The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington DC has announced the next phase of its Curbside Management Program, which will focus on commercial pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) activity.
DDOT has partnered with curbFlow, a mobility company that coordinates commercial operator pick-up and drop-off activity to available curb space in real-time. As part of the project, curbFlow will research and analyze the demand at nine locations throughout the District where commercial loading and PUDO activities for delivery services often leads to congestion, double parking and other dangerous behavior. In October 2017, Washington became one of the first cities in the USA to launch a passenger PUDO program to improve the safety of pick-up and drop-off activity. Allocating curbside space for PUDO activities allows for safe loading and unloading by restricting parking in the designated zones. By removing parking, passenger and commercial loading can occur directly at the curb, and out of travel lanes.
Starting on August 1, parking will be removed for 12 weeks to create curbFlow loading zones for commercial activities at nine locations across the city. The zones will be used by both commercial vehicles and private vehicles operating in a commercial manner such as picking up for an online food delivery service or other online delivery platform. Participants will use an app free of charge and commercial operators doing business in the District can register on the curbFlow website. During the pilot, curbFlow staff will be at each of the zones to collect data and determine if the app is working as expected. Data will be collected to look at safety, utilization, productivity, and equitable access.
DDOT notes that the commercial delivery landscape has changed significantly in recent years with the advent of delivery apps for food and other goods. The data gathered by the pilot will enable DDOT to get a better understanding of the commercial demand for the curbside when many companies are now using private vehicles for delivery through app services. Once the research period has concluded, DDOT will evaluate the data to determine next steps for citywide curb usage policies.
“We are continually exploring innovative ways to address safety on our streets, and reduce traffic congestion,” said DDOT’s director, Jeff Marootian. “By exploring new curbside management options through this partnership with curbFlow, we are able to keep traffic flowing, maximize efficiency of our curbside space, and make data-driven decisions about the next steps.”
Ali Vahabzadeh, founder and CEO of curbFlow, commented, “The curb is an oft-forgotten but critical element of our city landscape. We’re excited to work with DDOT in using data-driven solutions to reduce double parking traffic, help make our streets safer and more sustainable, while making sure merchants get their goods delivered in a timely manner.”