Products, Services, and Data

Communities in Motion 2040 2.0: Freight

While the role of “transportation” is to move both people and goods, in the past, most transportation planning efforts in the Treasure Valley have focused on the movement of people. Through Communities in Motion 2040 2.0, (CIM 2040 2.0) COMPASS will be elevating freight issues in the Treasure Valley to be considered in planning and decision making.

Freight – the movement of goods – is one of the four transportation components in CIM 2040 2.0, the next long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties. COMPASS will examine all four components – freight, bicycle/pedestrian, public transportation, and roadway – to develop a plan for the future transportation system for the Treasure Valley.

A Freight Advisory Workgroup advises COMPASS staff on how to best integrate freight considerations into CIM 2040 2.0 by providing feedback on appropriate freight performance measures and the collection and analysis of freight data. The workgroup will also help COMPASS identify regional freight needs and deficiencies and stay informed of the issues facing the freight community.

In the long-range transportation plan, the freight needs and deficiencies will be converted into improvement projects that can be evaluated, prioritized, funded, and implemented as part of the overall transportation system. The identified solutions will also inform land use and development decisions adjacent to freight corridors and industrial areas.

The focus in CIM 2040 2.0 will be on truck freight, including how truck freight interacts with air, rail, and pipeline freight. Freight planning may be expanded to other modes in the future. Freight issues are discussed in Communities in Motion 2040 (CIM 2040; the current long-range transportation plan) in Chapter 5.

Current and Future Data Collection Efforts

The purpose of COMPASS freight planning is to enhance freight movement and the region’s transportation system to serve urban deliveries, rural economies, and global connections. Freight data collection and analysis, and a better understanding of the impact of freight in the region, will provide the foundation for the freight component of CIM 2040 2.0 and drive better decision-making for transportation improvements.

SHRP2 Freight Data Collection
In March 2015, COMPASS received a $225,000 implementation assistance grant under the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) as a “Lead Adopter” in two areas: freight considerations and performance measures. Learn more about the performance measures aspect of this grant here.

COMPASS used SHRP2 grant funds to collect vehicle classification counts at over 70 locations on key corridors. This data collection was completed in November 2015 and will feed into the freight component of CIM 2040 2.0. An additional freight study will be conducted in 2017 (below).

2017 Freight Study
The 2017 freight study builds on the SHRP2 data, the agricultural freight study (see below), and the input from the Freight Advisory Workgroup on regional freight priorities. 

Past Data Collection EffortsImage of the cover of an informational brochure about roundabout usage for large trucks

2015 Agricultural Freight Study
Agriculture is one of the primary economic drivers in the area, particularly in Canyon County, yet historically, very little has been known about the transportation routes and needs associated with farm freight. In July 2014, COMPASS began work on an agricultural freight study to identify important routes used for hauling farm produce from fields to processors, and from processors to market. Identification of those key routes is a first step in ensuring they are preserved and well-maintained so they can continue to serve the agricultural community. The study was completed in fall 2015. As common freight routes were identified, the need to educate drivers of oversized vehicles such as freight trucks, farm equipment, buses, and emergency vehicleson the proper usage of roundabouts became apparent. COMPASS developed a roundabout usage brochure to explain how oversized vehicles should safely and properly use roundabouts/

2008 Treasure Valley Truck Freight Data Collection Project
In October 2008, COMPASS and the Idaho Transportation Department coordinated the first truck freight data collection project for the Treasure Valley. The primary reason for this project was to collect data at the local level to begin to understand and recognize the importance of truck freight in Southwest Idaho.

The project consisted of three related data collection efforts: a commercial vehicle intercept survey, an external station license plate survey, and a commercial vehicle survey. The data collected in this project are the basis for what is known about freight in the Treasure Valley today.

For more information on the 2008 freight study, contact MaryAnn Waldinger at mwaldinger@compassidaho.org or 208/475-2242.

For more information on freight in the Treasure Valley, contact Liisa Itkonen at 208/475-2241 or litkonen@compassidaho.org.