SRF was part of the consultant team that assisted the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in developing the 2015 Statewide Freight System Plan. The plan reflects federal guidance from MAP-21 and builds on previous planning efforts such as the Minnesota Regional Freight Plans and 2005 Statewide Freight System Plan. It includes Minnesota’s freight policy and provides guidelines for project development, investments, and operational decisions.
SRF worked closely with MnDOT to develop and execute an outreach and engagement plan to involve freight decision makers and stakeholders. A key area that SRF led is the collection and synthesis of a variety of Minnesota-specific resources to establish a baseline for subsequent tasks. Prior studies, policies, and plans were reviewed to understand what was known about critical issues involving goods movement in Minnesota and what strategies and projects have been proposed. SRF also documented MnDOT’s existing institutional structure as it relates to freight planning, including how freight-related decisions are made and how projects are funded.
SRF assisted in identifying freight needs, issues, and opportunities by conducting interviews with key stakeholders and users of the freight system. The primary goal was to identify capacity constraints, bottlenecks, and operational concerns. SRF also assisted in developing a vision statement and freight system goals as well as an overall Freight Action Agenda for Minnesota to integrate, invest, and operationalize the freight system and decision-making within MnDOT.
SRF completed an Environmental Justice analysis to assess the potential beneficial or adverse impacts of Minnesota’s freight network on protected population groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, households without vehicles, persons in poverty, persons aged 65 and older or 16 and younger, and persons with limited English language proficiency. The analysis included a statewide demographic overview of each population group within each MnDOT District and for the state. The results were displayed using maps and tables to highlight areas with higher than average concentrations of these populations. Finally, the demographics of groups residing in close proximity to each component of the Priority Freight Network were reviewed to compare results to statewide averages.
Minnesota Department of Transportation