Local, regional and state transportation agencies have traditionally made infrastructure investment and prioritization decisions on the basis of traffic flow needs, while also considering factors such as neighborhood quality of life concerns. These are clearly legitimate and important concerns. In addition, though, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of considering economic development as a factor motivating transportation investment. However, the problem today is that even if the public and decision-makers recognize the importance of transportation infrastructure for their jobs, income, and tax base, they need to apply new methods in order to differentiate projects that are particularly critical for business and economic growth.
The study, performed by Economic Research Group (EDRG), seeks to address the need to apply new methods in order to differentiate transportation projects that are particularly critical for business and economic growth, by asking: (a) why it makes sense to give weight to freight movement and critical business routes in the evaluation and prioritization of transportation investments, and (b) how a methodology and process can be implemented to appropriately take consideration of critical freight and business activities in the decision-making process. The Port of Portland partnered with the Portland Business Alliance on this study.
Executive Summary (PDF)