66% CD 8 (59th to 96th) 11:00 a.m. 510 502 102% CD 11 (north of 96th) 12:00 noon 430 424 101% Second Avenue CD 3 (south of 14th) 1:00 p.m. 155 196 79% CD 6 (14th to 59th) 12:00 noon 375 679 55% Table 59. Peak weekday parking demand.
156 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide possible impacts on both revenues and costs. Fewer spaces would likely mean increases in freight delivery parking violations as well, increasing parking ticket costs for freight delivery firms. Time spent looking for parking would increase for both commercial and non-commercial drivers. Therefore, time-specific freight parking and loading zones (i.e., delivery windows) combined with parking and loading restrictions were considered to limit the potential impacts of the proposed changes in both of the project corridors. Regional Approach/Initiative In both corridors, the project sponsors recognized that providing sufficient freight parking and loading zone space, coupled with loading and parking time restrictions, was very important to achieving the desired project outcomes. Extensive outreach efforts were undertaken for both projects to collect data and information from businesses. Columbus Avenue The Columbus Avenue time-specific parking and loading zone (i.e., delivery window) program seeks to restrict the parking spaces along particular blocks to commercial vehicles only during certain times of the day, as shown in Figure 29. The time allotted per delivery vehicle is 30 minutes. The exact regulations, including which hours and days are restricted, vary by location, as noted in the figure. To implement the delivery window/loading zone portion of the project, New York City DOT staff collected detailed before-implementation data, including parking and loading space inven- tory and usage information. Site visits took place with Columbus Avenue businesses and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in May 2010. New York City DOT staff specifi- cally visited businesses in the corridor to review their need for loading and delivery spaces. Overall, New York City DOT spoke with 189 businesses before implementing the project. A Truck Loading Delivery Initiative was developed, as well as an AMNH draft-loading plan. The delivery window/ loading component was implemented with the overall bike lane restriping project. When the implementation was complete, the New York City DOT collected after- implementation data. For the overall bike lane project, 6-month and 12-month assessments were completed to determine the impact of the project. The after-implementation data showed that the majority of vehicles using the delivery window spaces were single-unit trucks (>60%), followed by a smaller number of commercial vans (30%). Tractor-trailers also were observed using the spaces, but in far fewer numbers (<10%). The average duration for commercial vehicles using the delivery window spaces ranged from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the location. (The maximum legal duration is only 30 minutes). Based on the before-and-after data, the first phase of the bike path project appears to have encouraged increased cycling activity without substantially impacting traffic flow. In fact, average corridor travel times decreased. The safety-related findings did not appear to be conclusive. The project also seems to have reduced the total number of commercial vehicles parking in the study area, with a 20% decrease (from more than 180 to approximately 140) for a six-block area (Figure 30). The vast majority of this reduction was in vehicles that were illegally parking in travel lanes. With the new delivery windows, the percent of commercial vehicles parked in a travel lane (or mixing zone) decreased by nearly half, while the number of legally parked vehicles remained relatively constant. Given that a number of changes were made in the corridor, the decreased travel time likely resulted from numerous factors. The delivery windows are, however, considered to have been a contributing factor. The improved travel times are illustrated in Figure 31.
Figure 29. Delivery windows. Figure 31. Improvement in travel times. Parked in a Mixing Zone, Travel Lane, or Gore Parked in a Parking Space 52.0% 48.0% 66.3% 33.7% 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 2010 (Before) 2011 (After) N um be r o f C om m er ci al V eh ic le s Total Quantity of Commercial Parking East Side of Columbus Avenue 6am-6pm 2010 vs. 2011 Parked in a Travel Lane Parked in a Parking Space Figure 30. Decrease in commercial parking.
158 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide The Columbus Avenue BID that overlaps with the project area was also found to have 100% occupancy in March 2012, approximately 1 year after the project was completed. The second phase of the parking-protected bike path project included two sections, one to the north and one to the south. To the north (West 110th Street to West 96th Street), the right-most lane was used as a through lane during the weekday a.m. peak period. Because of low usage, it was determined that this lane could be converted to full-time parking, returning 105 parking spaces to that part of the corridor. In both the northern and southern bike path extension sections, loading zones were incorpo- rated into the design. Certain locations were identified where these zones should be implemented. Approximately 30 regular parking spaces were eliminated to add these loading zones; however, the zones are available for overnight and weekend community parking. Table 60 identifies the blocks where the loading zones were implemented and the main business served by those zones. Based on data from the New York City DOT, the cost of implementing delivery window projects is approximately $2,500 for 6 to 30 signs. The number of signs that can be installed depends on how many signs must be mounted on new posts, and how many can be mounted on existing poles and posts. This does not include the soft costs of planning, public outreach, data collection, and so forth. First Avenue/Second Avenue Project Using the information gathered during the business outreach effort, time-specific freight parking and loading zones (i.e., delivery windows) were viewed as a potential measure to coun- ter the loss of delivery/parking spaces. Weekday delivery windows were created within the curbside bus lanes to provide adequate curb space for loading and deliveries. The curbside bus lanes are in effect as bus-only lanes from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays (Monday through Friday; see Figure 32). During the midday time period (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.), selected portions of the curbside bus lanes are available for loading and deliveries only. These same areas are generally available for parking from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on week- days, as well as on weekends. These restrictions are enforced by both video and police presence. Fines for violations vary from $115 to $150. The locations of the commercial loading zones are shown in context with the other parking regulations along the corridor in Figure 33. Some seg- ments of the SBS used offset bus lanes, which maintained a curb parking and/or delivery lane. Where these offset lanes were used, delivery windows were not required. Stakeholder Engagement The New York City DOT was responsible for implementing both projects (along with the MTA in the case of the First Avenue/Second Avenue Project), including the delivery window program components. The NYPD was responsible for enforcing the new regulations, including Table 60. Daytime loading zones. Block Business 107thâ108th WS Movers 106thâ105th Adel Wine; 99 Cent Store 98thâ97th Duane Reade 76thâ75th Duane Reade 74thâ73rd Pioneer Supermarket Figure 32. Bus regulation sign.
Case Studies 159 Figure 33. New parking regulations on First Avenue and Second Avenue. Second Avenue First Avenue
160 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide ticketing and towing. Local community boards also were involved in the development and implementation of both projects. The major challenge associated with the First Avenue/Second Avenue project was how to achieve the projectâs objective of significantly improved bus service against a background of a reduction in available curb space that could be assigned to loading and parking. Stakeholder engagement also proved challenging, especially with regard to the freight industry. Issues and challenges with this project resembled those present for the Columbus Avenue bike lane project. For that project, one-on-one interviews with truck drivers and business owners had provided feedback on specific issues. On both projects, city staff made numerous presentations and reached out to a wide range of constituencies. To date, little feedback has been received on the delivery window component of the First Avenue/Second Avenue project. On the Columbus Avenue project, despite seemingly positive results, a number of concerns have been identified related to the project, as well as some criticism from local business owners. For example: â¢ Complaints from business owner interviews â The 30-minute delivery limit is seen as too short. â Business has declined due to bike lane and delivery windows. â Business has been hurt by loss of parking and increase in tickets. â Deliveries are âslower.â â¢ Complaints from truck driver interviews â Delivery window spaces are being used by cars with placards. â Delivery window signs do not specify the 30-minute time limit. â Double-parking is faster than trying to use the delivery window spaces. Emerging Issues Both delivery window projects seemed to address the issues related to the loss of delivery spaces; however, there were some unresolved issues. Notably, the delivery window maximum duration did not seem to match the delivery demands on some blocks. In addition, the maxi- mum duration was not posted on the signs, leading to confusion on the part of some delivery drivers. Feedback highlighted additional issues that were still perceived as unresolved. As New York City develops its SBS program throughout the city, delivery windows have been considered one potential initiative for providing sufficient access for business loading and deliv- ery activity. For example, midday delivery windows were incorporated into the retail core of the new SBS corridor on Fordham Road to facilitate pick-ups and deliveries during the late morning and early afternoon. These delivery window times and locations were set up in coordination with the local businesses. Delivery windows have also been considered for the Nostrand Avenue SBS project. In each case, the delivery window implementation concepts have been slightly different with regard to time and location, but the general principles have remained the same. Concluding Observations The major lessons learned from these projects include: â¢ Designing time-specific freight parking and loading facilities into street improvement plans from the beginning can yield improved outcomes and increased effectiveness. â¢ Working closely with local businesses and community groups to identify the specific delivery and parking needs provides better information for assessing potential problems, developing plans, and implementing improvements. â¢ Involving the public and corridor stakeholders extensively can benefit the project, but it does not guarantee that all parties will be pleased with the final plan or project.
Case Studies 161 â¢ Quantifying delivery activity through surveys and other data-gathering activities provides the information necessary for project development with regard to delivery window locations, timeframes, and allowable loading durations. â¢ Developing and signing delivery window times and durations to meet the observed local freight loading needs is very important. â¢ Post-implementation data gathering is useful for assessing the effectiveness of a parking and loading zone plan. â¢ Publicizing the delivery window guidelines/regulations is vital, and partner organizations can help with this effort. Case Study 7: Maspeth Truck Route Redesignation, Maspeth, New York A heavy flow of truck traffic through a residential and local commercial district led to the need for a bypass study and truck-route redesignation with associated infrastructure upgrades. Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 19: Truck Routes (Redesignation) â¢ Initiative 5: Removal of Geometric Constraints at Intersections Overview The New York City DOT commissioned a study of the truck activity within the Maspeth area of Queens, New York. The study findings supported the need to design and implement strategies to improve traffic circulation, alter truck routing, and enhance safety in the indus- trial and residential neighborhoods bounded by Grand Avenue, the Queens-Midtown Express- way (commonly referred to as the Long Island Expressway, I-495), and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (I-278) (See Figure 34). After completion of the study, the New York City DOT N Figure 34. Location map and areas of interest.
162 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide worked closely with the local community and stakeholders to implement the recommendations, including a truck-route redesignation and the removal of intersection constraints along the new truck route. Conditions Prior to Implementation Maspeth is a community in central/southern Queens that has a mix of commercial dis- tricts, local shops, residential neighborhoods, and industrial/warehousing facilities. The area also falls within two community boards: Queens Community Board 2 in the north, and Queens Community Board 5 in the south. At the beginning of the New York City DOT study, Grand Avenue served as a major truck route in Community Board 5, given its direct connection between the industrialized areas of Maspeth and the Queens-Midtown Expressway, despite tra- versing through predominately residential and light commercial land uses close to the Interstate (see Figure 35). The conflict between the heavy truck traffic and the local commercial and residential land uses along the Grand Avenue corridor was the main issue to be addressed by a potential truck- route redesignation project. The challenge was to find a more acceptable alternate truck route in terms of adjacent land uses that would not negatively impact truck travel times. Cost was also a factor, as was the input from multiple stakeholders, including both residents and local business owners. Economic Impacts The current condition had negative economic impacts for local residents and some busi- nesses. Higher-than-average accident rates on the existing truck routes impacted both local resi- dents and through travelers. Residents suffered the costs of parked cars being struck by trucks. Traffic congestion and blocked roadways also affected all road users. Figure 35. Diverse land use.
Case Studies 163 Regional Approach/Initiative The goals of the study were to (a) identify and recommend a solution based on existing con- ditions analyses, (b) develop and implement conceptual plans, and (c) assess the effects of the roadway changes. These goals were undertaken in a multiphase process. In Phase I, the existing conditions and issues were identified. The identification involved extensive advance data collection, including a truck origin/destination survey. Multiple oppor- tunities for public and stakeholder involvement were also used, including: three open houses (one for the general public, two for industries), seven presentations to community boards and committees, and 15 site visits (11 with business stakeholders, four with civic groups). The follow- ing key issues were identified by stakeholders: â¢ Cut-through and off-route trucks â¢ Accidents, safety, trucks hitting parked cars â¢ Air/noise pollution â¢ Bypass feedback â¢ Enforcement issues â¢ Suggested changes to traffic operation In Phase II, the analysis from Phase I was furthered, leading to a final recommendation for the proposed truck-route redesignation, including the removal of intersection constraints. The New York City DOT and its team developed innovative tools and solutions to aid in the DM process. Video-based data collection and GPS recorders were used, and a website was devel- oped and deployed to share data among departments; phone apps were used to collect travel time and delay information, and to respond as quickly as possible to any issue identified at any of the public meetings. These methods proved effective in overcoming the project challenges. The final recommendation advanced from Phase II was to reroute trucks off Grand Avenue on to 58th Street/Maurice Avenue. The new truck route was carefully analyzed and determined to be the best solution despite one key issue: the re-routing would force additional trucks through a com- plex and potentially unsafe five-legged intersection at Maspeth Avenue/58th Street/56th Terrace/ Maurice Avenue (shown in Figure 36). The New York City DOT was concerned that drivers unfamiliar with the intersection might have issues navigating through the complex intersection, which could create an unsafe condition. Figure 36. Five-legged intersection.
164 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide As a consequence of this issue, the New York City DOT would not approve the proposed truck-route redesignation unless the constraints posed by this intersection were eliminated and other traffic impacts associated with the proposed re-routing of traffic from Grand Avenue to the Maspeth industrial area were addressed. Multiple options were considered for the normal- ization of the intersection; the preferred option is shown in Figure 37. The selected option was a low-cost but highly effective option that did not require new roadway construction. It used signing and striping changes to successfully address a number of vehicle and pedestrian opera- tional and safety issues. Phase III focused on implementing the concept plans developed during Phase II. Detailed comprehensive signage plans, pavement-marking plans, and geometric plans were developed to implement the truck-route redesignation project and construct the intersection improvement project. N Figure 37. Preferred normalization option.
Case Studies 165 Phase IV involved monitoring of the redesignation after implementation. The average week- day street-segment volumes were compared before and after the implementation. A comparison of weekday traffic counts along Maurice Avenue, 58th Street, and Grand Avenue illustrates that an overall decrease occurred in traffic along Grand Avenue in both the northbound and south- bound directions. In addition, the peak-hour truck volumes were compared before and after the implemen- tation of the redesignation project. Overall, truck traffic decreased along Grand Avenue and Borden Avenue and increased along 58th Street and Maurice Avenue (the new truck route). Additionally, truck traffic increased along 55th Drive because of the conversion of Maurice Avenue from a two-way to a one-way roadway. Figure 38 illustrates the shift in truck traffic. As shown in Figure 39, travel times along the new westbound truck route were approximately 1 to 1.5 minutes longer than the Grand Avenue route during the a.m. and midday periods, but about 20 seconds faster during the peak p.m. hour. In the eastbound direction, the observed travel times were faster on the new route during all three peak-hour conditions. In the westbound direction, the approximately 60- to 90-second increase in overall travel time during the a.m. and midday peaks is comparable to missing a green light at a signalized intersection in the corridor. Overall, the proposed truck-route redesignation either maintained similar travel speeds in the westbound direction or significantly improved travel speeds in the eastbound direction. Local traffic flows along both Maurice Avenue and 58th Street also improved. As part of improving the intersection of 58th Street/Maurice Avenue/Maspeth Avenue, the proposed truck-route change required the conversion of multiple two-way streets into one-way streets. The newly created one-way streets have provided opportunities for loading and unload- ing zones to access local businesses along the bypass. In addition, reduced delays were observed along the bypass, as vehicles can now bypass any double-parked vehicles, improving traffic flows within the Maspeth industrial area (see Figure 40). Stakeholder Engagement The project was approved by all stakeholders in mid-July 2011. The truck-route redesignation was implemented, along with the intersection normalization changes, starting October 1, 2011. Given the nature of the improvements selected, there was no need for a separate funding plan; the installation could be completed under existing maintenance contracts. This project faced -20% +32% Figure 38. Impact of bypass project on truck traffic.
166 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide the challenge of engaging with numerous stakeholders that often had conflicting viewpoints and goals. This included coordinating with different agencies, including the NYPD, on enforce- ment matters and with local community boards to deliver an outcome that was suitable to local residents and businesses. Other challenges included limited funding, difficult technical issues (e.g., safety and traffic capacity needs), and a requirement that the team continue working until a feasible and affordable solution was achieved. Emerging Issues Since March 2011, the New York City DOT has coordinated with the NYPD to enforce the new truck-route rules with two goals: (1) to show the community that there is a commitment to Grand Ave N Grand Ave N START FINISH Grand Ave & 49th Pl FINISH FINISH START Grand Ave & 49th Pl Eastbound Two-Day Average Travel Time Comparisons Route AM 8-9 AM (min) Midday 12-1 PM (min) PM 5-6 PM (min) Dist (mi) # of Traffic Signals Bypass 3.5 3.8 3.3 1.1 3 Grand Ave 6.0 6.5 8.0 1.4 10 % Diff -42% -42% -59% --- --- Westbound Two-Day Average Travel Time Comparisons Route AM 8-9 AM (min) Midday 12-1 PM (min) PM 5-6 PM (min) Dist (mi) # of Traffic Signals Bypass 7.0 6.3 5.5 2.0 8 Grand Ave 5.4 5.3 5.8 1.4 11 % Diff 30% 19% -5% --- --- Figure 39. Impact of bypass project on travel speeds. Maurice Avenue looking southbound. Northbound traffic is traveling in southbound lane to bypass truck loading activity. Maurice Avenue looking northbound. One-way designa- tion minimizes traffic conflicts near loading bays and provides additional parking capacity and loading/ unloading areas. Figure 40. Impact of bypass project on parking.
Case Studies 167 changing truck behavior; and (2) to encourage the truck drivers to use the bypass route. Between April 2011 and February 2012, 254 trucks were stopped on Grand Avenue within Community Board 5, and over 375 summonses were issued. Truck drivers were interviewed while they were pulled over, and asked to take a short survey on their knowledge of the bypass route and the origin and destination patterns (see Figure 41). Drivers also were provided with New York City truck-route maps and other regulation information. The results of the surveys indicated that the truck drivers were unaware of the bypass, and based upon the travel time savings and reduced number of signals, the drivers indicated that they would utilize the bypass for future deliveries. Concluding Observations The major lessons learned from this project include: â¢ Work closely with the local community and stakeholders to identify the critical issues and best possible solutions. Continue working with these groups through the implementation phase. â¢ Carefully identify and address issues that could arise due to shifting truck routes. â¢ Consider a variety of low-cost options; sometimes low-cost options can be very effective. They also offer opportunities for quick implementation. â¢ Persistence is important in a project that involves diverse and outspoken stakeholders. â¢ Enforcement and education are important to project success. Sufficient resources need to be allocated to these aspects of proposed projects. Seattle, Washington Puget Sound FAST Corridor Initiative: Freight Quality Partnerships, Upgraded Infrastructure, and Real-Time Information Systems Introduction The Freight Action Strategy for the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma corridor (FAST) program was developed more than 15 years ago in the Puget Sound region in Washington State to address Figure 41. Truck intercept survey.
168 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide growing freight needs. In January 1994, Puget Sound business leaders created a Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable, which included private freight companies and public-sector transportation leaders. The group identified freight mobility issues and solutions. The group also created what they called a Recommended Regional Freight Mobility Action Package. The package was submitted to regional transportation leaders and ultimately became the FAST Corridor Initiative. The region developed a strategy for prioritizing projects to proactively enhance regional freight mobility instead of waiting to address them when freight volumes increased. By empha- sizing the functionality of the regionâs freight mobility at a corridor level, the region has been able to make significant progress toward a regional program made up of strategic local investments that have regional results. The program has focused on projects that were too small for the Washington State DOT but too large for municipalities to handle alone. During the past 15 years, the FAST partnership has completed 20 of the original 25 projects on their strategy list. The FAST Corridor Initiative is a case study of how long-term freight quality partnerships can improve the long-term freight performance of a region. It is important to note that these projects did not directly involve improving throughput at the international border crossing located just north of the region. The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is the MPO for the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett metro- politan area. This region includes the counties of King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish, and 82 municipalities. It spans more than 6,300 square miles, and is home to 3.5 million people. The PSRC is charged with planning for regional transportation, land use, and economic development. The FAST Corridor is an area defined within the PSRC region, as exhibited in Figure 42. The PSRC classifies freight in their region as either locally derived or discretionary (pass-through) freight. Although many regions use these classifications, the distinction is important for the Seattle area because of the regionâs projected population growth and the location of two major ports in the area. Both local and discretionary freight are projected to grow significantly. PSRC estimates that, by 2040, the Seattle-Tacoma region will grow to 5 million residents holding more than 3 million jobs. This represents an addition of 1.5 million residents, which will have a significant impact on urban freight movement and performance, as each new resident will be dependent on freight to deliver food, clothing, and other day-to-day needs. Additionally, the regionâs manufacturing, construction, warehousing, and mining industries depend on freight transportation. Case Study 8: Everett-Seattle-Tacoma Corridor In the 1990s, a freight quality partnership was formed to improve freight infrastructure in the region, both to accommodate local freight traffic and to expedite and mitigate the impact of increas- ing pass-through freight. During the past 15 years, most of the infrastructure improvements ini- tially identified by the partnership have been completed. The partnership has grown into a seasoned Freight Advisory Council (FAC) for the regionâs MPO. Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 53: Create a Freight Quality Partnership â¢ Initiative 2: New and Upgraded Infrastructure â¢ Initiative 36: Real-Time Information Systems Discretionary freight is not affected by local supply or demand triggers. Trade that comes to the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle destined for points eastward is not required to go through those ports.
Case Studies 169 Figure 42. FAST Corridor project map.
170 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Shippers âchooseâ to have this freight come through the Seattle-Tacoma region. The decision to have freight come through the region largely depends on factors outside of the regionâs control, such as global shipping patterns and trade growth. All the same, discretionary is expected to grow significantly. The Ports of Tacoma and Seattle expect their intermodal traffic to almost triple by 2030. Similarly, the regionâs rail system is expected to see significant intermodal container growth of 65 million intermodal tons by 2040. Overview Unlike the other case studies detailed in this Guide, the Seattle regionâs FAST Corridor Initiative was started by the private sector. In 1992, the Washington State DOT formed a FAC to provide input to their state transportation plan. One member of the FAC also was a board member on the PSRCâs Transportation Policy Board. This member began to champion freight concerns with the MPO board and throughout the overall agency process. Together with a PSRC staff member, this FAC member began to build in freight planning as part of the PSRC planning process. This included development of an initial freight plan and a freight quality partnership that ultimately led to the creation of the FAST Corridor Initiative. Active members of the FAC who were involved in the PSRC began to urge the MPO to pursue a way to be more inclusive of freight concerns in their business. In 1994, the PSRC created one of the first MPO-based freight quality partnerships in the nation. With its partners in the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, they created the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable. At its first meeting, the roundtable established the private sectorâs three biggest trans- portation concerns in the Seattle-Tacoma region: â¢ Problems posed by the public-sector DM process â¢ Constraints in the physical networks of roads and other facilities â¢ Operating difficulties stemming from traffic management strategies and service levels (Federal Highway Administration, Case Study, n.d. a). Economic Impacts Although there has not been any analysis of the economic impact of the FAST partnership, the Seattle-Tacoma regionâs economy is clearly dependent on the freight industry. In 2011, freight- dependent industries like mining, construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trade were responsible for over 30% (approximately $73.9 billion) of the regionâs GDP (Bureau of Economic Analysis 2013). PSRC estimates these dependent industries support about 700,000 jobs in the region, which is about 37% of regional employment. The regionâs air and maritime ports are esti- mated to be responsible for over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. Combined, the ports generate almost $1 billion in local and state tax revenue (Puget Sound Regional Council 2010). The success of freight in the Seattle-Tacoma region has a much broader impact, however: combined, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma represent the third-largest container port in the nation. Although an important statistic in itself, this has a much more critical role in terms of regional resiliency. The busiest container port in the nation is the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, in California. The next busiestâthe Ports of New York/New Jerseyâis on the East Coast. If an event restricted traffic through the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, the Ports of Seattle/Tacoma would be the only major container port serving the western United States. Regional Approach/Initiative In 1994, during a local freight conference, the initial idea of the FAST Corridor was created, and a working group was established to formalize the concept. It is important to note that the
Case Studies 171 FAST Corridor is not a traditional highway or rail corridor; instead it is an initiative for improv- ing freight in the region. Over the next 2 years, the concept was formally adopted in the PSRC Regional Transportation Plan and the program was staffed by the PSRC and Washington State DOT. In 2006, PSRC took over formal program administration for the FAST Corridor Partner- ship (Transportation Research Board 2003, 95â96). The partnership is not simply between PSRC and the Washington State DOT; it includes â26 local cities, counties, ports; federal, state, and regional transportation agencies; railroads, and trucking interests, intent on solving freight mobility problems with coordinated solutionsâ (Puget Sound Regional Council, n.d.). The FAST partnership has completed 20 out of the 25 projects on its initiative list in the past 15 years. The overall FAST strategy is divided into four categories: â¢ Railroad grade crossings â¢ Port improvements â¢ Highway construction/reconstruction â¢ Improvements to rail that serve both passenger and freight trips Initially the FAST partners focused on supply-side infrastructure management projects and traffic management strategies like truck routes. Many of the 20 projects completed were railroad grade separations along critical freight highway routes in the region, as well as clearing up of con- straints along the major intermodal connectors linking the ports and major truck routes through the region. More recently, the group has focused on demand-side projects like the use of intelli- gent transportation systems (ITS) to expedite freight movement. These strategies are often much more cost-effective than traditional highway projects, and they are becoming more common in programs with declining revenues like FAST. Some of the more recent FAST projects include: â¢ The Duwamish ITS Project: The Duwamish area is home to the Port of Seattle. All three phases of this project focused on moving truck traffic through the area more effectively. The most recent/final phase focused on feeding real-time traffic data into the algorithms that control signal timing, and on providing truck drivers real-time traffic information. This information is particularly useful to truck drivers because of the extensive use of movable bridges in the area. This project was completed in 2010 (City of Seattle, n.d.). â¢ ITS and Incident Response Expansion to Key Puget Sound Freight Corridors and Interchanges Project. This project has represented a more holistic approach to improving 200 centerline miles throughout the region using various technological improvements, including traditional loop/video detection, dynamic messaging signs, and various communications tools to com- municate conditions to drivers. Smaller projects, like weather stations and ramp metering, also have been added to the network; these types of projects are currently under development (Puget Sound Regional Council 2013). Stakeholder Engagement What makes the FAST partnership different from other case studies is the fact that so many jurisdictions worked together for the better part of two decades to develop more than $560 million of supply-side and demand-side freight improvement strategies. The representatives of these local cities, counties, ports, federal, state, and regional transportation agencies, railroads, and trucking interests worked as a cohesive group to achieve overall freight performance improvements. Jurisdictions whose projects were delayed commonly shifted their allocations to another juris- dictionâs project if it was ready to progress. Simply, the group thought as a region, and that focus helped sustain the partnership for more than 15 years. Additionally, from the beginning, representatives from the private sector have largely driven and focused the efforts to successfully overcome many transportation challenges.
172 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide The larger strategy is built around a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that details the specific projects in the strategy. The MOU itself does not include any legal duties or rights for the jurisdictions involved; rather, it serves as a framework for the group. Each implementing agency (Washington State DOT, city of Seattle, and so forth) is responsible for the overall design and construction of projects. Similarly, projects undertaken within the FAST strategy have funding allocated to them individually (Transportation Research Board 2003). Emerging Issues The Everett-Seattle-Tacoma FAST Corridor was designated as a high priority corridor by ISTEA (P.L. 102-240 Â§ 1105(c) as amended through P.L. 112-141). Subsequently, in 1998, the FAST Corridor was included in the National Corridor Planning and Development Coordinated Borders Infrastructure program in TEA-21. The TEA-21 designation came with funding to the Washington State DOT and PSRC for the âcoordinated planning, design, and construction of corridors of national significance, economic growth, and international or interregional tradeâ (Federal Highway Administration, online reference, n.d.). The next authorization bill, SAFETEA-LU, continued funding projects in designated corri- dors like this one (Federal Highway Administration, online reference, n.d.). Thus, SAFETEA-LU indirectly funded the FAST Corridor through its continuation of funding projects designated under ISTEAâs High Priority projects (see Figure 43). The main bill authorized funding as neces- sary to cover Congressional High Priority projects; however, no funding was ever appropriated for this. The most recent authorization, MAP-21, took a very different approach. One of the major changes in MAP-21 was the significant consolidation of highway programs at U.S. DOT. In addi- tion, several programs were repealedâincluding the High Priority Project program, which had been the main funding source for FAST. Although MAP-21 carries the same larger authorization to fund Congressional High Priority projects like SAFETEA-LU, no appropriations have been made, nor is there any indication that appropriations will be made in the future. Where does that leave the remaining five FAST projects? Discretionary corridor-related money was just one part of a larger recipe for funding projects in the FAST strategy. Many projects in fact had six or more funding sources. Even so, the loss of the discretionary funding is a significant setback that has indefinitely delayed at least two of the five remaining projects. Today, the FAST Corridor Partnership has begun to serve more as a FAC for the region. Utilizing membersâ institutional knowledge about FAST Corridor development, this group has technical and policy-level experience that will be beneficial to future freight mobility efforts. Concluding Observations Researchers have compared the success of the freight quality partnerships in Los Angeles (mainly the work leading up the Alameda Corridor) and the FAST partnership. Although both groups worked to significantly enhance their metropolitan areasâ freight networks, they had significantly different approaches and purposes. In Los Angeles, the group responded to an immediate need, whereas the FAST partnership worked to enhance the network in anticipation of future growth. The FAST partners saw an opportunity to capitalize on potential business opportunities that might result from congestion or potential service interruptions at the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Essentially, their goal was to create opportunity for the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle through improving the regionâs freight resiliency. The multijurisdictional group worked together to proactively enhance the regionâs freight net- work, instead of waiting to act when freight volumes increased. In addition, the group focused on
Case Studies 173 projects that were too small for the Washington State DOT to focus on, but too large for munici- palities to handle alone. As a group, they were able to handle problems that no single entity could resolve, which provided real results and increased buy-in from their private-sector partners. The lessons learned from the FAST partnership apply directly to regions looking to improve the position of their community to capture future freight opportunities. Although the projectâs initial âwinsâ came from being able to fund projects through the former Borders and Corridors program, the group was strategically positioned to also pursue non-traditional highway fund- ing like that available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Toledo, Ohio Ohioâs Proactive Approach to Improving Freight Performance: Freight Quality Partnerships and Upgraded Infrastructure Introduction Toledoâs public and private freight stakeholders identified the economic potential of improving freight performance in their region. Their work ultimately led to public and private investments in Figure 43. High priority corridors.
174 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide the rail network around Airline Junction Intermodal Yard, which allowed the facility to quickly double annual lifts and provide further economic development opportunities for the region. This case study is unique in that the initiative was not a response to a specific freight issue. Instead, the region proactively formed a freight quality partnership that went through a DM pro- cess similar to the one described in this Guide to select an initiative (upgraded infrastructure) to improve the overall freight performance in their region. The impetus for action was to support and strengthen the entire local freight system as a means of economic expansion, rather than to address specific system issues. Located in Northwest Ohio, the Toledo region is situated roughly between the Detroit, Michigan, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, metropolitan areas. By itself, the Toledo metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is home to 651,429 people, and it is the 81st largest MSA in the United States. There are eight neighboring MSAs within 100 miles, however. This larger area, which local experts call âLake Erie West,â is home to over 6.2 million people. If Lake Erie West were a state, it would be the 18th largest, with a combined GDP of $281 billion (see Table 61). It is important to note that these figures do not include Ontario, Canada, which falls within the 100-mile radius of Toledo, Ohio. Strong bi-national manufacturing and supply chain relation- ships account for a significant volume of the goods moving within and through the region. Given the multijurisdictional nature of freight, this larger area is more telling of the regionâs potential as a freight center. The Toledo region serves as a major freight junction for highway, rail, and maritime freight. Located on the southwest corner of Lake Erie, it serves as a hub for freight moving east-west from New York State to Chicago, Illinois, and for traffic moving north-south from Detroit, Michigan, and Canada to the states of Texas and Florida. Similarly, the Port of Toledo is the westernmost port on Lake Erie. The portâs location, effectively at the end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, coupled with its connections to both north-south and east-west land-based freight modes, resulted in it becoming the second largest on the Great Lakes. Case Study 9: Airline Junction Yard Regional efforts to improve economic development through the capitalization of Toledoâs location at the intersection of freight between Chicago and the East Coast, and Canada and the South, led to rail infrastructure improvements that improved rail velocity and doubled lifts at an intermodal facility. Table 61. Lake Erie West demographics. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 2011 GDP (millions) Population Ann Arbor, Michigan $ 18,689 344,791 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Michigan $ 199,378 4,296,250 Fort Wayne, Indiana $ 18,278 416,257 Jackson, Michigan $ 4,971 160,248 Lima, Ohio $ 4,865 106,331 Monroe, Michigan $ 3,738 152,021 Sandusky, Ohio $ 3,190 77,079 Toledo, Ohio $ 28,037 651,429 Total $ 281,146 6,204,406 Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP by Metropolitan Area; September 2013 & 2010 U.S. Census SF1 File
Case Studies 175 Planning Guide Strategies Discussed â¢ Initiative 53: Create a Freight Quality Partnership â¢ Initiative 2: New and Upgraded Infrastructure Over the past two decades, state and local officials in Ohio have noticed the growing impor- tance to the stateâs economy of the logistics and distribution industry. Several Toledo-area groups began to realize that, because of its strategic location and multimodal freight assets, the area had the potential to become the anchor of the larger economic engine of the Lake Erie West region. The intermodal concept began to be included in the regionâs Transportation Legislative Agenda, a biennial statement of consensus on transportation policy priorities produced by a coalition of stakeholders and spearheaded by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Overview In 2008, the Joint Intermodal Task Force for Transportation and Logistics (JITF) was formed. Like many freight quality partnerships, JITFâs members included public-sector and private-sector leaders. What made this group unique, however, was its extensive inclusion of former high- level public officials who had the deep understanding and the political roadmap to overcome bureaucratic challenges. The private-sector membersâ focus balanced out this strong public- sector presence. JITF is âstaffedâ by the University of Toledoâs Intermodal Transportation Institute. Shortly after its formation, the group developed a vision and a series of project recommenda- tions for the region. The process began with an identification and analysis of the regionâs key assets. JITFâs October 2008 report to the city of Toledo identified these assets as: â¢ Location at the junction of three major Interstate highways â¢ Location within a dayâs drive of 60% of the U.S. population and manufacturing capacity â¢ Presence of three Class I railroads, each linking Toledo to larger metropolitan areas â¢ Access to the Saint Lawrence Seaway via the second-largest port on the Great Lakes â¢ Availability of an air cargo hub capable of handling the worldâs largest aircraft (Intermodal Transportation Institute 2008, ii) JITF evaluated five different locations in the Toledo region that had potential to expand or develop intermodal facilities (see Figure 44). The task force met with representatives of the three Class I railroads that serve the Toledo region: Canadian National and CSX both had intermodal facilities near Toledo that were meeting their needs. The Port of Toledoâs recently rehabilitated dockside facility was evaluated for a facility that would expedite ship/rail transfers. Two Norfolk Southern facility locations were evaluated. The first, creating a site near the airport, proved to be a long-term project. The second, an existing Norfolk Southern intermodal yard (Airline Junction), showed potential (Intermodal Transportation Institute, 2008, 1â5). Airline Junction is located in a well-urbanized area within the city of Toledo. Unlike many intermodal terminals, its growth was inhibited by operational challenges outside of the yard. Its location on the Norfolk Southern Chicago mainline next to the wye with the Detroit mainline decreased its effective capacity from 60,000 container lifts to around 30,000. After analyzing projects for their viability, fundability, and private partner willingness to participate, the group made five specific project recommendations (see Table 62 and Figure 45). Economic Impacts In May 2009, the University of Toledoâs Intermodal Transportation Institute, in partnership with the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research, evaluated the economic
176 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Ai Ju rline nction Source: Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments Figure 44. Potential intermodal project sites.
Case Studies 177 impact of doubling the existing capacity of the Airline Junction Yard. The partners used IMPLAN (and its RIMS II multipliers) to calculate the overall regional impact. The Institute found that, over 5 years, the project would have a total regional benefit of more than $112.27 million. These benefits included the creation of nearly 900 direct and indirect jobs, which would create $25.6 million in salaries annually. Over 5 years, more than 1.5 million square feet would be developed, worth approximately $25 million. Overall, the state of Ohio would gain $1.49 million, and local governments would gain $1.29 million in additional tax revenues annually. Additionally, the study cited benefits to consumers due to increased competition between the (then) soon-to- be-opened CSX intermodal yard just 40 miles south of Toledo and Airline Junction. Numerous multi-state distribution centers have located in the Lake Erie West region (e.g., UPS, FedEx, Home Depot, Lowes, Walgreens). Source: Intermodal Transportation Institute, Airline Junction Economic Impact Study, p. 10. Figure 45. Norfolk Southern network near Airline Junction Yard. 1. Airline Junction Expand the Norfolk Southern intermodal yard in Toledo, Airline Junction. 2. Airline Junction strategies Build regional economic development strategies to capitalize on the improved Airline Junction. In particular, redevelop 2,000 acres of available industrial land within the city limits. 3. Regional corridor initiative Develop corridors in terms of infrastructure and economic devel- opment between the various MSAs. 4. Air cargo expansion Expand the U.S. Customs area at the Toledo Express Airport. 5. Improvements at Port of Toledo Improve crane and stacker facilities to improve intermodal movement efficiency. Source: Intermodal Transportation Institute (2008), p. 6. Table 62. JITF project recommendations
178 Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas: A Planning Guide Regional Approach/Initiative Norfolk Southern ultimately described this project as a reverse public/private partnership. Normally, the railroad would identify an improvement as beneficial to the public but not meeting the return threshold that would justify the railroadâs complete capital investment. The railroadâs government affairs team would work with their public-sector partners to exhibit the benefits of the project to gain public support, and ultimately funding. In this case, however, the city of Toledo and JITF approached Norfolk Southern about the potential of expanding Airline Junction Yard with a firm business case detailing why the project would be a win-win for the railroad and the region. The yard originally was developed as a Conrail trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) facility. Over the past 30 years, however, the yard has grown into a modern intermodal yard that handles container-on- flat-car (COFC) and container-on-well-car traffic. Unlike many intermodal sites located within urban areas, Airline Junction Yard has had room to expand without creating neighborhood conflicts or requiring additional property. Instead, its expansion has been inhibited by its loca- tion along the wye between two heavily used mainlines. Essentially, trains accessing the yard tied up the mainline between Chicago and New York, a line that can see more than 100 trains daily (Intermodal Transportation Institute 2008). The true potential of the yard was limited because many trains could not stop at the yard. To alleviate these geometric and operational challenges, Toledo and the JITF proposed a series of small improvements to upgrade rail network infrastructure and nearby highway grade cross- ings. The largest among them was the extension of the yardâs lead tracks to allow trains to pull into the yard without disrupting traffic on the mainline. The project cost $12.75 million to effectively double the yard capacity. While they were initially skeptical, Norfolk Southern ana- lyzed the projectâs viability and potential benefits, ultimately calculating that the improvements justified a $3.5 million investment from the railroad. Stakeholder Engagement In 2008, while the local partners were working with Norfolk Southern, Ohioâs unemployment rate topped 10%. In reaction, the state of Ohio created several stimulus programs that focused on creating jobs in the stateâs targeted industries. Among the projects was the Logistics and Distribution Forgivable Loan program. The program provided loans to governmental entities to build infrastructure that would support job creation in the industry. The program was admin- istered by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), and once the agreed-upon number of jobs were created, the loans were forgiven. Adequately positioned from JITFâs and Norfolk Southernâs analysis (and private-sector funding), the city of Toledo (assisted by JITF) approached ODOD to formally apply for the Distribution and Logistics stimulus program. Following an extensive application and interview process, the project was awarded a $2.75 million forgivable loan. This left a $6.5 million gap in the project that was quickly closed with $6.5 million from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) as part of ARRA. Norfolk Southern completed the project, because it is their privately owned railroad yard. However, ORDC served as the primary liaison between the local partners and Norfolk Southern, given their experience in working with the railroads and in administering public funding. There was one exception: the city of Toledo was contractually obligated to administer its portion of the funding, given that the city was legally liable for the loan. According to interviewees, this created some duplication and confusion between the Norfolk Southern, ORDC, and Toledo on overall project roles and responsibilities. These issues were quickly overcome given continued facilitation by JITF and ORDC. The project was completed in December 2010.
Case Studies 179 Concluding Observations The Toledo regionâs economy has historically been tied to the automotive industry. Although Toledo has fared better than most of its rust-belt neighbors, area stakeholders recognized the risk of having their economy tied to one industry. The region recognized the increasingly borderless nature of business, especially in the freight industry. As such, they realized that they functioned much more as a three-state, multijurisdictional region, than just the Toledo MSA. By taking a collaborative approach, stakeholders developed a successful initiative to transform a freight facility. In the process, they created redevelopment opportunities with the potential to benefit the entire region. Initially, there were many independent freight-related partnerships. However, the region came together to support the JITF, which was formally organized by the Mayor of Toledo and facili- tated by the University of Toledo. The group proactively approached Norfolk Southern about opportunities to expand intermodal operations in the region; however, they took a very differ- ent approach from many other communities that want a yard. The JITF approached Norfolk Southern with a solid business case for why improvements to Airline Junction Yard were good for both the railroad and the region. This approach took the railroad by surprise. Their reactions to the proposal were mixed (they did not see much of an intermodal market in Toledo), but they agreed to take a look. After analyzing the proposal, the railroad decided that the operational improvements at the wye between their two mainlines (and as a consequence, at Airline Junction Yard) were worth investing more than $3.5 million. Since then, traffic has picked up at the intermodal yard so much that Norfolk Southern is now offering an origin/destination pair (direct service) between the West Coast and Toledo. Essentially, this means there is enough traffic to justify an entire trainâor at least a large block of railcarsâbetween the pair. The operational improvements also added fluidity on the Norfolk Southern system throughout the Toledo metropolitan area. This means decreased costs and increased opportunities to utilize rail in the region.