Delivering resources to save time, lives, and money

Philadelphia Downtown Delivery Symposium

The TSM&O Council and Mid-Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers in partnership with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association and FHWA jointly hosted a Downtown Delivery Symposium in Philadelphia, PA on July 15th. The Symposium was organized to promote interaction within the TSM&O professional community, to sustain emphasis on the freight aspect of transportation operations and the develop the relationship and dialog between freight experts and transportation technologists and operators. The symposium presentation materials are available here.

The Symposium began with an emphasis on making the case the to decision-makers in the public and private sectors lead by Barry Seymour, Executive Director of DVRPC.  Mr. Seymour moderated presentations from the private and federal sector policy and applications perspective on from the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, United Parcel Service (UPS), and Federal Highways Administration Office of Freight Management and Operations.  The UPS speakers described the companies approach to routing algorithms that lead to least cost delivery in urban areas and their need for valid street operations data to improve their service to customers.

The recently released NCFRP Report 33: Improving Freight System Performance in Metropolitan Areas - A Planning Guide and its associated tools were explained by Jeff Wojtowicz and Johanna Amaya. This report identifies a wide range of potential strategies and practical solutions to improve freight movement and system performance in diverse metropolitan areas. In addition, information from in-progress NCHRP Project 08-96 on Integrating Goods and Services Movement by Commercial Vehicles in Smart Growth Environments was provided which connects freight movement issues with the recent complete streets, context sensitive solutions and urban street design approaches.  Stacey Hodge New York City DOT and Eulois Cleckley DDOT (Washington, DC) shared recent innovative projects and perspective on freight delivery and curb management in their respective cities.

The local agencies in Philadelphia (PennDOT District 6, City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parking Authority and the East Passyunk Avenue BID) share their perspective on local freight delivery issues the City and the Philadelphia Complete Streets Design Handbook.  These local conditions were used to inform a brief design charrette focusing on four locations in the City of Philadelphia that have problematic issues associated with freight movement and deliveries.  The groups matched street typologies to outcomes for each location for use in DVRPC future freight planning work. 

In summary, the Symposium exposed metropolitan area professionals from the public and private sector to current national, regional and case study best practices and connected this information to potential application to the local context in Philadelphia. The ITE TSM&O Council is planning to hold this event in partnership with FHWA and local MPOs in other metropolitan areas around the country.  If you agency interested in potentially hosting or participating in a future symposium please contact, Douglas Noble at ITE at