Description of Study

How do trucks affect your community?

What does the trucking industry contribute to Hudson County’s economy?

How can we make trucking more safe and more efficient in Hudson County?

The Hudson County Division of Planning, with funding from the NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program, is conducting a year-long study, the “Hudson County Truck Routes Assessment”. The study will examine the movement of freight through Hudson County by trucks in the context of the local community. Through this study, Hudson County seeks to measure impacts and make policy, regulatory, and infrastructure recommendations for the freight trucking within the county, to ensure it is competitive, efficient, safe, and serves the needs of all county residents and businesses.

Hudson County actively contributes to nearly every stage of the production and delivery of goods: manufacturing, unloading, storage, and delivery. Although this contributes greatly to the local economy, this large amount of freight traveling through Hudson County affects our roads, people, and environment.

Hudson County is located at the crossroads of the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan Area, and is a critical origin and destination for transportation, including the movement of goods. Hudson County’s proximity to ports and markets makes it a center for the movement of freight. The county is host to significant infrastructure, including ports, unloading facilities, warehouses and distribution centers, and transportation infrastructure. Most of the freight goods are moved by trucks through Hudson County and beyond into the north Jersey region to reach its final destination. The impacts to the region as a result of this freight transportation, as well as potential improvements and future conditions, are in need of a comprehensive examination for recommendations to enhance regional economic competitiveness while also reducing negative effects of trucking on surrounding communities.

Due to inadequate designs, lack of connections, and surrounding land uses, not all roads are fit for use by trucks. While many larger roads in Hudson County serve as connecting corridors for through traffic, including trucks they also have neighborhood scale residential and commercial communities which may be affected by heavy truck traffic.

A comprehensive examination of routes, infrastructure needs, regulations, and enforcement will provide Hudson County and the northern New Jersey region with the opportunity to further define and enhance coordination and best practices for management of the movement and delivery of freight and goods by trucks.  Resources will be most efficiently utilized as part of a coordinated, long term, strategic plan. A combination of policies, regulation, infrastructure improvements, and enforcement may further improve efficiencies and reduce impacts.

Although they are an essential part of our economy and support our way of life, like all motor vehicles, trucks cause negative impacts to our environment. These impacts are amplified due to their large size. The large engines from trucks create emissions and noise which have effects on the health and quality of life of the surrounding communities. Emissions from burning diesel fuel release harmful gasses and particulate matter which affect air quality. When idling, these emissions continue from a stationary position and increase the amount of fumes released to the immediately surrounding area and overall. The study will assess the health impacts on surrounding communities, with a particular focus on environmental justice populations who often live in close proximity to busy highways and freight facilities. Through the study, we will develop recommendations to reduce the impacts from trucks on health and well-being, as well as identify new trucking technologies that can mitigate effects on people and the environment (such as electric and alternative fuel truck vehicles).

Hudson County will achieve several goals through the Hudson County Truck Routes Assessment. The County will develop a comprehensive understanding of freight trucking in Hudson County, and direct investment towards creating a safe and efficient roadway network to support our economy. The study will assess the effects of trucking on the community, emphasizing environmental justice populations, developing policy recommendations to reduce negative impacts, and identifying best practices for roadway design and exploring new technologies for truck transportation. The study will determine and prioritize roadway needs on all County freight roads and coordinate repaving schedules and other upgrades and repairs through a comprehensive long-term plan. The County will assess roadway needs and develop recommendations in coordination with the municipalities to effectively manage roadway space and deliveries. Finally, the County intends to foster dialogue between freight industry professionals, local government decision makers, and community members to support an inclusive collaborative process for truck transportation planning in Hudson County.

How Can I Participate?

Please join us in our study of freight trucking in Hudson County. Let us know how trucking affects you, and ideas you have to improve the movement of freight trucks through Hudson County. Check back on our website for the latest updates on our study, and follow our social media accounts. Send us a message or leave a comment to share your ideas. We would love to hear from you!