Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
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 Freight and Livability.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.
Today we will have three presenters: Chip Millard from the Federal Highway Office of Freight Management and Operations, Dwayne Fitzgerald from Coca-Cola, and Michael Kray from the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Chip Millard has been a transportation specialist with the Office of Freight Management and Operations since March 2008. In additional to providing situational awareness for freight issues to FHWA staff and managing activities for the FHWA Freight Council, Chip is involved in FHWA livability efforts by working to ensure freight needs are considered while promoting livable communities. Prior to joining FHWA, Chip worked as a transportation and land use planner for almost eight years for the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Dwayne Fitzgerald has been with Coca-Cola Refreshments in Atlanta, Georgia in many different capacities for 27 years. He currently manages a team of distribution specialists for the Southeast Region of the USA. He is the third generation of his family to work for Coca-Cola. His grandfather was one of the original distributers and salesmen.
Michael Kray has been a principal planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission since 2007 serving as freight program manager since 2009. He was a project manager for the Atlanta Strategic Route Master Plan, ASTRoMaP, completed in 2010.
Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.
One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please note that today's seminar is not yet available on the AICP web site. I will send out an email to everyone who registered once it is available for credits. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Freight and Livability. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Our first presenter will be Chip Millard from the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations.
Thank you Jennifer and thank you all for attending the webinar. Freight and livability seem to be a topic of great interest. I am guessing that most people want to see how the two go together. I will start off with a brief overview of freight transportation for the people that know more about livability. I will also give a definition of livability for those people who know more about freight transportation. The bulk of the presentation will be about the similarities between freight and livability. I will provide information discussing how freight can help support livability and information about how freight goals and livability goals are consistent. This information will be tied into the Sustainable Communities Partnership core livability principles.
I want to start out by talking about the importance of freight and livability for the USDOT. As it indicates on this slide, freight is a USDOT priority. Freight is a key component in supporting the US economy and trade, and it is integral to President Obama's goal to double US exports between 2010 and 2015. Livability is also a USDOT priority. The USDOT has been involved in the Sustainable Communities Partnership and was one of the primary evaluation criteria with the TIGER grants. Livability is tied to the increasing the quality of life.
I want to talk briefly about freight transportation to give people an idea about how it works in terms of different modes. The freight transportation modes used can be explained by this service-cost continuum slide. The modes shown on the left tend to be faster and used for time sensitive shipments or those of higher value. On the right side of the slide are the modes that tend to be used for goods that have a relatively low value relative to weight. These goods do not need to move quickly, such as bulk shipments. The key point here is that certain goods tend to move by a certain mode or modes. If you have goods that are high-value, time sensitive, and/or perishable, they go on faster modes of transportation such airplane, truck, or in some cases intermodal rail. Goods will be transported by air if they need to get there immediately. Shipments that are lower value or have lower time sensitivity tend to go by a slower mode of transportation, such as ships, rail, or for liquid shipments, pipelines. Sometimes there is discussion about shifting freight from one mode to another, such as to get trucks off the road etc. In some cases, there are opportunities to do that but in other cases because of the types of goods that are being shipped and the needs of the people receiving the shipments, or the manufacturers producing the shipments, goods are going to go by certain modes. It is important to understand that. It is also important to understand that trucks will often handle the last mile of shipment. You usually don't have railroad, water port, or airport infrastructure located at businesses to handle the shipment directly.
I want to talk briefly about what livability is. Livability is about tying the quality and location of transportation facilities to broader opportunities such as access to good jobs, affordable housing, quality schools, and safe streets. This includes addressing capacity issues on roads with appropriate planning, infrastructure design, and traffic management tools such as ITS. One of the key considerations with livability is to understand it recognizes the unique character of each community. Livability has applications in all types of settings. It can be urban, suburban, or rural. Livability is about trying to maximize transportation accessibility regardless of where the community is located.
The following slide shows the six core livability principles identified by the Sustainable Communities Partnership. Five of the six core principles, the ones shown in bold, either have freight transportation directly supporting the core principles or freight needs are consistent with the livability core principles. In discussing the ties between freight transportation and each of the livability core principles, I will show the definition for the principle and then explain its connection to freight transportation.
Enhancing economic competitiveness is the livability core principle where there is the closest tie between freight transportation and livability. Freight transportation is essential for picking up and delivering goods produced and consumed in livable communities. If goods cannot be picked up easily and delivered to places such as restaurants and stores, the community's livability is reduced. In addition to goods pickup and delivery, freight transportation supports many jobs in the community. Some of those jobs, including well paying jobs, are actually at major freight facilities like ports, rail yards, or intermodal facilities. Land use zoning is often a key connection point when trying to enhance freight transportation through livability.
This slide includes an example showing the Port of Baltimore. You can see that over 50,000 jobs are created by the Port of Baltimore. A large tax base is created by the port. However, it is important to remember that the port handles discretionary or non-local freight movement and faces competition from other facilities along the East Coast. Also, the location of facilities, such as ports on waterfront land, can also make them susceptible to non-freight related pressures and non-facility related traffic issues. Waterfront areas can also be attractive for residential and commercial uses, which if implemented in pre-existing, active industrial locations can reduce freight transportation efficiency and negatively impact livability. Less efficient freight facilities become less economically viable, which can have a negative impact on the number of jobs in the community.
This next slide shows Baltimore's inner harbor. It has been very successful for the city of Baltimore as a tourist attraction. It also provides livability benefits for people who live in the Baltimore area, especially those who live or work near the Inner Harbor. Waterfront development is very attractive for different kinds of residential and commercial uses. However, that type of development can create challenges when it occurs in areas with existing, active industrial development. These challenges can threaten the port's viability.
In order to address development issues on the port, the city of Baltimore created a new industrial district in 2004 to preserve the existing industrial port related uses. This also limited residential and commercial uses in the area for a ten year period. The special zoning district helps preserve pre-existing economically viable industrial developments and protect the job generators in the region.
We will now move on to the next livability core principle, which is value communities and neighborhoods. This is another principle where there is a strong tie between freight transportation and livability. For this principle, freight transportation can either support or undermine livability. It depends upon whether or not freight transportation needs are appropriately considered in planning efforts and implementation. Some of the latter bullet points on the slide are key considerations when talking about communities and neighborhoods. You have to get your goods into the community if you want a livable community. It is desirable in many communities to be able to walk to different stores and restaurants. However, if you can't get the goods into the community it becomes a real problem for the stores in the community and for the community as a whole in terms of sustaining livability.
This slide shows the issues and challenges that occur if there is not appropriate types of planning or thought in terms of residential development and accommodating freight transportation within the community. The slide shows residential development that was put near pre-existing freight facilities. That creates problems for the community. You have trucks passing through the community which is not desirable from a livability perspective. It also has a negative impact on freight transportation because you have residential development and people complain about the traffic. There is a negative impact both on livability and on freight transportation due to poor land use choices.
The next slide shows a different perspective about not properly considering freight needs or freight transportation within the community. It shows a picture of a sidewalk that has been torn up because trucks have been driving over the sidewalk. The roadway and sidewalk design was not appropriate relative to the existing truck traffic. This has negative impacts on freight transportation as these trucks are driving over the curb. It also has negative impacts on livability because having cracked up sidewalks reduces pedestrian mobility, especially for handicapped people.
Changing gears, this slide shows a more positive accommodation of freight transportation within a community. This slide shows parking for curb side truck delivery; goods are being delivered in an urban area. Trucks can park along the street in designated delivery areas and easily deliver their shipments to the businesses. This enhances freight transportation. There are also livability benefits as truck delivery parking areas reduce double parking and help ease congestion. It also helps improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians trying to move around the parked vehicle. Again, proper a combination of freight transportation needs for freight deliveries can be beneficial for livability.
Freight transportation needs often are not appropriately considered in communities; logistic needs are often an afterthought in planning and site development review processes. The important thing is to realize is that under-emphasizing freight transportation needs can restrict freight transportation efficiency and negatively affect a community's economic vitality. Likewise, overemphasizing freight needs can make walking, biking, and public transit less attractive. The key is trying to find the right balance between non-freight livability and freight transportation needs to help make the community attractive.
We will move on to the next core livability principle: supporting existing communities. The key point is that with freight transportation there are opportunities that exist to consolidate freight functions both at brown field sites and at new sites. When consolidating the freight uses within a metropolitan area you are able to increase the freight efficiency because you reduce the distances between complementary freight-oriented facilities. You also can reduce the impact on the community as a whole because instead of dispersing freight-related development, you concentrate it at a small but appropriate number of locations. As a result, most of the community is not impacted as much by freight transportation. Additionally, when freight uses are consolidated into hub locations, intermodal freight movement can be more easily supported in areas where the necessary infrastructure is in place. This infrastructure includes not only transportation infrastructure, but also utilities.
This slide shows an example of a freight village or hub. This is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. You can see from the bullets that there is access to different freight modes here, including highways, Class I railroads, and both cargo-dedicated and large commercial airports. Some freight villages also include office, residential, and/or recreational uses. It should be noted that not all freight hubs or villages have other land uses such as office, residential, and recreational uses, but those that do try to maximize the benefits of having jobs nearby while minimizing the negatives of having freight nearby. The next slide shows a picture of a freight hub site or freight village site. You can probably see some of the roadways on here. Union Pacific has a rail line located on the right side of the slide.
Another livability core principle where livability and freight transportation have ties to one another is coordinating policies and leveraging investments. With this principle there is consistency between livability goals and freight transportation goals. It is trying to get more bang for the buck by trying to get more public and private funding sources to increase the ability to implement necessary transportation projects. Some of these projects provide ancillary livability benefits.
The Chicago CREATE project is an example of coordinating policies and leveraging investments for freight transportation. For those who are not familiar with the program, CREATE stands for Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program. This is a program in Chicago to reduce transportation conflicts, primarily rail conflicts, between passenger rail and freight rail. It also focuses on reducing the number of at-grade crossings. The needs were identified by different stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels and the railroads themselves. They have all contributed funding to making these improvements. They are getting greater benefits because different entities are at the table.
This slide shows where some of the improvements are located. You can also see the kinds of improvements, mainly grade separations such as rail-rail separations and highway-rail separations. This includes various improvements to enhance both freight and passenger transportation in the Chicago area.
The last core livability principle I'll discuss is providing more transportation choices. Like the coordinating policies and leveraging investments principle, with this principle there is consistency between freight transportation goals and livability goals. It is USDOT's objective to support freight movement on the most environmentally freight mode for as long as possible. Likewise, many freight movements often require or are best served by intermodal solutions. However, as was noted previously, almost all freight will be shipped by truck for the last few miles. There can be situations where providing more transportation choices provide benefits to both freight and passenger transportation. This will enhance both freight and livability. An example is the Chicago CREATE Englewood Flyover project, a rail to rail separation between two very active rail lines. One of the lines is a freight line that handles about 46 Norfolk Southern trains per day, as well as 14 Amtrak trains per day. The other line is a commuter rail line that handles about 78 METRA trains per day. The grade separation will provide mobility benefits, reduces congestion, reduces emissions, and helps improve air quality. The following slide includes a picture and a diagram of the flyover project. The actual separation is near the center point of the picture. Below you can see a diagram of what the separation looks like.
That wraps up my presentation. Thank you again for letting me talk about freight and livability. I will be taking questions at the end.
Thank you. Our next presentation is going to be given by Dwayne Fitzgerald of Coca-Cola. Dwayne, you can go ahead and get started.
Good afternoon. My name is Dwayne Fitzgerald. Thank you Jennifer for the introduction and thank you Chip for the wonderful presentation. I want to talk about our delivery process and how we live day to day and sustainable communities but also everyday activities.
Coca-Cola strives to be a good neighbor to the Earth and an excellent corporate citizen. At the same time we are in business to put a product out. We have to be very concerned and open and listen to everyone's ideas. We want to do the right thing for everyone. We are the world's largest producer and distributer of non-alcoholic beverages. Our products are served in over 200 countries at 1.7 billion servings per day. That is a large number. This large number requires a large fleet of trucks on the road and in communities every day. You see our trucks acting as rolling billboards throughout your cities.
One thing that has helped reduce traffic on the road is that we have reduced the amount of trucks and deliveries at one time but at the same time we increased the amount of product we sell. How have we done that? I will get to that later.
Just in the Southeast region, to bring you down from 50,000 foot view to about a 5000 foot view. This is the area I am concerned with being from the Atlanta office. We operate in six states and deliver about 1 million cases per day. We have 1,100 delivery routes just in the Southeast region alone.
Over the years, our vehicles have improved from horse and buggies to the open trucks and then to a truck like you see on the right side. At the same time and this is a 44 year view in Atlanta, it is quite a change. On the left, there is more traffic going southbound 85 now in 2011 than there was on the entire connector in both lines 44 years ago. If it has changed that much in 44 years, what will it look like by 2050? It is a pretty scary view if we don't start talking about it now. That is why we want to be involved in these discussions. We want to create collaborations and partnerships with the USDOT. We can help to get input. I will refer back to the picture of the cracked sidewalk in Chip's presentation. That is a pretty common sight in Atlanta, and probably in your city as well. We may not be able to change the past but we can help design the future. That is where some of these collaborations between companies like ours and other people will help give that input. All of us do our good deed to be the great neighbor to the Earth and to the sustainable community while also staying in business. With that said, what is our process?
Customers place their orders through a sales person or by phone. The orders are transmitted electronically to a central dispatch location. That part is my area. It comes to my team of 30 people. They are reviewed for a particular distribution center and determined a best mode of transportation. The orders are optimized via software basing the decision on customer time windows, geography, and workload of drivers. We have a lot of things to look at. If everyone could accept a delivery 24 hours a day 7 days a week, everything would be much easier. Add to all that, traffic. Traffic is worse in some areas. Everyone has their own challenges with that. We use all of this information and we optimize it with the software. We say "here is the task at hand and here is how long it should take." We complete those routes and send them to distribution centers throughout. They are loaded on trucks and delivered.
What challenges do the drivers face? Customer time windows are the biggest challenge. You can only deliver during times they specify, for any number of reasons. For example a large grocery store chain may only have a receiver that specifically just receives orders from other vendors. Just like Coca-Cola, potato chips, etc. Their entire job is spent receiving those orders and verifying invoices. They have certain times that those people can work. That is one of the big obstacles. Traffic congestion is a challenge obviously. Any number of things can happen that takes the driver off course. Once he has missed one delivery time, the rest of his day is probably downhill from there. He will likely miss the rest of them because of the first one.
There are areas that don't allow deliveries in certain time ranges. We have a grocery store that doesn't allow deliveries until after 9 AM. This is because the residents in the neighborhood do not want to hear the trucks. We have areas within those zones that make it difficult to deliver because they are pedestrian friendly area. An example of this is the University of Georgia. They are moving to more of a pedestrian area. While I think this is a great thing, we have to figure out ways to get around this. On that point, one of the things that we've done was formed a partnership with Athens Clark County government about eight years ago on a situation. In downtown Athens, much like any other large downtown area, it is very busy. We have many different types of delivery vehicles downtown and their challenge was how do we do this and not clog up the parking? It was a battle. We first started collaborated with other vendors to deliver on specific days. While this sounds good in theory, it just does not work as well. I will give you an example. If you have a bar in a college town, on any day but Monday, they probably just closed at two or three in the morning. There is not going to be anyone there to accept deliveries at 8:00AM in the morning. So, our collaboration lasted for about a week and then it fell apart and all the trucks ended up downtown at the same time again.
We said, what about another lane? Many of the routes in downtown Athens have three lanes. What they did was they designated the middle lane as they delivery zone. They painted red lines and instead of taking a parking spot, the trucks park in the middle lanes. It has worked really well.
What actions have we taken to help? Alternative deliveries: we have implemented night deliver were possible during non-peak hours. That has been a must do in some of our tourist areas such as some areas in Florida during tourist season. In some areas, we have been lucky enough to have 90% of our deliveries done at night. There is added incentive as the drivers like it a lot because not only is there less traffic, it is also a lot cooler at night. We continue to try to make alternative deliveries at all of our distribution centers, if possible. Geographic optimization is where we try to align delivery days to deliver accounts in high traffic areas on the same day. Name any major road in the area you are in and think of a road you hate to go out on at lunch because it is too crowded. We saw that too, so if we can get all of our deliveries made in one or two days, we try to do that. Rather than going five days a week and deliver to five stores each day, if we can go twelve on one day and thirteen on another, we try to do t hat. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. It optimizes our sales routes. We know that we are going to be making the delivery when we go out because everything is presold so there is not a worry of having trucks driving these routes without making any deliveries.
We also optimized our delivery vehicles to allow fewer trucks on the road. How can we have fewer trucks on the road without changing our demand? Our new trucks may only be five or six feet longer than the truck before, but it is taller. The actual footprint is taking up the same or a little bit more than what it was. It is still a lot more than having two of those older units. As these older unit lifecycle out, we will replace them with hybrid electric vehicles. We have over a 100 of these vehicles in the Atlanta area now, and they are working out real well. The technology is there and I encourage any of you to look at that if you are thinking about replacing if your fleet. We are utilizing GPS devices in the initial stages because it has taken several years to develop what we want it to do. We want it to say more than where the truck is located. The blip needs to provide data. We need to know the speed, travel time and it helps us to understand traffic patterns. If 10 days in a row or 10 deliveries in a row, we send the driver at a specific time and he is taking one hour and 15 minutes. By chance we decide what if we reverse all of his deliveries? Sometimes we find out it takes longer and sometimes we find it takes less. We keep tweaking the system until we find the sweet spot. We use that data so that we are dispatching that out, the data is there and might give us a warning and say if you wait an hour to send the driver, the route will be 15 minutes less. Those are tools at our disposal. That has been good and exciting stuff and we have a long way to go to finish that.
This shows the different things I was talking about in the older vehicles. At the top is a side load. There is still quite a few of those out there in the business. There are smaller trucks that aren't side load or combination types. There are some restrictions, for example in New Orleans we, nor any other company, are allowed to take a combination vehicle into the French Quarter. Some restrictions have dictated that we have to keep some of the side loads. The picture at the bottom is the 35 foot trailer. The trailer at the top is a 27 foot long trailer. There is an eight foot difference between the two, but we can deliver as much in one of the longer trailers as almost two of the shorter ones. The eight foot difference is worth it to keep the truck off the second route. The tractor is about the same size as the old one. The picture of the tractor at the bottom is actually one of our hybrid ones. As we lifecycle those older ones out, it helps with the emissions and carbon footprint. That is all I have and want to thank you for being patient with my presentation. I hope you have learned something. Thank you.
Thank you Dwayne. It looks like we have a number of questions for you, and we will get to them after the next presentation. Our final presenter is Michael Kray of the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Thank you for having me. I will talk about a truck routing study we did in Atlanta and how we accounted for potential environmental justice impacts in that study. First off, this is the agenda. I will talk about the truck route master plan, the ASTRoMaP. Then, some reasons behind this and the methodology that we use to analyze the environmental justice impacts.
Here we have an overview of the Atlanta MPO region. My agency for transportation purposes encompasses all or part of 18 counties. In the center, you see the city of Atlanta. The important note is the interstate network. It works very well. The interstate carries the majority of the truck movements in the region. But there are issues. When we did a previous freight study in 2005, as part of the stakeholder outreach we found a need for cross regional mobility, something other than the interstate network.
If you divide the region into quadrants and for example you want to go from the northwest quadrant to the southwest quadrant. The only way to do that efficiently is to get on the interstate, come down to the congested area and around the perimeter of I-285 and go back down I-85. Similarly there is not a good way to go from the northwest to the northeast. You have to utilize the interstate network, come down and go back up.
What we were looking to address with our truck route master plan was cross regional mobility, access for trucks to major freight destinations. Also we want to provide redundancy to the interstate network in case something happens such as a flood or accident. We wanted good alternatives to that network.
We started off with an initial network from our previous study mentioned in 2005. We called this our Regional Priority Freight Highway Network, RPFHN. This was a network that was done with planners' judgment. There was not any real vetting with the industry or analytical analysis. The wanted to take that network and see if that worked for both truck routing and how that impacted our environmental justice populations.
That is the transportation network that we analyzed. The other thing that we took into account was the land use alongside within one half mile up the roadway network. For land use planners, this is a typical land use color scheme. I want to put it up here for reference and show a database that we have. This is our land use database. This has information for all of the parcels in 18 counties' planning areas plus planning areas plus two additional counties. With the land use we get an idea of the intensity of the freight area. This is important. A lot of times when you talk to not just to citizens but a lot of planners in general, when you talk about freight you tend to think of industrial uses. Warehouses, manufacturing centers, distribution centers, items like this. A lot of people think of those as the only places that generate truck traffic. This illustrates the major industrial areas in the Atlanta area. If that was all we had to plan for, it would be pretty easy. It's relatively easy concentration of areas that you could design or assign a roadway network and accommodate those.
When you look at freight generation by land use it is much more than the industrial uses. Commercial areas are going to generate a lot of traffic. When you talk about Coca-Cola they are not delivering to manufacturing locations, they deliver to commercial retail outlets. Any commercial land use, industrial, transportation areas such as airports or rail yards are going to generate truck traffic. In addition, agricultural uses are going to generate truck traffic. When you take all of the truck generating land uses and map it. This is what it looks like for the Atlanta region. It is much more spread out and more difficult to find an optimal network for this. In regards to environmental justice planning, these are the areas to accommodate. We also have to see if environmental justice populations will be present in these areas and try to avoid those if possible. In the Atlanta region we have defined environmental issues by poverty and race. Then for the purposes of our truck route studied we added age. The reason, because the particulate matter spewed by diesel engines tends to affect the young developing lungs and older lungs more so than the typical population.
We look at poverty, race and age and the populations within one half mile up the original Regional Priority Freight Highway Network. This illustrates the percentages of Census block groups in the buffer area that had some sort of environmental justice present. If you look at the 18 county region there are pretty high percentages. To the core, we are approaching 100%. That tells you that you have difficulty avoiding any sort of environmental justice impacts. Because you can't avoid it, you will have to go to some sort of mitigation. The methodology that was used to analyze the environmental justice impacts was really environmental justice presence and freight intensity. If you look at this matrix, if you look at this and move from left to right you have increasing freight intensity. From the bottom to the top you have increasing environmental justice impacts. When you look at the bottom right box, the imbalanced non-environmental justice, what that means is with no environmental justice presence. In a perfect world that would be where you want to send all of your trucks. You can provide access to those intensive freight areas and avoid environmental justice populations. That does not always happen. The box to the left is low freight intensity. Those are the easiest to remove from the network. If you have a route going through an area with low freight intensity, if there is a viable alternative you may want to choose that because that route isn't providing access. It is providing the transit through the area. Finally, the top right box is imbalanced environmental justice. That is where you have conflict. You have high intensity freight generating land use and environmental justice concerns. This is where you talk about mitigation. It is difficult to remove the route and you have vulnerable populations around the truck route.
These are the environmental justice categories. As you go from number one to number seven, you have more groups that are affected. If you are in a seven, you have three different racial groups and poverty present. You have a number of different environmental justice groups that can be affected. We looked at the census block groups with this demographic information. We were able to pull out those trouble areas. This is an example from Barrow County, which is a rural county in the Atlanta region. The column with the colors shows whether or not there is a presence of that environmental justice conflict. If there is nothing there, there is no environmental justice conflict. When you take all of the census block groups in Barrow County, you have a number of routes that had that troublesome in balance environmental justice category. What it looks like spatially is all of the analyzed truck routes in this county. This map shows the land use in a half mile buffer around the roadways that were analyzed. Unfortunately there are really not a lot of alternatives here. It is relatively rural; there is not a lot of network density so we are talking about mitigation.
When our analysis was complete, the environmental justice analysis went along with the network analysis. This is the final network we came up with. There are seven north south routes in blue. These are all non-interstate routes. You have eight east west corridors in red. Then you have important connector corridors that provide access to major freight generating areas in yellow. Those don't go across the entire region. They are important, but not regional. This network is what we are using as a policy tool for investing in freight improvements in the future. In addition, you can use it to test how we did in a separate way. This map here shows all of the elementary schools within the 18 county area along with the freight generating land use.
Looking at the elementary schools within one quarter of a mile of the freight intensive land use, there are about 60%, 306 out of all of the elementary schools are near that freight generating land use. It means the students that go to those schools will be exposed to particulate matter from the trucks making deliveries in that area. You can take that and compare it to the truck route network to see how we have done and how we were able to do with avoiding those schools. When you do a half mile buffer around our truck network, we only have affecting 34% of the schools. At least in the transit, the cross region mobility if the trucks utilize these routes, we will be affecting fewer schools. If you look on the outlying areas there is another issue. With trucks and community impacts, a lot of these state routes have schools located on them. Schools are making location decisions the same way a lot of businesses are: cheap land and adequate transportation access. This is especially true when you get into some of the newer developing areas that are having green field school development. If you have a school on a major route, it may be good for building and the cost of getting kids there but there may be negative impacts.
I want to reiterate the types of projects that we are looking to fund on this truck route network. Like Chip showed earlier, the chewed up sidewalk, we have a number of projects identified in major freight areas where trucks are chewing up the shoulder. It is bad for delivery and will cost more for the network. This can be a safety concern also. If you look at this, the total cost is under $100,000. If you are able to go and fund this project and have adequate geometrics to accommodate the trucks you can do something for $100,000 that will benefit the transportation network and ultimately the users of the roadway and those who are buying the products delivered by the trucks. That is the end of my presentation.
Thank you Michael. We will go to questions and answers. I think we will start off with questions for you first Michael. How did ARC mitigate the freight and environmental justice issues in Barrow County?
We were not able to have an alternative route chosen in Barrow County. What we did was work with the couple different air-quality partners in the Atlanta Region such as the Georgia Conservancy and Mothers and Others for Clean Air. These people wrote in recommendations into the air quality mitigation recommendations into our study. It accounted for construction and future land use that could help with that population.
Could you explain why a community that has poverty with differing race conflicts is different in the analysis?
Assuming that would be different than a racial presence with no poverty? I will take the question that way. The reason we have that, poverty regardless of race, puts you in a vulnerable position. But with federal regulations for environmental justice, we took into consideration that many minority groups are often more adversely impacted by transportation and other things than non-environmental justice groups. That is showing that it is more than one group being affected. It wasn't necessarily a rank order, but we are showing more than one group.
Some clarification was typed in. Why was the community that has poverty with one race conflict considered different than two race or three race conflicts?
We were not ranking them saying if there was only one race conflict, it was okay. We wanted to account for all of the different communities. We could have just said we had a ranking system that had poverty, race, age and that is all. We decided to separate them out. We did not rank them. It wasn't three conflicts being worse than one conflict.
Did you incorporate inter-regional freight flows into the ASTRoMaP analysis?
Yes we did. We looked at truck numbers and probably more importantly, we were interested in talking to the carriers to see what routes they were using. We did a lot of outreach. We talked with Coca-Cola extensively about what routes they use and what were the best routes and which to avoid. We had FAF data and Global Insight data and looked at the freight flows. We were not sticking strictly to those. We were trying to figure out where we want those flows to go in the future. We look at the best roadways to accommodate those in terms of the roadway characteristics like lane width and travel speeds. Also, we looked at the access to freight generating areas.
Thank you. We will move on to some questions for Chip then we will go to Dwayne. The first question: I am curious if President Obama's goal to double exports is by weight or value as well as any more information on this would be of interest.
From looking at the questions, I think that is one of the other attendees has addressed this. I think the intent was to have it doubled by value.
What efforts, if any, does FHWA work with freight facilities to support local hiring in those communities that could be burdened by emissions, especially EJ communities, from freight industry? Are those populations that live in large truck and rail areas employed in those jobs?
I would say that the issue of environmental justice communities or in general employing local community residents at freight facilities is generally speaking more of a local or regional issue. It may vary from location to location in terms of how it is being addressed. In terms of current employment, there are some residents that work in those facilities that live near them, but not as many as there used to be. Generally there is not is close of tie between people working at freight facilities and people living in the adjacent communities. Going back many years ago, such as prior to World War II, the transportation system was not as well developed. You had people living close to where they worked, because they needed to live close to where they worked. You do not have that as much anymore. There are some people who live in the communities now that work there, but I think that is a relatively small number.
This question was asked before you gave your slide on freight village in Texas, but the question is that several cities talk about villages but I have not seen this implemented. Are there any you are aware of?
There are a few other than the Texas example that I am familiar with. One that would be considered a freight village is called CenterPoint in Joliet, Illinois. There is another in the New York metro area which may be considered a freight village. It is in the Perth Amboy area of central New Jersey. I am not sure if there is residential development there, but I know it is a multimodal facility. I would recommend looking at the study that Howie Mann of New York Metropolitan Transportation Council did to get more information about freight villages.
Now we will move on to questions for Dwayne. What role does Coca-Cola have ensuring truck operators follow local idling ordinances to improve air quality?
The short answer for this is that we follow whatever ordinance that is intact. The clean vehicles we are replacing older vehicles with are all clean model vehicles. We are following local ordinances on those.
Does Coca-Cola participate in any working groups or stakeholder group planning committees?
Absolutely. As Michael said, he worked with us and we worked with him. The Atlanta Regional Commission is one which we helped out. We are interested in helping anyone we can if there is interest in your area.
What percent of Coke deliveries are made in the off hours?
That is something I do not know. I cannot give you a number, percent wise but based on my knowledge in the Southeast, I would have to say it is about 15%, and that is just a wild guess. It will be somewhere under 25%.
Does Coke have a policy on raising the gas tax similar to General Motors CEO which recommended one dollar per gallon increase to encourage the use of alternative fuels?
There is not anything that I am aware of. I have not heard any information of a position that we have on the gas tax.
Do customers who accept off-peak hour deliveries receive a discount?
No, but when I saw that question I thought that it is probably a good idea. We have not approached this to any of our customers, yet. Things like this are certainly ideas we could convey to our customers to see how receptive they would be.
Can you name two cities in the US that have done a good job of providing truck routes to deliver consumer goods to their residents? Especially examples where they have worked through conflicts?
From Coca-Cola's standpoint, unfortunately I cannot say that those cities exist. They probably do exist, but I am not aware of them. I cannot think of two examples where someone did a really good job of planning this ahead.
The one I know about is New York City. They have created their own truck route network. It is extensive. There were a lot of things they had to go through with people saying they don't want trucks through here. I don't know many people who live in neighborhoods that want trucks coming through their neighborhoods. I know New York did a good job with that.
I was going to say that Mike, you can probably toot your own horn here. While it might not exactly address the question, the work the Atlanta Regional Commission did identifying truck routes does touch on it. I think Atlanta might be considered as well.
We had to work through issues as well. We did quite a bit of public outreach as well as industry outreach, particularly in the city of Atlanta. There were neighborhoods that we had to work with to accommodate them and the trucks. We were able to do that.
Thank you. Back to Dwayne: what is Coke's position relative to truck only toll lanes?
I cannot say we have a position on that either way. I know that this is something in our region that has been formally talked about for the last year or so. I don't know if we have a position on it either way, but if it is what is required and it would be best for the network overall, I think we would probably support that.
How does Coke allocate time for each delivery differently based on the density of the area served? Is more time allocated for more dense environments or more rural environments?
There is more time for the urban environments. They way we do that within the software that we slow the truck speed down. We have a set truck speed which is very much reduced from the posted speed limit. If the posted speed in the city of Atlanta is 45, we will drop it by about 10 mph. We then take this and consider at as 100% of the speed. If the area is a very dense area and we have knowledge of this, we may drop the speed as much as 75%. We reduce the speed of the truck, on paper, by those factors.
Off-peak hour delivery is advantageous to the customer as well as most, but this is also their off-peak hour. On the other hand, they probably have less staff and might not be able to leave the front of the store to accept a delivery. How do most businesses deal with this security issue? Dwayne, I do not know if you can answer that from Coke's standpoint, but Chip or Michael I will also ask if you have any thoughts on this question.
Security is always an issue to the stores. That is one of the reasons that some major retailers don't want have someone in their store just to receive. What we have found in most places we are able to get the off hour delivery in is that they are in more dense and well lighted areas. It depends on the volume of the store. If that store is very busy, they have a need to have more employees there at night as well. It works out to where they already have people on staff. That is one of the concerns and reasons that we don't have more customers on that.
Not really. My understanding of off-peak deliveries is all about the shippers. It is not the carrier who makes the decisions on when they can deliver. I don't know anything about the safety of it.
I do not have knowledge about specific examples. My understanding is that there are some receivers that may have secured areas in terms of allowing off-peak deliveries where they do not have to have as many staff to receive deliveries. I cannot name specific examples though.
I am actually going to go back to a question and open it up to all presenters. One special challenge we're seeing in built-out New England is complaints about freight locomotive idling near established residences, due to increased track congestion freight and/or passenger, inadequate capacity in yards, locomotives not equipped with automatic engine stop-start technology, and crew understaffing. Locomotives are idling for days and weekends, regardless of season, in absence of crew, mainly to obviate need to perform four hour brake test upon startup. More public and private funding for locomotive AESS, side track rehab, construction, and yard expansion would help, but money is scarce. Any ideas?
This may be something some audience members already know. A challenge is that when you are talking about freight rail, most of the railroads are privately owned. It makes it difficult to try to say this is what you need to do in terms of reducing idling. Some railroads are looking into developing alternative power or hybrid engines to reduce emissions. I think their intent is to try to operate them mainly in the rail yards for rail yard movement. I also think a number of rail yards are focusing on enhancing infrastructure in areas where there is need for infrastructure in terms of moving their trains, although that may not necessarily address the idling issue. I would say in terms of trying to address the issue, it can be something where the community identifies that it is a problem. They can try to reach out to the railroads in question to try to engage them on this issue to discuss and talk about some of the challenges and concerns about the idling.
In the Atlanta region, we have been using CMAQ money. CMAQ is a federal funding category which consists of congestion mitigation and air quality funding. It is pretty flexible, but it has to deal with air quality benefits. We have been taking that money and letting the railroads purchase genset technology as it is a cleaner technology. This is especially used in the yards by the small engines switching trains and making trains. Those are powered by generators as opposed by diesel, or they will be dual and will have less air quality impacts. We have been using that funding category to help railroads purchase those engines. That might be something that can be done.
How do you propose to reconcile potential conflicts between pedestrian needs with truck traffic needs?
This is something that we definitely were very concerned with our truck route network. We have a very strong pedestrian coalition in Atlanta. You may not think it is the most pedestrian friendly area, but we have a strong advocacy group. I will say that I don't think accommodating trucks is exclusive to accommodating pedestrians. You can make a safe crossing for pedestrians while at the same time accommodate trucks. If you have to increase the turning radii, if it makes it longer crossing, you can have pedestrian refuge islands. Using the example that Chip showed, if there were pedestrians standing on the sidewalk while trucks are turning, it would not be unheard of for a pedestrian to be clipped by a trailer. Increasing the turning radii and getting that pedestrian out of the way can make it safer. Now, it doesn't make it a shorter or easier crossing, but you can make it safe. We are very concerned with the fact that we are talking about a very limited set of roadways that are generally larger roadways that are built for throughput of all traffic. We are not talking about increasing turning radii in all sorts of side and collector streets in neighborhoods and downtown. If you do it in a rational measured way and accommodate the safety of the pedestrian, you can do it.
Michael gave a good answer as there are different ways to mitigate these issues and increase safety. What I would add to this is that having an understanding of where you're going to have your truck movement, and the idea that you don't have to have every street or every road designed in such a way that it is going to have truck traffic. In urban areas, you will have many side streets that will handle little to no truck traffic. You do not need to design these streets to handle high volumes of trucks. For more major streets where there is more development and more deliveries, I think it is important to understand what types of truck volumes and needs exist based on existing truck traffic patterns. It would be beneficial to do outreach to carriers which operate on these streets. It is about being sensitive and aware of existing truck volumes on different roadways and making sure you properly design roads and streets based on existing land uses. Land use is what is generating the truck traffic. Being aware and sensitive in your design does not fully solve every problem, but I think it does a good job of addressing the problem.
Dwayne, is there anything you would like to add?
I have to concur with Michael and Chip. The only thing I would like to add is that it all begins with education. Too many times when people aren't educated on the whole scope of this. The whole idea, and when you explain these things to them they have the moment where they say they had not thought about that. When we educate folks, the first thing that most general public will probably say is that you need to ban trucks. That is the initial response. That is not the correct response. Maybe our first priority is to make it safe. If it makes it more difficult for the truck, then so be it. Safety is the first thing. Then we work on improvement. It could be that we both are giving up something. Maybe the truck has to go 300 feet more to make a hard turn that is more difficult but at least now the pedestrians are safe. I believe education with partnerships on different levels of government and also workshops offer the information for roads that are being redesigned. These redesigns give the public a chance to see the difference and hopefully that would be some of the education they need.
Thank you. We are almost out of time. I know we have some questions that are unanswered. I will get written responses from the presenters that will be sent out with the follow up information. I want to thank the audience for your great questions and thank you to our presenters for the three very interesting presentation. I will send an e-mail with the transcript in the coming weeks, and the presentations are available online. The next seminar will be held on July 20 and will be on the topic of freight facility impact fees. This seminar is not yet available for registration, but hopefully will be in the next few days. I will send out a notice through the freight planning LISTSERV when it is available. Just a reminder for AICP members, this seminar is not yet listed on the AICP website, but I will also send out an e-mail to all who registered when it is available.
Thank you everyone. I encourage you all to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already. That is how we advertise these seminars. I want to again thank the three presenters and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day.