The American Transportation Research Institute on Feb. 27 released a report that presents best practices for freight planning at the state level. ATRI said the report aims to help state Departments of Transportation and their consultants “better address those freight planning components that are viewed as most critical by Federal Highway Administration, state DOTs and state trucking association leaders.”
The genesis of the report was ATRI’s call for innovative state freight plans from state DOT personnel and freight stakeholders nationwide. The top 12 plans selected formed the basis for an Ideal Attributes Checklist, by which the other state freight plans were assessed.
The report compares state plans against FAST Act-required and recommended components. The upshot is that ATRI “synthesized minimum freight planning requirements along with innovative practices and mapped nearly 50 different freight plans against the model freight plan framework.”
The research group said its Ideal Attributes Checklist, along with lessons learned and the various innovative practices highlighted within, will allow freight planners to consider a broad continuum of freight planning techniques for their next updates.
“The highest ranked plans utilize a variety of tools, including quantitative industry data, visualizations, project prioritization tools and strong reliance on Freight Advisory Committees, among other approaches.”
Texas was the highest ranked freight plan in ATRI's research based in part on the state's use of detailed commodity and freight flow data in developing its plan, as well as active engagement of its Freight Advisory Committee throughout the planning process.
"We are excited to be able to contribute our knowledge base to this important effort, and even more flattered that we were chosen by our peers as a model freight plan," said Caroline Mays, Director of the Texas Department of Transportation's Freight Office. "That said, our freight work has really just begun."
Other states receiving top accolades in ATRI's report include Georgia, California, Mississippi, Iowa, Florida, Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Maryland, and Alabama.