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Managing the Impacts of Freight in California
  • Published Date:
    2018-01-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-7.48 MB]


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Managing the Impacts of Freight in California
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  • Abstract:
    With annual gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 2.4 trillion dollars, the State of California plays a major role in the nation’s economic growth and international trade. It is the largest state economy in the US and accounts for about 14% of US GDP. Tons of goods are moved into California every day through its busy seaports, airports and borders. Some of these goods are consumed locally, while others are processed and transshipped to other states and countries. To ensure the efficiency and reliability of freight movement, California has invested a great deal in building and maintaining its freight infrastructure, but these investments are far outpaced by the rapid growth in both passenger and freight demand. The result is increasing congestion, especially at bottlenecks where congestion and delays are severe. This research was motivated by new provisions in the 2016 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which require states to consider the impact of significant congestion or delays caused by the freight industry. Specifically, the FAST Act requires, “Consideration of any significant congestion or delay caused by freight movements and any strategies to mitigate that congestion or delay” (Federal Register, 81(199), 10/14/16, 71185). The purpose of this research is to generate recommendations on the most effective strategies for reducing freight related congestion and its impacts. These recommendations will be considered for inclusion in the California Freight Mobility Plan (CFMP) 2019 version to comply with FAST Act requirements. The research project consisted of the following tasks: 1) describe current and expected impacts of freight, 2) review the 2014 California Freight Mobility Plan (CFMP), 3) conduct public outreach to inform stakeholders of the research and recommendations, 4) review and assess mitigation strategies, and 5) provide recommendations for the 2019 CFMP. Describing the current and expected impacts of freight required the development of a method to identify freight impacts. Although there are several studies of freight bottlenecks and freight congestion, there is no prior research on identifying congestion caused by freight. The first task therefore develops a method for identifying congestion caused by freight and applies it to the two largest metro areas in California, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the rest of the state. Our method estimates impacts on passenger vehicles, and provides descriptive information on impacts on other modes. Results of Task 1 are presented in Chapter 2. The purpose of reviewing the 2014 CFMP was to examine the mitigation strategies presented in the plan, and to obtain data on forecasts of future freight demand. The CFMP does not include a forecast of future freight transportation demand sufficient to estimate impacts (e.g. a transport network forecast), nor is there statewide forecast data available from any other source. Therefore, we do not discuss impacts of future freight demand. Results of Task 2 are presented in Chapter 3. We conducted two webinars to inform stakeholders and elicit feedback on our method and recommendations. The webinars are described in Chapter 4. Our survey of mitigation strategies is based on the 2014 CFMP, as well as an international review of literature and best practices. Potential strategies and recommendations are presented in Chapter 5.

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