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Suggested Citation:"Executive Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Integrating Freight Considerations into Collaborative Decision Making for Additions to Highway Capacity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22364.
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Suggested Citation:"Executive Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Integrating Freight Considerations into Collaborative Decision Making for Additions to Highway Capacity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22364.
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1Executive Summary This second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) project was designed to improve the ability of transportation agencies to integrate freight considerations into the highway capacity planning process. The nation’s freight shippers, receivers, and carriers depend on transportation agencies to provide new highway capacity to meet the demands of growing domestic commerce and international trade. Yet, the traditional highway planning process has not broadly engaged these freight stakeholders in the planning process. Because freight stakeholders can provide important insight that will improve planning outcomes, this research sought to delineate where and how agencies should engage this important constituency. In light of the freight planning recommendations of the latest federal transportation bill Mov- ing Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have elevated their freight planning efforts to more fully engage private-sector freight stakeholders and other public agencies, includ- ing nontransportation agencies, which can affect freight movement. For the purposes of this research, freight stakeholders include the firms that ship and receive goods (beneficial cargo owners, or BCOs), logisticians, motor carriers, railroads, industrial real estate developers, chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, port authorities, marine terminal operators, local governments, transportation agencies, environmental stake- holders, community groups, and the general public. Given this recent uptick in freight planning interest and the allocation of resources by agencies to enhance freight planning, this research is timely. By undertaking a comprehensive literature review, conducting interviews with national freight stakeholders, and developing 11 case studies, the research team has identified best practices for application in future agency efforts. The results are summarized in the SHRP 2 C15 guide: Integrating Freight Considerations into the Highway Capacity Planning Process: Practitioner’s Guide. This report summarizes the process and out- comes of the development of the guide. The research approach was based on three primary pillars: (1) literature review, (2) industry interviews, and (3) case study development. Through these activities the research team collected and distilled the information on best practices to inform the guide development. The research also relied on the insights of members of the SHRP 2 C15 technical expert task group (TETG) to refine the findings, to steer the research direction, and to develop the guide. In addition to these activities, the research team conducted a series of vetting pilots, in which the draft guide- book was reviewed for its applicability with two state DOTs and an MPO. Literature Review The research commenced with a literature review, taking into account research and advisory documents on the subject, many of which were prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The literature review found gaps that this SHRP 2 product could help fill, including

2the need to improve integration of freight-specific economic, safety, and regulatory issues in the planning process. National Stakeholder Interviews Interviews with national stakeholder organizations were conducted to group the research in a national perspective. Participants helped inform the case study selection and ranking of the deci- sion points. Case Studies To provide guidance on where to start in considering freight needs as part of the highway capac- ity planning process, the project developed brief but useful illustrative examples of successful practices at various scales and for various types of situations and regions. The case studies were developed by conducting interviews and group meetings with public- and private-sector part- ners at the state, MPO, and multistate corridor level throughout the United States. Decision-Making Framework One of the principal goals of the research effort was to identify the most important decision points within the planning process for agencies that are engaging freight stakeholders. Using the collaborative decision-making framework developed through the SHRP 2 Capacity research pro- gram, the research team used the literature review, interviews, and case study meetings to identify where freight concerns should be addressed at key decision points and where it is most critical to consider freight in order to make good decisions. The resulting freight decision-making framework is a key product of this research program, designed to help transportation agencies to get the right freight stakeholders with the right information involved at the right time. SHRP 2 C15 Guide With the information collected through the research phases of the project, the team developed a SHRP 2 C15 practitioner’s guide for agency use. Three agencies vetted the guide, helping to refine its contents and organization. The guide integrates best practices findings and includes how-to modules on important subjects, like how to establish a freight stakeholder committee. The results of the project, including the case studies, are now fully integrated into the PlanWorks transporta- tion capacity decision guide on the Internet (formally known as TCAPP).

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TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-C15-RW-1: Integrating Freight Considerations into Collaborative Decision Making for Additions to Highway Capacity summarizes the process and outcomes of a practitioner's guide that explores ways for transportation agencies to collaborate with private-sector freight stakeholders in planning and developing future highway capacity.

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