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Freight

West Seattle Bridge Case Study

In March 2020, coinciding with shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Seattle Bridge, the main bridge connecting West Seattle with the rest of the city of Seattle, was closed to traffic because of structural deterioration. The unexpected closure of the bridge disrupted passenger and freight mobility to/from West Seattle, increasing travel times and generating bottlenecks on the remaining bridges. This project documented the impacts of the closure on freight flow in and out of West Seattle.

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Final 50 Feet: Urban Goods Delivery Systems

The Final 50 Feet Research Program focuses on the “final 50 feet” of the urban goods delivery system, including searching for parking; loading/unloading; maneuvering intersections, curbs, and other obstacles; and delivering goods to customers. Researchers have used a systems engineering approach to investigate solutions to optimizing delivery operations in the final 50 feet of the supply chain. They have analyzed both the street network and the city’s vertical space as one integrated goods delivery system to ultimately reduce carbon emissions and increase curb efficiency for goods delivery.

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Characterization of Seattle’s Commercial Traffic Patterns: A Greater Downtown Area and Ballard/Interbay Vehicle Count and Evaluation

This project was designed to deliver crucial granular baseline data on commercial vehicle movements in key areas of Seattle to help city transportation professionals plan for increasing goods movement and service activities. It produced Seattle’s first complete estimate of Greater Downtown area traffic volumes, and it offered a detailed analysis of commercial vehicle traffic in and around one of the city’s major industrial centers, the Ballard-Interbay Northern Manufacturing Industrial Center. In doing so, it produced a critical snapshot of the detailed data needed for effective policy and planning, potentially informing everything from road maintenance and traffic signals to electric vehicle charging station sites and possible proposals for congestion pricing.

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Freight and Transit Lane Case Study

In January 2019 the City of Seattle opened a local freight and transit (FAT) lane to explore ways to address the challenges of freight mobility. This study evaluated the performance and utilization of the FAT lane. Analysis included the percentages of buses and freight vehicles that chose the FAT lane, violation rates of the FAT lane, and factors that most influenced lane choice. The city will be able to use these findings to guide the development of future FAT lane projects.

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Cargo E-Bike Delivery Pilot Test in Seattle

This study evaluated the pilot test of a cargo e-bike delivery system in Seattle, Washington. Researchers compared the performance of an electric-assisted tricycle with a removable cargo container used to perform last-mile deliveries and pick-ups in downtown Seattle with that of a traditional, truck-only delivery system. In evaluating and comparing both systems, the researchers looked at delivery area, number of delivery locations, number of packages delivered, and failed first delivery rate. The results are intended to provide information to help the city in developing future urban freight policies.

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Seattle Center City Alley Infrastructure Inventory and Occupancy Study 2018

The Supply Chain and Transportation Logistics (SCTL) Center at the University of Washington conducted an alley inventory and truck load/unload occupancy study for the City of Seattle. Researchers collected data identifying the locations and infrastructure characteristics of alleys within Seattle’s One Center City planning area. The resulting alley database includes GIS coordinates for both ends of each alley, geometric and traffic attributes, and photos. The researchers developed alley management recommendations to promote safe, sustainable, and efficient goods delivery and pick-up.

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I-35 FRATIS Impacts Assessment

This project evaluated the impacts of roadway performance information delivery efforts on freight operations in Texas. A freight advanced traveler information system (FRATIS) was deployed in the form of the I-35 Traveler Information during Construction (TIDC) system in Dallas, Texas, in association with major reconstruction work on I-35. The evaluation focused on the impacts of delivering the TIDC information to trucking companies. Both participating trucking companies reported receiving benefit from the construction delay information.

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Confounding Factors of Commercial Motor Vehicles in Safety Critical Events

When determining the causes of freight-related accidents, researchers need to disentangle the complex interactions among a range of causal and confounding factors, such as hours of service, time of day, traffic density, roadway type, environmental conditions, and driver behavior and characteristics. This study sought to uncover relationships between driver hours of service and a set of potential confounding factors related to time of day.

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NCHRP 08-98: Guide for Identifying, Classifying, Evaluating, and Mitigating Truck Freight Bottlenecks

The demand for truck transportation increases alongside growth in population and economic activity. As both truck and passenger traffic outstrip roadway capacity, the result is congestion, which the freight community experiences as truck bottlenecks. This NCHRP project produced a Guidebook that provides state-of-the-practice information to transportation professionals on practices and measures for identifying, classifying, evaluating, and mitigating truck freight bottlenecks. The intent is to help decision-makers in developing cost-effective solutions to address different types of truck freight bottlenecks.

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Food Distribution Supply Chain Data Collection: Supply Chain Firm Interviews and Truck Counts

In contrast to small food distributors, large grocery store firms and food distributors use larger trucks, with a more diverse truck fleet that travels longer distances, travels more highway miles than local street miles, and travels a larger variety of routes. Smaller food distributors use smaller trucks that travel shorter routes and mostly in urban areas, with less highway driving. Both types of food distribution firms place importance on reducing fuel use and emissions. However, their differences in operating characteristics influence their experiences with and ability to use natural gas vehicles. This information is important to policy makers in devising new alternative fuel policies and programs.

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