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Planning for Urban Freight Movement

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Presentation on theme: "Planning for Urban Freight Movement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning for Urban Freight Movement
By Arun Chatterjee The University of Tennessee, Knoxville I am happy to share some of my experience and thoughts with you.

2 Scope of My Presentation
Traditional planning & engineering oriented Vehicle-based analysis Internal & through movements of trucks Tools for planning and forecasting Examples of common issues and opportunities Practical difficulties Susie’s presentation covered the broad aspects of urban freight movement and planning at a macro level, which has an economic development orientation. Simultaneously with the analysis and planning as Susie described, local planners and traffic engineers must deal with the common problems and opportunities related to truck traffic in an urban area, and my presentation will identify some of these common problems and opportunities. What I will cover is well within the scope of traditional MPO planning and traffic engineering. I will discuss vehicle-based analysis focusing on internal and through movements of trucks. I will examine some of the traditional tools for planning and forecasting. I will give some examples and point out some of the difficulties.

3 Internal Movement- Modes & Vehicles
Nearly 100% trucks Majority SU and trucks and vans of different types Some large combination trucks Internal freight movement occurs almost always by trucks. Majority of these movement uses SU trucks and vans. However, large combination trucks also move freight between terminals and hubs located inside an urban area.

4 Services of Different Hierarchy
PUD between major centers, e.g., an airport and a hub center of UPS/FedEx: large combination trucks PUD of containers from one rail terminal to another, e.g., in Chicago: large trucks PUD between warehouses and offices/stores: medium size trucks and vans PUD between a break-bulk terminal and offices/homes: small trucks and vans It should be recognized that although most of the internal truck movements are for pick-up and delivery of freight, these operations have a hierarchical pattern and require different sizes of trucks. For example: READ FROM SLIDE

5 Service Vehicles Service vehicles of plumbers, electricians, etc. (Should these be treated as freight vehicles?) An issue that freight planners should be aware of involves automobiles and small vans used by plumbers, electricians, office equipment repair persons, and others providing similar services. These vehicles may have ‘commercial’ license tags, but they do not carry heavy freight items. So a question that should be resolved is whether these vehicles should be allowed to use Loading Zones, or should loading zones be restricted to “true trucks” which, of course, should be clearly defined.

6 Types of Commodities Construction materials Food products
Consumer goods: TV, furniture, etc. Petroleum Small packages Mail, etc. Although planners may not need to analyze the internal freight movements in terms of commodity flows, they should be aware of the large variety of freight that are carried by trucks inside an urban area. These range from construction materials to small packages and mail.

7 Long-Range Planning Process of MPO’s
20-year planning horizon Relies on forecasting models Two major components Land use forecasting Travel forecasting How is freight transportation treated? All MPOs are engaged in long-range planning process. I am going to examine the process from freight perspective. The time horizon for long-range planning usually is 20 years, and forecasting future scenarios is essential. Forecasting models play an important role and there are two categories of these models -- land use forecasting models and travel forecasting models. A freight planner must examine how freight movements are treated in these models.

8 Land Use Planning and Forecasting
Does it address truck terminals and their locations- now and in the future? Does it address warehousing and their locations - now and in the future? How are the other freight generators such as seaports, airports, and rail-truck intermodal yards treated? (Expansion & relocation needs) Is access to freight facilities examined? Let us examine land use planning and forecasting first. In land use planning, freight traffic generators often are included in general land use categories such as ‘industrial’ and ‘commercial’ and their unique identity is lost. Thus they may not be receiving the recognition or attention that they deserve. Questions that should be asked include: READ FROM SLIDE

9 Travel Forecasting Models
Travel forecasting models constitute a major component of the planning process Four-step modeling procedure’s primary focus has been on passenger trips by automobile & transit Research on travel surveys and mathematical models commonly focus on person/passenger trip making and mode choice Now let us examine travel forecasting models. A considerable amount of time and effort is spent for developing and applying four-step travel demand forecasting models. These models are useful for assessing future alternative plans. However, the primary focus of these models has been on passenger trips.

10 Truck Travel Forecasting Models
Only a few MPO’s are developing these models Lack of good data on truck travel Need for truck trip surveys and truck counts (by types) Only a few MPOs today make a serious effort to develop truck travel forecasting models. The reasons for not doing so usually include “lack of data” and the cost of doing a truck travel survey. However, if an MPO is serious about freight planning it should do a truck travel survey of some type although a full-blown O-D survey may not be possible. The MPO also must gather truck counts at several locations. These surveys, of course must be designed carefully, and count locations also must be selected carefully.

11 Truck Trip Modeling: Questions to Be Addressed
How to classify truck trips-- size, type of service? Trip generation models for productions and attractions: variables to use – employment, or commodity oriented? Trip distribution- trip based or tour based models? (Pick-up & delivery trucks use trip chaining/tours.) When developing truck travel models one must address a variety of issues and questions. For example, should separate models be developed for trucks of different sizes and how many types or classes should be used? ( Three different sizes may be used to classify trucks: 4 tired SU or vans; 6+ tired SU; and combination trucks.) It should be recognized that truck trip making is more complex than passenger trips, and trip generation and distribution models may be somewhat different from those of passenger vehicles. The classic gravity model may not work well for PUD truck trips, which are tour based and are similar to trip chaining.

12 Truck Trip Modeling- Questions(Cont.)
Traffic assignment - need a separate network for large trucks? If auto trips and truck trips are assigned separately, how to account for their combined impact on capacity and speed? Should have the ability to identify truck trips even after combining with auto trips for assignment for truck route planning. Traffic assignment for trucks also raises interesting questions: 1. Should there be a separate network for large trucks reflecting truck route restrictions and roads that are avoided by large trucks. 2. Another question : (Read SECOND Bullet) 3. It should be emphasized that planners should be able to identify truck trips assigned on a network although these may be combined with auto trips for a combined assignment. There are techniques that can do this. I cannot provide specific answers to these questions, which I raised. The state of the art for truck travel forecasting is not as advanced as in the case of passenger trips. What I am trying here is to alert freight planners that they should be aware of these questions no matter whether they are developing the models in-house or have a consultant to do it. (There are a few special traffic assignment techniques available for truck trips and combining them with auto trips: 1. Multi-class assignment 2. Preloading of large truck trip assignment)

13 Special Techniques for Developing a Truck Trip O-D Matrix
An O-D survey for truck travel is expensive and complex Mathematical techniques for creating truck trip matrix that can replicate truck counts Need truck counts at strategically selected locations Need information on truck trip generators and truck prohibitions Baltimore area MPO recently utilized this approach I would like to point out a special type of technique that has been used in a few areas as a substitute for a truck O-D survey, which is expensive to do. A mathematical procedure can be used to create a truck trip matrix that would replicate truck counts at selected locations with a reasonable accuracy. These synthetic techniques for truck trip distribution are not that widely used at this time and more research perhaps is needed on this subject. Some good data are needed for these synthetic models too. Baltimore area MPO used this approach recently. (Jocelyn Jones)

14 Problems & Opportunities
Long-range & short-range How to identify these? Role of freight advisory committees for identifying current problems and opportunities Now, we must not get too carried away with truck travel models, which are tools for identifying problems and assessing alternative solutions. We need to have some understanding of common problems and opportunities involving truck travel. I am going to discuss a few common long-range and short-range opportunities. Actually many of these can be identified without using models, and a Freight Advisory Committee can be helpful for this purpose. There has been an excellent session on this series of ‘talks’ about freight advisory groups. (Presentations by Ted Dahlburg and Gerald Rawling)

15 Opportunities Deserving Immediate Attention
Planning oriented Traffic engineering oriented Among the opportunities that deserve immediate attention some fall under city planning, and some come under traffic engineering. Both city planners and traffic engineers can apply certain strategies to reduce a serious problem that freight carriers face in serving their customers in downtown areas of large and medium size cities. The problem that I am referring to involves finding a legitimate place to park a truck or a van when delivering or picking up goods from offices and or residences in the downtown area.

16 Planning Oriented Opportunities
Providing off-street loading docks/space for buildings: zoning ordinance should specify requirements One helpful strategy is to provide off-street space for trucks. This can be done using zoning ordinance. Every city should have requirements in the zoning ordinance regarding off-street loading docks or space to be provided at buildings in proportion to the floor area. However, many cities do not have these requirements and in many cases the requirements are not adequate. Further, in many cases these spaces even when provided do not help because these are misused, or poorly designed for trucks. The picture on this slide show a small off-street loading dock, and one of the two spaces is occupied by a dumpster. Large high rise buildings need many more spaces. There are standards used by a few planning agencies for estimating spaces needed based on land use and floor area.

17 Planning Opportunities (Contd.)
Developing freight terminal complexes – transportation parks (or freight villages): land use plans should provide for these. Another planning oriented opportunity applicable to locations outside of a CBD involves the development of transportation parks, or freight villages, which is an expression used in Europe. In most urban areas freight terminals are scattered around, and some cause conflicts with surrounding developments. If instead these are concentrated at a few locations along with businesses that serve them, special strategies can be used to create buffer areas and/or provide special access facilities. This needs pro-active land use planning.

18 Traffic Engineering Oriented Opportunities
Curbside loading zones Improvements along routes commonly used by large trucks Intersection improvements at locations with heavy truck use Now let us see how Traffic Engineers can help. City traffic engineers can help freight carriers in a variety of ways: 1. By providing adequate loading zones along curbside of downtown streets, 2. By removing obstacles along truck routes, 3. By designing intersections for accommodating the turning radius of large trucks at locations where truck turning volume is heavy.

19 Cut-Outs for Loading Zones
Cut-outs/turn-outs of wide sidewalks for loading zones Here is a picture of an ideal location for a loading zone. What the picture is showing is a cut-out in the sidewalk where trucks can park safely. Cut-outs are feasible where sidewalks are wide. These provide a safe area for loading zones and avoid the obstruction of traffic on through lanes.

20 Curbside Loading Zones
Location Length and marking Hours of operation Time limit for turnover Different zones for different types of vehicles Enforcement Actually there are many interesting aspects of loading zones with respect to eligibility, location, pavement marking and signing, time of operation, etc. Here you can see a sign for a Commercial Loading Zone, and another for Truck Loading Zone. The third picture shows a space reserved for courier vehicles of companies like FedEx and UPS. One point I must make involves the consequences of not having adequate off-street and curbside loading space. The delay that freight carriers experience and traffic tickets that they receive for double parking increases the cost of doing business considerably. These costs ultimately are passed on to the shippers and receivers, and ultimately consumers end up paying for the inefficiencies of freight delivery system.

21 Curb Space Management Competing users of curbside Buses Taxi cabs
Service vehicles Trucks of different types Who gets priority? Curb space management is an important component of the duties of city traffic engineering departments. It offers a challenge to traffic engineers to accommodate the needs of competing users of curb space such as trucks, buses, and taxi cabs. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is trying to develop a set of ‘good practice’ guidelines.

22 Through Movement– Common Problems
High volume of heavy trucks on arterial highways – noise, traffic congestion, safety concern, etc. Lane use restrictions for trucks Rail-highway grade crossings – safety So far I spoke about issues involving internal truck movements. I must mention a few things about through traffic before closing. In some communities long-distance “through” truck travel is a serious issue. Motorists are afraid of large trucks and want to impose restrictions on trucks. Any proposed restriction should be assessed carefully before implementation. In some areas with major rail service rail-highway grade crossings may be a major issue with regard to safety and delay. City traffic engineers should pay more attention to these problems and should work closely with state DOT engineers on these issues.

23 Difficulties to Overcome
General public has a negative attitude toward freight service providers Elected officials may not give high priority to freight vehicles (“freight does not vote”) and freight planning Need cooperation of private freight companies, but they want fast action and are skeptical about public agencies Newcomers to freight planning should be aware of some of the difficulties of freight planning, which planners usually do not face when planning for passenger travel. Here are a few common difficulties to be aware of: (READ FROM SLIDE)

24 Concluding Remarks Use a practical approach
Address major concerns and issues of both public and private sectors Need to implement a few strategies quickly to gain confidence of private sector Need to publicize the case/need for freight transportation using news media, chamber of commerce, trade associations, etc. Here are a few more words of advice to new freight planners: (READ from SLIDE)

25 References Urban Goods Movement, Ogden, K. W., Ashgate Publishing Company, 1992 Characteristics of Urban Freight Systems, Wegmann, Chatterjee, Lipinski, Jennings and McGinnis, A Report Prepared for FHWA, DOT-T-96-22, 1995 Urban Transportation Planning for Goods and Services, Dennis Christiansen, TTI, A Report Prepared for FHWA, 1979 I have listed a few references on this slide and on the next one. These contain useful information. Unfortunately some of these are fairly old publication and may not be easily available. The first reference is a book, and it includes an extensive list of useful references.

26 References (Contd.) Truck Trip Generation Data, Fischer, M.J. and Han, M., NCHRP Synthesis 298, TRB, 2001 Chatterjee, Staley, and Whaley, “Transportation Parks -- A Promising Approach to Facilitate Urban Goods Movement,” Traffic Quarterly, April 1986 Chatterjee, A., et al, “Goods Movement Planning for Small and Medium Size Urban Areas,” Transportation Engineering, ITE, November 1977 The NCHRP Synthesis Report on truck trip generation report is recent. The two papers listed here are old but still valid.

27 Thanks Robert Gorman, FHWA
My consultants for this presentation: Ted Dahlburg, Gerald Rawling, Jocelyn Jones, and Michael Fischer. Before closing I want to thank:

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