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Reports

The Final 50 Feet: Urban Goods Delivery System Research Project

The final 50 feet of the urban delivery system begins at the city-owned curb, commercial vehicle load zone, or sidewalk. It may extend through privately owned building freight bays, can include alleys, and may end in the common areas within a building such as the lobby. The last 50 feet provide challenges to goods delivery because there is a high—and growing—demand for scarce road, curb, and sidewalk space in urban areas with multiple competing uses. Without proven new tools, Seattle and other rapidly growing cities lack a data-driven way to balance limiting and/or reducing parking and loading in street space that is needed by transit, cars, bikes, and trucks. This project will provide quantitative data to help the City of Seattle understand more about urban goods delivery trends, logistics, and related technologies and thereby optimize the final 50 feet of deliveries of business and consumer goods to large residential, office, historic, and retail buildings in the downtown Seattle area. It will provide decision support to the City in revising codes and regulations pertaining to parking and truck loading/unloading zones and in making near- and long-term planning decisions regarding the management of scarce and expensive space in final 50 feet locations. (2016)

Principal Investigators: Goodchild, A.V., McCormack, E.D., UW
Sponsor: Seattle Department of Transportation

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

Traditionally, truck congestion bottlenecks have been defined as physical locations on highways that routinely experience congestion. This definition has directed attention to urban areas where most congestion occurs in general and to peak period “commuter” congestion specifically. However, although much truck delay occurs under these situations, many other impediments to truck travel exist, including policy restrictions on truck travel, extreme event and disaster conditions, and regulatory constraints. Therefore, a broader definition of truck bottlenecks may be warranted: any condition that acts impedes efficient truck travel, leading to travel times in excess of what would normally occur. As a subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics, TRAC researchers assisted in a review of current practices and measures for identifying, classifying, evaluating, and mitigating truck freight bottlenecks. They also participated in work to develop a new classification system for truck freight bottleneck categories based on causal and contributing factors; methods for quantitatively measuring truck freight bottlenecks within each of the categories; a scalable methodology for systematically identifying truck freight bottlenecks; a scalable methodology for evaluating the impacts of truck freight bottlenecks on local, regional, and national network performance; and a range of options for solving or mitigating truck freight bottlenecks for each identified category. (2016)

Principal Investigators: Hallenbeck, M.E., UW
Sponsors: NCHRP, Cambridge Systematics

Behavior-Based National Freight Demand Modeling

Current models for forecasting freight movement in the United States have been developed primarily at the statewide level, along with a few regional freight forecasting models. This project is developing a national freight forecasting model for the FHWA. The model, the first of its kind at the national level, will support national freight policy making and planning. As a subcontractor to RSG, UW researchers are helping to identify the most useful and promising structures for a national model and are leading the evaluation of model components and their integration. They are also developing an approach to test the potential specifications for each model component and are contributing to the development of national sources of data for use in the model. The project will demonstrate the model in a software application. (2017)

Principal Investigators: Goodchild, A.V., McCormack, E.D., UW
Sponsors: FHWA, Resource Systems Group
FHWA Technical Monitor: V. Mysore

FHWA Freight 2011 Support for National Performance Measure Research Data Set, Freight and Operations Performance Measures

The FHWA’s Office of Freight Management and Operations (HOFM) and Office of Transportation Management (HOTM) require the use of a national travel time data set to support analyses for the Freight Performance Measures Program (FPM) and documents such as the Urban Congestion Report. In 2013, the HOFM acquired a National Performance Measures Research Data Set (NPMRDS) for this purpose. After passage of the national Moving Ahead for Progress (MAP 21) legislation, FHWA determined that this data set could also assist states and metropolitan planning organizations in their freight planning, performance measurement, and other operations efforts, and it decided to make the data set available to a broader community of users. As a subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics, TRAC researchers provided technical assistance to the growing community of NPMRDS users in analyzing roadway performance and in linearly referencing and visualizing the data. Staff responded to technical questions asked by NPMRDS users, assisted in developing reports that assessed users and their data needs, and produced a website to guide users in applying the NPMRDS data set. (2017)

Principal Investigators: Hallenbeck, M.E., UW
Sponsors: FHWA, Cambridge Systematics 
Cambridge Systmatics Technical Monitor: Rich Margiotta

FRATIS I-35 Texas Impact Assessment

This project is evaluating a truck dispatch optimization system that Productivity Apex, Inc is developing under FHWA guidance. The freight advanced traveler information system (FRATIS) system is being deployed in Dallas, Texas, in association with major reconstruction work on I-35, a corridor that represents 11 of the 100 most congested roadways in Texas. The project involves the development of a geographic information data system that tracks truck movements and provides a variety of performance metrics on the basis of those movements. Successful demonstration of FRATIS on a statewide freeway corridor that contains significant work zone activity and congestion will highlight to the nation’s over-the-road trucking companies the benefits of FRATIS applications. (2017)

Principal Investigator: Hallenbeck, M.E., UW
Sponsors: FHWA, Cambridge Systematics

Smart Growth, Hawaii Department of Transportation

Smart Growth America (SGA) will conduct training for the Hawaii Department of Transportation in December 2016. UW researchers are supporting SGA and other instructors in refining the training objectives, preparing presentation materials related to freight and logistics, and leading on-site training and policy review specific to operations and logistics. After the training they will follow up with SGA staff to identify barriers to high quality planning for freight transportation and to engagement of the freight community, and they will provide feedback on an action plan to the Hawaii DOT that identifies ways to remove those identified barriers. (2017)

Principal Investigator: Goodchild, A.V., UW
Sponsor: Smart Growth America

Select Completed Projects

Freight Commodity Flows

The goal of this project was to collect data to quantify and characterize the movement of commodities through specified freight corridors. Truck drivers were surveyed when trucks stopped during their trips. The investigators developed a survey and conducted it in specified corridors four times over the course of a year. They also developed a database that allowed them to analyze and characterize commodity flow for the specified corridors. Determining the commodity flow on corridors aids agencies in correctly prioritizing infrastructure investments and increases their ability to determine the quantitative impacts of congestion, regulation, and bottlenecks on a transportation system or supply chain. (2016)

Principal Investigator: Sage, J., WSU
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Knutson, R., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT
WA-RD 853.1

Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement Stratetic Plan (SHRP 2 Local Freight Data)

Details of the behavior of food distribution supply chains in Washington state are poorly understood and limit WSDOT’s ability to adequately support and plan for food distribution transportation activities. Although the industry’s transportation, supply chain, and fleet characteristics are not well understood, the industry generates significant economic, environmental, and social impact. This project collected the data necessary to accurately model the behavioral responses of key state supply chains to different state policy scenarios aimed at reducing freight emissions and their impacts on the freight system in the state. It also examined the interplay between policy scenarios and market fores driving key supply chains’ involvement with the transition to natural gas fuels for freight systems. (2016)

Principal Investigator: Goodchild, A., UW
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Ivanov, B., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT
WA-RD 850.1

NCHRP 08-98: Guide for Identifying Truck Freight Bottlenecks

Traditionally, truck congestion bottlenecks have been defined as physical locations on highways that routinely experience congestion. This definition has directed attention to urban areas where most congestion occurs in general and to peak period “commuter” congestion specifically. However, although much truck delay occurs under these situations, many other impediments to truck travel exist, including policy restrictions on truck travel, extreme event and disaster conditions, and regulatory constraints. Therefore, a broader definition of truck bottlenecks may be warranted: any condition that acts impedes efficient truck travel, leading to travel times in excess of what would normally occur. As a subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics, TRAC researchers assisted in a review of current practices and measures for identifying, classifying, evaluating, and mitigating truck freight bottlenecks. They also participated in work to develop a new classification system for truck freight bottleneck categories based on causal and contributing factors; methods for quantitatively measuring truck freight bottlenecks within each of the categories; a scalable methodology for systematically identifying truck freight bottlenecks; a scalable methodology for evaluating the impacts of truck freight bottlenecks on local, regional, and national network performance; and a range of options for solving or mitigating truck freight bottlenecks for each identified category.(2016)

Principal Investigators: Hallenbeck, M.E., Goodchild, A.V., UW
Technical Monitor: Jensen, M., Cambridge Systematics
Sponsors: NCHRP, Cambridge Systematics

Developing a System for Computing and Reporting MAP-21 and Other Freight Performance Measures

WSDOT must begin produce freight performance measures to meet its own needs as well as to respond to the upcoming MAP-21 federal performance reporting requirements. WSDOT needs the ability to measure freight performance on the Interstate system, to identify and quantify freight bottlenecks on the state highway network, and to measure freight movement performance on key freight economic corridors. This project designed and tested a system to produce freight performance reports for WSDOT. The project developrf the procedures for computing the performance measures that WSDOT requires. The research team worked with WSDOT staff to obtain the necessary data files to produce the performance measures, identify the decisions that WSDOT must make to compute the required measures, produce the software for WSDOT’s use, and produce an initial set of measures. (2015)

Principal Investigator: Hallenbeck, M.E., UW
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Ivanov, B., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT
WA-RD 844.1

Prototype Development and Small-Scale Demonstration for Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS)—South Florida

This USDOT-funded project researched freight intelligent transportation system solutions in the South Florida region, a major freight gateway, to help alleviate congestion, pollution, and delays while promoting improved freight mobility. The purpose of the project was to develop a prototype Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS) and then conduct a small-scale demonstration to assess the effectiveness and impacts of implementing a regional FRATIS. As a subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics, TRAC staff helped to develop emergency preparedness and response activities for the FRATIS, which will consist of a smart phone application designed to collect and disseminate information related to traffic conditions, road closures, fuel availability, supply locations, and more. (2014)

Principal Investigator: McCormack, E.D., UW
Technical Monitor: Jensen, M., Cambridge Systematics
Sponsors: FHWA, Cambridge Systematics

US 395 North Freight Origin-Destination Economic Study

In this project, WSU researchers worked with the WSDOT Eastern Region Planning Office and the new Northeast Washington regional transportation planning office to conduct a freight origin-destination study for US 395 from the Stevens/Spokane county line to the Canadian border. Shippers and haulers operating on US 395 were contacted and interviewed, and an intercept freight survey as and administered at pre-determined sites and times in coordination with the Washington State Patrol. A database structure was developed for the collected data. A GIS database was developed to include commodity flows/values, origins=destinations, and freight generators. The information on the destination of the products carried, their origin, and their volume and value is useful in prioritizing this corridor for future infrastructure investments. (2014)

Principal Investigator: Sage, J., WSU
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Kay, C., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT
WA-RD 836.1

Developing a Performance Measurement Approach to Benefit/Cost Freight Project Prioritization

To prioritize public investments in freight systems and to ensure consideration of the contribution of freight to overall system performance, states and regions need a better method for analyzing the freight benefits associated with proposed highway and truck intermodal improvements. To address that need, this project developed a data-supported framework to prioritize public investments in freight systems in Washington and Oregon. The project integrated two ongoing WSDOT-funded efforts, one to create methods for calculating the value of truck and truck-intermodal infrastructure projects and one to collect truck probe data from commercial GPS devices to create a statewide Freight Performance Measures (FPM) program. This integration will provide a framework that allows public agencies in the Pacific Northwest to quantify freight investment benefits in specific areas, such as major freight corridors and across borders. (2013)

Principal Investigators: Casavant, K./Sage, J., WSU; Goodchild, A.V./McCormack, E.D., UW
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Ivanov, B., WSDOT
Sponsors: WSDOT, PacTrans
WA-RD 815.1

NCHRP Project 31—Guidebook for Sharing Freight Transportation Data

As a subcontractor to Cambridge Systematics, TRAC researchers assisted in publishing a guidebook designed to facilitate freight data sharing, particularly between public sector agencies and private transportation firms that generate or control freight data. The researchers documented case studies, interviewed individuals involved with successful data sharing efforts, compiled lists of barriers and motivators to sharing freight data, and helped develop a set of guidelines for use by the full range of public and private freight stakeholders. (2013)

Principal Investigator: McCormack, E.D. UW
Technical Monitor: Jensen, M., Cambridge Systematics>
Sponsors: National Cooperative Highway Research 
Program, Cambridge Systematics

GPS Data from Trucks—Freight Performance Measures Program

This project was the third and final phase of the Freight Performance Measures Program (FPMP), whose development was directed by the Washington State Legislature. The FPMP collects and allows for analysis of global positioning systems (GPS) truck data from around the state. This phase of the project enabled maintenance, improvements, and updates to a roadway bottleneck identification and ranking process for state freight corridors. This tool will help WSDOT identify locations where highway construction projects may improve traffic flow for trucks. (2012)

Principal Investigator: McCormack, E.D., UW
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Ivanov, B., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT

Improving Statewide Freight Routing Capabilities for Sub-National Commodity Flows

The National Cooperative Freight Research Program is working to increase the availability of freight flow data at the corridor and regional levels. To build upon this national effort, this research project worked in parallel with the national study by developing and testing truck routing rules and logic. This effort gathered information on how truck freight routing decisions are made by cataloguing how routing decisions vary by truck freight service type, commodity shipped, and industry sector served. It included an assessment of how route choices are affected by factors such as urban congestion, travel time and route reliability, highway grade/elevation and curvature characteristics, and business and product-specific supply chain characteristics. WSDOT will use the results to better manage resources for the highest possible return on investment, deliver cost-effective solutions to improve the performance of the freight transportation system, and be environmentally responsible. (2012)

Principal Investigators: Jessup, E.L., WSU; Goodchild, A.V., UW
Research Manager: Brodin, D., WSDOT
Technical Monitor: Ivanov, B., WSDOT
Sponsor: WSDOT, FHWA
WA-RD 792.1

TRAC