Friday, August 8, 2014

Helping Set a State Freight Mobility Plan

The Chamber has submitted to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) its comments on the draft Washington State Freight Mobility Plan.

(Click on Image for a Larger View of the Chamber's comments.)

When adopted in its final form, the Freight Plan will be used to guide state and federal policies and investments in state freight systems. The structure and content of the Freight Plan is compliant with the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act guidance for state freight plans, as well as state requirements.

The draft State Freight Plan and the Plan’s Public Comment Form may be found at:  

The State Freight Mobility Plan applied advanced analysis and extensive public outreach to answers many important questions for the first time:
•    Where are the state’s high-value supply chains? 
•     What roads, highways, freight rail lines, waterways and intermodal facilities make up Washington State’s freight system? How do we objectively define the State’s Freight Economic Corridors?
•     What are the recommended performance goals for the State Freight Economic Corridors? What measures should we use to evaluate performance? 
•     Gauged against current performance, what locations on the Freight Economic Corridors have preservation needs and/or poor mobility performance?
•     How do we prepare for future demand on the Freight Economic Corridors?
•     How should we evaluate the economic impacts of highway projects with freight benefits?
•     What are the state’s priority freight policies, operational and capital project recommendations?
The State Freight Plan is multimodal. It includes the freight rail findings and recommendations of the Washington State Rail Plan, other state transportation plans, and many of the recommendations found in the recently published Washington Freight Advisory Committee report.

With the help of many partners and stakeholders, WSDOT has taken a big step towards a unified state freight planning process in the new State Freight Plan. For the first time WSDOT and the Washington State Freight Advisory Committee invited Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs), Tribes, and Ports to submit regional multimodal freight priority projects drawn from existing regional transportation plans and located on the State Freight Economic Corridors.  The Freight Plan, along with other modal plans, will be used to inform the new Washington Transportation Plan.

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