The Delaware Valley region is home to nine counties, 352 highly unique municipalities, and countless individual neighborhoods. While there are a multitude of ways to differentiate these jurisdictions and communities, one way is to identify and assess the types and extent of freight facilities and operations which take place within their boundaries.
Local communities are where the rubber hits the road when it comes to freight shipments. Some of the direct effects of freight activity are purely positive and integral to thriving communities (e.g., job creation, deliveries for local businesses). On the other hand, some spinoffs from freight operations carry less desirable associations (e.g., additional traffic, increased emissions).
DVRPC’s freight planning attaches a high degree of importance to considering freight at the local level. In 2010, the agency published Freight Transportation: Municipal Implementation Tool #19, with an eye towards providing municipal officials with background on freight transportation trends and possible mitigation and proactive measures.
In 2011, DVRPC completed its County Freight Scan effort. Each DVRPC county was the singular focus of investigation and research for a one-month time period. One major outcome of the project was a series of summary brochures which highlighted the unique nature of the freight assets and operations within each county.
There are many examples in the Delaware Valley to cite which demonstrate how freight operators and host communities can work together harmoniously and effectively. In their broadest context, these efforts can be viewed as public-private partnerships.
In conjunction with the DVRPC County Freight Scan project (2009-2011), DVRPC profiled a collaborative effort in each of the nine counties. These win-win examples, highlighted in PhillyFreightFinder, employ strategies that accommodate freight movement, but that also protect the quality of life in adjacent and affected neighborhoods.
A major impetus for identifying local good neighbor examples was provided by the report, Integrating Freight Facilities and Operations with Community Goals (TRB NCHRP Synthesis Report 320). Of chief note, the report offers detailed case studies (Chapter Five) and a toolkit of over 50 best practices sorted by freight transportation type (Appendix D).
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