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97 Conclusions 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 originates or terminates in such areas. When coupled with population increases in many U.S. metropolitan areas, these facts indicate that efficient goods movement will have significant economic and social implications in the future. Thus, freight transportation professionals seek effective practices and technologies to address top-priority freight issues. The multipart objective of NCHRP Project 08-106 was to develop guidance for transportation practitioners that identifies and evaluates â¢ Facilitators that favor implementation of effective strategies to improve metropolitan freight transportation. â¢ Barriers that prevent the implementation of effective strategies. â¢ Approaches, processes, and relationships that could accelerate the adoption of effective strategies in metropolitan freight transportation. To meet this multipart objective, the research team conducted a state-of-the-practice liter- ature review, which produced well over 1,000 potential resources. Researchers deeply vetted over 200 resources for inclusion in the practitioner guidance and deliverables of this report. This broad spectrum of literature provided the research team with a deep understanding of todayâs current metropolitan freight situation, including challenges and potential solutions. The research team developed an SRM to document the literature search. Researchers also developed and administered a survey to various freight professionals, in both the private and public sectors, to provide valuable input on metropolitan freight challenges and solutions. The SRM powers UFIT, which identifies possible strategies to address specific problems identified by the user. UFIT provides fact sheets that contain implementation notes and guid- ance for implementation of the identified strategies. Citation notes are also available from UFIT for even more detailed information on the identified strategies. As a sketch-planning tool, UFIT provides graphical outputs that compare urban freight transportation strategies to aid the practitioner in identifying the most promising strategies based on criteria and ranked relevance as defined by the users and their stakeholders. Researchers completed three pilot studies to evaluate UFIT as a sketch-planning tool in real situations, up through strategy selection and factor assessment. Researchers conducted pilot studies on the regions of Dallas, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Tampa, Florida. In each pilot study, researchers found that UFIT was able to identify strategies to fix problems with urban freight transportation, based on user input, and provide guidance on implementation of the strategies in light of identified facilitators of and barriers to implementation. C H A P T E R 6 Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Research
98 Tools to Facilitate Implementation of Effective Metropolitan Freight Transportation Strategies This research contributes knowledge and tools to the study of metropolitan freight movement, including: â¢ A state-of-the-practice review of the current challenges and possible solutions. â¢ An updated taxonomy and definitions of 30 freight strategies, containing several example strategies within, based on the state of the practice (and state of the art). â¢ An identified and defined taxonomy of 16 factors, which can be either facilitators (positive) or barriers (negative) for metropolitan freight strategy implementation. â¢ Practitioner input on the weights of these facilitators and barriers by metropolitan freight strategy. â¢ An SRM providing detailed information, by reference, of key characteristics for implementation of the metropolitan freight strategies. â¢ UFIT, powered by the SRM, which allows for practitioner assessment of a specific user-defined problem with output of identified strategies for consideration. â¢ Default weights for the implementation facilitators and barriers built into UFIT (with a user option to adjust the weights). â¢ Comprehensive citation notes, available through UFIT, providing practitioners with details of the identified strategies. â¢ Fact sheets of 30 strategies, including implementation notes and guidance for implementation, along with other details (and examples) of the strategies. â¢ Pilot study investigations that tested UFIT performance on real situations. Suggestions for Future Research The results of this study provide numerous contributions to the practice of metropolitan freight movement and provide a basis for future research. While UFIT provides a good sketch-planning assessment tool, as researchers continue contributing to the field, the SRM and UFIT will need to be updated with new research to stay current. These changes will require future updates to the output of UFIT as wellâfact sheets, citation notes, and related features. The research team found evidence suggesting that all of the selected strategies were effective. However, it was beyond the scope of this research to determine the level of effectiveness for each strategy. Many factors (including implementation) can influence the effectiveness of a strategy. A framework (concepts, measuring dimensions, performance measures, etc.) would need to be created for measuring the effectiveness of the strategies. This is one suggestion for future research. NCHRP Project 08-106 solicited and obtained input from practitioners on strategies and the importance of facilitators and barriers related to implementation of metropolitan freight strategies. While the response was adequate (157 respondents), a larger sample, with more participation from the private sector, would certainly be helpful. Another opportunity for future work would be taking the pilot studies (or any other case studies) using UFIT through to plan implementation. While the research team demonstrated the successful use of UFIT for sketch-planning assessments through the pilot studies, it would be valuable to take this sketch-planning guidance further into the plan implementation stage by following the implementation guidance through to fruition.