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Goods Movement in Ottawa: Transitioning to a Sustainable Future


Most Canadian urban areas promote a more sustainable future in their long-range transportation master plans (TMPs). This applies to all urban travel, but most TMPs consider goods movement at a high level, if at all. To address this gap, the City of Ottawa commissioned a study of goods movement. The study will inform Ottawa’s upcoming TMP as well as other transportation policies and plans.
Other urban areas have developed stand-alone goods movement strategies. These strategies typically look at current and long-term issues, and recommend packages of operational, regulatory, technological, planning and policy solutions that can be implemented over time. Many of the packages consider sustainability but, again, at a high level. Ottawa’s goods movement study looks at a range of opportunities, but it differs from other Canadian goods movement studies in that it focuses on sustainability and ways to transition to a sustainable transportation future.
The Ottawa study does not recommend solutions but instead presents a menu of options that the City can consider in its policies and plans. The Ottawa study looks at how sustainability can be incorporated through short-term operational and traffic management improvements and through long-term policies and land use planning. It looks at how goods movement is incorporated in today’s sustainability initiatives, such as Complete Streets rehabilitations of urban streets and intersections, along with some of the current challenges faced by couriers and truckers and how these might be resolved. The study considers the potential role of emerging goods movement technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, in promoting sustainable urban goods movement in the future, while accounting for the inherent uncertainties associated with industry uptake of new technologies and trends such as e-commerce and the growing role of independents in urban deliveries.
Finally, the study looks at how these actions can be integrated to transition to a more sustainable future over time, while recognizing market realities, the need to maintain economic sustainability and the uncertainties associated with emerging technologies.
The paper speaks to all these aspects by providing an overview of the Ottawa study’s goals, how its focus on sustainability differs from other Canadian urban goods movement studies, how economic/business and other realities must be considered, and how current opportunities and emerging technologies can set the stage for long-term sustainability initiatives.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Innovative Solutions to Enhance Goods Movement (S)
Kriger, D., Edwards, N.
Transportation planning