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Mapping Urban Freight Infrastructure for Planning: A Demonstration of a Methodology

Publication: Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2018

Urban transportation infrastructure includes facilities such as loading docks and curb space which are important for freight pick-up and delivery operations. Information about the location and nature of these facilities is typically not documented for public or private urban freight stakeholders and therefore cannot be used to support more effective private sector operations or public sector planning and engineering decisions. Consequently, there is considerable value in performing an accurate inventory and evaluation of the system. In response to this urban freight challenge, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) contracted with the Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center (SCTL) at the University of Washington to develop a process to address the lack of information regarding the capacity for freight and parcel load and unload operations in dense urban areas of Seattle. This works focuses on the development of a data collection method for documenting private urban freight infrastructure that does not require prior permission, is ground-truthed, and can be completed within reasonable cost and time constraints. This paper presents the methodology, which consists of a survey form, survey collection app, data quality control process, data structure and a proposed typology for off public right of way freight loading / unloading infrastructure based on basic physical infrastructure characteristics. The data collection process methodology is applied to three Seattle urban centers. The method was then revised and improved for a second data collection effort in two additional urban centers.

Recommended Citation:
Machado-León, Jose Luis, Gabriela del Carmen Giron-Valderrama, Anne Goodchild, and Edward McCormack. Mapping Urban Freight Infrastructure for Planning: A Demonstration of a Methodology. No. 18-06171. 2018.