Actions and Next Steps
This chapter outlines the actions and next steps for Minnesota’s public and private sector freight stakeholders—the cornerstone of which is the Minnesota Freight Action Agenda. This plan made recommendations based on the analysis conducted and findings presented in this document. These recommendations require much work to be done in the coming years. This plan was not developed as a resource constrained plan, and it will be up to MnDOT and its partners to determine what, of all the necessary actions identified, can be realistically accomplished in the coming years.
Minnesota’s Freight Action Agenda
- No related sections.
The Freight Action Agenda outlines next steps for MnDOT and the state’s public and private sector freight partners, all of whom had a role in developing this plan. From the beginning, the public-private Plan Advisory Committee that guided its development made it clear that the objective was a realistic action plan.
The Freight Action Agenda delivers a set of actions needed to advance freight performance in Minnesota. Each action item listed identifies the lead agency/organization responsible and the timing of each action. It is a guide for implementation that will be regularly updated, and it serves as a tool for monitoring progress and fostering continued collaboration. Table 5.1 describes Minnesota’s Freight Action Agenda, including the following components:
- ID. Thirty strategies were identified and are represented with an ID number.
- Strategy Name. Short name of strategy.
- Description. Short description of strategy.
- Action. A variety of actions have been aligned to each strategy. These are described in more detail in Chapter 4 and identified in the table, as follows:
- (P) Partnerships/outreach. Indicates that partnerships will be required outside of MnDOT to accomplish action.
- (S) Study required/planning related. Indicates that a follow-up study or further planning-related activities will be required.
- (D) Design. Indicates that action requires design modification of adjustment of design standards.
- (O) Operations. Indicates that action relates to operational modifications.
- (F) Funding. Indicates that action relates to funding whether review, allocation or advocacy for funding by MnDOT.
- Lead Agency. Entity to take the lead in actions identified.
- Partners. Partners with varying levels of involvement in the action.
- Timeframe. Generally the actions should be initiated (not necessarily completed) within the following timeframes:
- Short-Term. 2016-2017 (0-2 years)
- Mid-Term. 2018-2020 (3-5 years)
The Role of the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee
- No related sections.
Partnerships were key to developing this plan, and they will also be key to implementing and maintaining it. This plan and the Freight Action Agenda are not intended to be static documents, but rather modified as stakeholder needs change. As such, continuous outreach and communication with public and private sector freight stakeholders will be critical to plan implementation.
Leading the charge will be the MFAC, the nation’s first state DOT Freight Advisory Committee. MFAC was created in 1998 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and addressing of issues between MnDOT and the private sector to develop and promote a safe, reliable, and efficient freight transportation system. MFAC, repurposed in the course of this plan’s development, will:
Monitor and report on the implementation of the Statewide Freight System and Investment Plan and its Freight Action Agenda, including the development of recommendations for any revisions and updates to the Plan.
As the plan or the Freight Action Agenda are updated (e.g., adjustments to the implementation timeframe), the MFAC will work with MnDOT to ensure that the documents are revisited and modifications are made on a regular and timely basis. Several other recommendations of the MFAC Ad Hoc Working Group are also key to implementation of this plan. These recommendations include:
- Create an annual report for the MnDOT Commissioner that includes a “State of Freight,” an overview of trends and important issues, and reports on the activities of the MFAC from the past year
- Review significant MnDOT initiatives and activities and provide freight impact and benefits comments
- Direct the preparation and distribution of white papers on freight transportation issues important to Minnesota’s economy
- Advocate for needs of freight transportation to the public, elected officials, and other public agencies and organizations
- Suggest research initiatives and tools supporting the economic vitality of the state
With MFAC’s oversight, this plan positions the state to better integrate freight within MnDOT and prepares the agency and its public and private sector freight partners for the future, including opportunities to plan better and capture freight project funding collaboratively.
Table 5.1 - Minnesota Freight Action Agenda
|ID||FREIGHT PLAN OBJECTIVE||STRATEGY||DESCRIPTION||ACTION(S)||LEAD||PARTNER||TIMEFRAME|
|1||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Education||Educate the public on the critical role freight plays in the economy and every-day-life of Minnesotans||P||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders||Short-term|
|2||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Partnerships||Engage and partner with Minnesota's public agencies and with producers, shippers/receivers, carriers and other private sector freight stakeholders to address Minnesota’s freight issues together. Engage and partner with neighboring states to address regional freight issues together.||P||MnDOT||Short-term|
|3||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Ongoing Freight Forum||Convene an ongoing dialogue between public and private sector freight stakeholders to keep freight topics front and center||P, S||MnDOT||CTS and members of the MFAC||Short-term|
|4||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Advocacy||Public and private freight stakeholders advocate together for advancing critical freight partnerships, strategies, investments and continued funding for freight investments. The FAST Act established the first dedicated source of funding for freight infrastructure at the national level.||P, S, F||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders||Short-term|
|5||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Traveler Information||Provide freight-specific traveler information, such as truck parking availability, expected travel time and roadway conditions||P, S, O||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders||Short-term|
|6||Accountability, Transparency and Communication||Workforce Development||Programs in cooperation with community colleges and private sector to ensure workforce is available for industry needs (e.g., truck drivers)||P||DEED, Minnesota Trucking Association||Public and private sector freight stakeholders, community colleges and other educational institutions||Short-term|
|7||Transportation in Context||Corridor Preservation||Actively manage preserved rail corridors held in the State Rail Bank and evaluate for possible future transportation uses||P, S||MnDOT||State, regional and local planning agencies||Short-term|
|8||Transportation in Context||Truck Routes||Coordination of truck routes/planning in industrial and urban areas with restrictions and enforcement in adjacent residential areas||P, S, D, O||Various state, regional and local planning agencies||MnDOT||Mid-term|
|9||Transportation in Context||Complete Streets||Treatments that consider truck movements as part of total vehicle traffic, which can include time-of-day delivery windows to reduce conflicts with other street users, design guidelines for curb pullouts that can be used at different times for bus pullouts, truck parking, and others||P, S, D, O||Various state, regional, and local planning agencies||MnDOT||Mid-term|
|10||Transportation in Context||Land Use Planning and Policies||Land use planning and policies to ensure freight development areas are designated and preserved and that development occurs adjacent to existing infrastructure||P, S||Various state, regional, and local planning agencies||MnDOT, DEED||Mid-term|
|11||Transportation in Context||Freight As A Good Neighbor||Programs and projects that preserve Minnesota's high quality of life by balancing the local negative impacts of freight transportation with the national benefits provided||P, S, D, O||MnDOT||Various state, regional, and local planning agencies, freight shippers and carriers||Mid-term|
|12||Transportation in Context||Advanced Technology||Monitor development of advanced technologies and their applications for freight. Apply and fund as appropriate.||P, S, O||MnDOT||FHWA||Mid-term|
|13||Critical Connections||Integrate Freight into all Planning Projects||Consider freight in overall project planning across modes (highway, rail, water, and air). Regularly engage the private sector and consider their perspectives during freight system planning.||P, S||MnDOT||State, regional and local planning agencies||Short-term|
|14||Critical Connections||Investments on the Principal Freight Network||Apply multimodal solutions that ensure a high return on investment, given constrained resources, and that complement the unique social, natural, and economic features of Minnesota||P, S, D, O||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders||Short-term|
|15||Critical Connections||First-/Last-mile Connections||Freight connections like highway access and rail spurs to local businesses||P, S||MnDOT||Various state, regional and local planning and economic development agencies||Short-term|
|16||Critical Connections||Targeted Freight System Investments||Make targeted infrastructure investments (corridor and spot improvements) to support and enhance the multimodal freight system||P, F||MnDOT, public and private sector freight system owners and operators||Short-term|
|17||Critical Connections||Intermodal and Multimodal Facilities||Intermodal and multimodal facility development to allow goods to shift between modes such as truck, rail and water. Includes making equipment available.||P, S||MnDOT||DEED, railroads in Minnesota, regional and local planning and economic development agencies where a new facility may be cited||Mid-term|
|18||Critical Connections||Urban Goods Movement Programs||Projects and programs in urban centers focused on mitigating congestion caused by rush hour traffic, incidents, work zones or other factors where high volumes of freight and passenger traffic must coexist||P, S, D, O||MnDOT, various state, regional and local planning agencies||Mid-term|
|19||Critical Connections||Truck Size and Weight||Improved routing for overdimensional and overweight vehicles. Consistency of regulations between Minnesota and neighboring states.||P, S, O||MnDOT, state and local departments of public safety and enforcement||Local permitting agencies||Mid-term|
|20||Critical Connections||Modal Options/System Redunancy||Modal alternatives (e.g., truck, rail and water) in spot locations and modal redundancy within key corridors so companies have access to a variety of cost effective and competitive freight modes to ship their goods. Address captive shipper issue.||P, S||MnDOT||Public and private freight system stakeholders||Mid-term|
|21||Critical Connections||Evaluate and Restructure Existing Freight Funding Programs||MnDOT’s programs should be restructured to more adequately address freight needs||P, S, F||MnDOT||Public and private freight stakeholders that receive funds from MnDOT administered funding programs||Mid-term|
|22||Asset Management||Freight Data||Improved data collection (e.g., truck counts) and use of innovative sources to help the public sector do better freight planning||P, S||MnDOT||Short-term|
|23||Asset Management||Freight System Performance Measures||Utilize freight system performance measures to monitor and report system condition and identify investment needs for key transportation infrastructure||S, O||MnDOT||Short-term|
|24||Asset Management||Freight System Investment Plan||Develop a detailed FAST Act compliant prioritized investment plan that aligns multimodal freight system projects and available sources of funding so they can be implemented||P, S, F||MnDOT||Public and private freight system stakeholders, system owners and operators||Short-term|
|25||Asset Prioritize Maintenance on the Principal Freight Network||Education||Prioritize bridge/pavement maintenance on these shared routes to ensure ability to handle freight rail, truck and passenger traffic||O||MnDOT||Short-term|
|26||Traveler Safety and System Security||Design for Freight Safety||Design and implement geometric features that improve vehicle safety, such as the use of rumble strips/stripes, wider shoulders and other features, where appropriate||D||MnDOT||Short-term|
|27||Traveler Safety and System Security||Truck Parking||Conduct assessment of truck parking and plan for expansion, as warranted||P, S, O||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders, neighboring states||Short-term|
|28||Traveler Safety and System Security||Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans||Develop emergency plans to ensure critical supply chain connectivity and proactively route hazardous materials||P, S||Minnesota Office of Public Safety||MnDOT, public and private sector freight stakeholders||Short-term|
|29||Traveler Safety and System Security||Rail Crossings||Assess grade crossing safety and implement policies, programs, and investments related to safety of at-grade crossings and seek funding for implementation||P, S, F||MnDOT||Public and private sector rail stakeholders||Short-term|
|30||Traveler Safety and System Security||Rail System Vulnerabilities||Develop and implement a comprehensive plan that addresses key safety vulnerabilities across Minnesota’s rail network||P, S, O||MnDOT||Public and private sector freight stakeholders, Minnesota Department of Public Safety||Short-term|
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