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 the Freight and Land Use: Making the Connection. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Before I go any further, I want to mention that for those of you who have previously attended seminars may have noticed that the webinar interface looks a little different, FHWA recently upgraded to Adobe Connect 8. If you have any questions about the new interface please let me know.
Today we'll have three presenters: Teresa Brewer of Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions, Howie Mann of New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, and Chris Lamm of Cambridge Systematics. Normally I would read the bios of the presenters but since we've started a little late I'm going to go right into the logistical overview.
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. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
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 week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
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 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 Freight and Land Use: Making the Connection. Our first presenter will be Teresa Brewer of Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions.
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.
Thank you. Good morning everyone. We are very cold in Anchorage today and it is very windy, but I am looking forward to discussing what AMATS is doing and give just a brief outline is what is AMATS and what is the freight advisory committee. I will show how do we take our Freight Advisory Committee activities and integrate those goals and policies into freight transportation planning. Finally, I will then follow up with questions. Before I get started, I would really like to thank Laura Edwards with the Alaska Department of Transportation Public Facilities Vehicle Enforcement for help on this presentation and also our chair Aves Thompson. I would also like to thank all of our Freight Advisory Committee members.
Just for those who might think we still haul freight via sled dog, we don't. Sled dogs are still used in Alaska and that's the way things were done, but we have many modes of transportation from the Alaska Railroad, air, marine, barge, and the trucking industry. We also have pipeline, but that's primarily to get oil out of the state.
Many people don't realize that the Port of Anchorage serves as a hub for the state of Alaska. About 90% of all of our freight comes in through the port and is distributed throughout the state via all the other modes of transportation. Also, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is first in the world for in transit cargo landings and number two in the United States. We have a lot of freight traffic.
What is AMATS? AMATS is a federally mandated metropolitan planning organization. We serve a population of about 300,000 individuals. We only have four staff to do that. I am dedicated to freight effort, but I have a very, very small budget. I believe our budget might have been $15,000 last year. We definitely would like to do more for freight. What AMATS does is we do a lot of local transportation planning through a Long Range Transportation Plan.
As part of that effort, we have freight as an element in our Long Range Transportation Plan. As a result of that, we coordinate with other agencies, we input from the freight community, and we take that and we put it in our Long Range Transportation Plan. The Freight Advisory Committee was re-established recently, and some of the individuals that are on that Freight Advisory Committee are the Alaska Trucking Association, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and a lot of the big box retail, FedEx, UPS, the port of Anchorage, University of Anchorage, and many others, and I am you can read the slide on your own.
So as I mentioned earlier the Feds require that we establish a Freight Advisory Committee and that we address freight in our Long Range Transportation Plan, and that's why the Freight Advisory Committee is really important to obtain that input. Some of the issue that is we face, like many other areas, is our freight is also expected to double by 2020. We need to know what projects that we need to prioritize, how we prioritize them, where some of the bottlenecks, and the problems are. Some of the Freight Advisory Committee members in the freight industry help us with that. Here is just a map of where our forecasts problems are. Anchorage is highly geographically constrained. There are geographic constraints to the East and West and only two highways coming in and out of Anchorage. As you look towards the arm area that's all of our port, our military and our downtown area. It is highly congested. We have to move freight in and out of that area, and we have a lot of conflicts from pedestrians, tourism, commercial, buses, public transit, so it is a really important area for us to take a look at and do some future problem solving.
One Freight Advisory Committee activity which we have completed is a Problem Intersections Area Survey. As part of that effort we developed a survey for truckers and looked at a map and then we took a bus tour and with truck drivers, with DOT engineers, with transportation planners, and we drove around the city and we asked them where the problem intersections are and what are some of the solutions for those intersections? Some of these problems could be signal timing, delay, medians, curb cuts, and all of that. Here is just a draft of our Problem Intersections Area Map, and a copy of our survey. We're happy to provide that to individuals if they like to see it.
Part of that survey and that map development is looking at bottlenecks and congestion. The Freight Advisory Committee hired a consultant to develop a freight prioritization study, and what they're looking at right now is determining waiting methods based on three criteria which would be crash, number of accidents, traffic volume, and then the survey results, and they're in the middle of taking a look and examining that tool for actual for prioritizing freight projects in the future to bring forward for recommendations to our technical advisory committees for inclusion in our capital improvement program or our statewide improvement program.
Another activity that we have recently undertaken through the University of Alaska is the installation GPS units in freight trucks on we can get real-time freight tracking. We can find out where is freight going, what part of town, what time, and how we might be able to utilize that information to plan better freight routes, and better methods of getting freight through town. One thing we learned from the freight survey is that ten years ago we could move freight from the port of Anchorage, southward towards Seward and south Anchorage, and now it is taking almost twice the amount of time to get freight down to the area.
We're also going to be presenting the results of the GPS installation and the data collection from that study in April. The main part of our activities is coordinating with other agencies such as DOT, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, the freight industry, the Chamber of Commerce, Alaska World Trade Center, the National Defense Logistics Transportation Association to gather that data that we need. I am sure many of you know that freight data is very difficult to obtain. We don't know exactly where our freight is moving and what time. We use quick response methods through our TransCAD modeling system. As a part also of the learning about how freight moves through town, we were able to partner with Carlile, and they have a big computer simulation training computer. We invited engineers both from the state and from the municipality.
To teach us how difficult it is to drive a big rig through a suburban or highway or urban area, and so these individuals could see how difficult it is to move around medians, landscaping, and another important piece of that form is they brought drivers in and told us about some of the issues they were facing while they were driving. One of the issues they had is with an overpass that we have, and they have oversized, overweight vehicles they move late at night. They couldn't go from up the ramp, off the highway, over to the other side because there was a median in the way, so they would have to go up, take the other side and turn around at a local high school. So in talking to Scott Thomas, who is engineer with DOT, they figured out they could work on this, and they had already done some preliminary design and now as a result they can pass through and not have to turn around and have that liability from the freight industry side. They were concerned about getting into accidents and who would be liable for that. It was a really great outcome.
One of the other activities the Freight Advisory Committee does and I want to thank Laura and Aves for their dedication to this, they took a look at road design projects and site plan reviews. We will look at big box retail expansion, what is the access for freight, road design, roundabouts, signal timing, the port access, and of course I mentioned the oversized freight. Te next slide is a typical site plan review for big box retail. One of the main reasons that I seek help from the Alaska Trucking Association and from DOT Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and from the freight industry is that I'm not a truck driver. I don't know how difficult it is to maneuver and navigate through parking areas, landscaping. Is the loading dock adequate enough? So it helps us deal with parking, access management, and some other issues that the freight. We just want to make it a little easier for them. Although they're not a large percentage of our traffic volume, they only make about 6% and certainly the municipality of Anchorage cannot build or maintain huge freight boulevards or corridors, but we can certainly take a look at smaller projects that would help move freight because people rely on their medicine, their groceries, and all kinds of other things. That has been great to get their input.
As part of review and this is for another road. I will put forth the recommendations brought forward by the Freight Advisory Committee. We can bring forward comments they make, and hopefully they will be taken into consideration on some of these road projects.
Some of the other past freight successes that this group had is getting improved capacity at certain locations downtown, expanding the South Anchorage area developing and more freight is moving to that area, and a lot of gravel operations through there, and so we're able to help them a little bit better.
Teresa, can I interrupt you for a second? Somebody's phone is not on mute and we can hear you talking. Please, mute your phone. All lines are open right now, and everybody can hear all background noise. If you don't have a mute button, you can press star six. Thanks.
I know that was difficult. I could hear individuals speaking and I was trying to think at the same time, so thank you for muting. Some of the future freight improvement projects that are DOT sponsored, many of our facilities that are in Anchorage are all state owned, and then the municipality of Anchorage manages the local roads. We have a national highway system going straight through downtown. One of the projects is highway to highway corridor which would link the two access points of freeways coming through Anchorage and that would be the Glen and the Seward. Other work we're doing is traffic signal timing. The municipality of Anchorage operates and maintains 268 on behalf of state of Alaska.
Some of the challenges that the Freight Advisory Committee faces and some of the things that we're moving toward is we need to find successes. We need to be able to fund projects for them so that they can move forward and obtaining input and keeping the group going is one of the challenges and lessons learned that we had early on in order to establish credibility.
We initially had the group meet and there was an oversight we were also developing our criteria for our Transportation Improvement Program, and we did not seek their input at that time. That was a huge lesson learned because we really needed their input. So getting on the right foot, establishing credibility, working with the freight industry to have them understand that you're advocating for their needs along with private passenger vehicle operations, too, has been a huge lesson for us. It has been great to partner with numerous agencies to obtain their data; Commercial Vehicle Enforcement has a lot of freight data and accident data that we can't easily get our hands on.
Some of the things that we're moving toward are using this framework as a structural framework for hopefully a State Freight Advisory Committee. We have upcoming future projects that could impact the state of Alaska ranging from the natural gas pipeline, the Northwest Passage way up on the North Slope where a lot more shipping and marine operations are occurring so where will this freight come in? We know Anchorage is say hub. How are we prepared for it?
Another area that we're doing a lot of work on is freight route designation and identifying routes that need to be designated within the Anchorage area, and then trying to get our code to be consistent with state regulations for freight. We have title 9 which addresses truck weights and seasonal use of roads, and they're not consistent currently with state regulations, so that's another area that this Freight Advisory team is working on. They have also done a lot of work on trying to put in legislative financial requests for studies for port access, so they're trying alternative methods to seek funding. They're working with the Port of Anchorage to apply for a stimulus planning grant through the stimulus dollars next year and unless we have reauthorization, probably all of us are going to be having shortfalls in our budget.
That's just a quick overview of what we do in Anchorage. I would be happy to answer any questions. I would be glad to talk with people via email or on the phone. Thank you for your time today.
Thank you very much, Teresa. I know we have a few questions typed in and we'll get to those at the end. I also want to thank everybody for their patience with the audio conference. I think we have everybody on mute now. Let's keep it that way moving forward. I will now turn it over to Howie Mann of the NYMTC. Howie, I will bring your presentation up in a minute.
Thank you very much. I would like to welcome everybody to Talking Freight today, and it is a pleasure to be here. I participated many times as a participant, not necessarily as a presenter, so it is a real thrill to be here. What I am going to be discussing today is what is known as a freight village, and my presentation is going to cover sort of a review of my region, looking at several different characteristics, and then what I would like to do is discuss with you an approach that NYMTC has taken in looking at one possible solution to numerous freight challenges that the NYMTC region has.
Let's start by answering a question you may have, exactly what is a freight village? This is the definition of a freight village. There are many freight villages that have been developed all across the world, and I will be getting into that in just a minute. In a nutshell, in a generic sense, freight village is a defined area, and that's the key. It is an area within which many different types of self supporting and mutually supporting activities exist. They are concerned with transportation, logistics, and distribution of goods as well as activities that exist for the support of the people that work in the freight villages themselves.
Before I continue, let me give you quick background as to who NYMTC is. New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, or NYMTC, is the metropolitan planning organization for the ten counties in the downstate New York metropolitan region constituting about 2,400 square miles and has about 12 million people living here. Having said that, in the next slide you can see it is pretty much what a freight village looks like. You can't tell very well by looking at this, but it is necessary to know that it is a very clearly demarked area and I will have photos to show you as we go through the presentation to give you an idea what these places look like.
As I said, I want to discuss with you some of the things about the NYMTC region that caused to us look at freight villages and later in the presentation we will talk about the study that we're currently engaged in on freight villages. So what are some of the things that you would want to think about or look at and analyze before you look specifically at any freight solution? In our region demographics of course, and we'll have slides concerning that, land use, and transportation, so we're going to look at these three issues, these three items right now.
On the employment side as you can see for the nation, employment grew more than it did for our local region. Of course this is something you would want to be concerned with if you were interested in looking at potential freight solutions to your challenges. One of the other things that we are interested and concerned with is air cargo employment because JFK international Airport is one of the largest air cargo facilities in the United States, and recently was noted as being the gateway in the United States that was handling the highest value commodities in the entire country, so it is a pretty important facility. Does it have a relationship to a freight village, it might. It is something to consider. It is certainly an anchor to freight activities in the region, although we have many, many more including some of the largest port facilities in the region as well.
In terms of our economy, what I can say is that New York's manufacturing industry has declined over many, many decades. The economy is much more focused now on the so-called FIRE industries, and that stands for finance, insurance, and real estate, and of course we're also noted for other things such as telecommunications and home to many Fortune 500 companies as well.
One of the other things that we are know that we need to focus on is the characteristics of the population in terms of their income. As you can see in this slide at least in the tri-state area the NYMTC region has the highest average hourly wage of our neighbors, including New Jersey and Connecticut. We need to start asking questions: are these things that might mitigate against the development of freight facilities where they don't currently exist in large quantity?
One of the things that NYMTC region is noted for, particularly in Manhattan, is its population density. Manhattan is the most densely populated area in the entire United States. Does this have an impact on how freight is distributed and how it is delivered and handled? The answer is yes. We'll certainly be considering this as we go through the study.
In terms of land use, as you can see in this slide, as I mentioned earlier, New York at one time had a tremendous manufacturing and industrial economic base. Doesn't really exist that much anymore as you can see in terms of how it is manifested in its land use, 6000-acres or so, about 4% of New York City's area devoted to industrial uses, very small, where as compared to New Jersey there is quite a bit more space allocated to freight and freight related activities. This is important for the NYMTC region because for the most part New Jersey is home to many of the freight facilities that are actually necessary to serve the NYMTC region across the Hudson River such as the distribution facilities, warehouses, major rail freight classification yards, truck terminals, and things of that nature.
In terms of the transportation factors that we looked at as you can see, one of the corridors, one of the highway corridors in the NYMTC region that experiences the highest truck volumes is I-95, particularly going across the George Washington Bridge. This slide gives you an idea of just how large the truck volumes are. In fact, not only are the truck volumes themselves high, but as far as the mix of traffic in the on the roadways themselves, that in some places in the NYMTC region truck traffic or commercial traffic comprises about 30% of the traffic classification, so it is huge. We have a very large, very intense reliance on trucks in this region, and in fact it is one of the highest in the United States, so again that is something that we think is important. It is one of the factors that we wanted to better understand as we went through this study that looked at freight villages.
Also to give you an idea in terms of transportation just why we are so concerned with freight transportation is illustrated in this figure called truck trip purposes. As you can see, the focus of these truck trips for most freight trip purposes is focused on really the core of the NYMTC region. You can see all of those trips emanating from places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and most of the trips are all aimed at the NYMTC region seeking to deliver things like retail goods, supplies, and things of that nature.
Again, this justifies the concern we have with freight transportation. We were also interested in looking at just what kind of truck trips are Traversing the region. We broke them down into commodity and non-commodity truck trips. Commodity truck trips are the very large trucks and the non-commodity trucks are essentially the smaller delivery trucks, delivery vehicles, and that kind of thing. The take away from this slide is the actual amount of vehicle miles generated by these truck trips, and as you can see, it dovetails with what I said before about the location of the freight industry that largely serves the NYMTC region being West of the river and you can see the largest amount of VMTs situated in New Jersey.
However, we in the NYMTC region experience very, very large amounts of vehicle miles of travel because of this reliance on trucks. So that's the background that I wanted to provide to you. So in 2004 NYMTC completed its first Regional Freight Plan which was and is an element of our Regional Transportation Plan, and we set out the objectives that you could see here, and they seem pretty basic. I am sure those of you who worked at other MPOs across the country can relate to these objectives, probably because you are actually use them in your own planning, but for the NYMTC region these certainly are key because these objectives really relate to the issues that I discussed with you earlier. I would like you all to keep in mind these objectives as I go through my presentation because when we go through the freight village study later in the presentation, you will see how these are related and how they come into play.
So let's talk a little bit about freight villages. As I said at the outset, freight villages are really located all across the world including places like Europe, Japan, and other countries. There are 60 plus freight villages of all different types in the United States. They're located around the world in about 11 countries, and in several continents in this slide I think I left out Asia, but they're there also.
What do freight villages do? What kind of services do they provide? For the most part the primary services are multi-modal services such as truck, rail and similar activities. They provide warehousing and distribution services and they may provide or may have an intermodal truck rail terminal as part of the site, and they all may also have customs clearance and/or freight forwarders located in the same area.
They also have ancillary services and this is what makes freight villages really interesting. Freight villages of different types may also include these supporting services such as food, motel, hotel services, and other supporting activities as you can see here and many of the sample that is we looked at in Europe and other places were also notable because they had very good transit service as well.
Freight villages can be run and managed and operated in all different matter of arrangements. I am not going to go into a lot of detail but suffice it to say there are public-private arrangements as well as totally private arrangements also. Why are we so interested in freight villages? It is because they can accomplish some of these types of items that you see here such as creating efficient movement of freight. They promote economic development by providing greater amounts of employment, and as you saw in the previous slide, we are very concerned with truck miles of travel and freight villages and other places have been successful in actually reducing truck VMT, so we're really interested in these types of arrangements for that purpose, and of the community design and esthetics, I have photographs that I want to share with you to give you some idea of just what they look like.
These examples that you see here, these are examples from Chicago, Illinois. This is actually a metal manufacturer known as Finkl Steel and you can see these types of industrial activities and they seem to be rail served. They don't necessarily have to be ugly facilities. They can be very attractive facilities integrated into the neighborhood and are actually good neighbors.
Here are two examples of suburban freight villages I wanted to share with you. These two examples are the same facility. They're located in New Jersey, in Raritan, a location I had a privilege to visit. It is very, very inspirational to go there and see the operation and see how attractive it really is.
As I was saying that the freight village experience largely comes out of Europe. This is a map that shows the location of a freight village, located pretty close to Paris, but actually located adjacent to the airport there. Here are two examples. One is located in Germany, the other in Japan, and the one on the lower right I think is interesting because as it's the NYMTC region is a densely settled area, densely populated area and in Japan where it is also densely populated, they decided to build up. As you can see, it is a vertical format in that building. That building is really a truck terminal, and so I thought that was an interesting example to share with you to when you are thinking about these facilities think about building up. It just might work for your region.
If you were in business and you were thinking about locating a freight facility, possibly a freight village, what are some of the things that you would want to look at before you decided to locate anywhere? You would want to look at existing infrastructure such as utilities. You would want to know what labor costs are. If you recall in my previous slide I showed you the high average hourly wage for the NYMTC region. You would want to know you were in close proximity to customers and reduce your transportation budget, and you would also want to know something about the community that you are locating in and the site characteristics.
So getting to the study that NYMTC under took, our purpose was really pretty straight forward. We weren't looking to do a study in which we recommended an area, but what we wanted to do and what we set out to do was to look at the feasibility of the concept and applying it to the NYMTC region considering the issues that I discussed with you previously.
So as we started this, we had no idea whether or even if the freight village concept would be a match for our region, but as it turned out, in some cases it was or it will be. These are three sites on Long Island that we looked at with six sites in total. There were three more that we looked at, two in New York City, Sunset Park in Brooklyn and one additional site on Staten Island, and the last site is in Westchester County in the northern area of the NYMTC region. We did look at six sites. As I said, I shared some photographs, some aerials with you of the six sites. As you can see in these two Long Island sites, they are not necessarily surrounded by high rises or anything like that. In fact, the Calverton site as you can see is in a pretty wide open area. The other site is a suburban location as well, and it is actually more surrounded by higher levels of residential single-family homes.
The GATX site located on Staten Island was and has been an industrial site and the interesting location, Sunset Park in Brooklyn is what you might expect to see in New York City and the area surrounding it is apartment buildings. It is one of the very few areas left in New York City that is still very, very much industrial in nature. Lastly, there is the site in Mount Vernon, a city located in Westchester County in the northern area of NYMTC, and as you see here, this site is pretty much surrounded by quite a bit of residential development. This is basically an in-place industrial park. So what we do in the study itself, we are going through these tasks. As you can see here, we're pretty much up to and completed task five, and we're proceeding into task six, looking at just what the benefits of these six locations would be as freight villages.
Not going to spend much time on this slide. The take away from this slide at least I think for you all are concerned that what we did in terms of developing criteria and some criteria for examining these six sites was really derived from a Delphi process which is an iterative process that you use in trying to determine the importance of various factors. So with these are some of the criteria that we ultimately derived and that we ultimately applied and the sub criteria as well. Again, using the Delphi process and developing the facilitated expert panel. In this slide you can see how we sought to apply the concepts of each type of freight village against the NYMTC goals that we talked about before such as congestion mitigation, land use, and economic development. So as you can see each type of freight village doesn't necessarily relate well or at all to the goals that we set out, so that was something that we had to address.
We came up with this analytical process at the end of which we derived these criteria and sub criteria weights that were ultimately applied to the factors in each site, and here are the sites with the ultimate scores that we obtained by applying those weights to the sites for each one of these criteria and sub criteria through the expert panel.
We went through and for each one of the major categories of criteria. So the takeaway so far in this study is that each of the six sites has some degree of potential to be some kind of freight village. We had to kind of think out of the box because in some cases some of the locations didn't fit neatly into the categorizations of freight villages that we were able to develop based on examples in other countries and other places, so I think that's important because first of all it means there is more work to be done there in terms of the private sector looking at managing the site, bringing it together, possibly developing a central theme, working with the public and the government to bring in additional types of land uses so there is a lot more that needs to take place before the sites can really take off as freight villages.
As I indicated before, we actually completed up to task five just recently, and task six will probably be completed very, very quickly and then we'll be wrapping up the study in probably about a month or so. So what are the next steps? Based on the six sites that we are going to continue to look at, we're going to look at the truck trip estimates for the region, not necessarily for those local specific areas. We're going to analyze them for economic development, specifically for job creation. We're going to look at what the impacts of these sites as freight villages would be on costs and all of these types of costs, and we're going to also analyze them for their potential to be able to shift to rail from truck or from truck to water borne mode considering the NYMTC region only uses rail to the tune of about 1% of its freight needs.
There is more work to be done. This is our very long web address you need to get to the freight page on the NYMTC website where all of the information is available including all kinds of downloads and more information and if you have trouble navigating to that, give me a call or email me there, and it has been a real pleasure discussing this with you today, and I look forward to your questions and comments.
Thank you, Howie. We'll now move onto your final presentation given by Christopher Lamm from Cambridge Systematics. Chris, you can begin.
Good afternoon. My name is Christopher Lamm, and I work with Cambridge Systematics. Currently we are helping the FHWA to develop a Freight and Land Use Handbook that explores these land use issues and supplies action plans for all level of government and private sector stakeholders and a series of workshops to be hosted by agencies early next year to present this material and to work with agencies and stakeholders to address the freight and land use issues. So I will spend a few minutes on each topic and exploring the concepts of the freight and land use handbook and the workshops that will come about afterwards.
To start with the purpose of the handbook, it is intended to provide planners at the state, regional, and local levels with awareness of issues and with some implementable strategies and tools to address some of the key problems regarding freight, transportation and land use conflicts and issues. Some of these issues include the encroachment of residential and other incompatible uses of freight land uses, sprawling suburbs and revitalizing urban and town centers and the conflicts that trend creates, growing volumes of freight traffic and activity resulting in more congestion on the transportation system and the associated conflicts between passenger and freight traffic related to that. The "freight doesn't vote" problem is another problem, meaning the absence of a voice for freight when it comes to local planning and decision making. Transportation planning processes that don't always take freight impacts and needs into account, and land use and zoning site plan reviews that don't always take the freight transportation considerations into account either. Also, the increased importance on the connection and relationship between freight transportation and our patterns of land use and climate change.
Key feature of the handbook: it is designed to appeal to a wide audience and so doing it offers general guidance and an introduction to the planning processes, freight issues, land use issues, involved agencies and stakeholders, etc. for planners who may not have much experience in some of these areas. For more advanced professionals, the value will be in some of the specific tools, methods, and action plans and lessons learned from some of the examples and case studies provided in the handbook. Amid the text in each chapter the handbook provides sidebars with brief examples of relevant problems and strategies that agencies have implemented to address them, and it has a number of more detailed case studies that demonstrate how agencies and stakeholders have addressed complex or combinations of issues through effective and innovative programs, policies, and methods. The case studies are intend to provide successful examples of implementation of program that other officials can learn from and replicate as appropriate to their situations.
The handbook provides a list of key resources for further reading and a freight and land use glossary as guides. The sources of information that were used to develop the contents of the handbook drew from a variety of literature sources, quite heavily from reports and other US DOT and FHWA handbooks and guidelines, EPA literature on sustainability issues, and the case studies and examples were derived from information published in the literature and from a series of interviews the project team conducted with several agencies throughout the country, mostly MPOs and some municipal representatives as well, who are known to have relevant and experiences and programs. In fact, the two previous presenters, Teresa and Howie, were interviewed by our team and their stories which you heard today are among the case studies in the handbook. I would like to thank them for their input into the handbook and as well there are some other folks we reached out to on the line today and we want to thank you for your contributions as well.
Here is a list of the chapters that are in the handbook, and I will summarize them before going into more detail in the content in the following slides. Chapter 1 contains the purpose, the key features and handbook organization that I have discussed already, and the second chapter provides the background on transportation planning process, land use planning process, the key steps, agency that is are involved at the different levels of government and the linkages between those processes. Chapter 3 is our quote unquote freight as a good neighbor chapter. It discusses some of the impacts freight transportation infrastructure and land use have on the communities and the environment and offers some discussion on policies and strategies that can reduce some of those impacts. Chapter 4 discusses issues of sustainability related to freight, the impacts of land use trends on sustainability and some examples of sustainable freight land use strategies. The final chapter advises the reader other ways to account for the needs and impacts of freight in their planning process including site selection criteria, site plan reviews and zoning codes and includes a set of recommended action steps for planners and action steps for private stakeholders as well on how to get involved in the process.
At the end of the handbook are the appendices that include the resource list and glossary that I mentioned before. I have summarized the contents of Chapter 1 already and we'll jump into Chapter 2; why should freight be considered in the transportation land use process? What are the benefits of freight to the economy, what are the impacts, what are the driving forces that necessitate the integration such as freight volumes and infrastructure finance challenges, etc? Those are some of the question that is this chapter addresses.
The chapter identifies who the stakeholders are on the public and private sector side and identifies the duties and roles and where some of the issues that are critical to them and how they all fit together in the process. The chapter presents the key steps and products of the transportation and land use planning processes and the linkages between them including the involvement of land management and resource agencies and including economic development strategies that link the two including the incorporation of strategies into comprehensive plans and project selection criteria that are consistent with comprehensive plan goals, etc.
Chapter 3 is the freight as a good neighbor chapter. It takes a close he look at some of the impacts of freight land uses by which warehousing, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, intermodal and terminals, those are the types of freight land uses we're talking about. It looks at some of the impacts on neighboring land uses. This gets to the heart of the some of the environmental impacts and the chapter makes a case for what makes freight a good neighbor, choosing a balance between freight and industrial land uses and community goals is what does that. It is the assurance that the impacts of freight are positive and such as jobs, wages, tax revenue, and that they outweigh the negative impacts which are mitigated and minimized. So it addresses several topics here. The first is appropriate and coordinated land use policies such as regional visioning, establishing buffers between incompatible land uses, promoting contact sensitive design, etc. It looks at effective transportation systems and services and the development and maintenance of transportation systems that can effectively, efficiently and safely accommodate freight and passenger traffic and limiting the conflicts between the traffic types. Examples of that are routing to avoid impacts on neighborhoods, freight exclusive facilities, reducing crossings, etc. Looking at effective operations and management policies, existing transportation systems that can be operated and managed in ways that reduce peak period demand and reduce congestion and ways to produce fewer negative impacts to quality of life and environment such as no whistle or apply zones for rail, etc.
We looked at education and outreach because having an educated public and an educated public sector and educated private sector stakeholders help tremendously. Strategies to equip planners with knowledge and tools to disseminate information, to provide technical assistance to other agencies, and to provide opportunities for community and freight stakeholders to be heard and to learn from one another are key.
The chapter concludes with a section called "Putting it All Together" which demonstrates a series of detailed case studies how several government agencies throughout the country tied each of the previous four sets of policies and practices into a successful program. The graphic on the right shows the City of Chicago designated industrial and planned manufacturing districts intended to preserve freight land uses and focus development appropriate areas.
If we take a closer look at one of the aspects of this chapter, to give you a sample of some more detailed content of the handbook, let's look at a subtopic and example under the appropriate and coordinated land use policy settings. Within the section of the chapter, as with the other sections, the handbook provides a general discussion of land use policy issues and coordination issues and provides a list of appropriate tools that can be implemented to address the issues such as establishing a regional vision, creating buffers, using zoning to limit freight impact, promote contact sensitive design for site plans and buildings to reduce those community impacts. Examples provided from cities, regions and states large and small that demonstrate how the tools have been implemented to achieve the objectives.
For instance, conducting a regional visioning exercise at the MPO or State level can help stakeholders gain a common understanding of the freight and land use environment in the region. It helps them understand the issues and needs and to develop regional goals. From literature and interviews some examples showing them how the totals have been implemented and we provide an example from the Pittsburgh area's Power of 32 which is helping a region of 32 counties understand the demographic and economic trends in the region and to understand the common economic ties and interests among the counties and stakeholder groups in that region and to develop a region vision for the region's desired future.
Similar explanations of implementation examples are provided for each of the tools and strategies in this section and in the other sections of the chapter. Moving onto chapter 4, this chapter looks at the sustainability issues related to freight and land use and it identifies what some of the key issues are including: emissions and climate change issues, economic development, and industrial preservation issues, and social and environmental justice issues and impacts. It examines some of the impacts of land use trends and poor planning practices on aspects of sustainability. For example, the phenomena of freight sprawl where freight facilities are developed ever and ever farther in the hinterlands outside cities and towns and result in the consumption of land and resources, spreading traffic, urban disinvestment and a number of other impacts.
This chapter identifies and provides examples of some sustainable freight land use strategies to counteract some of those trends, and to take a closer look at some of the examples of sustainable freight and land use strategies that are identified in the handbook. These include preserving industrial and freight land uses in cities and towns by establishing protective districts and directing growth there by redevelopment of brown fields for freight and industrial use, by establishing freight villages which are defined areas where activities related to the transport logistics and distribution of goods are centered. As with the previous chapter, examples of each of these strategies are provided, and while examples on this slide come from larger MPOs, they provide examples of strategies that are transferable to smaller metropolitan and to rural regions as well.
The final chapter, Chapter 5, demonstrates how to account for the needs of freight in the land use and transportation planning processes. Those needs include accounting for site access, onsite turning radii, onsite parking and curb parking in urban areas, safety and security concerns and a number of others. This chapter provides action plans for local, regional and state planners. For local planners the action steps include accounting for the needs and impacts and site plan reviews, analyzing truck routes, reviewing comprehensive plans, providing guidance and tool kits for developers and other stakeholders and involving them in the process. For regional level, action steps include leading regional visioning and goods movement studies, creating regional and corridor freight plans, creating model ordinances and best practices that provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions. At the state level including freight criteria in the project selection process, accounting for freight needs and infrastructure design, creating state and corridor plans and developing tool kits to assist cities and counties and highlight case studies are some of the steps there.
For example, the Montana DOT has developed a tool kit for communities struggling with impacts resulting from rapid population growth and they have pulled information from peer communities across the country to serve as examples and guides. For private stakeholders action steps include participating in committees and in the development of freight plans, offering opportunities for public sector officials to learn about business and operations, and Teresa discussed an example of a couple of examples of that, and commenting on planning documents.
To give you an update on the status of the current status of the handbook, we developed a draft of the content of the handbook and that's been prepared and currently under review by FHWA, and we'll likely have some edits to make to that content and then we'll develop and produce format proofs and once those are approved we'll have a handbook ready for dissemination likely to occur in early 2011.
Starting the first of the year we'll work with FHWA to prepare and administer a series of freight and land use workshops. The purpose of the workshops will be to disseminate the content of the handbook to planners at all levels of government and other interested parties, and participants can include freight and land use and transportation planners and professionals at the state, regional and local levels of government and other interested parties such as private sector stakeholders. The workshops will last for one day and will include a presentation module on the content of the handbook. Likely one lesson per chapter, case studies for discussion and we'll choose from a list of cases those which are most relevant to the issues confronted in the participant areas, and they also will contain hands on planning exercises.
So all of that said, we'll work to develop the workshop materials and we'll likely be ready to conduct the workshops by late spring, early summer of 2011 and there will be three workshops initially and FHWA may conduct more if warranted. The dates and locations of these three have not been selected. We'll be working with FHWA together to determine the locations, and they will likely be selected up from a population of interested host agencies based upon factors such as geographical diversity, accounting for urban and rural mix and a number of other factors.
I will add that if your agency is interested in hosting a workshop, please get in touch with either myself or with Ed Strocko at FHWA with your information and we'll take you into consideration. We'll conduct the workshops then and develop a summary report on the outcomes for FHWA. That concludes this presentation. Thank you all for your interest in this topic and again thank you to the other presenters who have provided content to this handbook development process and to the many others who we reached out to as well. We really appreciate your help. My contact information is provided here in case you have any questions that come up later that you would like to discuss offline. I think we are ready to move onto the question and answer section.
Thank you, Chris. We are going to move onto the Q&A session now. I am going to start off with the questions that are typed in for Chris just since that presentation is fresh in everybody's mind. Chris, looks like the first question we had for you was: did you say new quiet zone whistle bans for rail or no quiet zone whistle bans?
I was referring to quiet zones or "no whistle zones," referring to bans on whistle.
Okay. I think the clarification was just the wording if you said I think it was just unclear if you said new or no.
Sure. We're referring to quiet zones or the "no whistle zones."
Okay. I believe the question was for you, but actually probably any one of the presenters could answer it. Wouldn't we want to focus freight villages in or near industrial preservation areas or brown field areas for sustainability?
You certainly could. In reality freight facilities are being developed on green fields and brown fields all across the country, depending on what the specific characteristics are for that particular area. The NYMTC region is noted for having very high real estate values and high real estate taxes, and so that has accounted to a great degree for the location or the relocation of our freight serving facilities to other places, but I would say if your goal is to redevelop brown fields, I would say one of the things perhaps you would want to look at would be the efficacy of locating a freight village on a particular site, absolutely.
Okay. And for Chris, how would pedestrian and bicyclist interactions be looked at within this study? I am aware of a pedestrian fatality due to a freight facility having a poor line-of-sight partly due to screening fences.
There is an example in the handbook, especially when we're talking about establishing buffers around freight facilities for the purpose of reducing noise and sight impacts, but also to provide a zone of safety and but within that even there is an example of a pedestrian bridge, I believe in Washington State, that allows pedestrians to crossover a freight transportation facility in a safe manner, so we have an example in there that looks at that type of issue.
Okay. I am going to go back up to the top and just start with some of the questions at the top. I know that Teresa typed in some responses to the questions, but we want to ask them again in case there is anybody who is just on the phone and not logged in. Teresa, where did the funding for the tractor trailer simulation training come from and who are your partners to bring in the simulator?
We didn't have any funding short of my staff time. We have a very, very limited budget for freight, and how that occurred was I was in an Alaska Rural Trade Center Conference, and the President of Carlile trucking whom you're all probably familiar with from Ice Road Truckers, she gave a presentation and mentioned they had a computer simulator to train their truck drivers for a variety of very difficult driving situations including the ice road, and so I got to thinking. I thought I am going to ask them if I can bring down different agencies and if they would share the computer simulator with us and develop some scenarios, and they did. They agreed to it. They were our partners, the State of Alaska, DOT, the municipality of Anchorage, and even the public transit department helped out in moving people around and helping with some scheduling and so forth for us.
We did outreach to our Freight Advisory Committee members, the Port of Anchorage, Alaska Trucking Association. That's how it came about, just finding out there was a computer simulator in town, and we got great feedback. The engineers, the transportation planners were like "I have never driven a huge 53-foot truck before, I had no idea how difficult it was even though it is a simulator, to downshift, up shift, make corners, stop in time, and all just a safety things that you have to think about in addition just to getting into a parking lot or a loading dock." So that's how we did that.
Okay. Thank you. The next question for you is are you involved in the climate change discussions looking at sea level rise and how that may affect the freight and harbors and with railroads or highways near inlets or by the ocean?
I am not personally involved in any of that. I know that Federal Highway comes out with an update on climate change and so forth as I have read those. We have at the University Of Alaska Anchorage Institution Of Social Economic Research, and they did a study about three or four years ago that took a look at the cost of climate change on transportation infrastructure in Alaska and how much it would cost to replace that. I know there are some outlying Alaska villages that are being inundated with rising sea levels, but I don't really know anything about in the Anchorage area.
Okay. I am going to skip the next question about the signal timing because I think you directed that person to email you and you would get them in touch with the right person. The next question for you: is Anchorage or Alaska planning any new rail projects for port access or long haul over land?
I know that the Alaska Railroad has several projects that they're taking a look at. The first one that comes to mind is the Port of Anchorage is expanding their port and so they are also putting in a spur in order to make freight movement easier to the rail because the rail yard is located adjacent to the port, and then the Railroad is also looking at a spur over at Port MacKenzie and that spur would go out to what's called the Houston Big Lake area, and that would help them get their freight up to the interior of Alaska such as Fairbanks, and be able to move goods back and forth from that port. There is a discussion of commuter rail between Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, about a 50-mile trip. We have about 32% of the population from the Mat-Su Valley which works in Anchorage. There is some discussion of that.
Thank you. We'll have questions for Howie. Howie, have you tried to estimate truck VMT or greenhouse gas emissions reduced due to freight villages or will this be one of your study objectives?
We're going to be doing that in task six which is coming up and as I indicated in the presentation we're not going to be looking at the impacts of VMT on the local roads surrounding the sites but we are going to be looking at possible reduction in VMT for larger areas and exactly what benefits freight villages on the sites could have on the larger area around the site itself, so the answer is yes. We're going to be looking at VMT for sure.
Okay. Our next question for you is what would be displaced at the Mount Vernon site, industrial or other or incorporation of an existing industrial park?
It is an integration of existing operations and services at this industrial park. It is kind of a unique area in which the team working on this project actually felt that some kind of unifying theme or management was necessary to kind of bring together these disparate operations who just happened to be located in this same informal industrial park, so there is some work that needs to be done there in terms of integrating the existing tenants, and some kind of management that needs to take place in order to kind of bring it altogether, so we're not really talking about displacing anybody at this location.
Okay. What would you ultimately do with the results of the study or as a result of picking a freight village site?
What we wanted to do is several-fold. One, we wanted to do this analysis, but sort of a secondary objective that we had for doing the study is really to continue to inform all kinds of stakeholders in the region that freight is a need, that these needs need to be addressed and to try and focus people on the freight issue. One way to focus them is to bring up something that is innovative, not yet tried, and something that might actually be able to have a use here. I think the next step is for us to complete the project, provide it to our member agencies, share it with the private sector, and hope that Industrial Development Agencies, IDAs, organizations like that will take these results further and take it to the next level which would be perhaps with the private sector to share these results and having much more in depth and detailed analysis for each of one of these sites.
Okay. Can you speak more to the operational and technology characteristics of near-residence freight villages that make them easier for the community to accept or tolerate, such as gate management, appointment systems, onsite electrified parking or loading dock power, cleaner switcher locomotives and yard horses, etc?
Certainly all of those features are assuming that you wanted to develop some kind of freight yard, intermodal facility freight village. The extent that you could implement those types of technologies I think would go a long way to making these kinds of facilities much more palatable. It is true there is a great deal of concern on the part of communities and surrounding communities around these sites, but I think we certainly do have the technology, trucks that can be retrofitted, there are truck scrappage programs where you can trade trucks in for much more efficient and environmentally acceptable trucks. There are many things that you can do. I think it is a package, and I think whoever does the final development of these locations would have to look into that. It certainly would benefit everybody including the freight operations themselves.
Okay. Thank you. What work has been done, or will be done to interview private sector business owners to find out what demand from their perspective might exist for such a freight village? What value is added for the private sector investor, such as collocation benefits or tax incentives?
Well, the Facilitated Freight Expert Panel that I alluded to in the presentation was such a group in which we did really ask those kinds of questions which is how we derived the criteria and the sub-criteria along with the weights for each one of those features. We got really good input from the participants in on this panel which consisted of integrating carriers. We did actually have one industrial developer on the panel, and we had trucking interests and railroads. It was really quite a comprehensive group that we dealt with, so we felt good and confident that talking to these people was going to provide us with the informed conversation that we really needed.
Okay. Who was on your expert review panel and did it include someone from the commercial real estate industry?
Yeah. As I said, we actually had an industrial developer on the panel, and all of the others that I just mentioned.
Okay. Do you have an industrial roads program in New York State to provide additional funding to roads that will help support road construction to potential freight village?
Indeed. New York State Department of Transportation has an Industrial Access Program which does exactly that. That program does provide funding that actually needs to be paid back. I believe they provide loans for just that purpose.
Okay. The next question I am not sure if Howie would be best to answer or Chris, but I will put this out. How different is the concentration of Maquiladoras, industrial manufacturing units, mostly across the US-Mexico Border, from the freight village concept?
Chris, I don't know. It would seem to me that the main differentiating feature is the fact that these kinds of developments in Mexico are more focused solely on the manufacturing rather than on the integrating of multiple services as I described them as freight villages. I don't know if, Chris, do you have any or information on that? I don't think I do.
Yeah. I think that's correct. Many of the freight village examples are of master planned communities. Granted there are other examples that have kind of grown more organically that the example down the border might resemble more similarly.
I don't see anything else typed in. Do any of the presenters have any questions that might have been sent to them directly that I might have missed?
Actually, I didn't have any sent directly. I would like to go back to the question about pedestrian and bicyclists. I went through and read the question in the chat. I say in addition to the pedestrian bridge example that I mentioned, also when we get to talking about doing site plan reviews and listing some of the criteria that should be looked at, safety concerns are certainly up there as well, and we mentioned looking at screening and landscaping on sites that could present blind corners or other hazards to the safety of other vehicles including pedestrians and cyclists as well, so those types of things to look out for and take into account are suggested as well.
I am going to give people a few minutes to type in additional questions. I will not open the phone lines since we don't have an ordered way to do that right now. I will ask if you do have additional questions, please type them in. I want to remind everybody if you are an AICP member and actually before I go through that we do have another question. Does Cambridge provide training for organizations planning to incorporate modal split in their travel demand model and integrate a site plan in Long Range MPO Planning?
I am sorry, could you repeat that question? I didn't catch all of it.
I guess the question is does Cambridge Systematics provide training for organizations planning to incorporate modal split into their travel demand model and integrate freight planning in Long Range MPO Planning?
I believe we can provide a service such as that. I would invite anyone who is interested in something like that to send a question with specifically what you're looking for.
I will type in the web address for the Federal Highway Office of Freight Management Operations' Freight Professional Development Program because there you will see a listing of freight related courses available through the National Highway Institute primarily for State DOTs and MPOs, and there are some other educational opportunities listed there, and I think that will help provide more information. I know there is a course on integrating freight into transportation planning. I think we also have Jocelyn Jones on the phone and a few other people from Federal Highway if you want to type in any suggestions in response to that question, please go ahead.
I think that seems to be all the questions. Feel free to type in more while I am reading the closeout. I will go through the end of the seminar. I do want to thank all three of our presenters and thank you very much for your patience with some of the background noise. I appreciate it. Thank you also to all of our attendees for your patience with the teleconference. I do hope you will join us for future talking freights. We will have everything resolved by next month.
As I mentioned, today's seminar was recorded. The recording and the presentations will all be available online in two or three weeks and I will send an email to everybody who registered once they're available. If you are on today and didn't register in advance you can either type into the chat box your email address or email it to me.
I would also urge everybody to fill out the evaluation form and send that back to me whether or not you are applying for credits. We do want to get feedback how we can improve the seminars in addition to our teleconference issues that we had today. The next seminar will be held on January 19. More information about this seminar will be forthcoming. I will send out additional information through the Freight Planning LISTSERV once registration is available.
If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. Enjoy the rest of your day!