Prepared by the IPMI Research & Innovation Task Force and developed in collaboration with Transportation for America (T4A), Smart Growth America, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

Referenced in ITE's Curbside Inventory Report and Curbside Management Tool and User Guide.


Version 1.0, dated May 11, 2021

The purpose of this glossary is to provide common terms and definitions related to the practice of Curbside Management. This document is intended to equip industry professionals with basic knowledge to participate in Curbside Management practice and discussion and provide context on these features.

As the management of the curb evolves, we anticipate that the glossary document and definitions will change with the industry. To submit comments, feedback, and ideas in response, please email with your feedback using the subject line IPMI Curbside Management Glossary.


Bicycle Rack

A device, typically mounted to the ground, to which bicycles can be attached using an owner-provided bicycle lock. Bicycle racks can be a variety of shapes and sizes. Some parking meters can be used as or repurposed as bicycle rack; ADA access should be considered if repurposing for this use.


A measurement of space, typically between streets or at a prescribed distance. A block may start at one intersection of two streets and end at the next intersection of two streets. A block may also be considered as the four block faces surrounding a building or group of buildings, used for purposes of delineating accessible parking spaces.

Block Face

One side of a block. For example, the north side of a given block on an east-west street is a block face; the south side of the same block is a different block face.


Car-sharing is a shared passenger vehicle rental service that is membership-based, available to qualified drivers, and allows members to use a car-sharing vehicle without a separate written agreement each time a member reserves and uses a vehicle. Car-sharing services provide a spread-out network that may be rented on-demand.

  • RESERVED SPACE. Reserved-space car-sharing, sometimes called two-way or traditional car-sharing, allows users to borrow from and return vehicles to the same reserved car-sharing space. This space is traditionally not shared with other curb uses and is reserved 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
  • POINT-TO-POINT. Point-to-point car-sharing, sometimes called one-way or free-floating car-sharing, allows users to pick a vehicle up at one location and drop it off in another. This approach does not alter the use of the curb but may require (at the discretion of the jurisdiction) some specialized regulatory exceptions to override specific curb use management parameters (i.e. time limits, meter payment).
  • PEER-TO-PEER. Peer-to-peer car-sharing allows users (owner-members) to make their privately owned vehicles available for rent by other users (renter-members). This approach does not alter the use of the curb but may require (at the discretion of the jurisdiction) some specialized regulatory exceptions to override specific curb use management parameters (i.e. time limits, meter payment).


The physical barrier between sidewalk and street. Most curbs are elevated above street level to inhibit motor vehicle impingement on the sidewalk and control drainage on the sidewalk. Some curbs are “free-form,” where the sidewalk is at the same elevation as the street.

Curb Cut 

Related to curb management, a break in the structure of the curb leading to loading dock, alley, or driveway.

Curb Lane 

The area of space on a street adjacent to the curb. Curb lanes may be used for a variety of purposes, including motor vehicle throughways, parking, bike facilities, loading, and delivery space.


The space adjacent to the physical curb in public right-of-way including but not limited to all or a portion of the street, inner curb, outer edge of street, sidewalk, shoulder, or other condition depending on road type. This area serves as the interface for different functions that interact at or with the curb.

Curb Space

The physical curb (e.g., concrete edging, gutter plan, or other barrier); a barrier between the sidewalk and street, and where markings and signage may be placed to regulate the curbside.

Curbside Delivery 

As related to curb management, use of the curb for the purpose of delivering products to business and individuals located near the block.

Curbside Management

The development, implementation, management, and enforcement of policy, assets, and technology governing the uses that interact with the curb lane, curb space, or curbside.

Curbside Pick-Up

A method of goods transfer whereby a patron of a business drives to the business and begins standing at the curb. After notifying the business of their presence, the business will deliver the product to the vehicle at the curb. After completion of the curbside pick-up, the vehicle departs.


As related to curb management, a device to corral and control the usage of bicycles, scooters, or other micro-mobility devices. The device can be on the sidewalk or the street and can be variable in size. The device will typically require power and communication to operate. May also relate to freight docks that can cross or impinge upon curb space to provide off-street loading to buildings.


Used to describe micro-mobility devices and publicly accessible bicycles, scooters, or other micro-mobility devices that do not make use of a dock but are able to be used and left anywhere at the user’s convenience.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station/Charger

Infrastructure used to charge electric vehicles. In the public right of way, the most common charging stations are Level 2 and DC fast chargers. Level 2 charging refers to the voltage the charger uses, in this case 240 volts. Level 2 chargers can typically provide enough power to provide a full charge to an electric vehicle in three to four hours and are ideal for on-street parking environments. DC fast chargers utilize direct current power and, in some cases, more than 600 volts of power. DC fast chargers can provide a full charge to an electric vehicle in about 30 minutes and are best suited for high-demand parking areas that require frequent turnover.


The operational act of observing curbside spaces and ensuring that usage is conducted in a proper manner according to posted regulations. Enforcement is conducted by enforcement officers, either manually or in a semi-automated fashion (e.g. license plate recognition). Improper parking, loading, standing, or stopping is often regulated through the issuance of citations, which apply a monetary value to the action to de-incentivize further parking issues.

Flexible/Dynamic Curb Space

Curb space designed to have a multitude of uses depending on time of day, corresponding land use, or street typology, etc. For example, during rush-hour, parking may be disallowed in an urban area to allow for an additional lane of traffic. In residential areas, curb space may function to serve residents during primary dwelling hours and commercial/commuter traffic during daytime peaks.

Interstitial space

The area between active curb space and pedestrian space where infrastructure items such as parking meters, water quality elements (i.e. bioswales), and landscaping elements (i.e. treeboxes), etc., are placed.


Related to curb management, a location where the physical addition or removal of goods or people from a vehicle occurs. The goods may further be delivered to a location off the curb. Loading may occur in a dedicated loading zone or at any place along the curb. Loading can be designated as short-term or longer-term depending on need and land use context. Loading regulations are also influence by time of day and street typology.


Small electric- or human-powered devices that enable people to move between points. Often require a mobile app to unlock and use. May make use of a dock or be dockless.


Door-to-door services, often run by a transit agency, that provide customized transit options for those who cannot use traditional services (e.g., elderly, disabled, etc.). Service often requires loading or unloading space that is both convenient and ADA accessible, and may be at the curb.

Mobility Corral

An in-curb installation of a group of storage racks for the purposes of parking  and securing mobility devices, freeing up sidewalk space for pedestrian access. Primarily used for bicycles, but different personal mobility devices will likely utilize mobility corrals.

On-demand Delivery Service

Same-day delivery commercial services that deliver goods directly to customers, typically within minutes or hours of initial order placement. May include services that pick-up and deliver goods from other stand-alone businesses/vendors or distribute them from a central location such as a warehouse or virtual/cloud/dark kitchens. They are typically mobile app-based but may offer traditional website interfaces as well.


The act of temporarily storing a vehicle unattended in a given location, which may be along a curb and may be subject to a parking meter or parking meter zone.

Parking Meter

A device used to satisfy parking fees, often located near curbs, which may be mechanical or electronic and cover one space or multiple spaces. Meters may accept coin, bank note, credit card, or contactless payment.

Parking Meter Space

A specific space in the roadway for vehicle parking and corresponding to a particular parking meter or parking rate.

Parking Meter Zone

An area of spaces that share a common parking rate or payment mechanism, such as a multi-space meter. May also refer to a zone within a mobile payment app.

Parking Pricing

A demand management tool that is used in curbside parking to help define length of stay, access, and turnover. Traditionally set by the hour for a set time limit, more recent parking pricing strategies use graduated pricing for longer stays, demand-based pricing to influence decisions, and time-of-day pricing to reflect changing levels of desired access.


A defined parking space or group of parking spaces along a curb that is repurposed as park-like amenity for pedestrian or other uses.

Permit Parking

Designation of vehicular parking spaces along a curb and/or during established hours for specific users, such as residential parking permits or reserved spaces for adjacent users. Permit parking is governed by pre-registration of a vehicle and application of a visible permit (hangtag, sticker, license plate) for enforcement purposes.

Permit Zones

Designated locations for permit parking. Permit zones can be monetized for registered users, and can also occur in hybrid settings where permit holders park alongside time-regulated and/or monetized users, as in a residential area adjacent to a commercial district.

Pick Up/Drop Off (PUDO) Zone

Curbside locations that are dedicated full-time for passenger pick-up and drop-off and commercial loading. These zones enable passenger and commercial loading directly at the curb and out of travel lanes. Parking is not allowed at these locations at any time.


Ride-hailing is when a rider requests, hails, or hires a personal driver to take them exactly where they need to go. The service is typically not shared with any other riders, nor does it make several stops along a route.


Ride-sharing is synonymous with carpooling, where a rider shares a vehicle with other riders and several stops are made along the route to pick up other riders.

Sidewalk Cafe

Restaurants that adopt a portion of the sidewalk outside of the restaurant’s building to use as a dining room. This space may be adjacent to or running along the curb on the sidewalk.

Signage (Wayfinding)

Delineated street signage that defines the structure and legal usage of curb assets. Signage includes static regulatory signage, informational signage, and directional navigation. Advanced signage has begun using dynamic messaging to communicate flexible options and regulations for curb space.


Generally, the act of temporarily stopping a vehicle in curb space without exiting or dismounting the vehicle.


A portmanteau of “street” and “eatery;” restaurants that adopt part of the street outside of the restaurant’s building to use as a dining room. This space may be adjacent to or running along the curb, on the street.

Transportation Network Company (TNC)

The business of matching a network of sometimes available private vehicle operators with those needing transportation, calculating and accepting fares, and distributing payments to the vehicle operators. May also be referred to as ride-sharing or ride-hailing.

Transit Stop 

A defined location where buses or other transit vehicles make regular pick-up and drop-off of passengers at the curb. Transit stops nearly always include signs and may include shelters.


Specific to curb management, a carve-out or allocation of curb space dedicated to a specific use at a specific time, or all the time.