Reports

TRB

NCHRP 20-68A: 12-01
Advances in State DOT Superload Permit Processes and Practices
Advances in State DOT Superload Permit Processes and Practices investigated how states' permitting and bridge offices are responding to ever-increasing Superloads and, in particular, applying AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor (LRFR) provisions for permits.

Read complete Report |NCHRP Project 20-68A, Scan 12-01 PDF


Special Report 277
Measuring Personal Travel and Goods Movement
​Measuring Personal Travel and Goods Movement recommends a series of actions the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) should take to render its flagship surveys -- the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) and the Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) -- more effective in meeting the needs of a broad spectrum of data users. The report also recommends approaches BTS and its survey partners should adopt to develop more effective survey methods and address institutional issues affecting survey stability and quality.


Read complete Report | TRB Special Report 277 PDF

Special Report 271
Freight Capacity for the 21st Century
In every sector of the U.S. freight transportation industry during the past decade, alarms were sounded, by service providers and their customers, that facilities were becoming inadequate to deal with the demands of traffic growth. Trucking companies saw highway congestion eroding performance and profits, rail customers experienced painful service disturbances as the aftermath of mergers in the industry, and port operators sought federal assistance to cope with unprecedented growth in international trade. Responding to capacity demands is complicated by conflicts between the requirements of passengers and freight sharing the same facilities and by the need to balance to maintain environmental quality, preserve communities, and accommodate economic growth.

Read complete Report | http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/sr/sr271.pdf PDF

TRB Special Report 267
Regulation of Weights, Lengths, and Widths, of Commercial Motor Vehicles
The report recommends the creation of an independent public organization to evaluate the effects of truck traffic, pilot studies of new truck designs, and a change in federal law authorizing states to issue permits for operation of larger trucks on the Interstates. May 16, 2002

Read complete Report |http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/sr/sr267.pdf PDF

NCHRP--Sythesis 317
Dealing with Truck Parking Demands
It is nationally recognized that commercial motor vehicle operators frequently cannot find adequate, safe parking for rest purposes. Many state departments of transportation are experiencing a heavy demand for commercial vehicle parking at rest areas, one that exceeds capacity. These rest areas are intended for short-term safety breaks; however, there continues to be a need for longer-term parking services in high-use corridors. Private truck stops often provide facilities that allow drivers to use them for longer-term stays to obtain adequate rest. For many of these private truck stops, demand also exceeds capacity. The purpose of this synthesis is to assist transportation agency administrators in identifying those practices that have been used to manage the increasing demand for commercial motor vehicle parking. The emphasis is on identifying successful and innovative strategies that have been implemented by transportation agencies as well as potential strategies that have yet to be deployed.

Read complete Report |http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_syn_317.pdf PDF

NCHRP--Sythesis 320
Integrating Freight Facilities and Operations with Community Goals
Freight transportation is more important than ever. The freight transportation system is the nation’s link to the global economy and the conduit for ensuring that consumer and business needs are met. At the same time, the increasing amount of freight traffic has raised several community issues. Concern with traffic flow and congestion; safety and security; air quality and the environment; achieving economic development goals; noise, excessive light, and vibrations; and land use and value are growing and need to be addressed as the freight transportation system adds capacity and expands operations.

Read complete Report | http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_syn_320.pdf PDF

NCHRP--Report 495
Effect of Truck Weight on Bridge Network Costs
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 495: Effect of Truck Weight on Bridge Network Costs contains the findings of a study to develop a methodology for estimating the impact of changes in truck weight limits on bridge network costs. The report describes the research effort and the recommended methodology and illustrates application of the methodology.

Read complete Report | http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_495.pdf PDF

NCHRP--Report 505
Review of Truck Characteristics as Factors in Roadway Design
Trucks constitute a large and growing segment of the traffic on American highways. On many rural Interstate highways, trucks now constitute more than one-third of the total traffic stream. The increase in truck traffic is related to a strong and growing economy, shifts in manufacturing patterns and inventory reduction through just-in-time delivery, and changing trade patterns resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In addition to growth in truck volumes, the mix of truck types on U.S. highways has shifted toward larger vehicles.
Trucks are an important consideration in geometric design of highways. Many highway geometric design policies are based on vehicle characteristics. Truck characteristics are often a key consideration in determining the recommended values of such criteria. The research presented in this report reviews the characteristics of trucks in the current U.S truck fleet, as well as possible changes to the truck fleet, and recommends appropriate changes to highway geometric design policy to ensure that highways can reasonably accommodate trucks.

Read complete Report | http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_505.pdf PDF

NCHRP--CIRCULAR E-C048:
Freight Transportation Research Needs Statements
Freight Transportation Research Needs Statements identifies critical issues in freight transportation as a resource for researchers in the freight area and serves as a seedbed for further discussion and analysis from a wider cross-section of freight practitioners. Truck travel is growing at unprecedented rates; 3.5%, annually, compared to 2.5% for all vehicles. Trucks now routinely approach 40% of the traffic mix on certain segments of Interstate highways at various times of the day. The truck portion of the traffic mix will likely continue to increase. Simultaneously, truck accidents and fatalities are a significant ans continual public concern Against this backdrop, there is vigorous political debate and strong economic pressure to increase maximum allowable truck size and weight limits as a way of handling both the need for productivity improvements, and the large and growing amount of travel.

Read complete Report | http://trb.org/publications/circulars/ec048.pdf PDF

Research Results Digest--Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program
Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program: A Status Report
Administrators, commercial truck and bus carriers, government regulators, and researchers continually face problems on which much information already exists, either in documented form or in terms of undocumented experience and practice. Unfortunately, this information is frequently fragmented, scattered, and underevaluated. Often it is unknown to the person normally responsible for making decisions related to the topic. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem is frequently not brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem.

Read complete Report | http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/ctbssp/ctbssp_rrd_2.pdf PDF

Synthesis 3--Truck and Bus Safety
Highway/Heavy Vehicle Interaction--A Synthesis of Safety Practice
Trucks and buses are larger, heavier, and less maneuverable than passenger cars and make up an increasingly larger proportion of the traffic on U.S. highways. This synthesis addresses the safety interactions of commercial trucks and buses with highway features and the highway improvements that can be made to improve the safety of heavy vehicle operations. This synthesis presents the state of knowledge and the state of practice concerning the accommodation of heavy vehicles on the highway. The synthesis is based on a comprehensive literature review and a survey of highway agencies and the trucking industry.
A wide variety of heavy vehicle types—including single-unit trucks, combination trucks with one, two, or three trailers, and buses—operate on U.S. highways. The physical and performance characteristics of heavy vehicles that interact with highways include vehicle types and configurations, weights and dimensions, turning radius, offtracking and swept path width, trailer swingout, braking distance, driver eye height, truck acceleration characteristics, rearward amplification, suspension characteristics, load transfer ratio, and rollover threshold.

Read complete Report | http://trb.org/publications/ctbssp/ctbssp_syn_3.pdf PDF

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STATE DOT’S

Virginia DOT--The Northeast-Southeast-Midwest Corridor Marketing Study
Examining the Potential to Divert Highway Traffic From Interstate 81 to Rail Intermodal Movement
Two Commonwealth-sponsored studies prior to this report analyzed the relationship between highway freight traffic and rail intermodal service in Virginia, along a northsouth corridor focused particularly on Interstate 81. Rail intermodal is a cooperative service where trucks pick up and deliver their shipments, but the truck trailer (or container) is carried between cities by rail, thus reducing the number of trucks that have to travel by highway. The two studies were motivated by rising projections of highway congestion, by truck traffic growth exceeding what the highways were designed to handle, and by the perceived concern for safety among citizens whose automobiles share the road with commercial vehicles.

Read complete Report | http://www.drpt.state.va.us/resource/downloads/I-81-Final-Report-revised.pdf PDF

 

NASTO Freight Service and Investment Study Final Report
Executive Summary, Maine and New York Departments of Transportation--August 2002
Importance of Freight Transportation and Examples of its Consideration by States and Provinces in the NASTO Region The inclusion of freight interests into an existing transportation planning program often presents significant challenges to DOTs and ministries of transport for several reasons. First, DOT and ministry of transport staff often do not have formal training in freight transportation, making it difficult to fully account for freight’s sometimes unique issues. Next, though private sector freight stakeholders can often provide the expertise necessary to conduct successful statewide freight planning, building and maintaining relationships with the private sector is often difficult, as many private sector freight stakeholders often cannot commit the time and staff resources required to fully participate in the transportation planning process. Third, freight movements and the factors that affect them are not yet fully understood, complicating efforts to develop statewide and provincial transportation models that accurately reflect freight movements. Finally, the traditional transportation planning and programming process employed by many states and provinces to initiate, evaluate, approve, fund, and implement transportation improvement projects may sometimes inadvertently handicap projects that specifically benefit freight movement. As a result, the full incorporation of freight interests sometimes requires innovative thinking by DOTs and ministries of transport, particularly in the areas of staffing, private sector involvement, transportation modeling, and the planning and programming process.

Read complete Report | http://www.dot.state.ny.us/nasto/es.pdf PDF

 

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FEDERAL AGENCIES

2006 GAO Report
Highway Finance: States' Expanding Use of Tolling Illustrates Diverse Challenges and Strategies
This report examines tolling from a number of perspectives, namely:
  1. the promise of tolling to enhance mobility and finance highway transportation,
  2. the extent to which tolling is being used and the reasons states are using or not using this approach,
  3. the challenges states face in implementing tolling, and
  4. strategies that can be used to help states address tolling challenges.
Read the complete report | Highway Finance - June 2006 PDF

 

GAO Report (GAO-04-165)
Freight Transportation--Strategies Needed to Address Planning and Financing Limitations
Freight mobility is most affected by congestion-related challenges. Freight traffic on roadways has increased fourfold over the last two decades, and both rail and highway congestion are particularly severe in urban areas where container ports for international trade are located. Such congestion was evident at all six locations we visited. In Oakland, for example, truck traffic on key access highways to the port increased by 50 to 100 percent from 1996 to 2000.
Read complete Report | http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04165.pdf PDF

USDOT--Land Transportation Access to Ports and Marine Terminals
Freight Transportation Research Needs Statements
This brochure is the result of joint cooperation between the Maritime Administration and the Federal Highway Administration as embodied in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) previously signed by our respective agencies. It is the purpose of the MOU to jointly develop mechanisms for effectively incorporating landside port access considerations into the transportation planning process. This brochure is a step in that direction, for it identifies-for the port community, metropolitan planning organizations and state transportation planners opportunities within the ISTEA to address specific port-related policies and projects. It also provides a strategic focus for ensuring that port projects and plans are considered through the metropolitan and statewide planning programs.

Read complete Report |http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/lta.html PDF

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ACADEMIC

Conference Summary Report:
Traffic Congestion: Issues and Options
Washington D.C. (June 2004)

This two-day conference examined the causes and consequences of traffic congestion throughout the U.S., and the various strategies for tackling the problem. A major conclusion is that there is no “silver bullet” for solving congestion; it will require the application of multiple strategies, and some strategies will work better in some places than in others. This report is intended to contribute to more informed decision-making in the reauthorization of federal surface transportation legislation. The conference was sponsored by a number of agencies and organizations.

Download from the UCLA Extension website | http://www.uclaextension.edu/unex/departmentalPages/publicpolicy/report.pdf PDF

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OTHER

Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy
Improving Efficiency and Equity in Transportation Finance
The report summarizes the most pressing problems facing the transportation network, and argues that expanded reliance on user fees remains the most promising way to promote equity and efficiency in transportation finance.

Read Entire Report | The Brookings Institution Series on Transportation Reform PDF


Cambridge Systematics
Challenges and Opportunities for an ITS/Intermodal Freight Program
Final Report
Information technology is transforming the intermodal freight industry by enabling it to integrate operations across the supply chain. Advanced communications and information systems and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) provide real-time information on intermodal freight operations and congestion on highways and rail lines. Enough of these systems are in operation today to be linked in a demonstration of information flow for end-to-end monitoring of the intermodal movement. Sharing information about congestion and operations across the intermodal freight system is key to addressing the problems of port and terminal capacity and the reliability of highway and rail access to the ports and terminals.

Read Entire Report | Information Technology PDF


National Center of Intermodal Transportation (NCIT)
Intermodal Freight Transportation Planning Using Commodity Flow Data
Final Report
Freight transportation planning is an integral component of any state Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) long range transportation planning. The importance of developing forecast and description of the intermodal transportation system for states has increased since the enactment of Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 and the following Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) of 1998. There are pressing needs to research and develop systematic intermodal freight transportation planning procedures and methodologies to model freight flows on transportation networks, to identify and prioritize transportation improvement needs, to meet the federal requirements, and to enhance the competitiveness of the economy at all levels.

Read Entire Report | Commodity Flow Data

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