Developing Guidelines for the Movement of Goods in Urban Areas

Project C2 (Urban Freight and Planning; Principal Investigator: Dr. Noreen McDonald, UNC Chapel Hill)

Dr. Noreen McDonald of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with Dr. Ruth Steiner of the University of Florida, are working to develop guidelines that will assist local governments with increases in freight movements to mitigate congestion.

More and more goods are being moved through urban areas, and while this travel is beneficial to the United States’ economic health, concerns are raised pertaining to safety, congestion and the local environment.

This study seeks to document best practices around city logistics, particularly in the areas of land use and transportation planning efforts at local, regional, and state levels. Using qualitative approaches, the researchers will review transportation and freight plans from US and international cities, review professional guidelines from the USDOT, state DOTs, and other groups (such as, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Institute of Traffic Engineering (ITE) and other similar groups). Additionally, researchers will conduct interviews with area experts from state departments of transportation, cities and academia.

Few guideline exist for how cities should address the rapidly changing movement of goods in urban areas. Additional considerations must be made for last-mile delivery solutions, such as droids, cargo bikes, small delivery vehicles, and lockers.

The goal of this project is to provide urban areas in the southeastern region of the United States with guidance on how municipal governments can plan for expected increases in freight movements and mitigate anticipated congestion.