BCDOG Regional Freight Mobility Plan
CLIENT: Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments
Purpose of Project
Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties serve as a key trade gateway, linking the state and southeastern U.S. markets to the world. Our region is experiencing significant growth, with new industry and residents relocating to the area daily. This growth, however, has come with challenges as many roadways have reached their capacity limits. Growing congestion negatively impacts the movement of people and goods in the region, degrading quality of life factors.
Freight mobility is an important aspect of the area’s transportation system performance and a major driving force for the tri-county economy. The BCD Regional Freight Mobility Plan will provide an in-depth evaluation of the area’s freight conditions, trends, challenges and opportunities, and guide freight investment in the region. The plan development process will build stakeholder engagement and foster relationships with the freight community, both public and private.
The key objectives of the Freight Plan are to:
Collect system freight data, across modes, that support an ongoing regional freight-planning function;
Create a framework of analysis for freight performance measures and the identification of freight-specific issues on the transportation network to inform a set of strategic recommendations;
Develop a framework for incorporating Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) efforts and emerging technologies into freight planning, modeling, and prioritization processes; and
Guide the prioritization and implementation of future investments, policies, and strategies in the short-, mid-, and long-term that improve the safety, security, mobility, operations and reliability of the freight transportation system and support the economic development goals of the region.
Our Role on the Project
As part of a team, Modern Mobility Partners (MMP) is leading the best practices, performance measures, and project prioritization tasks to identify the projects best suited for addressing the freight issues identified through this robust study.
MMP lead a thorough review of nation-wide best practices in new and emerging freight technologies, such as smart truck parking, truck platooning, freight signal priority, and dynamic messaging systems programs, that could be utilized within the ACOG region.
Additionally, MMP reviewed regional, state, and national freight plans to determine which performance measures were most applicable to the ACOG region based on the staff and stakeholders freight needs determined through surveys and workshops.
MMP also worked with the project team to identify appropriate projects for the identified existing freight needs, and once developed, created a project prioritization spreadsheet tool to rank the identified projects according to the agreed upon metrics. These metrics incorporate reliability, safety, economic and environmental measures for evaluation.
Unique challenges of this plan included identifying solutions for incorporating freight projects with existing proposed transit and bike projects along corridors, while also developing the recommended project list. Our solutions of identifying projects across the US that have mixed freight and transit or bike projects allowed us to develop a proposal for a regional design guideline that incorporates standards to ensure safety and reliability for all modes of transport along selected corridors.
Additionally, through a layered analysis that incorporated freight bottlenecks, level of service, freight-related land uses, and safety data enabled MMP to identify locations and project types that could benefit the BCDCOG region. These projects were then scored based on the identified performance metrics to determine those most beneficial to the region.