The Metropolitan Planning Area (MAP) Forum’s Multi-State Freight Working Group
, a consortium of nine metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in the urbanized area spanning New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, met on April 3, 2018 in Newark to discuss common freight issues and concerns and proposed projects affecting the region.
NJTPA Deputy Executive Director Mary D. Ameen and NJTPA Director of Freight Planning Anne Strauss-Wieder welcomed the 30 attendees to the working group’s second meeting. Strauss-Wieder highlighted the growing importance of freight management for the New Jersey region as a result of growing ecommerce and increasing demand for properties for warehousing and distribution operations, including smaller “last mile” facilities closer to consumers.
Featured presentations at the forum were by Marygrace M. Parker, Dirctor of Freight & Innovation in Transportation at the I-95 Corridor Coalition and Becky A Bradley, Executive Director of the Leigh Valley Planning Commission.
Parker focused on supply chain fluidity, which describes efforts to improve the end-to-end performance of freight supply chains, as goods flow across public and private infrastructure, various modes and many jurisdictions. The objective of the I-95 Corridor Coalition Freight Fluidity Program is to improve measurement of freight transportation performance in terms of time, reliability and cost. It is preparing to issue regular reports on supply chain performance focusing on a “market basket” of goods representing key freight sectors.
Bradley discussed trends and issues related to freight in the Leigh Valley Planning Commission’s region, noting that warehousing activity and truck commodity flows have increased tremendously. Tonnage of goods moved could double by 2040, she said. In response, the region is undertaking major infrastructure projects such as widening of Route 22 over the coming decade. The private sector has helped finance key projects and is underwriting a “Point of Access Study” in one key freight and warehousing location with resident input.
After the presentations, updates of freight planning activities was provided by members and attendees including from the Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and federal agencies. Further information about the MAP Forum is available on the NJTPA website. The next meeting is being planned for September 2018.
[April 10, 2018]