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Talking Freight

Small MPOs and Innovative Freight Projects

April 19, 2006 Talking Freight Transcript

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Small MPOs and Innovative Freight Projects webinar. My name is Jennifer and I'll be your audio coordinator for today. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will be conducting an audio question and answer session at the end of the presentation and you may submit questions at any time throughout the presentation by using the Q & A tab in the lower right-hand corner of your Webex window. If at any time during the call you require audio assistance, press star 0 and a coordinator will assist you. Should you experience any difficulty with the presentation, contact Webex technical support at 866-779-3239. I would now like to turn the presentation over to our host for today's call, Jennifer Seplow.

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 Small MPOs and Innovative Freight Projects. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.

Today we'll have three speakers - Michael Williamson of Cambridge Systematics, Eulois Cleckley of Wilbur Smith Associates, and Karen Parsons of the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission. Eulois and Karen will be presenting together.

Michael T. Williamson is a Senior Associate of Cambridge Systematics based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has more than 13 years of experience working in the areas of freight and intermodal planning, commercial vehicle operations, intelligent transportation systems, and transportation planning. He has worked extensively with metropolitan planning organizations and state departments of transportation as they have worked to develop freight specific program elements. Michael was the Principal Investigator for NCHRP 8-47 Guidebook for Freight Policy, Planning, and Programming in Small and Medium-Sized Metropolitan Areas, which was completed late in 2005.

Currently he is working on a variety of local, regional, and state freight projects in Florida. He is developing a statewide freight and goods mobility plan; supporting the ongoing development of a regional freight program in southeast Florida, and is working with both Palm Beach and Miami-Dade MPOs on specific freight projects. Today, he is going to provide an overview of NCHRP 8-47.

Eulois Cleckley joined Wilbur Smith Associates as a Freight Planner/Analyst. Mr. Cleckley and has past experience with both private and public sector organizations within the freight industry. Mr. Cleckley worked for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), as a transportation specialist in the Office of Freight Management and Operations in Washington, D.C. assisting local and state government with developing initiatives to improve relationships with the public and private sector on freight movement and ITS programs. In addition, Mr. Cleckley held several management positions with Wal-Mart Stores INC in the Private fleet division and was responsible for managing the East Coast supply chain and logistics operations.

Karen Parsons has been a transportation planner since 1997 with the Regional Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the New Orleans metropolitan area. Karen is the project manager for a focused analysis of potential rail projects in the New Orleans Rail Gateway to provide fluidity for both freight and passenger rail. She has worked on a wide range of freight transportation planning issues and projects in the New Orleans region including facilitating access to intermodal terminals and major bridge replacement projects.

Ms. Parsons graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. She holds certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas.

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. 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 start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. 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.

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. 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 that 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're now going to wait a few minutes until 1:00 eastern time to give others a chance to join in and at 1:00 we'll start with the first presentation of the seminar. Jennifer, if you could put everybody back into hold and we'll start again in just a few minutes.

Welcome back. It's now about 1:00 and I see that we have had a few others join us so we're going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic for those of you who did just join in is Small MPOs and Innovative Freight Projects. Our first presenter will be Mike Williamson of Cambridge Systematics. If you think of questions during his presentation, you can type them into the chat area on the screen and direct them to all participants. Questions will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Mike, if you give me one second, I'll get you set up and then I'll let you know when you can get started. Okay, Mike, you can get started.

Mike Williamson:
All right, thanks very much, Jennifer. Good afternoon and good morning, everyone. Very happy to be here today to give you an overview of the work we did as part of NCHRP project 8-47. What I wanted to do today is spend about 30 minutes giving you an overview of the project, discussing some of the guidelines we used to help with our approach, talk about how the guidebook was developed and then spend a few minutes going over some high level examples of what you'll find in the guidebook.

From the perspective of what the project was trying to do, it was born out of a TRB committee, the Intermodal Transport Committee. Basically there's been a fair amount of work done around the country about freight transportation planning at MPOs. It's becoming more and more prevalent, but there's a lot of folks out there who wanted to take a special look at the needs of small and medium-sized MPOs. Specifically to look at the types of challenges that they're facing that may or may not be faced by some other larger counterparts around the country. So that was really the purpose of this project was to develop a guidebook to help those type of MPOs become involved in freight transportation planning. So what we're trying to do here is to provide them with the necessary resources to begin or enhance freight transportation planning. We understand there's a lot of different levels of transportation planning that can be done to address freight, and different MPOs have had different experiences so far. So we try to provide a guidebook that provided some benefit to all types, irregardless of what level they had done in the past. We also wanted to design it so that it provided staff with basic how-to steps or guidelines to initiate and implement successful freight transportation planning. And finally we felt it was very important to provide a gateway to a vast amount of resources that were out there. Particularly through the capacity building program and freight professional development program as well as point you to all the national data sets and best practices that have been done around the country.

We had three key guidelines that we followed as we put the guidebook together. The first was to provide flexibility. When you're trying to come up with a list of steps or guidelines for an MPO to follow to develop or enhance its freight transportation program, you need to step back and say, well, there's no one set of activities that are going to work for everybody. Everybody has a little bit different experience, a little bit different community. Some may have specific bottlenecks that need to be dealt with and may have strong opposition from neighborhoods or communities, while others may have strong proponents from industry that were really working to promote freight and transportation. So the guidebook has been developed to help users pick and choose from a variety of activities based on their individual needs.

Our second guideline was to emphasize integration. What we wanted to make sure was that freight transportation policy planning and programming activities are not separated out or done independently of an MPO's overall freight transportation -- overall transportation program. It's very important to integrate it in what you're doing. So instead of having a separate long-range transportation plan for freight or a separate TIP for freight projects, we want to incorporate freight into the processes and procedures you already have in place so that it's something that can easily be updated on an ongoing basis, just like all of your other plans. In addition, by taking that approach it also helps you with some of your funding and staff resources, because you don't need to set aside folks to specifically work on freight full-time, you can incorporate freight into what they're already doing.

Our third approach was to use best practices effectively. And what we mean by that is there's a lot of examples around the country from a lot of you on the phone today probably that illustrate great ways of doing certain activities or achieving certain programs or getting projects built. But when you go through and talk to folks as part of our outreach process, what we found was that not only are there examples out there of how to do things, but there's also folks out there who have done things one way and have learned that if they had to do it over again, they would do it differently. So our best practices are not limited to things that have been done but they incorporate what have been done and also work to improve upon them.

I just wanted to give you just a little bit of an insight as to how we developed the guidebook. Probably there's a fair number of you on the phone, I hope, that completed the survey we sent out to all the MPOs in the country back about two years ago asking for input on how you go about incorporating freight. We conducted in-depth personal interviews and developed case studies with 15 or so MPOs around the country to try to have a geographic mix as well as cover a wide variety of environments. And we also had periodic reviews of our deliverables. In fact several of you may have sat on our advisory committee, which was a group of MPO, state and federal staff that agreed to review our draft guidebook prior to submittal to our panel for review. As Jennifer mentioned at the beginning, the guidebook was completed late last year and is currently being formatted by TRB and NCHRP folks and that will be let out late this spring or early this summer. Any of you who would like to have the earlier version that we submitted to them, my e-mail is available to you. Just let me know and I'll be glad to send you a PDF version of the guidebook.

There were three elements we tried to focus on and that was to make sure that we were integrating into long-range planning activities, looking at long-range transportation plan updates, ongoing data collection program that MPOs have in place, incorporating freight considerations and any of the corridor analyses or specific projects that you're looking at as well as looking at stand-alone research or what a lot of folks have done on freight and goods movement studies or the development of a freight transportation profile for your region. We also wanted to address transportation improvement programming, so once you have your long-range plan in place, that typically feeds your five-year program. It then ultimately feeds down to your UDWP as far as what you're going to do on an annual basis. So we wanted to make sure that the guidebook dealt with the activities involved in all three of those elements to ensure that it's something that's maintainable over time and incorporated into everything that you're doing.

The architecture of the guidebook, it's kind of hard to fit it all on one slide, but if you do want to take a look at the full guidebook, there's a few more graphics in there. What we're trying to show here is that we organized it around modules. We had five different modules. What I'm going to do is briefly describe them for you here. The first one is using the guidebook. It basically provides instructions on how the guidebook is laid out, how you end up going through and how you get started, how you select the specific guidelines that you want to use, how it all fits together and also provides resources. Module 2 really gets into more detail about how to get started. I'm going to talk a little bit more about that on the next slide, but it talks about your self-evaluation to determine what you know, what you don't know and where you want to go with your freight planning activities. Module 3 deals with the specific areas for which we have provided guidelines. As you can see, we range all the way from developing any freight policy directive, which is really your policy language that guides your transportation program all the way down through assessing freight project impacts. The bottom 3, data and analytical tools, training and education and outreach and partnerships represent three areas that really impact each of the activities listed above. As you'll see from the examples I'm going to go through, they are elements that you have to work into those. Module 4 works to try to provide you an example of how an MPO would go from beginning to end of a fully comprehensive freight program, trying to work together all of the activities that are listed in module 3. In this case we have identified 14 specific steps or guidelines to help you move through that process as an illustration. We recognize most MPOs are going to focus on a specific activity and expand upon it from year to year and ultimately have a comprehensive program as you move forward. Module 5 identifies a whole bunch of resources that are available to you. Hopefully most of you are aware of these already if you're participating in this Talking Freight session. You're obviously aware of the resources the Federal Highway Administration has available to you. But this provides links to some of the freight glossaries that are out there today, identifies some freight research that's been done at the state level and the MPO level throughout the country, gives you complete sets of the case studies that were developed as part of this guidebook and identifies training and data resources that are available to you.

So I want to spend a little time here talking about module 2, which is Getting Started. We have developed basically three steps in this process. The first step is to conduct a freight self-assessment. If you want to figure out which guidelines will be most useful to you, which activities you want to focus on, you need to figure out how well you know your region. What volume of freight is moving in and out, what's your consuming and producing populations look like, what are the key community concerns that exist. How well you know your freight stakeholders. Here we're talking about your trucking companies, your steamship lines, your railroads, your manufacturers, any of your retail and service businesses that are relying on freight. And finally, how well you know your organization. You need to understand both from a political standpoint and from a technical standpoint the direction that your leaders would like you to go. If you have strong opposition from your policy board or from your technical leaders, then you're going to have to take a little bit different approach to try to integrate freight into what you're doing than if you have a very strong leadership saying go forth and develop a freight transportation program. The second step is to define your freight planning program stage. So based on step 1, which is to go out there and say, all right, how well do I know everything that I need to know, the second step is to say, well, all right, what does that mean for where I want to go. So how well did you know your region and your state and your organization. And the sets of questions that we have identified in the guidebook will help you figure out which areas you knew really well and which areas you didn't know so well. So maybe you had a really strong understanding of the highway system and you understood where all the truck bottlenecks were, but maybe you hadn't spent too much time working on air cargo or waterborne or railroad. So step 2 will let you figure out where you are, what you've accomplished and leads into step 3, which is to identify the program elements and guidelines that you want to focus on. If we were to go back one slide here and look at the architecture again, what we're talking about here is in module 3 -- in module 2 you're trying to identify what parts of module 3 you want to focus on. This graphic tries to pull it all together for you.

One of the things that we have done in the guidebook is to define for each of those activities a basic and an advanced approach or set of guidelines, so that if it's the first time you're doing something, you might want to start down on kind of the bare minimum of what you need to get something in place. If you're coming back for a second year or already have some experience in the area, you might want to go for a more intermediate or advanced set of activities. So what this graphic shows, across the top you have know your organization, your region and your stake holders. So how well do you know what's going on really feeds into whether you're going to err on the side of a basic or advanced approach. When you look at the basic and advanced boxes, what you see coming out of the bottom are brackets that apply to a spectrum of activities that range from institutional support, data collection, outreach and partnerships analysis and project implementation, ending with kind of feedback, which feeds into everything. So if you are really just getting involved in freight and you come out of the top three boxes into the basic box, the type of things you're probably going to want to focus on initially are going to be things that focus on building your institutional support, collecting the data you need, beginning to form your partnerships and starting to get involved in analysis. Whereas if you had had a freight program in place for a while and you're trying to enhance it or improve object it, you come out of the advanced box and at that point you have the data, the institutional and outreach in place and you want to start doing more detailed analyses and work to its project implementation.

I wanted to show you a couple of examples of what you'll find in the guidebook. For each of the activities that we have identified in module 3, we have developed specific guidelines, as I mentioned, for both basic and advanced approaches. What you see on the slide on your screen now is the basic approach for a freight policy directive. When we talk about freight policy directive, what we're really talking about is how do you make sure that freight and goods concerns or issues are accurately or appropriately reflected in your agency's mission statement, in your goals and objectives and measures of effectiveness that gauge your long-range activities and show how well you're doing over time. What we have done for each of these and you'll see tables like this. Two tables for each element. We have defined the activity, the activity type. I'm going down the left-hand column here. The level of effort, the technical complexity and then the requirements for data, outreach and training. Then we have tried to identify any key activities that really are related or dependent upon this activity. So when you look at the activity type, we have grouped all of them as one of three. Either policy, planning, or programming. Some of them quite honestly span across all three of those activities. The level of effort -- actually the ranking we have given them as far as low, medium or high for the next four or five elements, I just want to make a point here that every MPO has a little bit different experience. Everybody has a different set of -- or a little bit different definition of what low, medium and high is. What we have tried to do here is give you an order of magnitude ranking so that in general the level of effort for a basic policy directive is low. Technical complexity is fairly low. Your data requirements are low. They basically require access to and review of the existing policy language that you have in place. Your outreach and partnership needs for a basic approach would be low. You're basically going to coordinate with your internal staff and most likely focus your discussions with the folks who have been leading your goal and objective development for your transportation plan, you know, for the last two or three updates because they're the ones who you want to work with to integrate freight into that language. As far as training education, you're not really going to require training other than you need to start becoming more familiar with your basic freight knowledge, through programs like this seminar we have here today. When you look at what kind of activities your policy directive is related, to it shouldn't come as any surprise it's basically the foundation for all of your freight planning activities because it basically defines what it is you're trying to accomplish through your transportation planning program.

The bottom of the slide here identifies three steps. We basically identified three steps for you to follow to put a basic policy directive in place. The first step is to review the existing long-range plan, goals and objectives and all seize. So -- policies. So basically start with what you have and identify it. In a lot of cases you might find that freight is covered by a lot of what you have in place. Based on that review, you want to develop some freight-specific language. So a lot of cases, it may take -- everywhere you say improve mobility for passenger transportation, you can change it to say passenger and cargo transportation. So that's a type of modification we're talking about at the simple level. At a more complicated level you would want to go out and actually develop brand new objectives or goals and objectives that specifically deal with freight. And then you want to incorporate those modifications into your long range plan either as an amendment or part of an update as based on how often you're doing the updates.

The next slide shows the same activity but from an advanced perspective. If you look down through here, I've basically underlined everything in the table that's changed, moving from basic to advanced. Your level of effort went from low to moderate to high. As you can see, everything else went from low to moderate. When you look at the data requirements, it's going to require review of existing policy language and collection of data to support development of new language. So you're not just reviewing what you have in place anymore, you're going out and looking at what else is available. Your outreach and partnership needs, you're going to have to start having dialogue and conversations with your private sector, freight stakeholders to help get them involved in defining what's important for them as far as what your transportation planning program needs to address. Your training, again, that's going to remain at the low level. You're basically continuing to build your freight knowledge. Again, the related activities remain the same.

Now, when you look at the specific steps of this example versus the last one, we had three on the last one and we have four steps on this one. And they are somewhat similar. But when you look at this one, your first step is to establish an outreach program to gather yen put from key decision makers and system users. So the basic was take a look at what you have in place and work with it, as far as your existing goals and objectives, policy language, and from an advanced perspective you want to go beyond that and conduct outreach to get input from everybody else. The second step is to develop comprehensive set of freight-specific policy language. And then go back out to your community, through focus groups and refine them as necessary. As most of you are aware, that's typically the first process that people do as part of a long-range transportation plan update. You go out and get buy-in from all your various communities on what your goals and objectives are. So what we're suggesting here is that you need to go through that same process for freight. The ideal way to do it would be to incorporate it into your long range transportation plan update as part of your overall set of goals. Not as a separate component. And then the fourth step is to incorporate or integrate all of the material you've developed into your transportation program. Again, if you do it as part of LRTP update or as part of your development or any established activity like that, it's going to facilitate being able to update it in the future.

I wanted to give you one more example before we kind of wrap up here, and that is on outreach and partnerships, because that's really something that's extremely important for freight transportation planning. Also, often represents one of the first things MPOs really try to get involved about through the formation of freight transportation advisory committees or other type of outreach. We're saying for a basic approach, this really stretches across policy, planning and programming as far as an activity type. Level of effort is going to be moderate because it does take a fairly -- it may not be technically complex, but it does take a lot of staff time to do it right. As far as your data and analytical tools, it's going to be moderate in the sense that you need to have some amount of data collection in order to support your outreach and partnerships. And your training again, fairly low amount of technical training required, but you would just continue to build your knowledge as you move forward. As we mentioned, this is another example of an activity that really impacts and is the foundation for all of the activities that you're going to do. If you look at the specific step that say we have identified in order to develop an outreach program, I've come up with six here. First is to identify key planned freight program elements. So basically what is it that you're trying to do. What element are you trying to develop. Where is it that you're headed based on the self-evaluation that you do at the beginning. The second step is to define the anticipated outreach and partnership needs. So based on what you're trying to do, what's the best way to go about identifying who your stakeholders are, how often you need to meet with them. The third step is to identify who it is you want to work with and provide outreach to. Followed by conducting specific outreach. Here again, this is on an as-needed basis. We talk about as-needed here and in step 6 because this is a basic approach where you're putting a system in place that provides you access to your experts when you need it, but you're not necessarily doing a proactive, ongoing, meet monthly kind of a group. And that's what we use in step 5, participation in ad hoc freight advisory committee. Many of the MPOs that we talked to had a panel of experts that they would call up on an annual basis and just pick their brain and say we're putting together our UPWP or a TIP and these are the projects that we have designed to deal with these typical bottleneck, are we missing anything. That's the type of thing you would do as part of a basic outreach program.

I wanted to give you an example of how some folks have been able to pull it all together and this is just kind of to wrap up what we're doing here. This would be module 4, pulling it all together. This is an example of a diagram to support the development of a district freight program for a Department of Transportation district. This is a district in south Florida that has worked very closely with the three MPOs that it deals with in a tri-county region. And it tries to identify and group steps based object a freight planning process, education and outreach and quick start action items. When you look at the distinction between those three large blue boxes, freight planning process is everything we have been talking about. It's all the different activities that you go through, whether it's establish goals and objectives, developing an ongoing data collection program, all the way down to funding and deploying freight projects. Those in part rely on some education and outreach activities. You need to have your outreach program in place. You need to promote quick fix programs to help engage and keep the private sector involved. And all the way down to providing ongoing support and resources to local planning agencies, so working with your communities to keep them as involved in the process. And then the final column is something that you probably all have heard mentioned quite a few times, which is kind of the quick start action items or the low-hanging fruit. All the different ways of describing trying to engage the private sector by providing them with some type of short-term, fairly real-time responses to some of the bottlenecks they have identified. So this set of steps works on developing that quick fix program, which basically is -- you have them identify if there's a place they want a left turn bay or there's a place they would like to have a signal modification. That's the kind of stuff that an MPO can work with their county or their city to go out and as part of a maintenance budget change the timing or put in some left turn improvement that say don't require, you know, a 5 to 10-year working plan amendment. If you get them involved and show them you're serious about trying to improve freight transportation in the community, by making some of these quick fixes, then you'll get them to give the time necessary to come to your advisory committee meetings or some of your technical coordinating committees and MPO meetings to provide longer term input on what the region needs overall.

With that, I'm going to wrap up. But basically what we tried to do here was to provide a list of steps and a list of activities that we hope will be useful to a wide variety of MPOs, specifically small and medium size around the country. But I think that the lessons here really apply to MPOs in general. I look forward to any of the questions that you have and again let me know if you want a copy of the guidebook.

J. Seplow:
Thank you, Mike. After the next presentation I'll put a slide up for everybody that has Mike's e-mail address on it if you are interested in the guidebook. If you do think of questions for Mike during the next presentation, please feel free to type them into the chat area and direct them to all participants. In addition, you can type in questions for the next presenter. Our next presentation will be given jointly by Eulois Cleckley of Wilbur Smith Associates and Karen Parsons of the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission. So Eulois and Karen, you can go ahead when you're ready.

Karen Parsons;
Thank you. This is Karen Parsons. I'm the transportation planner at the MPO in New Orleans. It's the regional planning commission. I work on a number of different things, as many planners can relate to at most of the MPOs. We wear a lot of different hats. And I was just reviewing our staff. We have 17 staff persons, eight of which are planners. So that gives you an idea of the feel of how many that we have in order to tackle the issues and projects down here in New Orleans. And of course our workload has increased dramatically with the advent of Hurricane Katrina. At the end of the presentation, we have a few slides and we'll have a little bit of discussion about how things have affected our freight planning and other planning in general. How the hurricane has affected that.

I have worked here at the New Orleans regional planning commission since '97 and we really started out with kicking off a program in rail mainly. When I came on board that was really my focus for a number of years. And we hadn't really gotten to the trucking issue and any specific or more refined way. And as time went on, I realized that we really needed to look more closely at the trucking issues. So it's really sort of a subset of the overall freight issues for New Orleans. I want to just provide a little background in terms of how I came to work with Eulois, who at the time was with Federal Highway. Actually Federal Highway had contacted me. They had a person who was interested in doing some work down here and was generally interested in freight. And so it was my opportunity to basically add somebody to the staff for a short period and to get some focus on what we -- what I saw was a need. I wrote a scope and they responded and Eulois came on board for approximately -- initially six months and ended up here for about eight months in order for us to complete the work that we had outlined in the scope. We, as a state, had included and acknowledged freight planning. Even in the region. But in terms of a fine-grained analysis and things that -- understanding the trucking environment within a metropolitan area, I had not seen any examples of that anywhere. It wasn't going on any where else in Louisiana. And we have six railroad intermodal terminals here. We're the southern gateway for rail freight and most of the freight is between the port and the railroad. So we knew there was a lot of activity in trucking -- actually I have a slide a little bit later, but we did a study in 2000 that did an initial review of what the problems were locally as self-identified by the motor carriers. But that brought Eulois to our MPO and he assisted with and brought to us his talents in logistics, which kind of gave us a piece of information that we didn't have. How does business move trucking components and how do they operate and how does their decision ripple into and make this dynamic environment for trucking.

In terms of our geographic area pre-Katrina, we had about 1.1 million persons living in the metropolitan area. As of the 2000 census, we have three urbanized areas under our MPO. Two are on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. On the south shore is the ? regional planning commission. We have five parishes or counties that are part of the regional planning commission and actually seven that sit on our transportation policy board. Those include two river parishes upstream, which is St. Charles and St. John Parrish. Let's see, let me -- I'm going to let Eulois give you a little information on the presentation outline and we're going to go back and forth during this and sort of take turns covering the different issues.

Eulois Cleckley:
Yes. I believe Karen did a good job setting the background for the New Orleans region and some of the reasons why a study like this is to be conducted. Also you'll probably find a lot of the elements that Mr. Williamson talked about within his presentation scattered and dispersed throughout this particular presentation. So he did a good job as far as giving a macro level view of freight planning and how to incorporate some of those elements, but throughout this presentation, even though it's specifically focused on the trucking industry, you will begin to see how those elements played a role into what we did and how you can correlate the two. As far as this presentation is concerned, Karen will continue to give some more background about the region. We'll also go over some of the benefits of the actual study, challenges that were associated with this study. We'll go into depth of the study methodology and how we ascertained some of the data points. Also we'll talk about the data collection process and the tool that we utilized to try to achieve our results, as well as outcomes, and follow up with some next steps and initial concerns and recommendations for continuing some of the freight planning here in the region.

To give a brief overview of just the trucking industry within the five parish New Orleans area, and the five parishes include Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany. From previously done studies from the MPO as well as previously done data collection efforts from different organizations like federal highway, things of that nature, some of the data points are listed below as far as giving a depiction of how freight and how the trucking industry plays a role within New Orleans. Over nine million tons were moved by truck from New Orleans, specifically dealing with the port as well as the rail terminals. Some of the FAF data included 17% of average annual tally truck traffic and 16% of shipments were intrastate, that's within the State of Louisiana. 75 companies, transportation companies and 12 brokers are within Orleans parish itself. 66% of the truck traffic is caused by light duty and delivery trucks within Orleans parish, within that particular parish. And 9% of all large trucks within the Orleans parish are projected to carry hazardous materials. Just to skip around a little bit, intermodal ports, Elmwood, Labarre, New Orleans Regional Business Park and Earhart/Tulane Business Park generate the majority of the truck moves. We're going to go into a little more in depth of how important that particular bullet point is in relationship to our study.

Previous studies have really gone from just the transportation side of it. We wanted to really try to conduct this study in a fashion where we focused on business first, because that's the element that creates the trucks. The businesses are the ones that either distribute or manufacturer the product and they drive the demand for the trucks. So we really wanted to focus on that particular element first before we went about conducting a study. As far as the vision and goals for us, the particular study overall, we wanted to provide a picture of the trucking throughout the actual New Orleans region and boost and improve the understanding of the MPO when it comes to the trucking industry and also try to forge some relationships within the trucking environment here, the trucking community and the MPO. We'll discuss that a little bit further. Several goals we wanted to try to achieve from the actual study were to determine the freight flows by truck throughout the New Orleans area, illustrate inbound and outbound truck flows from those specific business parks and industrial districts that we mentioned earlier and also illustrate the inbound and outbound truck moves from the intermodal yards towards moves as well as rail.

We identified the vision as well as the goals, but how were we going to achieve those particular goals, giving the resources, giving the time frame and giving that this is not a highly funded particular project. We had to come up with some really feasible objectives to try to achieve the goals that we set out to achieve. First, we wanted to focus on major trip generators within the region, and that particular element consisted of the business parks that were already previously identified as major businesses or major areas of business as well as truck moves within a particular area. So we really wanted to start there first and try to ascertain which business parks were generating numerous amounts of freight and truck movements as opposed to other business parks that even though they were labeled as such, they might not be that relevant to what we were trying to achieve. So we had to get a list in the region as well as identifying which particular areas were consistent with the type of elements we needed within the study. Up under the second goal as well as illustrating inbound and outbound truck flows from the business parks, we wanted to locate and map the business parks, which this particular element will be vital for what we're trying to achieve but also for additional planning efforts that this particular MPO would want to go out and try to achieve. So some of the elements within this particular study were good for specificity toward trucking but also could be utilized in any other type of planning initiatives that the MPO would try to seek out. Also, a key point is to actually quantify the delivery patterns through the use of an online survey, which was the most instrumental piece of this particular study. Also we wanted to map the flow of freight to and from locations by zip code clusters. Some of these terms in here, we will go into a little bit further in depth so everybody can get a better sense of what we are actually talking about. As far as the final goal is concerned, this was a perceived and hoped-for goal, but once we went through the actual study, it kind of shifted. It was a good opportunity to try to step back and recalibrate as far as once we got the data from the actual survey, what can we utilize that data for? And as far as trying to really come up with some suitable outcomes that were consistent with the vision and the goals. So initially we looked at trying to illustrate inbound and outbound truck moves, but it shifted throughout the course of the actual study but it's still important as far as overall view and vision as far as trucking is concerned within the region. Now, I'll pass it back to Karen, and she's going to briefly go over some of the previous data collection efforts that the MPO embarked on.

K. Parsons:
And also, as Eulois was speaking, I was reminded that I kind of wanted to touch on this, and that is in our long-range plan we had long been incorporating freight projects that were related to our terminal. But what I was trying to get to was a more fine-grained analysis tool to better understand any of the nuances of the truck traffic. The individual ports or intermodal terminals had identified different projects when we did the intermodal connector evaluation. You know, we identified numerous projects. And we had actually tackled many of them. We have several intermodal bridges that have rail and highway both. They opened to maritime traffic. That's about an intermodal piece of equipment that you can get. A lot of these things had already been identified but this was taking it a step farther. So basically being a small MPO -- or small or medium-sized, I guess, MPO, I think other MPOs can identify with this. We didn't have a million dollars to go out and hire a planning firm to do our work. I was trying to achieve a back of the envelope analysis, something that we could do on staff. We developed it as we went.

To speak to this slide, this is what we had done previously within our traffic demand modeling work. Of course we had traffic counts from around the region and the percentage of truck traffic from that. We had done travel diaries through various studies prior to this one. In 2000 we actually went out to different motor carrier locations and interviewed the drivers and we asked them to tell us, you know, where was their worst turning location. What did they identify as the worst signal, signage, things like that. One of the, I guess, ironic findings was when you asked them about signage, the local drivers couldn't think of a single answer. They knew the streets so well they didn't know what was labeled or not labeled. You had to speak to the out of town drivers and hope to catch them, because they were the ones that were lost. We have an ongoing -- well, we identified a need for improved signage into our terminals and have yet to really get any good guidance on that. We actually -- and this is really an aside, but, you know, we proposed a signage protocol that could be used locally and nationally and still it hasn't been instituted. But because we have so many intermodal terminals, that became an issue. So that was an informative survey. We had about 100 questionnaires and that led us to more detailed investigations at different intersections and so forth. And then to start the work that we did on this trucking analysis, we went back and we revisited all the local ordinances for truck routes and made sure we had an accurate map of where all the truck routes were in the five parish area. So basically because we were doing an intra-city analysis, we established a regional study, we identified the significant freight generators in the region, we began to come up with a plan on how to contact the individual businesses and to create this online survey tool, which was pretty exciting and fairly innovative. We're going to talk about that a little bit more. But basically the benefit to doing all of this was to help us with understanding the movements related to our geography. What we hoped to do was to create a tool that all MPOs could use and translate to an easy tool that could be used nationwide. And it was the first regional tool that we knew of. And then also this data could be imported into congestion management planning. I think one of the bigger benefits that we found was that the information about how business begins to think about trucks and truck flow and how that flow affects their business operations decisions. That is kind of an area that is not well defined. I think there's not a lot written about it. But that's information that MPOs don't generally have. It's not an area of expertise. That's why Eulois' background, working for Wal-Mart and actually being a part of a management team that scheduled trucks, you know, became crucial to our analysis. And then, of course, it helped -- we hoped that it will inform land use policy transportation planning and identify new projects for our TIP and long-range plan. Also it would help us establish a trucking subcommittee and a larger freight advisory group. And we have had over time different advisory groups, but they are sort of temporary, depending on what the issue is. Such as for freight -- or I should say for all rail, because we have such an immense amount of rail that goes through the Mississippi River Bridge, we did a six-month study in '98 that brought a lot of stakeholders together, identified a lot of issues and then they disbanded. So we didn't have an ongoing freight advisory committee. Because it takes a lot of staff time to keep something like that going and it is an issue for a smaller MPO. I'm not a full-time freight person. I do a number of other things as well. I wear a lot of different hats and I assume that that's the same for many of you.

So some of the challenges we faced as we went into this, and this is actually is a picture of an overturned truck on a major corridor to the port of New Orleans that our MPO helped fund and push through. The challenges were in identifying the businesses. And this -- luckily we had budgeted and purchased a data set of SIC data. You have to remember this was post 9/11 and we at the MPO were tasked with collecting and geocoding numerous data sets as part of homeland security and so this fed into it. Here was a data set that was used in a multitude of different ways. And as we identified different businesses and came up with -- this data set had the names of businesses, had initial contact person and a phone number, we realized the best way to make a survey tool work was to make sure that we had accurate data about who these people were and an e-mail address that we could contact them for an online survey. So we used our local university that has a transportation component in their college -- the college of urban and public affairs. And we basically went to the transportation classes and said is there anybody interested that would want to help us out. Of course we had a few students who were eager to learn more about transportation planning and wanted to be a part of it. They came into our offices and we set them up for three days and gave them a list of all of the businesses within these areas that we had pre-selected and asked them to call and we actually wrote up a script for them to introduce themselves, what the project was and then asked them to gather accurate information about who would be contacted within their organization and to get an accurate e-mail address. All of that was pretty successful. I think we were able to tackle that in three days. It cost us nothing. What they got out of the deal was a recommendation letter for jobs and a relationship with the MPO. So for them it was a benefit and a plus to sort of get on the inside of an organization and see how things ran and be a part of a meaningful project. We didn't have to pay them a dime. We asked for volunteers and we got them. So that was actually kind of a fun piece and those relationships remain today.

Another challenge was the ensuring participation. Again this goes back to survey tactics. What we did was we developed a brochure. Actually we didn't put this on here, but we developed a brochure that summarized what we were doing. We developed post cards and sent them snail mail to remind people to go online for certain dates to take our online survey. We did online weekly reminders. And part of what was -- what we pitched to them was that if they took the survey, we would offer them a free nice map of the truck system, a regional truck map, which they were very excited about. We would give them a copy of the report when the study was done. We also went out to local associations, to business park associations, those that actually had groups. Not all of the business parks had a formal association. Some of them had a name that sort of covered an area of the city or a strip where there was industrial activity, but they didn't necessarily have a formalized group. But where we could, we made contact and went into their monthly meeting or lunch meeting and told them about the survey, what the purpose of it was, how it could benefit them. That was a very important piece to make sure that they understand that in the long term it was going to help us understand them and that there may be project that say they could help us identify that would end up in the TIP or long-range plan.

One of the tools -- the tool that we used for the online survey was basically an engine that we found online and had used for a bike and ped survey called Survey Monkey. It cost $19.95 a month. So basically we ran this survey tool for I think three months, so it cost us $60. That's about as back of the envelope as you can get and we liked that a lot. I put it on my credit card and the Regional Planning Commission reimbursed me on my monthly expense report. So it was a very good tool to go in and design your own questions. You could actually set it up so that if some of the questions didn't apply to them, they could skip over pieces and it would move them around in the survey to their appropriate area. Designing a good survey, we spent a lot of time on that, making sure that we were asking the right questions, that it was a reasonable length, that they would stick with, they wouldn't feel overwhelmed, with but we would get the data that we needed. I would say we probably spent six or eight weeks designing that and taking it to different people on staff and other agencies and asking them for their feedback before we put it out there. And then, of course, we were assembling all of the local contacts and trying to narrow that down to those that were receiving truckloads of deliveries or making truckloads of deliveries within our area. And then working to establish a relationship with the motor carriers, which is different than the business. I mean some motor carriers are businesses but we realized that these are really two different groups and we worked to establish a relationship with both.

I want to talk a little bit about the zip code strategy. We wanted to know where trucks were going. Of course we know where the truck routes are, but we want to know -- we wanted more information about why they were choosing those routes and where they were going. And so we took the entire region and divided -- we had a zip code database and we began to put some of these zip codes together and cluster them into areas. This is really based on local knowledge in terms of -- we're jumping ahead to show you the map. I guess I got a little ahead of myself here. This is based on local knowledge of where the business parks are located and commercial areas. And where likely travel routes are. So we divided this up to help, I guess, in a way that we felt like was best sort of destination locations. We made a map and I think there were 24 zones. Three of them were external, 21 were internal to the area and then you can see the white area in the middle is Lake Pontchartrain, so we had zones all over the region, north and south, all the way down to the Gulf. And then we established a zone to zone matrix where eventually we hoped that we would work with our trucking subcommittee and we would get at least a handful of people to fill out this matrix to tell us, and one of them being FedEx, so they have numerous drivers, where their routes were and what was their choices in terms of how drivers were strategically based and where their locations were and what areas they covered as they did drop-offs during the day. And then the types of trucks making deliveries. I think Eulois can probably better talk to that. And then eventually the compilation and analysis of survey data. These were -- you know, we weren't quite sure what we were going to find and what it was going to mean, so that was obviously a challenge. So if you want to talk a little bit about the trucks.

E. Cleckley:
I think some of the things thus far that Karen and I have gone over, you can see how much effort had to be dedicated toward just this specific project, so when it comes to looking at doing true freight planning from a midsize or small MPO perspective, these are the type of things or studies that can actually be conducted, but you can see the type of thought process, time, energy and resources that have to be dedicated to try to achieve some of the outcomes from this particular study. So I'm going to jump into the actual survey itself. Like Karen mentioned before, we did utilize Survey Monkey. The reason we wanted to go on this nontraditional route is because looking at previously done studies, when it comes to trucking and trying to ensure participation from a business perspective, take a look at the actual percentage or the participation rates, sometimes it might be a small segment of that particular business population. So after taking a look at that and seeing what other studies utilize as a survey tool, we notice that it was basically in paper format so we wanted to try to adapt and try to come up with a different type of survey tool that would be a little bit more amenable to the particular businesses and a lot more attractive and a lot more colorful. So I think that was one of the benefits of utilizing an online survey tool. You have a lot more flexibility utilizing this particular type of engine as opposed to just a bland paper survey.

Some of the elements of the actual survey were to try to ascertain business type as well as location when it comes to utilizing or when it comes to locating that particular business on an actual zip code map, which was the first and one of the more instrumental pieces of some of the outcomes of our study. Also the number of deliveries to warehouses, distribution centers and general businesses, days of the week that deliveries do occur, both from a motor carrier perspective and general business, time of day that deliveries are made, which is extremely important. We'll go over some of the actual results from that particular bullet point. Carrier size, meaning what type of trucks do the general businesses see at their back gate or back dock. And also what type of equipment do the carriers actually utilize within the actual city as opposed to intra-city moves. Also the number of outbound loads depending on business type and destination of loads to determine the truck route using the parish area. It was critical that we crafted the survey in a fashion that it spoke to both general businesses, that it spoke to distribution centers and transportation hubs and that it also spoke to motor carriers. It's kind of three different segments of the business population there that we wanted to craft and adapt the actual survey to, so on the general business side if you're looking at offices or just general businesses, dry cleaners, convenience stores, the number of deliveries and the types of delivery that say they actually have are completely different than distribution centers, manufacturers which have different types of equipment transporting their goods. And also from a motor carrier perspective, we wanted to make sure that the survey included all different types of perspectives when it comes to the logistics industry and also to go back and correlate and make sure that our results matched up with what we perceived as far as logistics needs as far as that particular logistics industry.

This is just a snapshot of the first two questions of the actual survey. The total survey consisted of about 25 questions, but depending on how the actual businesses answered the questions, the survey was crafted in a manner where it guided those particular businesses to the appropriate questions so they didn't have to go through and answer or not answer specific questions that weren't relevant to them. So that's one of the benefits of the actual tool. We saw this particular zip code map. Like I said, it was utilized for what the MPO wanted to try to do but also it was utilized within the survey itself. We were able to actually download this into the actual survey as a jpg and it was a good thing because it gave the business a sense of where they were located in the region and really kind of captured the vision that we were trying to get within this particular study. So it's always good from a graphical standpoint to ask something like this where it can really be useful to the particular participant who's answering the survey.

Just for time sake we're going to go through some of the actual results of the actual survey. I think there's a perception about New Orleans being a highly service oriented area. From the actual SIC code breakdown from the database that MPO actually ascertained, you can actually see that that's actually true. Over almost 30,000 businesses within the area are dedicated to service industry and you can see the actual disbursement of the businesses throughout the actual region, and this is through the entire five parish area. I think it's interesting to note that our manufacturing is pretty low. I guess it reflected what we already knew to some degree, but it was still a little bit surprising to see it.

Now, if we revert and you remember back through the actual zip code zone cluster map, it was separated out into 24 zones. Now, 21 of them are listed here. This gave a very good sense -- once again this was utilizing not only the zip code map but it was also utilizing the SIC code database to try to figure out where the businesses are located in what particular zone. Zone J had the highest number of businesses in that particular zone and that consisted -- or that was an area that was from the Orleans, Jefferson, parish line to airline boulevard and then north of lake Pontchartrain. And it actually had one of the identified business parks that we were going out and talking to and that we utilized within this survey. One of those business parks, Labarre business park, was located in zone J. So it wasn't a surprise that particular zone had the highest number of businesses because it had a pretty substantial business park located within that specific zone. As far as some of the actual results from the survey, this graph is very good as far as depicting number 1 what we all know, but also letting us know that the type of questions that we crafted and asked really spoke to what we're trying to achieve and it really showed and illustrated the relationship between general businesses, shipping and receiving patterns as well as the transportation piece. And throughout the week, according to how this survey responded, answered the questions, Tuesday was the most active day during the week. The beginning part of the week was the most active time of the actual week and it tailed off throughout the ending part of the week. Of course on Sunday and Saturday were most -- where most businesses are either closed down or not receiving deliveries and they're having a considerable amount of actual sales going on, that's when the transportation piece as well as the shipping and receiving activity was limited. And from just looking at this graph, it really shows that if you're a general business, you're usually doing most of your sales during the weekend. So you restock and ramp up your actual inventory, you need to start receiving deliveries Monday and Tuesday. So that's how the transportation industry reacts to general business when it comes to businesses located within an actual city area. So this particular graph and actual survey really spoke to that particular point.

As far as actual vehicle type, this also achieved what we already know and really quantified our thoughts on this. Over 80% of the actual general businesses that answered the survey recorded that they see small delivery trucks, FedEx and midsize delivery trucks, things of that nature, within their back dock as opposed to distribution centers and warehouses where they're not going to see that type of vehicle hit their back dock. But as you see, when it comes to midsize or larger tractor-trailer combination trucks, the results shift as almost 70% of distribution centers and warehouses see larger trucks as opposed to general businesses seeing those types of vehicles. So it just speaks to the point where larger facilities, the more product, the larger the vehicle.

This particular slide is probably one of the more telling and more influential data collection points that we actually obtained. We actually, through the use and how we went back and looked at the actual survey results, we were able to come up with a methodology and a way to figure out actual volume by time of day just based off of the results of the actual survey. It was an inexact science, there's not a whole lot of algorithms that are utilized but it's a way to sit down and look at the actual data that we were able to receive back from the participants and then try to expand and see if we can actually come up with this type of result and we were able to do that. Once again, we were able to quantify what we already know, which was that 20% of the trucks moving within the area occurred between 12:00 a.m. and 10 A.M. The majority of the trucks that are moving within the city are occurring during the early morning business hours, 10 to 2 P.M. It drops off during the evening time. 29.6% occurred between 2 and 6:00 p.m. and nighttime, 4% were only delivered between 6 and 12. It's important to realize that when the businesses are open, the trucks are on the road when it comes to delivering goods and products within the specific city. We also have percentages here as well as a number of low that say we recorded from the actual survey. So this was extremely important because it was able to support what we already know in a numerical sense, which is extremely important to the MPO because now they have a leg to stand on when it comes to utilizing this particular information in any type of planning initiatives. And I believe it was the first time any time of day data had ever been collected anywhere, so it was pretty insightful.

That completes some of the actual outcomes from the actual survey. I'm going to pass it back over to Karen and I want to take this opportunity for her to let everybody know as far as what the condition of the actual region is now when is comes to a post-Katrina New Orleans and a post-Katrina trucking environment and freight environment. I think it's something that is definitely unique to freight planning. I would like her to speak a little bit more about how some of the outcomes from the study are going to be utilized but specifically some of the benefits and challenges of what they face now when it comes to the trucking and freight environment.

K. Parsons:
Okay. I see that there's some questions up here on the board that have to do with how can you get a copy of the study and how did Katrina affect our region in terms of, you know, business relocations and the results of the survey pre and post-Katrina. Let me just say that we did not complete all the steps that we had hoped to complete at the time that Eulois left, which was the end of May 2005. I guess that would be three months before the storm hit. We were setting up a trucking subcommittee, we'd had several meetings. We were actually kind of coming to a consensus on determining the breadth of work they would be responsible for and kind of what their role responsibilities were. They had a tendency to go all over the board a little bit and want to include things like taxation, gas prices, some of the other battles -- you know, hours of operation, regulatory issues that they were working on at the state level or federally and we really kind of had to draw the line and say, you know, we're not going to be able to be as helpful to you in those roles, we need to limit it to the roadway issues for the most part. We might have some policy input at times on those things, but that's not going to be our strength. So we were sort of determining that. We had handed out the matrix to our -- basically our leadership group on the -- of the trucking subcommittee. They took it with them, they were beginning to fill it out, but it was pretty time-consuming because you're talking about 24 zones and filling out this matrix, you know, for a number -- some of them were doing it -- there were firms that had numerous drivers and so they were either passing them off to their drivers or filling it out as the manager. And I had one returned that didn't quite make it. He thought it made it via e-mail as an attachment, I never got it. He deleted it. He was going to have to start over. So, you know, we were just -- that was a hard -- that was a hard thing. I'm not certain how successful that was really going to be, but that was the hope, that we would actually get the motor carriers to fill out this matrix and talk about actual routes and we would relay them to the major truck routes in the area. And from that we would develop a weighted flow map within our region. You see those nationally or within the State, but we wanted one within our five parish area. So we were not able to develop that. On the bike and ped piece that I work on regularly, we had actually developed a methodology to take crash data that we had gotten from the state and to geolocate the bike and ped crashes in the region and we put this into a piece of software called CrimeStat that was developed by the justice system maybe five years ago. What it does is identify statistical hot spots. Say these are relevant locations for crashes. You know, you're going to have crashes continuing to occur. We had gotten the truck crash data set from the state and we were going to do the same thing, geolocate the crashes and also run it through this software. I know this is a very quick explanation of what this software does, but basically it identified, how do I want to describe this? It just identified areas that were -- that numerous accidents were somehow related to each other, probably you had to go in and do a more definitive analysis and look at what was happening on intersections within a little area. But it would basically draw a circle of the top areas within your region that said these are important crashes, these are not happening all by themselves. So we were going to do that piece as well and add that to our analysis. We couldn't get to that.

The subcommittee was formed but we really haven't regrouped. One of the first calls I got after the hurricane was one of the people on my subcommittee. He lived in St. Bernard Parish, which is the parish that had every single structure was flooded within the parish. It was totally devastated. And his own family, he had two daughters and I think his parents, they all lost their homes. He owned two trucks outright. He evacuated without them. Both of those were lost. So I mean many -- and that's just a small tale, I guess, that describes what locally people have gone through. So we had a lot of local drivers who owned their rigs and they -- you know, they lost their livelihoods and so he called me and said do you know of any work. So you can see that here it is seven months later post-storm and we really haven't been able to reestablish that subcommittee yet and the greater formulation of the freight advisory group.

We are still really reeling from the storm. We're dealing with that in such a large way that this is really very minor at this point. Hopefully we'll get back to it. I'm sure that we will. But it's just going to take a little time. We're dealing with housing issues. We're dealing with, you know, making sure that we get enough Congressional money that we can rebuild homes. And so let me -- okay. The last two slides here, I've got two more -- I guess three more. Eulois had asked me to talk a little bit about the post-Katrina environment for trucks and I thought, well, you know, we need to go out and get a few pictures. I thought, well, I know where I can get pictures. I can step outside my front door. I live in Orleans Parish. I'm living with a friend. We live on a major roadway that goes up to Lake Pontchartrain where all the Corps of Engineers is working to put in pump stations at the end of three canals. So within 15 minutes I had 30 photographs of trucks that just simply passed in front of my home. The lower left-hand picture is two FEMA trailers next door. But you can see there's everything from heavy equipment to dump trucks to people hauling -- and this is the early morning so most of them are empty. As they leave the lakefront, they will be full of things. But there's lots of deliveries being made. The truck traffic I'm sure is up. Again, just more -- various truck traffic. The lower center one is an energy truck. We're one of the first homes to get electrified. In the pictures in the top, all though homes have been gutted. You probably saw a FEMA trailer or two, but there were probably four or five families living in that area, in the Lakeview area. That's it at this point in time. And then the final picture is some of the things that we're hauling. At least we spent the first six months hauling and it will continue, I'm sure, for several years. Upper left is they established sort of immediate locations within the area to haul out the household debris stream, so we're talking about everything from wood to brick to refrigerators to just anything that was in a home that was flooded as they were gutted. On the bottom left they had a separate debris stream and they still continue to have both of these actually for organics, so this is trees that are being shredded. And you can kind of get an idea of the size of that pile when you look at the telephone pole and the yellow crane that's working in the pile. Those things are shredded down and then trucked out. These are all pictures that I took. Some of them are on the north shore. There's a boat in a tree up there. Homes that are gutted. Just stacks and stacks -- it's just indescribable the amount of debris that's coming out of New Orleans as we cleaned up trees so we could get to our roadways first off and now gutting homes and businesses to either eventually tear down those buildings or rebuild them. On the right are pictures of the I-10 as it crosses Lake Pontchartrain from the south shore to the north shore in Slidell. And at that location it's a single span because it was torn down by the storm and was quickly rebuilt. I think it opened two months ago. So that gives you an idea of what we're dealing with locally.

Well, that wraps up the actual study and survey so, Jennifer, we'll just turn it back to you.

J. Seplow:
Thank you, Eulois and Karen, you presented a large amount of information, but I think it was really informative and people will find it helpful. There's only a few questions typed in right now and I think Karen answered the majority of them for her presentation. So I'll start with questions for Mike. But actually before I get into the questions, I do just want to bring up one slide I'm going to leave up for a few minutes and then I'll bring up a slide with the presenters' e-mail addresses. This slide is about the Freight Peer-to-Peer program. It's a new program from FHWA. I'm not going to go into much detail about it but there's a website that provides more information. You can also call the phone number or send an e-mail to get more information about it, but I just wanted to put this up for now and make you aware of this new program.

Mike, there is one question that was typed in for you and the question is when will the final guidebook be released?

M. Williamson:
I don't have an actual date, Ron McCready who is my contact told me it was submitted basically the start of January and I'm assuming that in the next month or two it will be ready, but I will get in touch with him and find out where they are in the process.

J. Seplow:
Okay, thank you. And, again, I'll put up the slide with Mike's e-mail address for people who want to e-mail him I guess to receive a preliminary copy of the guidebook. Correct, Mike?

M. Williamson:

J. Seplow:
Okay. As I said, Karen had answered a good deal of the questions, but one thing I did want to make sure and ask you again, Karen, is the survey available online on the New Orleans RPC website or any information about the study available there?

E. Cleckley:
The actual survey itself is not on the website. That was one of the things that we wanted to try to do once we actually completed the actual study, but what we are supposed to do is put some information up on the website of some of the results that we achieved thus far and just wrap up that particular document. We were just waiting to see if we could incorporate some of the other goals that we had first set out. But something will be posted to include the report and actual survey.

J. Seplow:
Thank you. Does the RPC website -- is there any other information about past studies that you may have done up there?

K. Parsons:
No. I mean we just -- we did that mini survey in 2000 that is not posted there. It didn't flesh out in terms of a major report. It was really used internally to identify locations that we did further work on. So I guess we're not terribly helpful about having it on the website. But we do hope to, as Eulois said, wrap up the work that we were able to accomplish on the project. We didn't get as far as we wanted to, but that's always the challenge of a back of the envelope situation. We'll get that out there in the next couple of weeks.

J. Seplow:
Okay. The next question for both of you is what is the post-Katrina population in the New Orleans regional planning area?

K. Parsons:
Well, that's a good question. I don't think that's a question that anybody really has an answer to. There's been lots of entities that have made some guesstimates, but there's no formal -- there's nothing that says for sure. And it's because it's a very dynamic environment. We know that it's trending up, that people are returning. People in places like St. Bernard parish have relocated en mass to St. Tammany parish, they're purchasing homes there. We're just at such a place in time where the needs are so great in other areas that forecasting the population and getting a fix at any point in time is perhaps -- I don't want to say not the highest priority, but it's so -- it's changing. The Department of Health and Hospitals has done a study and based it on public school enrollment, trends, pre-Katrina and post-Katrina. Some people think that that's terribly undercounted. The parishes that were left are experiencing great levels of congestion. The parishes that were more impacted are slowly coming back but we don't have a way to really get a fix on how many people are here. So I'm sorry I don't have a good answer for you on that.

J. Seplow:
Okay. The next question is what type of survey response rate did you receive?

E. Cleckley:
Well, once we looked at kind of segmenting out a certain business population from the actual database, then we came up close to 1600 businesses that we actually had the University of New Orleans students go and call specifically to try to retrieve their e-mail addresses. And out of that database there, we ended up with about 10.8% response rate from that actual 1600. So it was actually decent. We thought that was a high enough response rate to give us some pretty adequate numbers.

J. Seplow:
And what do you think the most useful information from the survey will be in terms of transportation planning for your region?

K. Parsons:
Well, for NORPC some ways a lot of it has to do with general planning. We got a much better picture of how our business parks are operating, where they're located. Even these small clustered areas. They are better defined in our mind now. So it's not necessarily a direct correlation to a project at this point because a lot of the big ones have been identified, those of regional significance. I think some of it may translate to actually help local parishes plan, not just us is how that might translate. So it's a little yet to be seen on how it's going to be most beneficial.

E. Cleckley:
Well, as I mentioned before, there are certain elements of the actual study itself that is separate from the actual results that the MPO actual utilize. The identification and the mapping of the districts for a specific project that they were previously working on, so they were able to take the actual map from some of the work that we did here to utilize it for that initiative.

J. Seplow:
Thank you. And the next question is up through May, 2005, what was the cost of your study effort?

E. Cleckley:
$60! Because I was -- I tried to charge a very high rate but I wasn't in a position to do so. But my services were free. The database cost about $5,200.

K. Parson:
But that was a purchase that the MPO had already made. We had made it for other reasons, so it was sort of a happy accident that we had it on board and actually got our hands on it I think the week that Eulois arrived. We have a great GIS mapping staff. We use their skills and talents to map these things, to do the clustering of the zip codes and to help us think through some of the strategy as well. So really it was, you know, all done with existing staff and we do have a pretty high functioning MPO, I think, in terms of all areas, so we were able to handle it. Now the logistics, expertise and familiarity with trucking and trucking types and business operations, Eulois brought that to the table. We didn't have that on staff. I didn't know if there's a way for Federal Highway to fill in that gap for other MPOs and to put somebody on loan for six months at a time or something along those lines, but it's not necessarily something -- that specific kind of expertise isn't necessarily I guess a planner that you might put on staff long term. But -- I don't know. I'm not quite sure what the answer to that is.

J. Seplow:
And unfortunately we don't have any Federal Highway people in the room with me at this time to help speak about that a little bit more, but it is something that I'll mention to the people that work in the freight office.

At this point we're a little bit over time so we're going to go ahead and wrap up. If you did have any questions that you were planning on asking over the phone, I do have the presenters' e-mail addresses up on the screen. Please feel free to e-mail them or post them to the Freight Planning LISTSERV to give others a chance to respond as well. I want to thank everybody for attending today's seminar and thank all three presenters. There were two great presentations there and I think a lot of people look forward to seeing the guidebook coming out as well as finding out more about the results of the New Orleans study. The recorded version of this event as well as the PowerPoint presentations used from today and a transcript will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website. I'll send out an e-mail to all participants and let you know when the materials are available.

The next seminar will be held on May 17, and is titled "Energy Issues and the Impacts on Freight Transportation." If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so.

So with that, we will close out for today and, again, thank you everybody and thank you, Mike, Eulois and Karen.

Updated: 3/29/2011
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