The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has released the Curbside Management Practitioner’s Guide, which provides guidance on best practices for curb space allocation policy and implementation, based primarily upon the outcomes of tested strategies.
With the increasing concern for balancing the needs for all roadway users, and the growth of transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft, as well as online shopping and associated deliveries, demand for curbside pickups, drop-offs and dwell times is growing dramatically.
The ITE’s Curbside Management Guide seeks to inventory, optimize, allocate and manage curbspaces to maximize mobility and access for the wide variety of curb demands. The guide presents a framework and toolbox for analyzing and optimizing curb space during this period of change with the aim of prioritizing and maximizing community values and safety.
The ITE defines curb space as being where ‘movement meets access’. However, this valuable and flexible public space is not always optimized for its highest and best use. Curb space can be used not only as car parking and loading, but also as the front stoop, sidewalk café, transit hub, freight delivery zone, taxi stand, rain garden, or trash collection area. It serves many purposes throughout the day and makes possible the exchanges and interactions that occur on great streets.
As transportation network companies have become an increasingly important mobility option and bike share and electric scooters have begun to compete for curb space and sidewalk real estate, the demands on jurisdictions for access to this space has increased dramatically.
The guide’s goal is to provide practitioners with the tools and reference material needed to make decisions pertaining to the allocation of curb space. This includes planning and implementation considerations for curbside management or sharing, policy development, prioritization, available tools and treatments, and evaluation metrics. The tools applied must match the policy goals; the policy decision about which curb uses to prioritize is almost always more important than the tool or technology used to implement it.
The Practitioner’s Guide addresses key gaps in existing curbside guidance, including:
How to measure curbside performance;
How to identify and resolve trade-off considerations;
How to explain the value of curb uses to stakeholders.
The guide was assembled based on an initial white paper by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), case study surveys of NACTO and ITE members, as well as presentations and workshops at key conferences in 2017-2018. Alongside the Guide, the ITE has also released three case studies outlining curbside management best practices in: Washington DC; San Francisco, California; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“This Guide is really a collaborative crowdsourced effort undertaken by the ITE Complete Streets Council over the past two years,” said Jeff Paniati, the ITE’s executive director and CEO.
“As Mobility as a Service (MaaS) plays an increasingly important role in our urban transportation environment, the competition for curb space is increasing. Creating a framework for how to best to use this public space is in everyone’s best interest.”