The National Academies

SHRP 2 C15 [Completed]

Integrating Freight Considerations into Collaborative Decision Making for Additions to Highway Capacity

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Cambridge Systematics
Principal Investigator: Donald Ludlow
Effective Date: 9/20/2010
Completion Date: 8/31/2013

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status

This comprehensive guide, including case studies and examples, identifies strategies for incorporating market-driven freight considerations into highway capacity decision making.
Public agencies can use the guide to plan for and provide highway capacity that serves economic development by meeting both local community capacity needs and national shipping and market supply needs. Addressing projected freight growth can also address the potential for delays and safety concerns associated with unanticipated freight movement bottlenecks.
The freight planning guide, Integrating Freight Considerations into the Highway Capacity Planning Process: Practitioner's Guide, is available at https://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/170008.aspx.  It has been incorporated into the TCAPP portal at https://www.transportationforcommunities.com/.
Staff Responsibility: David Plazak
The nations freight shippers, receivers, and carriers depend on transportation agencies to provide new highway capacity to meet the demands of growing domestic commerce and international trade. Yet, the traditional highway planning process has not broadly engaged these freight stakeholders in the planning process.
The objectives of this project were to:
  • Delineate appropriate consideration of freight transportation in the highway capacity planning and project development process and the collaborative decision-making framework developed through the SHRP 2 Capacity research program. Identify where freight concerns should be addressed at key decision points and where it is most critical to consider freight in order to make good decisions. Provide guidance for transportation agencies to get the right freight stakeholders with the right information involved at the right time. Tightly integrate freight considerations into the Transportation for Communities-Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) transportation capacity decision guide on the Internet.
  • Provide guidance to state DOTs, MPOs, decision makers, and stakeholders about appropriate consideration of freight is in planning for and providing highway capacity that serves economic development. Show how passenger and freight capacity improvements can be mutually beneficial.
  • Make sure that all sorts of freight movement, from international to local deliveries, are considered in highway capacity planning. Local deliveries tend to be “invisible” to planning practitioners and decision makers as well as to the public but they represent a significant portion of local system demand.
  • Give state DOTs and MPOs guidance on where to start in considering freight needs as part of the highway capacity planning process; provide brief but useful illustrative examples of successful practices at various scales and for various types of situations and regions.
  • Ensure that local land use planning decisions and policies are integrated into the products of C15 to the extent possible since they help shape freight shipping patterns, especially local deliveries.

As state departments of transportation (DOT) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) make efforts to improve the quality of their interaction with the freight community, Integrating Freight Considerations in Additions to the Highway Capacity Planning Process, offers timely guidance and examples of successful practices.

Status: The project is complete.

Product Availability: A prepublication draft of the final report, Integrating Freight Considerations into the Highway Capacity Planning Process: Practitioner’s Guide, was released in December, 2013.  It is available as an Adobe PDF.  A fact sheet is also available.


This page was last modified on January 7, 2014.

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