Development of an Areawide Estimate of Truck Freight Value in the Urban Mobility Report

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2010
March 2011
June 2011
Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

Jessica Guo and Teresa Adams
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm 1206
Madison, Wisconsin 53706


The project will expand upon a framework to estimate commodities that are moving on the roadways through and within a given city. This framework, developed by researchers in Texas, attempts to identify the commodities in the trucks for the following trip types: through trips, trips originating in the city, trips ending in the city, and local trips within the city. The methodology uses the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWAs) Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) database, which has information on goods movement from U.S. region to region. The framework was tested in FY2009 with case studies in Austin and Denver. This project will also develop a case study in Milwaukee, WI. The framework developed in this previous work will be modified to create a more simplistic methodology to generate similar statistics for truck freight values at the areawide level to be included in future versions of the Urban Mobility Report. The results of this areawide freight value methodology in Milwaukee will be compared with the case studies in Austin and Denver.


The objectives of this research are to create and test a methodology for generating truck freight values to include in the Urban Mobility Report. The Urban Mobility Report has developed and refined a methodology over the past two decades to estimate the amount of delay that occurs on the freeways and arterial streets of a region. Recent work has developed a methodology to estimate the value of truck freight movements on particular roadways through a region. This proposed research refines this truck value methodology to facilitate transferability from one region to the next. Transferability is important so that the freight value estimates can quickly be developed for all 100 (up from 90 in 2009) urban areas that are extensively studied in the Urban Mobility Report.


  1. Analyze policy implications of combining truck freight values with the Urban Mobility Report congestion statistics.
  2. Collect roadway inventory data for the Milwaukee region from WisDOT.
  3. Calculate truck freight values for major corridors through the Milwaukee region using FAF and WisDOT inventory data.
  4. Develop a methodology to calculate truck freight movement values at the areawide level to include in the UMR statistics.
  5. Calculate the freight statistics for the 100 urban areas that are extensively studied in the UMR.
  6. Final report development.

Project Information

  • Duration: 14 months
  • Dates: July 1, 2010 – August 31, 2011
  • Budget: CFIRE: $100,000; Total: $150,000
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student and one undergraduate
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 04-16
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