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1 1.1 Background Communities across the United States are increasingly adopting âsmart growthâ planning principles to guide new development and redevelopment of existing neighborhoods. The core principle of smart growth is to locate residents and transportation choices near jobs, shopping, and schools, regardless of whether the community is urban, suburban, or rural. In addition to supporting local economies and protecting the environment, smart growth seeks to foster safe and affordable areas with ample transportation options. Smart growth encompasses various planning concepts, but typically includes â¢ Compact and walkable neighborhoods, â¢ Mixed-use development, â¢ âComplete Streetsâ to improve safety and accessibility for all modes and users, â¢ Urban infill and redevelopment, and â¢ New communities that integrate a mix of housing styles and commercial development in a walkable environment. Smart growth is intended to create more livable communities while reducing the effects of development on the environment. The environmental benefits of successful smart growth plan- ning include various outcomes to improve overall quality of life in a community. Examples include improved air and water quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, preservation of natural lands, and the redevelopment of brownfields, all of which can improve a communityâs economy and overall quality of life. Although smart growth encourages economic activity, the necessary movement of freight and service vehicles can put pressure on smart growth commu- nities that lack supporting infrastructure or policies. Examplesâbased on real-world situations in the United Statesâwhere smart growth principles and freight activity can come into conflict are presented below: â¢ Legacy light industrial uses remain in a warehouse district which is redeveloping with new mixed-use residential buildings and artistsâ lofts. As a result, the neighborhood experiences increased truck conflict, more noise generated by idling trucks waiting to access the site, and noise from the remaining industrial and warehousing uses. â¢ Urban manufacturing plants and warehouse distribution are pushed to the regionâs edge by rising property values and redevelopment plans. As a result, employment in skilled and unskilled trades becomes less accessible to the urban residents. â¢ Pedestrian safety measures, such as curb extensions and pedestrian refuges, implemented in older neighborhoods improve safety for pedestrians and slow traffic, but create turning radii too small to be easily navigated by trucks making deliveries. C h a p t e r 1 Introduction
2 Guide for Integrating Goods and Services Movement by Commercial Vehicles in Smart Growth environments â¢ Loading docks and garbage pickup sites in a mixed-use development are sometimes sited immediately next to residential units. Consequently, truck noise is audible at all hours of the night, which disturbs some neighbors in the residential development. â¢ A small urban community would like to revitalize its historic main street using traffic-calming techniques to create a more pedestrian-friendly area. However, the main street is also a state highway with heavy truck traffic and is part of the oversize/overweight network for the state and thus must be accessible for larger vehicles. The potential conflicts between freight traffic and urban development are not new. However, they can be exacerbated by smart growth development if and when it is not âsmartâ enough, especially given the high expectations residents of these neighborhoods often have for quality of life. These conflicts need to be addressed through planning, design, and operational decisions. Interventions vary in scale, from the dimensions of street and site design to regional-level land use planning across municipal boundaries. Those who move freight also must adapt to the changing environment they seek to access, but can be aided by new technology, smaller vehicles, and adapting operational procedures. In many cities, municipal governments are working with developers and the freight industry to address these conflicts by integrating freight and truck access into site planning and traffic management. In addition to site design, some smart growth environments are using operations strategies, including curbside management policies, and working with businesses to adjust delivery hours and locations. Locally adopted Complete Streets policies, often a critical component in a cityâs smart growth strategy, may recognize the need to prioritize freight access, especially on heavily traveled truck routes or near industrial corridors or intermodal facilities. On roads with limited or irregular freight needs (such as those in residential neighborhoods), truckers should acknowledge that access via a large trailer may be impractical and adapt to fit the needs of the location. However, when accessing low-volume streets, truck drivers tend to have little difficulty using opposing traffic lanes and jockeying trucks where geometry is tight. It is on streets where regular truck access and high pedestrian, bicyclist, and transit use occur that the tradeoffs become less clear, and communication between the groups is essential. In some smart growth developments, especially greenfield or major site reuse projects, freight has been overlooked in the design and development stages. Although a growing body of practitioners (such as developers, traffic engineers, and planners) are recognizing goods movement and making provisions for its integration into new developments, few resources document these practices. For example, most educational material related to smart growth does little to explain how the freight system fits into smart growth environments. On the other side, many freight plans do not mention smart growth or identify opportunities or logistics strategies to operate safely and efficiently in smart growth environments. These two topics are often separated from one another, even though there is continual interaction in the real world. Although there is a growing body of literature on freight and land use issues, these resources do not focus on the specific issues of goods and services movement in smart growth environments. 1.2 Purpose of the Guide To close the gaps noted in Section 1.1, this Guide is designed to help government agencies, developers, building and streetscape designers, and freight carriers identify conflicts and issues and approaches to better integrate goods and services movement in the design and management of buildings and streets in smart growth environments, using best practices and case studies. The Guide can help address the gap in the available educational materials and improve the dialog between the freight stakeholders operating in smart growth environments and the professional
Introduction 3 community that designs, develops, and maintains the assets of these places. The ultimate objective is to help stakeholders work together to create environments that achieve the multiple benefits of smart growth while accommodating freight movement to support critical economic activity. Strategies for accommodating freight in multiple types of smart growth communities have been identified, detailed, and supported with current examples from the United States and abroad. This Guide is one element in a broad effort to assist communities, states, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in integrating freight into smart growth environments. 1.3 Development of the Guide This Guide was developed under NCHRP Project 08-96, âIntegrating Goods and Services Movement by Commercial Vehicles in Smart Growth Environments.â The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase focused on a state-of-the-practice review of smart growth principles, planning and development of smart growth communities, key goods and services considerations and issues, and best practices. The state-of-the-practice review consisted of a review of literature supported by interviews with transportation, freight, and land use planners at all levels of the government, smart growth advocates, freight operators, and researchers. The first phase concluded with the development of a case study outreach plan and an interim report. The second phase consisted of the implementation of the case study outreach plan, which included site visits to six case study smart growth environments, focus group meetings with various stakeholders in each case study community, and documentation of findings. The development of the draft guide, a peer review of the draft guide, and development of the final version of the Guide were completed in the second phase. During peer review, the project panel and a group of experts from throughout the country reviewed and commented on the Guide and participated in a 1-day peer exchange workshop aimed at refining the Guideâs contents. Lastly, the NCHRP Project 08-96 project panel reviewed and commented on the final version of the Guide. 1.4 Using the Guide This Guide will help the reader understand common issues and conflicts, how those issues and conflicts manifest themselves in different smart growth environments, and the types of strategies and actions stakeholders can take to better integrate goods and services move- ment by commercial vehicles in smart growth environments. This Guide has three additional chapters: â¢ Chapter 2: Planning for Smart Growth describes and defines smart growth and its planning principles and describes six smart growth classifications and common issues and conflicts associated with goods and services movement in each. This chapter also describes the primary stakeholders, working relationships, and opportunities for coordination among municipal, federal, state/regional, and private companies. Chapter 2 concludes with information about best practices, common conflicts, and areas for achieving progress in areas where mutual benefits exist. When reading this chapter, consider the qualities of your existing or planned smart growth community, and use this discussion to affirm existing or anticipate potential issues and conflicts. â¢ Chapter 3: Strategies for Supporting Goods Movement in Smart Growth Environments is the core of this Guide. It walks the reader through a âneeds identificationâ framework to identify appropriate strategies and actions that can better integrate goods and services
4 Guide for Integrating Goods and Services Movement by Commercial Vehicles in Smart Growth environments movement in smart growth environments. The description of each strategy group recognizes the obstacles that planners and policymakers may encounter when supporting smart growth and goods movement. The rest of the chapter outlines a series of strategies for each of the four phases of integrating freight into smart growth communities and identifies which strategies support each of the six aforementioned smart growth classifications. â¢ Chapter 4: Case Studies presents the findings of each of the six case studies: the Brady Arts District (Tulsa, OK), the Ballard neighborhood (Seattle, WA), Over-the-Rhine (Cincinnati, OH), Route 9 in Glens Falls (NY), Daybreak (South Jordan, UT), and the Belmar District (Lakewood, CO). The Guide also contains a list of references and a list of abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms.