The ability to efficiently move freight/goods throughout Southern California’s transportation network is crucial to the mobility and economic vitality of the region, the state and the nation. With international trade flourishing, local communities will continue to see a steady increase in trucks and freight trains carrying freight/goods handled by the San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Los Angeles International Airport and other major gateways and ports of entry throughout Southern California.
Given the projected demographic and economic growth in the region, and the increased freight traffic, local transportation planners have chosen to collectively address how freight/goods can be moved to and through Los Angeles and its neighboring counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Imperial and San Diego, without disproportionately impacting local communities and the environment.
In May 2004, officials from the county transportation commissions and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) requested that Metro take the lead in developing a plan that would address the multi-county goods movement challenges and identify solutions. Rather than redefine and broaden the scope of work for the East/West Corridor Improvement Study, an earlier study led by SCAG and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) that evaluated specific goods movement corridors, all parties agreed to work in partnership on developing a Multi-County Goods Movement Action Plan.
To that end, Metro, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and Caltrans, all agreed to procure the consultant services of Wilbur Smith Associates to assist in this effort.
To guide the development of this Action Plan, Metro and its project partners established a Multi-County Goods Movement Action Plan Technical Advisory Committee (MCGMAP TAC).
To ensure an open planning process with public and private stakeholder participation throughout the development of the Action Plan, the MCGMAP TAC will (1) convene Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) meetings, public workshops and meetings to solicit input from a broad cross section of stakeholders, (2) conduct surveys to obtain different perspectives on the goods movement issues, problems and potential solutions, and (3) maintain a project website to keep everyone informed.
This effort resulted in an Action Plan that contains a full range of strategies and options (short, mid and long-term) that can be implemented for the region, as a whole, as well as the individual counties.
This joint effort was completed in April 2008.
Urban Solutions, LLC (Support)
Local Goods Movement
Gill V. Hicks & Associates, Inc. (Ports)
George R. Fetty & Associates (Rail)
Stakeholder Advisory Group Meetings
One of the primary vehicles used to solicit input from the public about the MCGMAP is through convening Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meetings. Held every other month, the SAG is comprised of invited stakeholders and project partner staff actively engaged in working collectively on development of the Action Plan. The SAG will serve as regional advocates for the multi-county goods movement action planning process and provide input on data collection, mitigation analysis, and strategy evaluation approaches.
- Which public agencies managed the Multi-County Goods Movement Action Plan (MCGMAP)?
- What is the purpose of and need for MCGMAP?
- What is the study area for the MCGMAP?
- What about neighboring counties such as Kern and Imperial Counties?
- What is the cost of the MCGMAP, and what is its source of funding?
- How was information about goods movement collected for the MCGMAP?
- How does the MCGMAP address major challenges related to goods movement such as traffic congestion, environmental impacts, community concerns, and economic vitality for the region?
- What does the MCGMAP recommend in terms of mitigating environmental and/or community impacts?
- What kind of outreach has taken place to gather community stakeholder and public commentary?
- How will this plan be used relative to other regional and local plans?
- How does the MCGMAP relate to the State’s Goods Movement Action Plan (GMAP)?
- How does the MCGMAP propose to fund recommended projects?
- Was the MCGMAP distributed/posted for comments before it is finalized?
- Now that the MCGMAP is completed, what are next steps?
The MCGMAP was developed through a collaborative process involving a diverse group of stakeholders. The project partners that managed and funded the project include: Metro (Metro), Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Districts 7, 8, 11, 12 and Headquarters.
Metro served as the administrative lead for the project. The project partners and consultant team comprised the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which met bi-weekly (or as needed) to monitor the progress of the Action Plan and review all work products. The TAC members also met as needed with the Executive Officers (TAC Execs) of the participating agencies.
In addition, the TAC formed smaller working groups to provide input on specific technical and policy issues, such as modeling, outreach and environmental concerns.
The project partners solicited public input and feedback through an extensive outreach process (see question 9). Development of the MCGMAP began in July 2005 and was completed in April 2008.
In 2007, the Port of Los Angeles handled $238 billion in goods and the equivalent of 8.4 million 20-foot containers (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units or TEUs), while the Port of Long Beach handled approximately $140 billion in goods and 7.3 million TEUs.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach currently rank as the largest and second largest ports in the United States, respectively, in terms of TEUs and when combined are the fifth largest port complex in the world. In addition, three Ports of Entry (POE) are located in the study area – Otay Mesa, Tecate and Calexico East that are utilized by trucks crossing the California/Mexico border. Collectively, these POEs handle over 2 million trucks and $40 billion in merchandise annually.
Furthermore, the greater Los Angeles region is also the largest manufacturing center in the U.S., with more manufacturing jobs than the entire state of Michigan. Southern California can therefore be referred to as “the loading dock of America” given its role as an international trade gateway, a manufacturing center, a distribution center and a final destination for goods that results in a tremendous volume of goods movement-related activity and impacts. Impacts such as traffic congestion, health, environmental, quality of life, and safety all result from the high volume of goods movement activity.
Given these challenges, the purpose of the MCGMAP is to identify actions, strategies, and specific next steps that are intended to improve the movement of goods through and within our region while simultaneously and continuously mitigating the impacts of goods movement on the environment and community.
This plan evolved from a substantial body of work previously generated by the ports, the logistics industry, health researchers and individual transportation and environmental agencies and provides a framework for inter-agency dialog that can result in implementation of projects.
However, It is important to note that individual agencies will be responsible for implementation of projects in their counties and any implementation of projects will first require the appropriate local planning processes and environmental impact analysis to occur.
The MCGMAP currently addresses goods movement issues within a six county area encompassing the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura.
This effort considered neighboring counties including Kern and Imperial Counties in terms of their impact on the goods movement system within the study area and recommends border area improvements in Imperial County.
A consultant contract for this work was awarded to Wilbur Smith Associates for the amount of $1.5 million. The work is jointly funded by the county transportation commissions, SCAG and two Caltrans grants.
Several methods were used to collect information. The Consultant used traditional research methods such as literature searches, computer modeling using the SCAG Transportation Demand Model, interviews and meetings to obtain technical data and conduct analyses. The consultant also used existing data when available to avoid duplication.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings were used by both the project partners and the Consultant to collect information from public and private sector stakeholders. The project partners also conducted two surveys to supplement the above information. Existing goods movement forums and working groups provided additional sources of data for the Action Plan.
7. How does the MCGMAP address major challenges related to goods movement such as traffic congestion, environmental impacts, community concerns, and economic vitality for the region?
The MCGMAP presents four action sets to address these challenges. The action sets focus on what the project partners can do within their respective roles and through continued collaboration and cooperation with other local, county, regional, state, and federal agencies, as well as with the cooperation from the private sector. Those actions are:
1. To accelerate environmental mitigation
2. To relieve congestion and improve mobility
3. To improve operational efficiency
4. To develop equitable public/private funding strategy
The MCGMAP recognizes the importance of mitigating the environmental and community impacts of goods movement. To address these impacts, the MCGMAP process identified two types of mitigation that must occur: region-wide and project-specific mitigation. Region-wide approaches address broad impacts and include the acceleration of the implementation of air quality plans and strengthened fuel and engine standards.
Project-specific mitigation addresses environmental impacts resulting from individual projects and can include strategies such as landscaped buffering, noise barriers, and separation of incompatible land uses. The MCGMAP recommends environmental mitigation be financed and implemented on a simultaneous and continuous basis with capacity enhancement projects.
Furthermore, the Goods Movement Environmental Justice Analysis and Outreach project has been initiated. The project will examine in greater detail goods movement environmental and community impacts and produce a guidebook that contains strategies and best practices for mitigating the effects of goods movement.
Extensive outreach has occurred throughout the development of the MCGMAP. The outreach process began in 2005 and included eight formal stakeholder advisory group (SAG) meetings, one-on-one meetings with various stakeholder groups, presentations to various stakeholder groups, a project website (http://www.metro.net/mcgmap), the distribution of surveys and other project documents, and twelve public workshops that were held in each county (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura Counties).
The organizations that participated in the SAG meetings included the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Alameda Corridor East Construction Authority, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles World Airports, councils of governments, goods movement industry stakeholders (e.g., railroads and trucking), community and environmental groups and others. The SAG provided direct input to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
The MCGMAP builds on existing studies and efforts in progress and develops an integrated, comprehensive, regional approach to addressing Southern California’s goods movement challenges and serves as a guide in the preparation of state, regional, and local plans.
In fact, the program of improvements/strategies recommended in the MCGMAP will be reflected in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) produced by SCAG and each of the county’s short/long-range transportation plans for possible funding and implementation. However, the MCGMAP does not supersede any existing plans (e.g., RTP and State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)) nor does it replace the required environmental review processes for projects.
The MCGMAP is consistent with the state GMAP and provides a more focused approach for Southern California. For example, both the MCGMAP and state GMAP incorporate the principle of simultaneous and continuous improvement of the goods movement system. This principle stipulates that infrastructure and mitigation actions, as well as the funding of those actions, be approached on a simultaneous and continuous basis.
Furthermore, the infrastructure projects recommended in the state GMAP for Southern California are also on the MCGMAP project lists. However, the MCGMAP contains other projects in addition to those in the state GMAP that reflect the more localized nature of the MCGMAP.
The MCGMAP does not propose a funding plan; however, the MCGMAP provides a strategic approach for obtaining the region’s fair-share of both public and private funds. In fact, one of the core mandates of the MCGMAP is to “Secure the region’s fair share of public and private funds for investment in the freight transportation system”.
For example, the MCGMAP process contributed to the development of the Southern California Consensus Group application for the $2 billion available through the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF), which is a component of the Proposition 1B transportation bond approved by California’s voters in November 2006.
In addition to TCIF, Southern California should seek fair share funding from other state and federal sources, including upcoming federal reauthorization of SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users).
Furthermore, financial contributions from the private sector for goods movement transportation system improvements should be pursued. This could include tolling, development impact fees, container fees, and industry-supported programs (e.g. Pierpass). If user fees are to be implemented, then the establishment of an institutional structure for managing user fees and revenue would be needed.
The specific funding mechanisms and sources will vary by project, as some projects already have committed funding. Whichever sources are utilized, funding for specific projects is the responsibility of the implementing agency(ies) (i.e. Caltrans, County Transportation Commissions, cities, ports, etc.) For instance, each county transportation commission has the authority to program funds for planned improvements within their respective counties that they identify as “priority” based on local needs and available funding.
Yes. The Draft Action Plan was presented at SAG meetings and public workshops in each county. It was also posted on the project website. A thirty (30) day comment period was provided that ended on March 15, 2008. Approval of the final document wa obtained by partner agency boards and commissions through July 2008.
Participating County Transportation Commissions and other agencies will continue with the development of projects and strategies identified in the MCGMAP. The MCGMAP includes a series of next steps in the areas of partnership and advocacy, environmental and community impacts, mobility, and funding. For example, discussions with regional stakeholders will continue in an effort to move forward with the actions proposed in the MCGMAP.
In addition, more detailed technical analyses will be completed, as recommended by the MCGMAP, in order to identify and prioritize regional goods movement projects and environmental and community mitigation measures that stretch across county and jurisdictional boundaries.
The MCGMAP also includes a list of Regional and County-specific projects totaling over $50 billion that address the effects of goods movement in the region. The projects on these lists are both considered to be of equal priority in the MCGMAP and will require further study prior to implementation (unless already completed).
Updated June 2008