The Atlanta region is a major freight and goods movement and distribution hub and the main economic engine for the state of Georgia.
The main objective of ARC's freight planning effort is to develop a framework for facilitating and enhancing freight mobility and goods movement in the region, improving the region’s economic competitiveness, and minimizing environmental and community impacts.
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Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan Update
In 2008, ARC completed the Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan, the first freight plan for the Metro Atlanta region. The plan’s goal was to enhance regional economic competitiveness by providing efficient, reliable and safe freight transportation while maintaining the quality of life in the region’s communities.
Metro Atlanta has changed a lot since that plan’s completion in 2008, and ARC is leading an update to the plan in 2015. The Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan Update will serve as the guiding planning document supporting the region’s freight and goods movement strategies. The plan will build on previous planning efforts while evaluating recent changes and identifying potential future freight needs in the region.
This plan will:
- Meet MAP-21 federal planning requirements
- Identify issues impacting freight movement in Metro Atlanta, including connections to intermodal terminals and freight-related land use issues
- Analyze the impact of the deepening of the Port of Savannah on freight movement in Metro Atlanta
- Examine how the planned air cargo expansion at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (H-JAIA) and proposed Atlanta Aerotropolis may impact freight movement in Metro Atlanta
- Describe the needs of the Metro Atlanta freight network, including those on the regional truck route network
- Identify opportunities to improve freight flows in Metro Atlanta
- Develop freight performance measures that reflect the important role of freight and logistics in the regional economy and on transportation system performance.
Based on the results of the technical analysis, the plan will develop short- and long-term strategies for addressing critical freight needs and deficiencies while mitigating potential impacts. These strategies, technical analysis, and outreach to freight professionals will result in identification of priority freight programs and projects in the Metro Atlanta region.
ARC will work directly with public/private sector freight representatives through our Freight Advisory Task Force (FATF) during the planning process. The FATF meetings will provide opportunities for direct input on the plan and for FATF members to learn more about the technical analysis being conducted. ARC will also work directly with local governments through the existing ARC committee structure.
The Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan Update draft report was completed in April 2016. This document includes updated content for each of the interim deliverables completed during the planning process, as well as recommendations for freight transportation projects, additional planning studies, and related strategies and initiatives.
Connected Places: Freight Movement and Megaregions - FHWA/FTA Peer Exchange
The Atlanta Regional Commission, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Tech Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) hosted a two-day peer exchange in November 2013 on megaregion freight planning. This event included peer metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) from across the country, private-sector logistics companies, university researchers, federal agencies, and state and local governments. The peer exchange was part of the Federal Highway Administration's and the Federal Transit Administration's Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program.
Participants discussed a variety of topics related to successfully planning for freight issues in a megaregion context. The Megaregions Freight Movement Peer Exchange Report provides a summary of this event.
Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan 2008
Identifying and programming effective improvements to accommodate increasing freight, goods, and services movement in the Atlanta region is vital to the economic vitality and quality of life of our region. To address freight in a comprehensive manner, ARC undertook the development of a data-driven, policy-based plan for the metropolitan area.
The identification and prioritization of improvements and strategies that accommodate and enhance mobility of both people and goods while mitigating the negative impacts on congestion, safety, environment and quality of life.
Atlanta Strategic Truck Route Master Plan (ASTRoMaP)
The 2008 Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan noted that the region has discontinuous routes serving freight truck traffic. Many truck routes are not logical in that they may stop at jurisdictional boundaries or conflict with restrictions placed in adjacent communities. It was recognized that additional study was needed to address issues pertaining to truck routing and operations.
One of the additional follow-up activities included the development of a regional truck route network as well as associated policies and guidelines. This network is be referred to as the Atlanta Strategic Truck Route Master Plan (ASTRoMaP). Development of the ASTRoMaP began in early 2009 and was adopted by the ARC in 2010.
- Implement follow-up recommendations from the Atlanta Regional Freight Mobility Plan to ensure that truck traffic is directed to roadways whose physical and operational characteristics can effectively accommodate truck traffic.
- Identify a Regional Strategic Truck Route Network concept to direct and manage freight movement.
- Identify supportive improvement strategies to implement the regional truck route concept, including identifying priority road-railway at-grade crossings for removal.
- Develop access management best practices to protect freight corridors.