May 19, 2023
Wade Reynolds – [email protected] – 813-272-5940
May 24, 2023
With the 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) now in the works, the TPO is introducing two new projects to help guide how Hillsborough County lives, works, plays… and moves goods! Connections to Tomorrow caught up with TPO Principal Planner Wade Reynolds, AICP, and he explained how the TPO will help Hillsborough County to keep on truckin’.
Connections: So what is a truck route and why are you creating a plan for it?
Wade: A truck route is a roadway designated for use by trucks, vans, and other commercial vehicles use to deliver freight. Interstates like I-4 and state roads like State Road 60 (Brandon Blvd) are truck routes. These roads are often built to higher standards, such as having a stronger roadbed/pavement to withstand heavier vehicles. We want to look at potential changes to Hillsborough County’s existing truck route network to either facilitate or discourage truck use on certain roadways based on things like frequency of deliveries, delivery type, and input from trucking companies and their clients.
Connections: Can any street be a truck route?
Wade: No, not really. You usually won’t see a truck route that is narrow like a residential street. The goal is to find the most efficient yet safest route between a source of freight and its destination.
Connections: Are other staff helping you with this, or is this a one man show?
Wade: No one man show over here. We’re teaming up with a planning consultant called AECOM. Their job is to develop the criteria that we’ll use to evaluate our county truck routes. AECOM will also develop criteria to determine how well other types of freight routes support truck routes and the improvements that we’ll recommend.
Connections: When you say other types of freight, do you mean trains, planes, and boats?
Wade: Yes, exactly.
Connections: Okay, we also heard something about planning for 2050.
Wade: Right, a lot of planning and projections go into updating a document we call the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). And in that plan, we prioritize projects that we will see 25 years from now. One of the projections that will help make the update of the LRTP happen is a project I’m working on.
Connections: The 2050 LRTP Freight and Goods Movement Technical Memo?
Wade: Yes. This project will look at the needs of freight operators through the year 2050 using population and job growth estimates for the Tampa Bay Area. We’ll then estimate the costs of the projects in the LRTP based on those projections. Those projections will then tell us how much money we need to invest for different projects in the LRTP.
Connections: Seems pretty technical, but you explain it very well. And that’s a wrap. Thanks, Wade! As for readers out there who would like to dig into the more technical stuff, feel free to reach out to Wade at [email protected] or visit planhillsborough.org/2045lrtp to learn more about the current LRTP.