Photo courtesy of www.pedbikeimages.org
/ Dan Burden
Efficient management of the movement of goods within a region
can help reduce traffic congestion and create healthier, more
livable communities. In many communities, most freight is transported
by trucks using a combination of state, county and local roads.
Local governments can encourage businesses to use other freight
options, such as air and rail, by zoning for clustered industrial
and commercial development around existing airports and rail lines.
Siting industrial and commercial uses near these facilities can
expedite the transport of goods directly to end users while helping
to minimize local traffic congestion caused by trucks. Local governments
also can designate areas near rail and airport terminals for freight
facility development. Improving freight access to rail and airport
terminals reduces the amount of short-haul truck trips in a region,
along with the noise and pollution associated with them.
Local governments have the authority to regulate truck movement
for the safety and welfare of their communities, and may choose
to designate truck routes to steer freight along specific corridors.
These corridors can then be designed and managed to enhance roadway
safety and to provide adequate facilities for truckers. The agency
responsible for maintaining the truck routes will be able to focus
their efforts and better plan for future improvements. Economically,
having designated truck routes can offer savings by reducing the
number of lane miles that need to be built to freight specifications.
Municipalities may also devise strategies to attract additional
freight facility development and private enterprise development
near airports to facilitate use of air freight carriers.