Initiative 19: Truck Routes

Truck Routes
Description: A special type of vehicle restriction that specifies the components of the transportation network that can be used by freight traffic; there can be multiple layers of truck routes. Truck routes are sometimes used to prevent freight vehicles from using unsuitable or sensitive routes.
Targeted mode: Large trucks Geographic scope: City, area
Type of initiative: Traffic management: truck traffic/route regulations Primary objective: Reduce congestion
Expected costs and level of effort to implement: Truck routes require careful planning to consider the freight movement, origins and destinations, characteristics of the road network, and land use patterns in a target area. The planning process should involve extensive stakeholder engagement, and assess both positive and negative impacts in the target and contiguous areas. The costs are mainly those associated with the installation of guide signs, and efforts to enforce the truck routes ordinance. These restrictions should be developed with a pavement management plan in order to negate any negative externalities of increased wear on these designated corridors.
Advantages:

  • Enhance safety
  • Ensure hazardous materials are transported far from population centers
  • Provide guidance to transport over-dimensional cargo
  • Discourage unnecessary truck movement in sensitive areas
  • Reduce infrastructure damage
  • Inform carriers about geometric and structural conditions of the network
  • Enhance livability
Disadvantages:

  • High probability for unintended consequences:
    • Increase operational costs
    • Increase vehicle-miles-traveled
    • Increase congestion
  • Challenging to ensure accessibility
  • Require proper communication, education and enforcement by authorities
  • Require high coordination among jurisdictions
Examples:

  • Advisory truck routes: legal advisory route system, California, United States (California Department of Transportation 2012)
  • Statutory truck routes: truck-route system, which categorizes truck routes into three classes with different constraints on truck weights and dimensions, Chicago, Illinois, United States (Illinois Department of Transportation 2014)
  • Truck routes have been implemented in Italian cities;  Bremen, Germany; Athens, Greece; Crete, Greece; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Usti, Czech Republic; Vratsa, Bulgaria;  New York City, New York, USA (New York City DOT 2003; BESTUFS 2007)

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – CITE

Related alternatives:1. Ring Roads; 2. Acceleration/Deceleration Lanes; 3. Removal of Geometric Constraints at Intersections; 4. Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions; 5. Real-Time Information System; 6. Relocation of Large Traffic Generators (LTGs)
References: New York City DOT 2003; BESTUFS 2007; Quak 2008; Holguín-Veras et al. 2011a; Suffolk County Council 2011; California Department of Transportation 2012

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