Best planning and implementation toolbox


Purpose of Tool:
The purpose of truck route planning is to define the street network that is safest for the movement of large vehicles, which supports local and regional commerce, and which provides enough capacity and adequate design features to accommodate the anticipated volume, size and weight of vehicles.

Benefits of Using Tool:
Truck route planning promotes safe and efficient movement of goods in and around a community. Effective routing can minimize environmental and community impacts and is crucial to the economy and well-being of a community and greater region.

Steps Involved to Use Tool:
To implement effective truck route planning, evaluation criteria should be used to balance the objectives of efficient truck travel, neighborhood impacts and safety, and appropriate roadway design. The evaluation criteria can be grouped into four categories, three of which are weighted according to their level of importance to the planning process. The fourth category is comprised of criteria that are intended to identify “fatal flaws” or easily identifiable and insurmountable reasons that a roadway cannot become a truck route.

The evaluation criteria can include:
1. Economic Assessment (Weight: 35 percent)
  a. Availability and frequency of service to major origins and destinations
  b. Efficiency and economy of truck travel
  c. Equity of distribution
  d. Economic impact on the community
  e. Connectivity with and access to freeways

2. Sensitivity and Safety Assessment (Weight: 40 percent)
  a. Number of institutions along potential truck routes
  b. Number and types of driveways along routes
  c. Amount of on-street parking allowed
  d. Presence of playgrounds, parks and multi-use trails
  e. Accident statistics for potential routes
 f. Level of current multi-modal use (bicycles, pedestrians, transit) along route

3. Compatibility of Roadways and Intersections with Truck Traffic (Weight: 25 percent)
  a. Traffic volume
  b. Vertical grades
  c. Turning radii
  d. Number and width of lanes
  e. Signals per mile

4. Road Condition and Fatal Flaws
  a. Pavement type and depth
  b. InterSteps Involved to Use Toolharacteristics and operations
  c. Height and / or weight restrictions
  d. Posted speed limits

Special Requirements to Use Tool:
Special requirements and considerations for undertaking truck route planning include:
  • Assessment of the presence of nuisances related to truck traffic, such as noise or vibrations,
  • Evaluation of the impact on quality of life and property values,
  • Strengthening enforcement regulations,
  • Anticipation, planning and incorporation of future development access needs,
  • Development of time periods prohibiting trucks traveling through communities,
  • Development of off-peak deliveries program in key commercial areas,
  • Development of a list of prohibited and allowed goods hauled by trucks on certain routes,
  • Incorporation into and/or modification of major thoroughfare plan,
  • Development of freight-supportive land use guidelines, and
  • Development of the plan as part of regional approach to moving goods around.

    Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
    Additional factors and resources needed for truck route planning can consist of: 
  • A Truck Route Plan Technical Committee composed of city officials, county officials, economic development, public works staff, police departments, and school districts,
  • Adequate private sector input, and
  • Public information meetings.

    Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
    Communities or agencies that have successfully implemented truck route plans are:
    1. City of Hamilton, OH
    PWD-O&M Division
    Traffic Planning & Community Services
    77 James Street North, Suite 320
    Contact: Mr. Gary Kirchknopf, C.E.T., Sr Project Manager
    Ph: 905-546-2424 ext. 7217

    2. Atlanta Regional Commission, GA
    40 Courtland Street, North East
    Atlanta, Georgia 30303
    (Atlanta Regional Strategic Truck Route Master Plan Development)
    Contact: Caroline Mays

    Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
    Economic Implications of truck route planning in the Atlanta region include:
  • A five percent decrease in truck transportation employment would bring an annual loss of nearly $1.6 billion in GRP for the Atlanta region within about twenty years. It would cost over $760 million in personal income and the loss of nearly 7,000 full-time jobs.
  • A 20 percent reduction in trucking employment would cost more than $6.2 billion in Atlanta GRP, $3.0 billion in personal income and almost 27,000 full-time jobs.
  • A five percent increase in transportation costs in the Atlanta region would cause decreases of 15 percent in employment, six percent in personal income, nearly eight percent in gross regional output, and $7.3 billion in state and local tax revenue by the year 2030.

    List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info:
    See the following sources for more information::

  • Atlanta Regional Strategic Truck Route Master Plan, online: