Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Urban Goods Movement - Techniques to Improve Decision-Making and Freight Operations.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.
Today we'll have three presenters - Suzann Rhodes from Wilbur Smith Associates, José Holguin-Veras from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Mark E. Meitzen, from Christensen Associates.
Suzann S. Rhodes, AICP is a Principal and senior project manager with Wilbur Smith Associates, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDM. Prior to joining WSA/CDM, she served as Ohio DOT's Central Office Planning Administrator and as the Executive Director of BHJ a multi-state MPO and a LLD for Appalachian Regional Commission. She is the Principal Investigator for Transportation Research Board's NCFRP 15 - Understanding Urban Goods Movements. Ms Rhodes holds Masters Degrees from the Pennsylvania State University. Her undergraduate degrees are from the University of Pittsburgh. During her 35 years as a planner, she served on AASSHTO's SCOP and several TRB committees including Statewide Multimodal Planning, Environmental Justice and Intermodal Freight Transport.
Dr. José Holguín-Veras is the William H. Hart Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award, the Robert Kerker Award, and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award. His research interests are in the areas of: humanitarian logistics, intermodal freight transportation, freight demand modeling, transportation planning, and transportation economics. He is member of a number of editorial boards, Transportation Editor at Networks and Spatial Economics, and Associate Editor of Transportation Research: Policy and Practice. He is a member of numerous committees of the Transportation Research Board.
Mark Meitzen is a Vice President at Christensen Associates, where he has been employed since 1990. Dr. Meitzen was the principal investigator for NCFRP24, Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes. He was a principal author of the November 2008 Christensen Associates' study of the U.S. freight railroad industry commissioned by the Surface Transportation Board. He was also the project manager and one of the principal authors of Christensen Associates' supplemental report to the STB on railroad capacity and investment issues. Dr. Meitzen has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.
One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please note that today's seminar is not yet available on the AICP web site. I will send out an email to everyone who registered once it is available for credits. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Urban Goods Movement - Techniques to Improve Decision-Making and Freight Operations. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Our first presenter will be Suzann Rhodes from Wilbur Smith Associates.
Thank you, Jennifer, and thank you for inviting me to speak on this topic which I am very excited about. What I'm going to talk about today is the study, the products and tools you can use on Urban Goods Movements. The products include a guidebook, two PowerPoint presentations, and an executive summary. , We will get into those. These show you what you can do as a planner, as someone who is interested in freight, to advance this concept, this issue, this thinking at your local level. The purpose of NCFRP15 was to look for ways to accommodate and expedite goods movement within urban areas, a city, in a small area or a large area. We were to produce a single source document that is geared to local officials. The main product is a guidebook for local decision-makers so they can make changes locally to improve goods movement within their urban area. The status of the project is currently being edited. I have received feedback from our editors today we are going to be sending it over to TRB for publication by fall. The web address below is where it will be posted and we will have the LISTSERV send out a notification when it is available.
When we started researching the topic, one of the things we found was that a lot of transportation planners don't really understand that land use is not a MPO decision or under their control but it's controlled by local governments. This is why this documents that we produce is geared to local elected officials, local planning offices. The other thing we found is that freight is not a priority of a lot of local planner types. They have a lot on their plate like housing, job issues, complete streets and freight is not one of the things that have become a priority to them. That goes to the point of what you can do because you're on this call because you're interested in freight. Our hop in providing you information is that you will advance this topic at the local level. MPOs and the DOTs understand freight. This guidebook, PowerPoint presentations, and resource CDs give you some tools to get advance this topic at the local level. I'm going to go over each of the four products today. The guidebook, the executive summary, the resource CD, it includes among a number of things, two PowerPoint presentations with speaker notes that one of them is a 10 minute presentation you can give to elected officials and another one could last between one hour to four hours and could be an educational presentation on urban goods movement. A lot of the slides from this presentation came from that PowerPoint. The executive summary is intended to capture attention of local elected officials. After we had discussions with them, we knew we cannot hand them a thick guidebook and expect them to take the time to look at it. So we produced an eight page document which is on the resource CD that you can print out that relates very specifically to how community, jobs, and quality life are impacted by urban goods movement. It gives a chart on quick improvements that could be made and directs people to the guidebook for their staff to go read the guidebook and take on some of the changes and do a freight planning process locally.
The guidebook is a substantive document and it has an urban areas focus. It is the pickup and delivery focus. It doesn't look at freight going through the towns. It's a land use focused document that focuses a lot more on trucks rather than in the other mode and makes recommendations on how to accommodate and expedite. It has six sections including: the importance of goods movement, a section about supply chains, regulations, and putting together case studies. The first thing we talk about is urban goods movement. Because this document was created for local governments, local officials, local planners who may not know a lot about freight, they need to be sold on the idea and the connection about freight impacts the quality of life. We start with a very general example of a bakery in your local town and how you make a number of assumptions when you walk in there. You may not even think about how the products and ingredients that go into making that loaf of bread come to the bakery and the impact of the trucks and the effort it takes to get there. We talk about grocery stores and the fact as two days is the longest that eggs and dairy have and some grocery stores get upwards of 100 deliveries a day and this means 100 trucks coming into the facility per day. We remind people of what happens if there is a major natural disaster and the shelves are empty. We try to make the case and this is provided in the PowerPoint and why the urban goods movement is important and why improving the efficiency will improve the quality of life. We talk about job creation and access to market. We provide a number of statistics that hopefully hit home about the number of tons of freight per person that are moved and how this is increasing and a whole slew of statistics that you probably have but this guidebook provides them at your fingertips.
We explain how, why, where, and to moves goods. You see a chart and a cost on one axis and the reliability and amount of time it takes for goods to move is on the other. The biggest circle is truckload movements as you would assume, and what goes by airplane is more expensive but it is faster. We go into a lot of discussion on the last mile. The key messages are that freight mobility is important to the quality of life and regional competitiveness and to attracting employers. Lesson number two, and this is all brand-new material, we did 12 urban supply chain case studies. I attached to these at the end of the presentation. All 12 of them are there. I will go through a couple of them as examples. They are all in a similar type format to this one and it shows you the modes that they take. What we did, we went out and interviewed places like Wal-Mart and major drugstores and grocery stores like Winn Dixie etc. We truly understood how urban freight moves and what the impediments are. We have documented in the guidebook a lot of impediments and a lot of movements and a lot of detail in the PowerPoint presentation has all of these on them together with speaker notes. The food service one, for example, talks about distribution to restaurants or food service to institutions. It starts out with domestic productions and vendor plants that aren't manufacturing anything, but they have dedicated service to the institutions and restaurants shows how these products travel to regional distribution centers and warehouses. If it is meat or something that needs to be kept cold, it travels to specialized warehouses and then are distributed to individual restaurants. For example, a truck may need to deliver, in a three or four hour window, and make 10 or 11 stops to 10 to 12 different restaurants within the day; realizing if you get backed up at one, it impacts of the whole thing. There is only a short window of delivery time so routing and scheduling can be a daily challenge. Some of the impediments we get into are things like what happens if congestion happens at the beginning of the day or midway through the day, they may not be able to deliver that order of meat to the restaurant. The restaurant can't meet its orders that evening and it goes back to the warehouse and has to go through distribution system the next day. What happens when parking spaces are used up, cars are parked in the delivery spot where a truck would be delivering to a hospital or a school. It talks about different solutions in terms of parking enforcement and permitting after our deliveries.
Next is an example of a big-box retail establishment. Something like Wal-Mart and how it gets to the stores and where the distribution centers are. We shared this with some of our focus groups and also local economic developers, they felt that these charts help them explain to local officials the improvements that need to be made on each mode in order to attract different types of investments. Maybe you don't want to attract a box real estate retail manufacturer but you may want to attract other types of businesses and these charts will show you which transportation mode is important to each of the supply chains we have described. So once again it goes into issues. If the private sector wants to minimize the miles traveled they locate new distribution centers closer to town. They have a need for just-in-time inventories and some of the local solutions which may also involve allowing nighttime deliveries. José is going to get into his study done in New York City about nighttime deliveries. Included in the guidebook is a chart like this that goes down each of the 12 supply chains it talks about their goals, the geography, the modes they use, and their performance metrics.
Next we have a section on freight data because good planning requires good data. We did not get into a whole lot of details in the guidebook but there is more on the resource CD. We talked about freight flows and give a little bit of information on data that is available out there. We talked about how to display freight nodes within an urban area and how they may want to display this was a local plan. We talked how neighborhoods, where the data is available, what data is out there and ways to display freight data and neighborhood level. Next we went into regulations that make a difference. What you have control over and what you can change. Regulations that are in the control of a local planner and local elected officials can make changes that would impact to make a difference for urban goods movement. We came up with design standards, land use and zoning, truck regulations, parking and loading zones, delivery windows, and truck size and weight.
Using those we have identified common problems or issues which include setback ordinances, parking ordinances, design issues and I'm going to show you in a moment of pictures and I think the pictures explain it easier than just hearing the words. Here is a design standard issue where it is not the greatest picture of the world, but the loading dock is obviously too close to the roadway so the truck trying to make the delivery protrudes onto the road causing congestion and not making for an efficient delivery. This may also result in the motor carrier having to use smaller trucks making more frequent deliveries. Here's an example when parking is not enforced and you have a loading zone in an alleyway for a truck to unload or do a pickup and you have a dumpster blocking access and a car parked in the area. This is a picture from New York City where they have a number of bridges too low. One of the things you can do with urban good movements is look at bridge heights. Here are examples of geometric problems with trucks trying to make turns in urban areas.
The other thing we looked at were truck regulations within an urban area like route restrictions. One of the things we found doing a study in the Atlanta area was that we had a number of small cities around the Atlanta area have truck routes designated where the truck route is runs into the next city at a street that says no trucks allowed. A very good study they did was doing a regional truck routing study. Putting it all together, we tried to follow the planning process. It includes understanding where your need to get authority, authorization and get organized and have your decision makers say yes we want you to study this. This is what the PowerPoint and the eight-page executive summary is intended to help you with. The guidebook provides you with ideas on how you sell the importance of this. Like I said before, FHWA has done a great job in educating the state MPOs and it's now time to reach down to the local government level, to reach local to help them understand the importance of freight movements, quality of life, and creating jobs and efficiency within their local area.
Next we talk about doing some field surveys, basically, collect the data. We also refer you to FHWA that has a workshop and a workbook on engaging the private sector and freight planning. This is an additional tool to help with that part of the planning process. Going out and educating people and gaining support in looking at the regulations, see what is out there and we gave you a list of things to look at in the earlier slides. We also talk about solutions. On the executive summary, we have a simple graphic in here looking at some of the urban goods movement problems. An example is a truck making a left turn which it can't do to geometrics. Beyond this, we include some solutions. The other thing we did, we created a matrix like this that once you read it, you can go back and say, here are some problems that we have and here are some alternative solutions that exist. We are trying to keep it simple and straightforward. We gave ideas on truck routing, ideas about parking enforcement. You can see on the left there is a vehicle in the freight loading zone and some of the problems such as they will miss the delivery window, or they have to double park. We try to make this a very practical guidebook. We talked about some air quality issues and give some solutions on air quality and lighting and traffic safety. It is kind of a how-to guidebook. We also included nine case studies. These are not examples of bad things that happened such as recognition that there is a problem and how it was fixed by the local area. I mentioned Atlanta earlier. I'm going to talk for a few minutes about the New York City example in the Baltimore example.
One of the issues that New York City found was lack of enforcement and another issue that they have is truck routing; they did not have good signage. Only 5% of the roads were designated as truck routes and the signing was inconsistent so it is difficult for the trucks to get around. They did things like create maps and give training to their local enforcement officials on how they can know when and where a truck is encroaching on areas that are designated for delivery or truck routing. They created an Office of Freight Mobility and there is much more detail, but I am running out of time and this is all described in the guidebook. They talked with the NYPD to educate the officers. Police officers have a lot of things to do and truck enforcement is not as high in their priority list. They provided a quick and easy guide to educate officers and started up the training academies.
The Baltimore case study talks about what happened in the 90s when real estate was booming and it was a great place to locate a condo on the water. If you have ever looked and or been to downtown Baltimore, it truly is a neat area to be with condos and restaurants and what was happening, but the industry was finding they were losing deep water ports needed for industrial development because as many of you know, industry is noisy and can be dirty and involves a lot of trucks. People did not like their condos being next to this and problems started to arise. The pink shows the planned unit developments. What was going on was developers were going in to the local elected officials and having planned unit development areas zoned to allow housing in areas that were formerly industrial. After a while they began to realize this may not be the best solution because of the jobs that were lost and if you lose an industrial site you may lose it forever. The solution was to do an overlay zone. You can see in areas with the black outline, these are areas that have deep water ports of 18 feet or more. These are areas that are industrially developed and they want to protect these areas from encroachment and housing that they could protect it. This has been very successful and there is more about it in the guidebook. They extended this overlay zone to 2024 and a couple of years ago there was a presentation from Baltimore on this very issue in this project and each year they go in and calculate how many jobs they have saved and the economic impact of this is on it has been very positive and you can't have both. You can't have housing and quality of life to include industrial areas. As I mentioned, the resource CD includes two PowerPoint presentations, the short one and the long one with speaker notes that has a literature review and the literature that we found in some of the documents are included on the CD and we have additional data information on freight data and an extensive glossary. We have pulled together all of the freight glossaries we could find and stuck them in one place.
Your challenge, and I want to leave you with this challenge, if you are on this call you understand that freight is important to the economy. It is important to jobs. Local land use planners have not gotten that message yet. I expect there are a lot of MPOs on this call. You can very easily take these PowerPoint and these documents and do a seminar for your local planning staff or local officials. There are a number of supply-chain diagrams that would help economic development staff. These are helpful in explaining why different modes of transportation need to be addressed. You really can make a difference here. My e-mail is at the bottom right hand corner you can download this presentation. I'm going to go through these wonderful supply-chain diagrams. Please feel free to use them and take them as you need to help you spread the word. Thank you.
Thank you. Our next presentation is given by José Holguin-Veras. You're able to download the presentation so you'll be able to get all of these charts and slides.
Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to talk about this exciting project. The first thing I want to do is to thank all of the people that make this possible: the USDOT, New York City Department of Transportation and all of the people who took the initiative of trying to move an idea to the project level. The first thing I want to do is to talk a little bit about economic interactions that determine the time at which the deliveries are made, and about the experience of time of day pricing. The evidence clearly indicates that time of day pricing are of limited effectiveness to move urban traffic to the off hours. The data about this is clear. When the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey implemented time of day pricing in 2001, basically, only 9% of carriers were able to pass the cost to the customers and the increases that they were able to pass, were very small. The issue is that without a price signal reaching the receivers, no behavior change could take place. When they asked the truckers, why they did not change behavior, 70% of them indicated "customer requirements" as the reason. In essence, time of day pricing failed to induce a significant change in time of travel. By the way, the same thing happened in London.
It's important to take a look at the decision on delivery times. Basically, we have a situation and which we have two economic agents: one that is receiving the cargo and another that is transporting that have to agree on the delivery times. This could be explained with the assistance of a payoff matrix. Since both of them need to agree the only feasible solution is the one in the main diagonal. In the off hours, the carrier benefits, it's cheaper to transport: to give you an idea delivering at night it is about 30% cheaper. And on top of that, you have the added advantage that there are no parking fines. In New York City, parking fines average $500 to $1000 and over a year, we are talking $6,000 to $12,000 per year. Since more than 90% of deliveries are made in the daylight hours it is clear that the power is in the hand of the receivers. In this situation, the only solution is to provide incentives to the receivers so that they find it beneficial to do off-hour deliveries. In essence, here, we have a market failure. Markets typically find the most efficient outcome. In some cases the markets fail, there is a rationale for public-sector intervention. This is one of those cases. Because of the environmental savings, and lesser congestion the socially optimal outcome is to do deliveries in the off-hours. The market failure: carrier savings are not large enough to compensate for receiver costs. How do we solve this? Compensate receivers for additional costs or develop the technologies and systems to allow receivers to do off-hour deliveries at a lower cost.
The project's scope is quite involved. It has five measurable components. To start with, we did a significant amount of behavior research to find out basically what type of incentive would be needed in order to induce a change our behavior on the part of the receivers. In the second component we used a GPS cell phone to access performance. In addition to that we did a significant amount of modeling to assess network-wide regional level because changes in the times of deliveries have impacts on the entire networks. This is because some of these deliveries come from warehouses in upstate New York, New Jersey and the like. We also had an outreach component.
I want to present the results in this table that contains estimates number of deliveries. Basically, any given day, there are about 110,000 deliveries to Manhattan and on top of that, you have shipments in the order of 80,000. In a single day you have a total of 190,000 deliveries in/out Manhattan.
A big chunk of that is food and retail. If you shift a significant number of food and retail sectors basically it is a significant impact on congestion. In Manhattan there are more than 6,000 restaurants. Collectively, they produce more truck traffic than the Port Authority of New York New Jersey. For every person, every man and woman or child living in New York about 20 kilograms of goods of all kind is produced. Where do all these deliveries go? This figure shows the results of trip generation analyses, in the form of for Manhattan. You can see this concentration on the screen area of the center of the island.
These are the results on the pilot test. Basically, at first we had a hard time gathering the participants, it was to be done at the end of 2008 and this created a challenge with the Wall Street collapse. In the beginning we had two partners and we have three in the final test: Sysco, Whole Foods, and Foot Locker/New Deal Logistics. At the end, we had about 35 receivers and 20 trucks or vendors doing deliveries and half of them were doing staffed off-hour deliveries. The other half was doing unassisted deliveries. This is a map of where the vendors were located. As you can see, most were in Midtown, Manhattan and three of them in uptown Manhattan.
The first picture shows day deliveries and the other is night deliveries. As you can see, the truck, because of the availability of parking is able to park right in front of the store. Again, this is day deliveries and here you have a truck making a delivery at night. We have satisfactory surveys to assess the attendant satisfaction. This is basically a satisfaction survey from the drivers from Sysco. As you can see, on a scale from 1 to 5, we are talking about really good levels. Stress level. 1.1. That surprised me because I was expecting drivers to be having a higher level of stress at night, but that is not the case. They feel safer than in the day at hours. The reason is at day hours they have to contend with taxi drivers, pedestrians, congestion, lack of parking, etc. We asked the customers what your impression of off-hour delivery on a scale of 1 to 5. More importantly would ask them liability issues, would you be interested in every city and assisted deliveries and on a scale of 1 to 5, the average is 2.17. This suggests the potential of this concept.
This plot shows the average space mean speeds. This shows the speed of travel to the customers. As expected delivery and the off hours is more than twice as fast as in the day hours. Now, what really surprised me was this second figure. We came across this because I wanted to get an idea about service times (how much the time, the trucks spend at a location), they showed me this I was shocked because it really showed the median service time in the day hours is, if you look here, at ten o'clock in the morning is about 1.8 hours and we cannot believe the number and the way we talk to the carriers and we asked them, we told them we are finding that these numbers, are they correct? They said yes. The reason is that during day hours, the trucks cannot park close to the customers. They have to park whenever they find a parking spot. That could be four or five blocks away from a customer. That means they have longer walk times from the truck to the customer. On top of that, in the day hours they have to talk and wait for managers to have time to check the deliveries. A large number of the delay comes from not being able to park in front of the store. They have access and they are more effective than not only that, at night, according to the carriers to participate in the survey, they transport more cargo than in the day hours. They are more productive.
At the end of the pilot, all receivers staffing the off-hour deliveries went back to regular hours. Almost all the receivers doing unassisted off-hour deliveries remained on the off-hours. One of the reasons was the reliability. We asked them why are you still doing off-hour deliveries, they simply indicated for reliability as a reason. They indicated because of congestion and the randomness of congestion in the day hours, they see no way to provide an exact delivery time. That was the key factor. Here you have one of the quotes from a participant.
What is the bottom line of this? According to our work, implementing the various forms of off-hour delivery leads to significant savings. Implementing various forms of off-hours delivery across Manhattan Travel would lead to: time savings to all highways users of about 3-5 minutes per trip, travel time savings to carriers that switch to the off-hours of about 48 minutes per delivery tour, and savings in service times per tour could be in the range of one to three hours. In essence, the bottom line, using an off-hour delivery could save between $100 and $200 million per year in travel time savings and pollution reduction. That is the kind of savings that you can see.
This slide shows some of the articles written on the pilot.
Because of the project success, New York City has adopted off-hour deliveries as part of their sustainability plan. The next steps are that USDOT/RITA has provided funds for a larger implementation project focusing on: unassisted deliveries and large traffic generators. We are going to be researching technologies or systems that enable off-hour delivery without the need for staff of the receiving business. There are a number of large traffic generators in Manhattan. There are 80 buildings that have a unique ZIP code. These can use 4% of all of the truck traffic in the city. If we add large establishments that generate large numbers of traffic, we are talking about 4 to 8 percent truck traffic. Large buildings or large establishments could use off-hour deliveries.
In conclusion, the essence, by removing the constraints on the receivers, what we are doing is allowing the system to move from day hours to night hours. This is more effective than freight road pricing. A truly win-win-win-win policy: it benefits regular hour travelers, benefits the environments and improves the quality of life, it benefits the business community and enhances the economy, and benefits the participants. This program has political appeal and is implementable as a voluntary program. I have my references and project website posted on this slide if you want to find out more. With that, I want to end. Thanks a lot.
Thank you, José. We have one more presentation and the final presentation is from Mark Meitzen from Christensen Associates. I am going to bring you presentation up and you can begin.
The title of our study, NCFRP 24 was Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes. Team members on the project included Christensen Associates, the University of Texas Center for Transportation Research, land use attorneys Grow and Bruening, and assistance from another attorney Kathryn Pett. Today I'm going to give a high-level presentation of our findings, basically three components: freight transportation and its value, incompatibilities between freight and other land uses, and freight considerations in land use planning and zoning. Greater detail can be found on our EnvisionFreight website, which is operational and, forthcoming, a final report. It is hard to know when the report will be released, but hopefully sometime in the fall.
Suzann talked about supply chains in her presentation. I think some of those diagrams she has really illustrate the important role of transportation in various supply chains for various products. Most supply chains have an important spatial or geographic dimension to them. Even think of them as these activity hubs and linkages between the hubs. And the scope of these chains could vary from being local to regional, national and international. Transportation is the vital link in these networks between these diverse locations and functions as you try to link from activities of various stages--extraction or processing of some type, various stages of product production, warehouse and distribution and, depending on the type of product we are talking about, there is also a retailing function involved in it.
Suzann said that her information gave 55 tons of freight consumed by every person in the country. To put another perspective on that, if you include the distance involved in transporting goods to people, on average it is almost 11,000 ton-miles, which is the combination of the distance and the volume transported annually, for every person in the US. Another way of looking at it, to get a visual in your head, you can think of one ton being transported halfway around the world for every person in the country.
Efficient freight is the key to minimizing supply chain costs. Given the importance those linkages have another important aspect to realize is half of the logistic costs--the whole movement materials from the various stages of production to the final end user--over half of these costs are related to transportation. So the efficiency of the freight transportation system has important implications for the performance of the economy. One schematic of how this works, if you have improved transportation infrastructure which allows greater speed and higher reliability and lower transportation costs, you have benefits to both the production of goods and services and distribution in terms of picking out locations for an optimal set up of distribution chains, minimizing costs of these chains, thus holding lower inventories. The economy benefits from the improved infrastructure in lower prices and product variety.
One of the important things to realize that has been evident in the other presentations today is that transportation is a component of the land use system. There are often conflicts between freight operations and other land uses. To the extent that this has an impact on the previous diagram, in terms of creating an obstacle to more efficient freight transportation, then there are obvious implications for supply chains in general. These conflicts exist between various other types of land uses such as residential and commercial and also other things such as schools and hospitals. And because, naturally, the demand for the scarce resources in urban areas, this becomes an issue in urban areas. If you are looking at it from other land uses, many times, conflict can be characterized as a nuisance, creating congestion and traffic problems and noise and vibration. And depending on the hours of operation, light pollution can result from freight operations. And more general pollution and health concerns from emissions generated by various modes of freight transportation. Other incompatibilities and conflicts may include physical encroachment or interference, and safety issues--railroad crossings, trespassing problems onto freight facilities, and accidents and spills that may occur are some examples.
From a freight operators perspective, these incompatibilities represent barriers to efficient freight operations and can result in speed restrictions, hours of operation restrictions, clearance limitations, constraints on the capacity of freight operations. And one example might be one Suzann mentioned--the Baltimore case study. In addition to preserving port activities, where do you store containers and chassis? Is there room for those types of activities? Also another issue for freight providers, truck or other modes, is can they efficiently navigate the infrastructure? All of this has application for supply chain logistics and reliability.
Our study includes a number of illustrations of how some of these may operate. You can see in this particular panel, a freight train is located pretty close to what looks like a playground for a nursery school or something, and also the right-hand picture shows how clearance impacts affect freight operations. Also, residential developments--it's trendy to regentrify industrial areas because of scarcity to reclaim that land, or because it seems to be appealing. Often times you have residential developments that are located near port facilities such as LA and Long Beach.
All modes of transportation are affected by competing land use, whether it be piers that stick out into waterways that could cause navigation obstructions, or on the right-hand panel you are seeing how a residential development close to a waterway implies there is going to be a lot of recreational traffic on the waterway that will have to compete with freight providers using the waterway. These were taken near Baltimore where some of the condos are into the port area and also the bottom panel, freight uses competing with other land uses in this case. This shows trucks queuing for entrance into port logistics facilities creating not only congestion but also resulting in environmental effects. Of course anybody who has lived near an airport knows of this issue. Here is another example of a structure being built. These are some type of condo development happening close to an operating double mainline for Union Pacific. Because of this close distance, not much can be done to accommodate the noise or vibration. Safety issues are one of the areas where we have conflicts such as children crossing railroad tracks to get to school or crossing tracks to get to a beach.
We all know problems involved with these conflicts between freight and other uses. Our research looked at this and categorized the approaches to dealing with these conflicts into four categories. The four categories are: long range planning, zoning and design, mitigation, and education and outreach. These are not mutually exclusive. Often times they represent various aspects of a solution to problems. I'm going to focus on long-range planning and zoning and design in the presentation here. But outside of that, on our website we do have a lot of detailed materials that go into a lot more illustrations and case studies and other types of guidance for how to use these tools to minimize the conflicts between freight and other land uses.
First of all, why does land use planning matter for freight? Planning provides a roadmap, either good or bad, for zoning as it relates to freight operations. Inadequate planning can block or otherwise impact freight corridors, put incompatible land uses near each other when there really isn't a need to do so, and it can reduce the industrial land development bordering these facilities for expansion or for ancillary purposes. When zoning and planning fail, often time mitigation is attempted. This can be an expensive and often times, not an effective answer to some of these conflicts. A good example that we mentioned in our website other materials is the construction of a sound wall in California community that created a bounce back of the noise to the side that required more mitigation efforts to try to reduce the impact of the initial mitigation efforts. The bottom line, freight has not typically has been a significant element of land use planning, so as a solution of that, we are offering up freight compatible planning and development. Basically it starts with long-range planning of land use that recognizes freight as a geographically dispersed system that spans areas. It attempts to protect and preserve freight assets and helps future expansion of the freight system. Also, since we are talking primarily of how to protect and preserve assets, it is important not to forget about the other side of the equation, the other land uses freight comes into contact with. A lot of the time this involves locations of various other land uses, creating buffer areas, or it can boil down to lot orientation and building layout and construction guidelines to help minimize some of the effects of freight operations.
I'm sure I'm not telling many of you anything you don't already know, but land use authority in the US flows from the Constitution, which delegates it primarily to the states, which pass down most of the land use authority to local levels.
One of the key areas where we think some progress could be made on resolving differences between freight and other land uses and state statutes and local governments, is to specify what is required of them in terms of land use planning. Our research indicates very few of these required freight as a planning element. We have developed and modifying a few state enabling acts to show you how freight operations can be included in the state enabling acts. Once you get beyond the state level, it goes to the local level. It basically flows from a comprehensive plan, sometimes called a general or master, with long-range goals for the city or county. From that, zoning is developed consistent with the comprehensive plan that guides site plans and subdivisions, actual construction and how land is developed going forward. Also important, MPOs and regional visions have important effects on local land use decisions. In fact, one of our case studies looked at the Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan, which was developed a few years ago and the Atlanta MPO was key in developing that plan. And MPOs generally established long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation improvement plan for the area and these can be key places to protect freight operations. Local governments generally protect MPO-designated corridors from land use encroachment. Getting freight considerations into the MPOs so that it gives guidance to local governments is an important element of freight compatible development.
Regional visions is a nonbinding type of exercise that has been undertaken in a number of areas around the country that is typically sponsored by MPOs and other local and regional groups that provides a vision of what the future of the area is going to look like. Typically, freight has not been included, but this is an area where including freight would help in the long-range planning. By way of seeing what would help long-range planning, there are a number of things we found that result in inadequate freight planning. Again, it boils down to most state enabling acts to include freight as a required planning so it filters down to the local level. At some level, local governments often don't feel that freight is basically in their basket of things to do. Another thing I should have put on a slide is, often resources aren't available for freight planning efforts. Freight providers don't always cooperate and, generally there are education and communication issues that also get in the way of planning for freight. For example, planning degrees often do not provide freight as a part of the curriculum, and stakeholders aren't always involved in land use planning processes because they are not aware of how it affects them, or they have not been included in the process.
So, I gave you what the main conclusions and direction that we would recommend from a long-range perspective. Again, we would start with amending state enabling acts to make freight planning comprehensive and including regional visions and long-range plans and as a result, creating zoning ordinances that prescribe design criteria for freight compatible development. Involvement and communication is also a key to getting freight more involved in the land use planning area. So again, I will close by mentioning our EnvisionFreight website that has a lot more of this information on it. We view it as being a resource that people can go to whether they have questions about various ways to implement some of these ideas that I have briefly discussed. And I think a lot of the case studies provide good illustrations of how to go about resolving some of these conflicts between land use of alternative means and between freight and alternative uses. Thank you.
Thank you, Mark. We will go ahead and start the question-and-answer session now. Please feel free to type in questions and we will get to them, but I'm going to go back up to the top start off with a question for Suzann. Did you provide a basic scope of work for the local government to hire a consultant?
No, I didn't but as a consultant, I would be happy to provide that to you if you would like. I am sure there are many consulting firms that do freight planning for local governments it would be happy to give you a scope. So if you send me an e-mail I would be happy to put something together for you. I'm sure Jennifer would be happy to also.
The next question is for José. Did you compare satisfaction surveys of non-participant drivers in the same area to measure improvement on the pilot? Also on the safety area, did you correlate the safety feeling numbers with official crime statistics?
No. We only surveyed the participants and asked them for a sense of their experience. We did not correlate with other safety measures.
What will be the cost to receiver staff attending night deliveries compared to the savings you presented?
It depends on the particulars of the receivers. In some cases, it could be as low as $10-$20 an hour into the off-hour and in some cases, that could be $100. That is the roadblock and that is why we are focusing on removing the costs from the equation.
Thank you. Mark, this is a comment. A bigger problem is that freight operators don't participate despite invitations. What are your thoughts on that?
I guess I would not be surprised. As I said in one of my slides, freight often doesn't cooperate so I think it's consistent with that kind of conclusion.
Suzann or José, I will open this up to you for your thoughts on that.
In the focus groups, we heard something similar that freight was not cooperative with local governments and their issues and with different stakeholders in the area. I think there is a lack of relationships until there are problems. If you start building relationships on the long-term big picture you might get better reactions.
Jennifer, I want to say one more thing. This is Mark. Certainly, freight does not always cooperate but there are examples where they have. It is not universally true this happens and it depends on the circumstances and it reaches a crisis point or basically they have good relations with people in local government and other stakeholders so I think a lot of it might be situational as well.
This is another question for you Mark. Do you have tips on getting rail to the table prior to creating a plan?
I am aware of one railroad that is actively involved in looking at these issues. I don't think they all are. I don't know if I have a magic answer to that. I think it's opening up the education communication process and sometimes trying to get them to realize how important land use planning issues are to them. Sometimes this is certainly not the case. In many instances, because they don't know how it impacts them they just don't care enough.
Okay. I don't see any other questions at this point. We will go ahead and open the phones and see if anyone wants to ask a question over the phone, but I encourage everyone to continue to type in questions.
In order to ask a question, press star one the telephone keypad. There are no questions at this time.
Okay thank you. What we will do, have looks like we might have some questions coming in. We will wait a minute or so and give anybody a chance to type in questions. I will go ahead and read the closing information. The recording from today and the presentations and a transcript will be available online on the Talking Freight website in the next couple of weeks. As a reminder, if you are an AICP member and would like to receive 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits for attending this seminar, please make sure you were signed in today with your first and last name or type your first and last name into the chat box if you are attending with a group of people. I will send out an email once this seminar is posted to the AICP web site. Please download the evaluation form and email it to me after you have completed it. Please also download the CM Credit instructions if you are unsure of how to obtain your credits for today's seminar.
The next seminar will be held on September 21 and will be about Advancing a Foundational Component of USDOT's Smart Roadside Initiative - National Standards and Specifications for WIM Technology. Please visit the Talking Freight web site to register for this webinar. I encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. The URL for that is on the slide on your screen.
We do have another question. Will either of the NCFRP reports give specific recommendations or lessons learned to help engage freight industry?
There is a separate FHWA workshop and workbook on engaging the private sector. They are both very good and if you contact Carol Keenan or Jennifer or Jocelyn Jones, you can schedule the workshop. It is a one-day workshop. The engaging the private sector document is on the FHWA website. Maybe Jennifer, when you say that the announcement that the minutes are ready, you can put the engaging the private sector link on that e-mail.
Sure and I am typing information into the chat right now.
From our perspective, we viewed the website as an outreach vehicle not only for people to learn about freight and its importance but just to show freight providers how important the planning process is for them. To the extent that you can get people to look at the website and take it to heart is one thing that can be done.
Another question just came in. Would there be a way to set up a freight issues hotline for the freight industry. For drivers, time is money, but if a report could be made later it may give us ideas of the issues.
I would think that would be a FHWA question.
This is Carol Keenan with the Freight Office. I hear that idea and a lot of issues that might come in are not something that we at a Federal level could deal with or address and that would fall down to a lot of states and local agencies. We will take that question back and consider it out or planning meetings that we have internally.
I agree, and I think there are a number of those around the country that are sponsored by local MPOs or in the private sector.
We don't have any additional questions. I think we will end for today. I want to thank all three presenters for their great presentations. I want to thank everyone in attendance. As a reminder, if you have not joined the Freight Planning a LISTSERV, please do so to find out about future seminars. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day.