Initiative 18: Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions

Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions
Description: Restrictions to prevent vehicles of a certain weight, size (length or width), or number of axles from using a particular road or area, often the result of concerns about the perceived congestion or traffic accidents caused by large trucks
Targeted mode: Large trucks Geographic scope: City, area
Type of initiative: Traffic management: vehicle size restrictions Primary objective: Reduce congestion
Expected costs and level of effort to implement: Vehicle size and weight restrictions require careful planning to consider freight movements and land use in the target area, involving extensive stakeholder engagement and coordination with other municipalities. A full analysis should be conducted of possible positive and negative outcomes for the entire system, not just the target area. Implementation and enforcement by local authorities may require control access stations, such as weighting stations. Other costs include the installation of sited traffic signs, and those associated with meeting local and other municipality requirements.
Advantages inside target area:

  • Enhance safety
  • Reduce congestion
  • Improve urban mobility
  • Reduce infrastructure damage
  • Reduce noise emissions
Disadvantages inside target area:

  • Difficult to enforce
Advantages outside target area:

Disadvantages outside target area:

  • High probability for unintended consequences:
    • Increase congestion
    • Increase operational costs
    • Increase environmental impacts
    • Decrease quality of life
    • Hamper economic activity
  • Weight and size regulations often conflict with those of other municipalities
Typical example:

  • Implementation of commercial vehicle weight restrictions in California, United States (California Department of Transportation 2012)
  • Vehicle size and weight restriction in New York State (New York State Department of Transportation 2013)
Initiative-22 image

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – CITE

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Source: New York State Department of Transportation 2013

Related alternatives: 1. Removal of Geometric Constraints at Intersections; 2. Truck Routes; 3. Daytime Delivery Restrictions; 4. Night time Delivery Bans; 5. Vertical Height Detection System; 6. Mode Shift Programs
References: Allen et al. 2000; Allen et al. 2003; Vleugel and Janic 2004; BESTUFS 2007; Dablanc 2007; Quak 2008; Holguín-Veras et al. 2011a; California Department of Transportation 2012; Qureshi et al. 2012; Wilbur Smith Associates 2012; Holguín-Veras et al. 2013a; New York State Department of Transportation 2013

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