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4 Problem Statement Recent U.S. Census and commodity flow data indicate that more than 80 percent of the population lives or works in metropolitan areas, and 65 percent of American goods movement originates or terminates in such areas. Large areas of the United States that were once distinct towns and cities are growing into large urban areas. Serving the freight needs of these emerging megaregions is an evolving problem requiring committed evaluation and research. The U.S. Department of Transportation points out several challenging trends regarding expected growth in freight needs in the coming years. Among these are the following: â¢ The U.S. economy is expected to double in size over the next 30 years. â¢ By 2045, the U.S. population is projected to grow by 69 million people. â¢ Fewer than 10 percent of Americans will live in rural areas in 2040, down from 16 percent in 2010. â¢ Freight movements may grow approximately 42 percent across all modes by 2040. These facts indicate that efficient goods movement will have significant economic and social implications in the future. Thus, freight planning professionals seek effective prac- tices and technologies to address top-priority freight issues. It is important to understand the motivating factors that will facilitate the intended results, making the best use of scarce resources. Although information about urban freight challenges and innovations or effective best prac- tices in metropolitan freight is available, research has not sufficiently addressed the question of why some strategies succeed and others do not. There is a need for research that investigates the facilitators of and barriers to effective urban freight strategy implementation. With such guid- ance from the state of the practice, freight professionals could better tailor metropolitan freight transportation strategies to their circumstances. Research Objective To meet the needs identified above, the multipart objective of this research project was to develop guidance for transportation practitioners that identifies and evaluates the following: 1. Facilitators that favor the implementation of effective strategies to improve metropolitan freight transportation. 2. Barriers that prevent the implementation of effective strategies. 3. Approaches, processes, and relationships that could accelerate the adoption of effective strate- gies in metropolitan freight transportation. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction
Introduction 5 Research Approach The research team conducted the following primary activities to satisfy the objective: â¢ Conducted and documented the state of the practice through a literature search, survey of practitioners, and peer-exchange workshop. â¢ Identified and defined a taxonomy of metropolitan freight strategies based on current practice. â¢ Identified and defined facilitators and barriers for implementation of metropolitan freight strategies. â¢ Obtained feedback on the weights (importance) of the facilitators and barriers from practi- tioners in the public and private sectors. â¢ Incorporated the state of the practice into a searchable strategy resource matrix (SRM). â¢ Developed the Urban Freight Implementation Tool (UFIT) with user inputs, powered by the SRM, for sketch-planning assessments and identification of urban freight strategies to address user-entered problems. â¢ Created fact sheets as an output of UFIT that include guidance on strategy implementation. â¢ Created citation notes within UFIT output to provide easy access to detailed information on each strategy for practitioners. Report Organization This report contains the following: â¢ Chapter 1: Introductionâthe problem statement, research objective, research approach, and report organization. â¢ Chapter 2: State of the Practice in Metropolitan Freight Transportation Strategiesâ Approach and Findingsâinformation on the literature review approach; survey development, administration approach, and results; peer-exchange workshop; and current practices, including identified facilitators and barriers for implementation as well as the final strategy taxonomy and associated definitions. â¢ Chapter 3: Strategy Resource Matrix and Urban Freight Implementation Tool Developmentâinformation about the development of these two primary deliverables of the research. â¢ Chapter 4: Urban Freight Implementation Tool User Operation and Fact Sheet Practitioner Guidanceâinstructions for using UFIT, as well as examples, and a discussion of UFIT output, including strategy fact sheets and citation notes. â¢ Chapter 5: Pilot Studiesâpresents overviews and results of testing UFIT in real situations, up through strategy selection and factor assessment. â¢ Chapter 6: Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Researchâsummary conclusions as well as future work opportunities. â¢ Bibliographyâa listing of resources included in the research and documented in the SRM. Appendices A through C to the contractorâs final report for NCHRP Project 08-106 are posted on the TRB web site (www.trb.org). They can be found by searching on âNCHRP Research Report 897â. The appendices are the following: â¢ Appendix A: Survey Instrumentâthe final survey instrument. â¢ Appendix B: Results of Strategy Facilitators and Barriersâdetailed survey results for the weights by strategy, rankings of top facilitators and barriers by strategy, and final (post- workshop) mean values of the UFIT weights. â¢ Appendix C: Strategy Resource Matrix Dictionaryâdetailed definitions of SRM items.