Three MAFC member states’ freight plans scored among the best in a recently release report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), “Identifying State Freight Plan Best Practices.” Freight plans from Iowa, Michigan and Ohio were among a dozen freight plans selected by ATRI as exemplary in terms of planning, assessment, and implementation practices.
The goal of this report was to provide a baseline for freight plans as well as future guidance on best practices since these freight plans will need to be updated every five years in accordance with the FAST Act.
According to the report’s authors, “A well-designed freight plan allows a state or region to accurately understand the movement of goods within the larger geographic and economic framework, and speculate on future trends…Freight plans also provide an understanding of how safe, efficient, and productive freight systems benefit local and state economies and help meet local, regional, and national goals for safety and productivity.”
ATRI received nominations for 26 states. Freight plans were evaluated on 10 criteria coming out of both the FAST Act and MAP-21 freight plan requirements.
Each of the high-scoring freight plans provide good examples of specific best practices. Iowa’s plan has an excellent multi-modal network analysis. Michigan’s plan was commended for providing a step-by-step protocol for replicating its project list development data analysis, allowing others interested in replicating the quantitative analysis to move from the initial data extraction all the way to exporting tier-sorted projects. And, Ohio’s freight plan includes a narrative discussion of how freight impacts the quality of life for its citizens, framing freight investment as an investment in prosperity and quality of life for Ohio residents.
For access to the full report, please visit TruckingResearch.org.
The development of Freight planning has been reliant on the sharing of knowledge and practices across the states. Our region is fortunate to have such expertise to develop these freight planning approaches, and then share them across the region. For an earlier assessment of state freight planning across the MAASTO states, see the MAFC report: From the Ground Up – Aligning state freight plans.