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Talking Freight

Multijurisdictional Coalitions

December 15, 2004 Talking Freight Transcript

Operator:

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the multi jurisdictional coalition conference call. During presentation, all participants will be in a listen only mode. Afterwards we'll conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time if you have a question, press the one followed by the four on will the telephone. I would like to turn the call over to Jennifer Seplow. Please go ahead.

Jennifer Seplow:

Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Seplow and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Multijurisdictional Coalitions. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.

Today we'll have three speakers, Paula Dowell of Wilbur Smith Associates, Dilara Rodriguez of Caltrans, and Travis Gordon of the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center. They will be sharing their experiences with multijurisdictional coalitions.

Paula E. Dowell is Vice President of WSA's Economic, Freight and Finance Division and has nine years experience in transportation economics, fiscal and economic impact analysis and forecasting. Her areas of expertise include economic analysis of multimodal transportation investments, multi-jurisdictional trade studies and freight forecasting. Since joining Wilbur Smith Associates she has served as a senior analyst and project manager on several multi-jurisdictional transportation corridor studies including National I-10 Freight Study, Latin American Trade and Transportation Study, Economic Impact of Eastern Corridor Multi-modal Investment, El Paso Border Improvement Plan, Continental 1 Trade Corridor Study, and the Economic Impact Assessment of Intermodal Opportunities in Appalachia. Dr. Dowell serves on TRB's committee on Transportation and Economic Development and has been actively involved in the FHWA's Freight Professional Development Program.

Dilara Rodriguez has more than 24 years of national and international experience in the fields of urban planning, transportation planning, and landscape architecture on both technical and policy setting levels, and of which more than 12 years are on a Senior/Project Manager level. She holds a Bachelor degree in Agriculture Engineering, a Masters Degree in Agriculture Engineering, and an Engineering Certification from the American University of Beirut - Lebanon. She also holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, and where she graduated with Honors.

Currently she is a member of the State of California Transportation Department (DOT), and is the overall Technical Project Manager* for a multi-state transportation planning effort and the California representative on the Technical Advisory Committee for this very important project of national significance: The National I-10 Freight Corridor. This project presents a unique opportunity for the State of California to prove it s vision and leadership capabilities on the national levels. The responsibilities involved are equivalent to the creation of a new program within the Planning Program of Caltrans. In addition to the creation of this project, she has the responsibility of insuring that this effort is complementary with the statewide policy and is in full coordination with the Districts and the regional agencies in Southern California. The tasks involved with this effort are on a Senior/Supervisory level, and the multi-state Technical Advisory Committee, which she Chairs, has members from 7 other states and FHWA, who are on a Deputy Director and Deputy Secretary levels within their respective state DOTs. Ms. Rodriguez was also entrusted in representing the State of California DOT on a number of national forums, and had been invited by FHWA to speak on issues, of a high level policy setting nature, relative to goods movement and the national policy under the new re-authorized TEA-21 Bill.

Travis Gordon is a research specialist for the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center (MRUTC), located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The MRUTC is the USDOT Region 5 University Transportation Center. His primary focus at the MRUTC is freight transportation, including the planning of the 1st Upper Midwest Regional Freight Transportation Workshop (April 2002) and then the development and execution of the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study (July 2002-present). Mr. Gordon also is involved with the educational and outreach efforts of the MRUTC. He works with the UW-Madison's graduate certificate program in transportation management and policy and with area high schools promoting the transportation industry. Mr. Gordon received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I'd like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. The Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone during the Q&A period. However, if during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will use some of the questions typed into the chat box to start off the question and answer session in the last half hour of the seminar. Those questions that are not answered will be posted to the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.

If at anytime you would like to zoom in on the slide that is showing on your screen, you can click on the zoom icon at the top of your screen. It looks like a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it.

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. To access the recorded seminar, please visit Talkingfreight.webex.com and click on the "recorded events" link on the left side of the page and then choose the session you'd like to view. Due to the size of the file, recorded files are available for viewing/listening purposes only and cannot be saved to your own computer. We encourage you to direct others in your office who may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.

The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.

We are now going to wait until 1:00 to let a few others join in. So Sarah, we can go ahead and put the attendees back into hold for a few minutes.

Operator:

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Multijurisdictional Coalition conference call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen only mode. Afterward, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time, if you have a question, please press the one being followed by the four on your telephone. I would now like to turn the call over to Jennifer Seplow. Please go ahead.

J. Seplow

Welcome again, everybody. It is now about 1:00, and it looks like many others have joined us. So I think we'll get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us is multi jurisdiction coalitions. The first presentation will be that of Paula Dowell of Wilbur Smith Associates. Paula will be giving an overview of multi-state, multi jurisdiction freight transportation planning. If you think of questions during this presentations or during any of the other presentations, please type them into the chat screen and indicate who they are directed to and we'll get to the questions in the last half hour of the seminar. If you give me, a second, Paula, I will turn the presentation over to you and I will let you know when I'm ready. Okay, Paula, you can begin when you are ready.

Paula Dowell:

Okay, thanks, Jennifer and good afternoon, and/or good morning, depending on where you are calling in from. As Jennifer said, what I'm going to be doing is really providing an overview and some lessons learned. Wilbur Smith has conducted manufacture these multi jurisdictional, multi-state-type trade studies and through the years we have compiled a list of lessons learned. So we'll talk about some of the advantages of the multi jurisdictional coalitions as well as some the critical factors of success associated with these coalitions. So with that, we'll get started. First of all, what are some of the more successful, and some of the best case scenario multi-state alliances? And here we have, for example, the I-95. Some of the characteristics of the really successful coalitions is that they have expanded beyond their initial membership. So the maps you will be seeing really denote the initial memberships and many of these have actually expanded. And the I-95 coalition is a good example of that. This is the I-69, the high priority corridor 18, and this is really a lot of times commonly referred to as the NAFTA coalition. Or the NAFTA corridor. We also have the LATTS or the Latin American Trade and Transportation Study. This is another example where the actual alliance region has been able to expand beyond the initial membership and the beyond the states of Oklahoma and Missouri have been added. Here we have the Midwest regional rail initiative, the Appalachia regional commission. There's actually legislation that pulls this particular coalition together. And then we also have the binational border training process. Again, these are just a few examples and they are, by no means all inclusive. For example, you will be hearing Dilara talk about the national I-10 coalition. One of the common features and really all successful, they tend to rally around common goals or common issues and it is really the defining the commonality between a lot of the issues facing the different member states in being able to keen keep the group together and moving forward to finding some potential strategies and solutions. And this just talks about some of the goals that originally enabled the member states to get together. For many of these coalitions, their new objectives and goals have really expanded far beyond the initial goals. And you might be asking, well, why do multi-state coalitions? First of all, one of the origins of the multi-state coalitions are transportation needs and the fact that freight simply does not respect jurisdictional boundaries means that the transportation needs to accommodate trade and freight movement cannot be addressed easily using a lot of the traditional props which really stop at the jurisdictional borders. How do they get started? Well, one of the common characteristics is there always has -- common characteristics is there? Always has to have a group getting to the but you need a champion. And that champion takes together the responsibility of organizing the coalition and recruiting members and in a lot of cases really becomes lead agency in holding the coalition together and moving the coalition into action. A lot of times these multi-state coalitions are facilitated by the fact that the members have previous experience working together in another organizational setup, a good example of this, for example, is that Latin American Trade and Transportation study and a lot of the -- a lot of the conversations about the initial issues and policies that the member states have in common really started through SAASHTO. Now, of course if you go back and look at the membership, you see that the membership does extend beyond the SSASHTO members but that's really where the seeds of that particular coalition got started. And I think as you -- as you go through it, and take a look at some of the long-standing coalitions, you will find that that's very much true, that these states have worked together in other capacities. A lot of times, as far as the framework for how do these coalitions work, you really have different degrees of formality. Sometimes you will have a memorandum of understanding and that's really one of your more formal agreements and this set is out the basic aspects. Most of the time, they're going to start in an informal capacity. Again, just groups of states talking about common issues. They might then move into terms reference, which is not really a legal document but it does symbolize the willingness and really starts laying out the ground work and identifying what are the common issues policies that are binding these groups together. Some of the characteristics of coalition is that, again, they act more as forums and so, they really don't have power, such as controlling the authority, and the binding authority. The members are there on a volunteer basis. The coalitions operate in pursuit of shared interests again the common goals and objectives and then the members really act on their own accord, meaning they don't relinquish any priorities from their actual public agencies. There's also different varying level of commitment from the members. You really do -- the level of commitment from your member states that's going to depend up on the benefits. So, therefore, have you to understand what are their issues. What did they have at stake. Developing a win/win outcome is the key. And that's the reason you have to have those central common issues. Something that everyone has a stake in and I think with all coalitions, there's going to be some winners that are bigger than others and a lot of times you will see the biggest winners being the champions are the lead agencies but they all must win all of your members must have something at stake and they must win or else there will be no incentive for them to really around. You also have to be open to compromises and a lot of times compromises are necessary to achieve these win/win type situations. And this means having problems for partner. It will not involve them entering into any binding agreements that would contradict what their initial legal charges are, mandated charges. Also while there will be a common goal, or issue binding everyone together, each individual member is also going to have unique circumstances that are of importance to them and you must recognize that a lot of times or often you might find that some of the unique circumstances or issues of the member states would be contradictory, but, again, you don't deal with those. Any time you are getting close to a major decision, whether it might be a scope of work for your first big study that you are going to venture into as a joint venture, you want to make sure that your champion or lead agency is really talking one-on-one with all of the members. You're resolving any issues or potential conflicts outside of the formal settings. Once have you that basis of understanding and you have everyone on board, then you bring it to the group as a whole and get it formally ratified at a meeting. Another common feature is that oftentimes, you have the support of a private sector advocacy group and this is important, because a lot of times, especially when it comes to lobbying legislatures and stuff, there are things that the private sector group can do that the public sector agency, pay necessarily be prohibited from participating in and this is really helpful, the private sector advocacy group is helpful if they are well-organized meaning that they too have a champion that is leading the charge if they are active with the community and their legislators and if they have similar objectives, meaning that their objectives don't contradict what the -- what the public agencies or the state's objectives are. It also helps if they have sources of funding. Some of the advantages of really you know -- and this starts getting into why do we form multi jurisdictional coalitions? And really one of the biggest advantages is that it increases your sphere of influence and if you have common objective and the fact that you can get together and there's just power in numbers. And that's the reason the alliances can bring that. The collective power is that you can achieve more as a group if you go there with a collective voice, all sending the same message than you can as -- as individuals. Another big advantage are the economic impacts and, again, if you are coordinating -- if you are looking at these issues together and because we recognize the fact and we know that freight and trade, they do not respect these jurisdictional boundaries and so therefore, if you are coming together, you know, forming something like a NAFTA corridor that would really facilitate along the whole corridor, are, again, the national I-ten study where you are looking at east-west trade and how do we work across all the states New York to make it the most efficient route, then the fact that you are coordinating these and especially if we can move into the project implication phase where we see more of that happening on a coordinated level, you will be able to increase the catchments in that area of the economic impact and you will get benefits from conglomerations of economies. Meaning if you do it as an improvement, enhancement, you know, whatever, is that the impacts of the whole could be much greater than the sum of the economic impact of all the states acting individually, because of the agglomeration economies. There are also some advantages when it comes to funding and the fact that you have states banning together opens up the pooled fund approach and this is important. Because what it does is it allows the states to achieve more. You can tackle larger issues. You can broaden the scope of the study and it gives you greater flexibility, again, because you are pooling your money to look at the same issue instead of states all engaging in independent studies examining the same issue. We also find that in the successful coalitions, the federal agencies typically play a role. One of the roles that they can play is a source of the funding. Now, again, one thing that we have seen, is that -- is that there's a disproportionate to the role on their steering committee, while they may participate in the funding source, on the steering committee, they really are acting as a resource, more so than directing the overall effort. It's also financial participation by members. This is important, again, because to go back to the level of commitment, if you want your members and states to be committed, have the money. Because, again, they will have a stake in it. That tends to really increase the level of commitment. So if they are contributing to the pool, they can, you know, put the money up. It might be SAASHTO involvement. Again, if they are committing resources in the funds of money, in the funds of staff, or, again, helping to cover travel expenses it means that they will have a stake in it, and so their level of commitment would increase. How do you keep the coalition moving? Because a lot of times you see groups trying to come together and then for one reason or another, they really falter. Well, in our experience, there's a couple -- there's a couple of primary keys to success and one is the funding of coalition activities and the second the implementation of proposals. First, the coalition activities. You know, it's really important because people will only meet and gather to talk for so long. At some point, at some stage, they will say, okay, what are we going to do about it? We discussed it and now we need some money so we can actually go out and start doing something. And failure to really come together and to come up with some funding sources to help move the coalition from the discussion into action is critical to keeping that coalition together and keeping it moving. After you do start moving into this -- into the research and the analysis phase, the key for going beyond that is to start seeing the implication of some of the proposals and strategies that's coming out of that, because, again, folks only want to study things for so long. They want to be able to implement some of those strategies. So, again, the success or the potential success really influences the level of commitment. If they can see some results from the resources being spent then the member states are going to continue to be more committed. To the coalition. Some funding sources the target, again, there we list some funding sources the discretionary state funds. Those are the typical funding sources you see. Funding is an issue and there are really different funding levels based upon the different phases of your coalition and here we typically divide the coalition of the multijurisdictional phases. Then when it comes to funding issues if you look over building the coalition, the first phase, really members cough the cost and the costs are typically minimal because they are tying it into other association meetings. For phase two, when you go into the study and the research, this is where you start looking for federal earmarks and discretionary and formula type funding. And some of the local communities may want to chip in their own funds. And then when you go into that third phase which is the implementation and the coordination of projects funding is really scarce and that presents a major challenge for really how much do we see multi jurisdictional coalitions moving into that third phase? Again, the building the coalition that's really where you have your champion pushing the ideas. That's where they are getting all the members on board and then the group -- the group starts working on what are our visions our goals and plans. Really building the institutional framework for the coalition. And then you would move into your phase two for your study and your research, and that has why you will start, again trying to secure some funding to move that forward. Most of the time, you are going to look at hiring external resources, and then you actually start conducting some analysis. And then for phase free, what we see is coordination and that's due to the funding issue in large part. How much money are we talking about? For phase one, probably several thousand dollars. As you move into phase two, again, depending upon the size of the coalition and the scope of the issues or the scope of the study that you are looking at, normally you are talking between 1 and 5 million dollars and then, again, of course phase three is the most expensive where you could be talking about hundreds of millions and potentially even billions of dollars and so, again, states have limited resources. The fundings are scarce so we are not seeing a lot of multijurisdictional activity move into that phase three as of yet. Again, why is this important? Because trade transcends boundaries. Jobs in jurisdiction 4 depend upon jobs in jurisdiction 5. It controls our transportation projects and our transportation spending. So what the multi-state and jurisdictional approach is capable of doing is bring those jurisdictional, with common goals and issues under the same umbrella. And then if you wanted to expand your approach, you can also look at not only bringing in the public sector or the public agencies from the different coalition but start broadening that and the public. We have some greater benefits in terms of economic impacts, it increases your influence, just by the sheer number and multijurisdictional projects, it could open up some special funding revenues. So thank you very much.

J. Seplow:

Thank you, Paula. And, again, I do want to encourage everybody if you do think of any questions type them into the chat area. Let's move on to Dilara Rodriguez of the California Department of Transportation. She will be speaking about the national I-10 freight corridor study. Dilara just give me a second and I will let you know when you can begin. Okay, you can begin when you are ready.

Dilara Rodriguez:

Well, it's still morning here so I will still say good morning to everybody and good afternoon to the rest of you. I'm very happy to be joining all of you this morning to speak about the efforts of the I-10. What you will be hearing for the coming 15, 20 minutes is an effort that began, I can say now five years ago. That's when I joined the DOT. I was invited to come and begin the I-10 freight corridor study and, I'm still here so it must be a great place to work for the state. This effort really began more than five years, at one of the meetings and I'm mentioning that just to show the importance of when the state highway officials come and sit together, actually new ideas do come at that time. And, you know, Paula did an excellent job of giving discussions about the various corridors that exist within the united states, and I think that's what sort of the convert to when the various state highway DOT were gathered. They said why don't we look at the I-10? It actually flows from Florida to California and intersects eight states and since we're talking about ITS and technology why don't we look at the feasibility of looking at a separated highway system to move freight along the I-10. So that's the genesis of the whole I-10 partnership. That was before I came on board. When I came on board I was given the task that I need to do this whole effort in 18 months. I started scrambling on my own, calling the state DOTs and saying when you discuss this, here I am and I would like you to actually appoint somebody to become a partner and that's how we build the partnership within six months. Quite very fast track effort for California. For those of you that know our state DOT, we really take our time here in making things but since I was a novice with state rules and regulations, I think it was a -- it was an advantage to me to go out and do things very quickly. The eight states that I'm talking about, along the I-10 are California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. And what was unique about this effort is that the state highway DOTs came on their own. They were not prompted by any private sector entities or even federal entities to begin this partnership. We came on our own, to eight states and we sat together and we said we have a common issue. Freight is extremely important and especially when we talk freight, California is really one of the key states that deals with the issues and the impacts of freight. We're very grateful to have our ports here. It's great for the economy but you also -- it also puts a very heavy burden upon us, and, therefore, we -- it's a natural sequence that we would be initiating those discussions and talks. And it was extremely important to be able to get the other states to feel that they do have a role in being part of this partnership. So we came together, but for us to be able to -- we agreed that, okay, we need to do something and let's look at this body. Let's look at the feasibility of moving freight on our system. And the sense was around the table that we cannot really focus on one type of solution. We don't really have our hands around the problems so how can we look at only one type of ITS architecture in the separated highway system and do feasibility for 2500 mile stretch of the highway. If you talk about millions, you talk about billions, and the numbers are not there to be able to do something like this. So that's what became more focus around let's look at our issues, our needs and what can we do as eight states together, able to move freight along the I-10. And to be able to secure funding, we went into our SPR funds which is the state planning and resource fund. And that's how we were able to get money. The other partner that came to the table on their own which was wonderful addition to us was the office of freight operations and management and FHWA in DC. Harry Caldwell was the one that made the call and said, Dilara I heard of this. I would like to come to the table and here are a few of our dollars and it was a wonderful partnership from that time and it's still going on. To be able to look at what schedule I was facing, as I said I was hired for 18 months. That was the charge. They told me in 18 months, you need to come out with a study. When we designed a study was actually to be done in 18 months and we brought a consultant n board. If you look at the slides you notice that there are extremely similar to Paula's slides. We had Wilbur Smith do them except I tried to change the background color so you don't have the same colors all the way through. So Paula, tell Arno I had to change the colors. So coming back to the schedule, we looked into -- we began in 2001 and we had 18 months and we had a wonderful team, consultant team and actually they did work very closely together as a committee. The structure that we decided would work best for us is there would be one representative, from every advisory committee and then we would create a tearing committee that would meet on an as-needed basis but the technical advisory committee had to meet every month and a half to two months during the -- this effort of the 18 months, and we came -- we had one MOU between us and all the MOU said is we're putting the money together. We're asking the state of Texas to be the contract manager, because it's central within the eight states and it is the biggest state, putting the biggest dollar amount -- the way we decided on dollar amount was very simple math that actually the said of the state Texas department of transportation said let's put it by dollars so according to how many lanes you have in your state, you put your share of the funding and that's how we came up with the amount. Texas was very gracious to accept to be the contract manager and California became the technical manager, if you want to say or the product manager, and in that capacity I was also the chair of the technical advisory committee. We -- the fund also had very much been able to come together for the simple, without it, the states were not able to pay for out-of-state travel. So that by itself was a very good tool that we were able to use to tap into it and we set aside some dollars that were very specific for our out-of-fate travel to allow us to meet together -- our out-of-state travel to allow us to meet together. When we looked at -- you know, in our planning thinking, the state fund that we have -- in our urban centers. Our metro areas, we have very strong needs that we need to deal with near and then we have larger ruler areas that connect the states that we need to look at those issues and try to solve the movement of freight long term. And therefore when we decided on our time horizon for our planning we said we'll look into 2008 for the physical operation type of solutions and then we have midterm and long-term type of solutions that we will be looking at other types of technologies and things to link the various elements of I-10 together, within the corridor. The in the analysis we knew that there were different elements that had different impacts on the I-10. The I-10 is not the same all the way through. And I need you to stress that when we looked at the I-10 even when we talk about the corridor, ex-state decided what are the elements within that -- each state decided what are the elements within that corridor that they would like analyzed. When I say analyzed, I mean, border crossings, rail systems, a decisional system in southern California we cannot talk about freight without looking at the 710, which is that 22 north-south connector between Los Angeles and Long Beach that connects to the I-10. That was an addition on the system apart from a couple of other systems that run parallel to the I-10 is that we found were important. So everything the states within the partnership defined what are the elements or the segments that they would like to at on. But if you look at the ports you see how much we do and improvement of freight and the I-10 becomes a very crucial element when we're talking about the national movement of freight for the other states and it is very crucial to be dealt with immediately. We needed to understand what -- from the dollar value what is the economic impact of the I-10 corridor on trade and we looked at 2000 numbers as a base line and we saw that the trade value is we have around $1.4 trillion of trade, jobs that create around 10.5 million jobs and we have an earnings around $340 billion in earnings. So actually the I-10,s a corridor is a very strong economic engine. And when we start thinking about transportation, about spending, we actually need to also understand when we spend, what is the benefit that comes to it and those numbers started showing the partnership that something needs to happen with the I-10 because it is an important economic engine for the united states and the states individually.

One of the key slides and this is very important for me, for the -- for all of the team, this slide was very big eye opener. If you look closely at it, you will see we started with 2000 -- as I said this is our baseline year and then we projected for 2025 and we wanted to see actually what is occurring now in the year -- you know, currently on ground within the space of the I-10 and then if we don't do anything, how does the picture of the I-10 looks like? And why I said this is very important, because initially there were some of the states that said, well, the I-10, you have all of these issues about trade and you have all of these issues about congestion and air quality that you are dealing with but why is it important for me? Why me as a state of Alabama or Mississippi need to come and sit at the table with you? And when we showed the slide, actually, this was the day I remember that meeting when the states said we need to do something. Because if we sit down and do nothing, by 2025, actually our picture looks just like California. All that happens in California are red line just goes -- extends all the way to the border, which is really major for us, but for the other states, they will be come in the red catching up to where we are at this point and that became a very big issue in continuing the efforts of the partnership. All of a sudden all of the eight states felt it is crucial for them and it is not just a matter that I-10 flows within their state, that somehow they needed to be at the table with us. And the best case, when we're looking we did an evaluation of how many miles that by 2025, while we have now around 400 miles, by that time, 1.5 -- or -- you know, 1500 miles would be deficient. If you think about the whole corridor is 2500 miles, you can do the math and see that really most of it is going to become extremely deficient bi20, 25, which is not very far when you think about the long-range planning that we do. Then how many lane miles needed in the calculations? It turned out that we need over 5,000 miles, lane miles to be able to meet the needs by that time. We are talking about basic needs on the system. Given that we were eight states and eight states, as I said have their own different needs and our own different elements within the corridor with the 10 being the spinal cord that's connecting us. We thought that the best way to approach this analysis of this effort, actually creating a scenario. From the scenario is made up of different scenarios. So sort of you have a menu. You go to a restaurant and if someone is a vegetarian, have you a vegetarian plate or somebody loves meat, have you a meat plate and the same we felt that went the eight states that each state will have its own needs, that they need to meet the long term. And the scenarios could not just be one brush that will swoop all over the I-10 and somehow because we call ourselves a partnership, we should all be using the same type of solution or the same type of scenario to understand that, we did an analysis of -- different types of scenarios. The first one was wide sweeping, the second was architecture and truck auto separation, and multi -- the waterway corridors and this is for the states like Louisiana that has, you know, more of the water. It was something important for to us realize, and the urban truck bypasses and truck productivity and so forth. So those are the different scenarios that we enter ahead to start looking and doing analysis of. And the result of the analysis showed us that what -- for us to be able to catch up and be able to keep the system flowing not to get to the gridlock that that map showed us by 2025 that what is existing, the -- what has been programmed is around $8.6 billion, but the shortfall is for this system, is $12.6 billion, that would be needed by 2025. And that was another element that brought up the issue of funding. You know, then dollars are important for us to meet the needs. We have really a major shortfall in our -- you know, within the states. So that logically will mean that we need funding increase. We need to be able to make the case for funding increase, and -- but what is important is that we will not be able to make this work out, unless we look at the comprehensive congestion management plan. And this management plan needs to be freight specific, which means we need to look at the various elements, the various modes to be able to justify the needs and the increased funding. Does it make sense that we only focus on freight targeted approach? Well, if we look at what that straight mean, if you look at the system by 2025, the bottom line shows you with freight what happens on the system, and without freight. We know how freight is growing, how population is growing and how demand is increase, that's just within the eight states but for the whole nation, then it does make sense that we need to look at how can we find solutions and how can we find funding to be able to meet those different solutions that we are identifying on our way. So the comprehensive congestion management plan, there is the traditional of the OT strategies like adding more lanes, which, you know, many of the states are looking into. I will let you know that in southern California, you know adding lanes is something that we are looking at but it's really, very, very expensive. Just an example of the 71, the 22 miles, when we looked at the need to -- 710, the 22 miles when we looked at the need to relieve some of the congestion and the cost was $4.7 billion. Just for the 22 mile stretch. So that starts putting the picture and -- you know, if -- would you say that the glass is really half empty but, actually, you know we're trying to see what are other ways that we need to put in this management plan in order to relieve some of the congestion. And some of the other strategies like separation, rail, intermodal, boat services for the gulf states are all elements that should be within this congestion management plan for us. The I-10 then said, okay we need to I have a multi modal approach. We need to increase funding. We feed to link transportation and the economy so therefore every time we say we are spending dollars on the highway system, it becomes a positive thing. It is a positive way of spending dollars because it is improving on the system carrying the economy, creating jobs and keeping the trade flowing. We need to drive freight innovations. We need to be leaders in this effort and not just sitting there waiting for others to create solutions for us. When we looked at the -- at the model split between the states how all the modes are within the state, although the truck looked as being the most important by tonnage and value but we also have recognized that water and rail, those elements, those modes are really important. And therefore, the realization that we, as state DOT, while our immediate charge or main charge has always been highways we have realized that unless we step forward, the growth and the healthy growth and improvements on every single mode, the whole effort will fall on the shoulders of the highway system. And therefore, it is this multi modal management system, that needs to take place. So every single mode needs to be supported, developed so that we'll be able to relieve the need on the highway system and not have to be able to come up with billions and billions of dollars that actually we do not have. So what's the partnership role and, you know, Paula had this one, as I said, God bless Wilbur Smith, so some of the slides are similar. We never even had voting between us. We work by consensus, by respect, by listening to each other and find ways to come to the middle ground. So we do not have a -- you know, any powers, legal powers for us to be able to do something. We have to come on our own, as a coalition, as a partnership. We don't have a specific funding mechanism and as she said, nobody wanted to relinquish any of their own jurisdictions for the decision making with this effort. So what are the funding options then that we have? 4 -- maybe we could have obligating authority that will give us some of the existing funds. That was an issue for the DOT that maybe if we have more flexibility to be able to spend some of the funds that are designed for the states, we are able to divert those dollars for freight funding projects and also from the funding for international trade, since the highway system actually moves and improves and helps in moving international trade, why shouldn't we be able to tap into it. Maybe we'll look at user fee increases which is something that's already happening in southern California on each container, there's a fee being charged to be able to sort of balance the needs of the highway system. Then we have these opportunities to strengthen the existing programs and we need innovative funding. So what are the lessons we learned from the I-10 is study? That each interstate, the goods movement is extremely important not just within the state but also for the national economy. So if we improve on our system, we're improving on the national economy. I will use the example of the 710 again. If you recall, when we had the port closure, when the longshoremen refused to work and we shut down the -- the ports were shut down, the 710 became like a bowling alley for a few days until the cars discovered that there's a system they can drive on now that the trucks are out. And even our president to come to the table and actually direct the state and the -- the PMAs and so forth to talk to each other so they find a solution because it was impacting and training on the national economy and the needs of the nation. We need also, you know, to grow the pie over, meaning the state DOT that what we get from the state transportation bill, is not enough so we need to increase for funding for transportation which allows us more funding for freight-related projects and it should not be categorized. That was an important issue for the I-10. Also the I-10 architecture showed that if we spend -- for every dollar spent on the ITS architecture improvement, there's a $3 return. That scenario by itself proved to be one of the fastest, best to be dealt with since we don't have the billions of dollars needed to fix the highway side of the equation. And also we need to look into innovations and highway development of the mass slow concepts and so forth which are important for us as state DOT start evaluating and looking within our states. And also that all systems, all the elements are important. We need to evaluate not just the highway system but also the arterials. We need to look what can we do? An example was the alameda corridor in southern California. Took us 20 years to build that system but it worked with the highways and it's worked with the communities and the neighborhoods and the arterials to come up with a good solution. From the rail side we moved some of the rail on that alameda corridor. And we also need to prevent an appropriate intermodal shift of mobility so the burden does not fall on one system, or one more versus the other and that goes back to the point that we need to be able to improve on all systems to all of us and carry the weigh of the movement of freight. What are the future roles for the I-10 partnership. We need to promote the lessons learned from the I-10 study. In my role as the chair of the technical advisory committee, I have going to several national forums to speak about the importance of bringing the states together, how can we work on solving our problems? How can we work with our local jurisdictions to be able to solve the problem that we need to be able to bring the local partners to the table to solve these problems and we always need to serve as people who challenge innovations and basically we call them our war stories. We don't have any bad ones yet. We are still in the middle of that. From that step, initially when we started this effort, as I said it was an 18 is month effort and we thought we would close the books and move open, but by the time we finished the study, the whole partnership, there was a strong feeling that we cannot actually close the books and move on. We need to continue this effort on two tracks one is looking at how can we use one of the scenarios to build this, you know the next step, the deployment part of this effort, and the other one, that as long as we stay as an I-10 partnership, we will be able to have a solid choice when it comes for the authorization, as well as, you know the bill is still out there and it has not been fully, -- you know, it's not in place officially so there we have a chance of making freight be more recognized and more fundable. So we look -- the I-10 architecture proved to be the best return to the dollar and so we said, okay, let's look into the vision and it's called the integrated transportation exchange network, I-10 is. So -- and what it does is looking at the corridor wide architecture, so we go beyond the regional and statewide, and we start looking at how we connect state-to-state from the issues of commercial vehicles, the HAZMAT, the emergency, that's where we felt that we need to be able to coordinate between us. We have all of these local within our cities and county is but we need to be able to correct real-time with the shippers so that we'll be able to move the freights better. The first element of this I-10 is establish corridor wide capable of providing reassignment information for management and operations within the corridor. The second elements, sort the long range monitoring needs and the long range, also the rural areas need to be connected. Support -- the third element is to support the interjurisdictional architectural needs which all of us felt were important. And the first meeting we had for this effort was just a couple of weeks ago and we met here in Los Angeles. So this is still an ongoing effort, and we're hoping that we'll be able to find ways where each state will be able to work with a local partners on the issues of the technology and then we'll see how we can build the interconnectivity between the borders, the ports the rail, the highway, all together to move the freight on it. In closing I would like to stress back again the pooled fund was a very important element in making this happen, because without those dollars, we would not have been able to come out with the study and continue the partnership. And the importance of the federal role, I think them being at the table as partners was extremely crucial for us. It gave us more support and made this effort real. And always we need to -- when we are thinking as states we cannot stay within the boundaries of being just state DOTs. We need to see the role we have on the national level and that's one very important way of putting the states together in a solid voice to be able to influence some of the efforts that are going on the national level. So -- and -- and that's the end of my presentation. Thank you.

J. Seplow:

Thank you, Dilara. And now we'll move into the final presentation of the day, Travis Gordon of the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center. He will be providing a regional perspective on freight transportation in the upper Midwest. Travis, let me just get you set up, and I will let you know when you can begin. Okay. You can begin when you are ready.

T. Gordon

Thank you, Jennifer. Hello, my name is Travis Gordon, and I'm a researcher at the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center, and I'm happy to have the opportunity here to share some of my experiences overseeing the day-to-day activities of this regional freight effort that we've undertaken in the past few years here in the upper Midwest great lakes region. First, a little bit about the MRUTC, we get some questions about that, and we are the regional university transportation center for u.s. DOT region 5, and on this map that's every state except Iowa. The lead university in our consortium is the university of Wisconsin at Madison, that's where I'm located. We work with many other universities, either sponsoring research or part of the consortium. We teamed up with the university of Chicago and also the university of Toledo there on the eastern side of this corridor for a project named the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study. The entire map here shown really gives the area of this study, initially we were trying focus on I-80, 90 and 94 but I want to stress this was definitely a multi modal study. The data analysis was not locked into those interstates. Actually in capacity analysis for roads we included several other freight and important roads. We also looked at interwaterway systems and air cargo and railroads. We also included the province of Manitoba and Ontario after seeing almost right off the bat, the importance of their trade to this area of the upper Midwest. Today what I want to do is to first go over a couple of general areas that were talked about in the previous two presentations, by Paula and Dilara. And it's two areas of importance that I think kind of tie together all of these different regional groups that are working together in freight and that's the underlying fact that there is a regional element of freight, and that there are benefits of working together, specifically in a multi-state coalition that stems from this regional nature of freight. And then with any time left over, I will briefly go through some of the preliminary results that we're seeing from the upper Midwest freight corridor study, which is the initial effort here, for addressing freight transportation in the upper Midwest. The question I received a lot is -- especially at the beginning of this effort, is why take a regional approach? And I think it's a great question. I think it is a question that all parties that are involved with these coalitions need to seriously address. And my first answer is, well, it just makes sense -- it's common sense for the following reasons. When I say regional perspective, I don't mean that this regional approach should replace efforts that are going on at the state, city level or the national level. I think that a regional approach is a great compliment to these other efforts that are going on already and we're starting to see that here in the upper Midwest. To support the regional approach, as said earlier here on this talk, freight doesn't respect boundaries. You see the trucks going state-to-state, and ocean liners going from continent to continent and air travel going all over the world. The second reason is one that's common to a lot of multi jurisdictional efforts regardless of whether they are in freight or transportation even. It's just the fact that with issues, especially with freight, I argue, that the actions of one agency will have an effect on neighboring jurisdictions. Like I said, I think this is definitely the case with freight transportation. We worked with a small regional trucking firm here in Wisconsin and when there are changes in neighboring states to fees or to administrative processes, that definitely affects their operations, for better or for worse and it affects our shippers here in Wisconsin and other states around. So the actions of one state, or MPO or city will affect others. And then finally, there are significant amounts of interregional freight movements, we have some data to back it up here from the university of Illinois. And I'm going to get technical here and try to use the laser pointer. This chart shows, basically the amount of trade in dollars from Illinois, to a particular state in the region and to its top foreign trading partners. You see Canada there topping out at $6 billion in trade. Let's compare it to some of the trade going on in the -- to its neighboring states and even Wisconsin or Michigan, trade from Illinois to these states are three times as much as the entire country of Canada. I think that's important to look at. Since a lot of attention is focused on international trade and the importance. Well, let's not forget about regional trade as well. Going back to that question, why take a regional approach? Well, I also answer that there are definite benefits. And Paula hit those right on the head earlier on, the efficient use of resources the larger pool of resources and staffing, for our effort we saw that with the utilization of a pooled fund to support our study. One area -- one benefit that we didn't -- we didn't, I guess, realize the importance of right away, when we were planning this effort, was the fact that when we bring these states and MPOs and other stakeholders together in the region, there's going to be some informal sharing of plans and information in their challenges and actually as the effort went on, we increased this amount of networking time, as the states found this very valuable. Finally, I think another benefit of working from a multiple state approach, is that it begins to address some serious challenges to freight transportation planning in the public sector. The first has been termed burden sharing and burden sharing is the situation where a particular jurisdiction is burdened with the cost of a specific improvement, and that improvement, however, will have benefits that go outside and beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of the one that's paying for it. I think the prime example is in the port of LA and Long Beach. Improvements to the truck flows or rail flows with moving containers in that port may need to be born locally there, and I believe the benefits extend to every corner of this nation, when you improve the flow of containers through that major port. And so by working at least from a regional perspective, maybe we can start addressing this burden sharing. On the flip side, a lot of these states and cities are faced with problems that they can't solve alone. Some of the bottlenecks fall outside of the jurisdiction and I won't -- I won't get specific but a lot of people realize where there are some bottlenecks in this region and those definitely affect shippers and carriers and the general public in areas outside of that jurisdiction where the bottleneck is. So a couple of years ago, stakeholders in our region saw this. They began to realize the potential benefits. They also realized that there are other regions undertaking efforts like this and put together what is called the upper Midwest freight corridor study with the area that was outlined earlier here in this presentation; basically the area encompassing the great lakes stretching from Manitoba and Iowa in the west, Ontario and Ohio in the east. And let me give a brief overview here of the study. Truly a collaborative effort we have six state putting money into a pooled fund to support this study and then three universities located across the region working together, seven faculty members, several students, it was a definite exciting, collaborative effort; although it was also challenging, to say the least. The work was divided into five key areas. We'll go over that in a little bit. The time line -- officially the project started in August 2003, when the contract was signed -- but obviously a lot of preliminary work was being done before that. We are planning to have the final report released in February 2005, just a couple of months from now. It is currently in draft form and is being reviewed by our stakeholders and our state representatives. And I think the original objective and one that we've met here with this forthcoming report is that we're providing the stakeholders with information on the system and the importance of our freight transportation system in our region and at the same time, a few unique elements for this study that kind of set it apart from others that have been done. So, the first two areas of usage and capacity, both analyze publicly available data from different sources. And I'm just going to give examples of some analysis that was done and some of the maps and charts that came out of this analysis. This first one clearly shows the importance of our region in generating freight shipments. This is based on the commodity flow survey, 1997 data, it shows the percentage of freight shipments from that survey, originating in each state, compared to the national total, higher bars representing a higher percentage of the national total originating in that state. Our region, as you can see around the great lakes is a definite powerhouse, no matter what measure you are looking at, ton, ton miles or value, we generate approximately 25% of the freight shipments in the nation. We also utilized the freight tool from Federal Highway Administration, and this was interesting. This tool was able give the approximation of the makeup of truck traffic in certain points of the interstate system in our region, and here, I'm looking at three different points. In gray is a point near the Indiana Ohio border on the tollway. In orange we are looking in Iowa west of Davenport on I-80 and then northwest of the Twin Cities on I-94 and we break up the traffic in four different types. First pass through, which is freight moving through the region. It was not originating in the region and it was not destined for the region. Obviously a significant part of traffic in our region. And the next is freight coming to or from our region. From Texas to Michigan would be an external shipment or vice versa, Michigan to Texas or Florida would be an external shipment. Intraregional is next, and finally within one state in the region, which is intrastate. These numbers are not exact. You can't go out and do a survey and hit these numbers exactly but I believe it gives a good approximation of the makeup of truck traffic at these different points of the interstate system in this region and we -- these are just three of several more that we analyzed. Using data from the national level, as well as the state level and MPOs, we mapped the level of service conditions right now on the highway system, using data from the past several years and I don't think it is a surprise to anyone here that the level of service e & f are concentrated in the urban areas but I think what's of a concern to our stakeholders is that the level of service is deteriorating in the connections between the major urban areas, between Indianapolis and Chicago, Detroit and Columbus, Milwaukee and Chicago, so forth and so on. This is an interesting map to show the stakeholders. Using data available from the army corps of engineers we were able to plot the average amount of delay taking place in locks along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Larger circles represent a delay of three to four hours and while three to four hours may not be much for a grain shipment that's taking weeks to transit to its final destination, if you aggregate all of these delays together you see an increase of transit times of one to two days. And according to our stakeholders in the agricultural sectors this is a serious problem. They need to respond to the demand and market changes and obviously one to two day delay in transit times will hurt and this is just average, not during peak, which could see greater delays. Quickly moving on to the other three areas of the study I want to briefly go over a couple of the overall conclusions from the other parts. We looked at the administrative issues of moving freight in our region and specifically, the initial look was at size and weight regulations for motor carriers. And the overall conclusion that we're making is that while there may be benefits of standardizing and this would take place on the non-designated -- we're talking about the non-designated roads where there are definite differences from state to state for different reasons, some political -- there may be benefits but the costs outweigh those benefited. The cost of upgrading infrastructure and I personally believe the political cost alone, outweighs the benefits of trying to standardize. However, what we did find an opportunity for is moving forward on possibly looking at working together as a region, as we deploy the ITS applications for commercial vehicles, the CVISN elements, e-screening, weigh-in-motion. Another part of the study was looking at performance measures for freight transportation. And the one area I just wanted to point out here is that through -- we compiled a lot of literature that has been done, studies that have been done in this area, we also supplemented that with interviews and surveys of stakeholders in our region. And what was found was that the six areas, safety, economics, environment, reliability, and congestion, the performance measures suggested by these groups could be grouped into these six areas. So it's kind of interesting this. Might be a starting point for the public and private sectors to work together. Since these are from surveys and interviews of the private sector as well. And the public sector. So there may some opportunities to move forward in here; although as many of you know, this is a challenging task and one that's been looked into in the past. Finally the synthesis of practices. I went over some of that information earlier. We tried to compile and report about the benefits of multi-state cooperation and why is it a good thing for the states of our region. And then we looked at several case studies from around the country, including the I-95 corridor coalition so we could maximize and learn from what they have done and learn from their challenges as well. At this point, things are not crystal clear on the long-term -- the long-term goals of this effort. Some are due to reauthorization, but I think that no matter where we move, we have momentum going right now. We have a good group of states now working together and communicating, and I think no matter which way we go, where a certain program will take us or -- or the reauthorization will take us, I think that these three keys, communication, coalition, and coordination are very important no matter what. Communication is important. We need to keep these efforts on the front burners of the state DOTs and the MPOs. If we just let this report be released and then just let it sit there, that's not going to be beneficial for anyone involved with this. The coalition part of this is what we're looking into formalizing -- looking into formalizing these states and provinces into what would be called the Midwest transportation coalition. And then finally coordination, I believe this is the most important part, because as I keep researching freight in our region and these coalitions keep popping up in different parts of our region, either overlapping or cutting through or encompassing our entire region, I can name probably a dozen of these corridor coalitions that somehow impact our area, and already I have been talking with the North America super corridor coalition folks down there in Dallas because I-35 cuts right through our western part of the corridor and seeing how we can work together because I just think we're duplicating efforts when we're all working towards similar goals and all studying the same thing, and duplicating our efforts. So definitely need to coordinate more, and that is something we're actively doing right now. And, again, hopefully when reauthorization and some of these programs become a little more clear, we'll have a better picture of where we're going in the long term, and with that, I'm finished. Here's some contact information. We have a web site, which will have the report when it is released -- posted up there, currently a lot of the presentations that we have given over the past couple of years are posted up there. Ernie is our director and the director of the freight study and the overall efforts. His contact is there and so is mine. And I thank you very much. This is a great forum.

J. Seplow

Thank you, Travis. I hope everybody has found these presentations interesting. I'm going to go ahead and leave this last slide up there for a little bit so you can copy down that information. I'm now going to start o start off question-and-answer session with some of the questions posted online. If we run out of time and your question is not addressed we'll post them to the freight planning listserv. I'm going to go backwards in the order presenters and since Travis just ended I will go ahead with a question for you. The question is: when do the coalitions plan on deploying a regional freight management system?

T. Gordon:

I can't speak well on that. I guess I look for more information on what exactly they mean, a regional freight management system. That's -- that's nothing that's at the serious stage at this point, I guess.

J. Seplow:

Okay. And to the person who asked that question if you do want to clarify, please feel free to type in a little more information there. Let's see I'm now going to go ahead and ask the question to Dilara. What specific freight-related ITS information are proposed in the ITS architecture and corridor wide ITS vision

D. Rodriguez:

As I indicated, we're just beginning. We have -- we only this one meeting where we're looking at what actually exists within our states what are the efforts we are doing. We have not -- we not moved to any further states. We hope by spring, we should have it a more defined set of elements, and the best architecture between the states on the I-10.

J. Seplow:

The next question for you is how do you address the potential of shifting freight from highway to rail?

D. Rodriguez:

As I indicated, when we looked at the different systems we realized that, you know -- we solved the highway problem, not the freight problem. Most of the freight moves in containers on trucks we needed to maximize on every single other mode and what we mean by maximizing, let me give you an example. I mentioned the alameda corridor in southern California but that is a corridor and an effort that took over 20 years before it became a reality. A couple of years ago I was actually -- it's moving freight on it. There are other efforts with the major rail companies like UP and BNFS That we are trying to work closely with on the state level to see how we can facility their efforts and expanding maybe on the system that they have, or being able to partner and get additional funding for them to do improvements with the hope that any sort of shift that we put on them will take some trucks off the highway system.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. The next question is for Paula. You mentioned that there are a number of common features of successful coalitions. Beyond the assuming the unsuccessful coalitions lack some or all of these features are there additional features that unsuccessful coalitions share?

P. Dowell:

Well, I think probably the primary factor that's missing for and really one of the reasons that coalitions start to dissolve is that they can't obtain funding to move into the next step. Again, they do really well in getting the parties involved and getting them to the table and get the discussions going but at the end of the day if they are -- if they don't have the funding to move into the next step and actually start doing something, such as implementing a study or -- you know, it's just -- you are not going to get people to continue to come to the table just to meet for the sake of meeting and discussing if they don't feel that there will be any benefit or -- or any further actions up on these discussions. And, you know, there's a couple coalitions that come to mind that have really ran into this -- this particular fate. So, again, for unsuccessful coalitions, I think that that's really the primary factor that leads to their demise. The other big issue is that you have to make sure that you continue to address issues and policies that -- that really benefit all of your members. If you start straying away from some of those common issues and start getting in and start trying to tackle issues that may pit one state against another state, then that is also going to lead to the demise of a coalition.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. The next few questions I will ask of all presenters. First question is, how will a patchwork agglomeration of coalitions produce an effective national freight system? How are these coalitions being coordinated? Paula, I will start with you and get your thoughts on that.

P. Dowell:

Well, I think, again, this is an issue and, I know recently we have been having some discussions with the office of the secretary on this very issue. Is that you have a lot of states and have you a lot of group of states who are taking it upon themselves and, you know, volunteering to start looking at these issues and if the states actually start moving into an implementation phase, you are going to have the potential for disconjointed national freight system and so, I think -- I think, again, federal level, they are still trying to define what their role should be in trying to organize some of these coalitions. Now to the positive side, I can say that during a recent presentation of the LATTS study to the office of the administrator, at the FHWA, the major conclusion that came out of that was that the FHWA really felt, you know, really highly regarded the fact that the states were coming together on a voluntary basis. And Cindy Burbank added that she thought there should be some way for the FHWA to start to recognize and to promote and to reward the states for doing so and that the FHWA needed to be more involved in these multi jurisdictional coalitions and as a result of that meeting, and kind of the conclusions that came out of that meeting I do know that they have asked a couple individuals to take a look at some of the multi jurisdictional language that's in the reauthorization bill.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. Dilara, would you like to add anything to that.

D. Rodriguez:

I think, first, I'm very pleased to hear what Paula has said. I wasn't aware that things were happening. So that's great. I think I would like to add that within the states, there are different, you know -- for example, the I-10 goes east-west, most of the corridors are north-south and in this case, many of the I-10 states have corridors that are already established that go within them or touch the I-10. And I think there needs to be more coordination and work with those new corridors or existing corridors. We have the west coast corridor coalition that is looking at the I-5 connecting Mexico to Canada through the three western states and it does cross the I-10 so we're working closely with them trying to get our issues and points together from the California stateside. So that could start building a different type of linkages if you want to look at the system, and any help from the federal side will actually make -- mobilize and make things become reality.

Travis:

Okay. And Travis, do you have any thoughts to add?

T. Gordon

I agree with the thrust of that question, and, like I said, you know, we need to coordinate these efforts going on in particular regions, and I know our -- my director and a representative from Ohio DOT attended an event in Chicago of the border trade association, something like that. Representatives of a lot of these regional coalitions were there and that was one way to try to work together, but I -- I'm really excited on how our work is going to go with this work of the North American supercorridor coalition. I'm interested to see how we can work together, because at some point, it will become competitive, and it's just going to be an interesting thing to see.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. The next question I will ask each of you is. Most coalitions are led by and consist of state DOTs. How can DOTs attract economic development organizations to the table? Dilara let's start with you since you are coming from a state DOT.

D. Rodriguez:

How can we -- can you repeat it? Sorry.

J. Seplow:

The question was most coalitions are led by and consist of state DOTs. How can DOTs attract economic development organizations to the table?

D. Rodriguez

The approach that you are doing here and as I began to say that freight is actually a very important issue for us in the state and mainly in southern California. Through our local partners we are working very closely with the regional agency to MPO here. We're working with the county commissions and we're working with various -- we have a couple of economic forums that we are working through, trying to identify specific projects that all of us agree upon, and once we get agreement, then we start looking at ways we could fund them and how do we plan them. Meaning if one project falls within the parameters of county commission a, let's say is Los Angeles, and that is extremely crucial for moving freight, versus another project that is very important regionwide, but might not need to be done within the coming six years, but hold up for the coming ten years then we need to come with a common agreement and this way we'll be able to influence funding and the prioritization of where the money would be, would be going and in that, start bringing the different modes to the table, the private sector that would be putting money to month the freight for them.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Travis, do you have any thoughts on this question.

T. Gordon:

It's hard enough to get all the DOTs to one table. So, you know we have to start slow and small first, but, we're going to -- we keep kicking out some information that it makes point of how transportation is important to jobs in any kind of sector. I mean I love this one report that we are borrowing from another group, that shows how our freight system keeps our agricultural products competitive in the world markets and some of the private sector associations eat that stuff up. I think that's one way. Just keep feeding them. You can't force them to come to the table but keep vetting nice information out to them and slowly and surely, I think we'll get it because this is the type of question -- and I think I saw that was from Minnesota DOT. It's come up several times in our meeting.

J. Seplow:

Okay. And Paula?

P. Dowell:

Well, I think a successful way to get your economic development organizations to the table is through the use of a private sector coalition. If you can get a private sector coalition partner, those are normally really generated out of your chambers of commerce and out of your trade associations and your economic development offices, and I know two coalitions that really the private sector organizations have to have really -- really sort as a champion in many cases and that's the I-95 coalition and then the continental 1 coalition so that's a good way to get them to the table another way is to develop an outreach program and I know the Latin American trade and transportation study they developed an outreach and an information in the nation program. And so that particular coalition has spent a lot of time going to the -- to the state economic development offices, to the local communities and disseminating and making presentations and really tying that back into the region's economy and the state's economy.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Let's see the next question we have here is why are most coalitions focused on a highway corridor rather than a multi modal corridor or regional approach. I will just open it up to any of you. Do any of you have any thoughts on that?

P. Dowell:

I think one reason is, remember, traditionally a lot of our state DOTs, you know were highway departments. It's only been, you know, within the recent past, you know -- and this is not all inclusive but, you know, I think a majority of them within the recent past that they really started to become more of a multi modal type agency. And then I think that maybe the idea focused on highway corridor is a little misleading because I know several of the studies including a couple of ones talked about today, were really a multi modal approach. I go back again to the Latin American trade and transportation study. Again, that was a very regional approach. It was no single corridor that was driving that and what was developed out of that was really a strategic transportation system and it did an analysis of all the modes which was highway, your rail, your water and your air, and so, again, I think that the perception that a lot of these are just corridor -- highway corridor study may be a misleading in and of itself.

T. Gordon:

Like I showed initially we did tag those interstates as the corridor and, you know, I think it's easier for certain politicians to understand the corridor when they hear it in roads, you know when we start talking about multi modal, I mean it gets a little too complex or something. So keeping it on the roads might keep it simple.

D. Rodriguez:

I would like to add that what Paula said about, you know, since -- state DOTs, the original thinking or the old thinking has always been that we are the highway engineers and that thought has changed. In fact from the days of ITS there has been more openness and understanding that the road is not limited just for building the highway and maintaining the highway but actually we have a major role in being able to bring all the modes together, for improvements on the system. And that's was part of the thought that if I improve on waving the rail, the freight on the rail, within southern California I will be taking away from the need -- or I will give the chance of the highway system to breathe a little bit until I have a better way, a better solution long term. So we have -- we have moved far from where we initially were the highway department started to be, and now with the issue of -- the national safety, the highway systems were built, you know the interstate highways they were built for movement, for the national safety. So sort of the importance of the highway system is back to the picture on different level not just moving freight, but people, when you talk about state to state, it the DOT that has the power to start thinking about what happens on the borders and that does not take away the power or the importance of the local partners. That's the biggest challenge in front of all of those partners just that we should be able to come back to the table within our own states and our own responsibilities to work with the local partners.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. We have one more question typed in here. This one is for Dilara, since have you had been working on your ITS related projects. The question is -- and this is more of an opinion are we assigning too much credit to ITS in terms of the solving mobility problems?

D. Rodriguez:

I don't know if it's over assigning. The best investment, the fastest and the best return on our investment, meaning if we spend a dollar on ITS-type architectural projects, it will be able to relieve some of the congestion needed faster, with less dollars than if we go and try to find funding for highways while we are not able to do any sort of solutions. I think for the fast near term, ITS architecture is proving itself to be this mobile, dynamic tool that we have at hand that is not extremely expensive. It is not like building highways where every single lane mile is millions of dollars basically. So that's where the importance is there. It's no the savior of all, but as a tool, it's a very good one near term.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. We've had a few more questions typed in the meantime. This one, again, is for all presenters. How can states in regions that are not currently involved in a multi jurisdictional coalition to address freight issues or don't see the benefits of such initiative develop a coalition or be enticed to do so. Travis, let's start with you.

T. Gordon:

I don't know what state isn't in a coalition right now. Hawaii? But, really, I think that the benefits, you know, I really feel strongly about this, if there are true benefits of taking a regional approach and federal highways in their freight office has several documents outlining that information, and so if they don't see the benefits they should look at this. But if they are not currently involved in the coalition -- I think the better question would be if they are involved in, you know, three or four different coalitions, and some of the states in our area are, I know Texas has the challenge of not promoting one corridor or the other. So if they're not involved, I think more importantly you need to first sell the benefits.

J. Seplow:

Paula, would you like to add anything?

P. Dowell:

Yes. Actually I see that the question is from Caroline Marshal and I happen to know Caroline is from ARC in Georgia and, you know, I would like to point out that I think one of the issues there might be, from an MPO perspective, because a lot of times these multi-state or multi regional coalitions are led by the state DOTs and so it may be an issue of the state DOTs not bringing the MPO into the coalition-type studies because I do nor a fact that Georgia is currently in a couple of different coalitions and I feel, again, that's probably not just -- not just a factor within Georgia but could be a factor across a lot of these coalitions, is that with the state DOTs being the lead agencies for the state, you know, how much do they really involve their MPOs? And so that may be the bigger question, or the bigger issue.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you and Dilara, would you like to add anything?

D. Rodriguez:

I think I would like to give one example of where the region here, the regional agency has been trying for the last -- I can't -- I can say safely eight to ten years to create a four state partnership with six Mexican states and it's -- it started with our mp and they tried to build that partnership with the states of Arizona, new Mexico and Texas, and they are bordering Mexico. And then the six Mexican states the northern Mexican states and to date they have not been able to do that. One of the key reasons that I believe strongly, is that when you are talking on issues that have to do with national state-to-state or have to do international, like, you know, working with Mexico, or with Canada on the northern side, you need to be able to involve the state DOT. The initiative started with total isolation of the state DOT and still continues date not involving the state DOTs and therefore the state DOTs have not moved to support their MPOs on this effort and this effort has not moved far. So that's -- you know, in a sense, there are roads and response -- roles and responsibilities and to be tuck successful as a region, you need to be able to go to the state and work together with the state and together you are a partnership trying to build a partnership with another neighboring state.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. We have one more question typed in that I will ask of everybody. The question is, how are the freight operators included in the freight coalitions? Dilara, if you would like to start off.

D. Rodriguez:

In our case here, when we -- when we started this whole effort, one of the key elements were that we needed to go to our stag holders meaning all of the freight operators, all of the -- stakeholders, meaning all of the freight operators and all of the agencies and listen to them and take guidance from them, about where do we need to focus? How do they see the issues are and help us in identifying them. That's how we initially started with this whole effort instead giving to them at the end and telling them, well we completed this thing. We went from the beginning and we invited them to come to the table and we had 13 stakeholder meetings between the eight states, two in southern California, three in Texas and so forth, depending on the length of the I-10 within the state. And they were extremely successful. Many of the issues were similar between the states. And it helped us to have a much more stronger, solid base to start this effort on. Now what we try to do is using, going through our regional partner, you know I go to the MPO and talk to them about what you are doing and try to meet in the meetings that we have, the task forces, that we have for the region, try to go out to the rail operators, to the ports and bring the issues to them and see how they are willing to support us with them.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Travis, I will turn to you next.

T. Gordon:

That's an excellent question. That's a loaded question that we could talk for hours on, but for our efforts here, we have an advisory committee that we invited, associations from across the region. We really focused on the associations for shippers and truckers. Obviously there aren't too many railroads anymore so we focused on the big ones and some of the associations of the smaller ones and their opinions were definitely heard in the surveys regarding performance measures and some of the administrative issues from the truckers side but, you know, I think the -- the approach of I-95 and the I-10 coalition have taken were outstanding. I think those public outreach meetings were done very well.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Paula do you have anything to add?

P. Dowell:

Well, again, I think that it is very important that the freight operators get involved and I think the different coalitions have done it at a different level. The one thing that I would like to add is that the FHWA is soon going to be having a national workshop coming out on how to engage the private sector or the freight operators in the freight planning process and so I think that this is an issue that you are starting to see done more on an MPO or state level basis, but I think that there could, indeed be some improvements to -- to how we integrate the freight operators and the private sector at the multi-state and the multi jurisdictional levels.

J. Seplow

Thank you. Well, at this point, it's about 2:30, so I am going to close out the seminar. If you do think of other questions, the presenters' email addresses are up on the screen and you can also post them to the freight planning listserv. I would like to thank all the presenters for today, and thank everybody in the audience for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website. The next seminar will be held on January 19, and is titled "Freight's Role in Economic Development: Success Stories from Urban and Rural Areas". We will have speakers sharing economic development success stories from a number of areas across the country. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. We have now posted the seminars through June 2005 and you are encouraged to register for those seminars as well. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so.

Again, thank you, everybody, and enjoy the rest of your day.

Updated: 03/29/2011
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