Application of a Statewide Intermodal Freight Planning Methodology

Report No: 02-R5

Published in 2001

About the report:

Anticipating the need for Virginia to comply with the new freight planning requirements mandated by ISTEA and TEA-21, the Virginia Transportation Research Council in 1998 developed a Statewide Intermodal Freight Transportation Planning Methodology, which provided a standard framework for identifying problems and evaluating alternative improvements to Virginia's freight transportation infrastructure. The first step in the methodology was to inventory the system. This study completed that step. In this study, a freight advisory committee, consisting of public and private freight stakeholders, was formed. Next, county-level commodity flow data were commercially procured. Using these data, Virginia's "key" commodities were identified, and the flows of these commodities were assigned to county-level O-D tables. A geographic information system (GIS) database was developed that showed freight flows, county-level population and employment information, and Virginia's freight transportation network. With the use of various statistical analysis techniques, freight generation and attraction relationships were defined, and predictive equations were developed for each of Virginia's key commodities. Future freight flows were predicted, and various models with which to distribute these future flows were evaluated. The freight transportation GIS database, along with the analytical tools to predict and display future freight flows within Virginia, provides the Virginia Department of Transportation and its Freight Advisory Committee the means by which to identify problems, establish performance measures, and develop and evaluate alternatives to improve the flow of freight into, out of, and within Virginia.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

James J. Brogan, Stephen C. Brich, Michael J. Demetsky, Ph.D.

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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