Tag Archives: curb management

Wired: Pandemic Prompts Cities to Rethink the Parking Spot

Yellow sign on curb reading Curbside Service Pick Up HereIt’s no news to industry members that the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a change of thinking around parking–after all, parking and mobility professionals are the ones who largely thought through and enacted curb management strategies to help businesses and communities. But as the larger world takes notice, the mainstream media is asking: What does this mean for the future?

Wired takes a look at how fewer cars and alternate uses for spaces traditionally used for parking have caused people outside the industry to wonder if things could be different going forward. “In many cities, business proprietors have pushed back against parking changes, afraid that potential customers won’t stop to shop if they can’t park. But the pandemic has changed the way many make money—and shifted their opinions on how the curb is used,” it says. It goes on to look at how things shifted in several cities when pandemic lockdowns began, and how parking and curb management might change permanently as a result.

Read it here and let us know in the comments: What do you think?

IPMI Webinar: Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb, presented by Matthew Darst, Conduent Transportation.

Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb

Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

Register here for this webinar.

Or purchase the entire 2021 professional development series bundle.

How we think about traveling and commuting in the cities where we work and live has changed dramatically with the spread of COVID-19 . We drive less, eschew public transportation, and are less likely to use shared mobility devices.  This new definition of mobility has exacerbated declining municipal revenues. Cities and states face a unique challenge: stimulate local economies and generate revenue all while working to reopen responsibly to prevent new hot spots of infection and protect public health.

Curbside technologies offer unique solutions to help fund government programs while safeguarding the public. Curbside technologies can help monitor and mitigate viral spread, provide economic relief to constituents, and create a path for municipal revenue recovery. Cities have an opportunity to quickly pivot and utilize metered parking, permit parking, citation issuance and processing, and data science to achieve critical municipal goals.

Attendees will:

  • Identify curbside strategies for reducing the risk of contagion, providing relief to customers, and helping fund critical municipal goals.
  • Assess curbside data for its effectiveness as an early indicator of people congregating/flaunting social distancing guidelines, the need for enforcement, and the spread of COVID-19.
  • Detail best practices and measure the effectiveness of amnesty and relief programs for constituents and revenue recovery efforts.

Offers 1 CAPP Credit towards application or recertification.


Matthew Darst, JD; Director of Curbside Management; Conduent Transportation

Matt Darst, JD, oversees Conduent Transportation’s analytics team, helping cities use data to better manage curbside resources to promote social equity, improve pedestrian safety, and increase physical distancing during the pandemic. Prior to joining Conduent, he served in the public sector for 16 years.

Register here.

Valuing the Curbside in a New Normal

COVID-19 parking transportation curbCurb management planning and strategy was already well underway in Washington, D.C., when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the virus still managed to change almost everything. On-demand delivery services–DoorDash, Grubhub, etc.–took over crowded curbsides in what felt like overnight and demand for temporary parking space outside businesses skyrocketed from city residents taking the opportunity to pick up their own groceries, meals, or other necessities without violating stay-home orders.

For the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), once the initial situation had been managed, focus shifted to our eventual recovery from the pandemic. And now that the recovery is beginning, focus is squarely on how lessons from COVID-19 will shape the short- and long-term future of the curb in the city.

David Carson Lipscomb, curbside management planner with DDOT, shares the city’s experiences and lessons in this month’s Parking & Mobility magazine–and they’re largely transferable to other operations. Click here to read his story and see how Washington, D.C.’s COVID-19 lessons may shape the way we all think about the curb going forward.


Curb Appeal: Data to Understand and Manage These Valuable Assets

Tire turned into the curb - parking on a hillBy Meera Raja

The space between streets and sidewalks has become the hottest new real estate. The competition for curbside space is fierce; from delivery to drop-off and all the modes and activity in between, everyone wants a piece of the curb.

Traditional street parking and freight space are battling an influx of new mobility modes, resulting in curbside disruption. Now more than ever, cities need to responsively manage these spaces to balance the competing objectives of communities, business needs, and local transportation priorities. The right intervention can rationalize and optimize this valuable asset to prevent congestion and achieve equity and environmental goals, all with a potential for new revenue opportunities for cities.

Cities have multiple paths to manage curbs, but a key piece has continued to be missing from this discussion: understanding real-time demand at the curb.

Before building out proposed interventions, we need to understand activity at the curb: what specific curb space is currently designed to do and the actual demand for each space. Understanding this mismatch by modeling curbside activities can enable new tools for curb management; data and solutions on time- and location-specific demands will inform how to best allocate and monetize the space.

This exercise can also inform a dynamic management business model that accounts for proportional use and value. With a demand-driven model as a foundation, cities can actively test and implement tools that dynamically manage curb spaces, relieve curbside pressures, and create efficiencies for users. As activity and demand continue to shift due to either intentional interventions or mobility modes and trends that arise, refreshing data and models will be key to creating dynamic tools that allow for flexibility.

With this type of approach of first modeling activity and value and then piloting an intervention, cities can build robust data-driven plans to deploy flexible management, dynamic pricing, and forward-looking urban design solutions.​

Meera Raja is senior manager of solution design & program development at City Tech Collaborative. She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2021 Mobility & Innovation Summit online, February 24-25–click here for details and to register.

Managing Commercial Vehicle Loading: Technology and Regulatory Opportunities

Generic white delivery truckBy Dawn Miller

I’ve developed an odd new habit the past year. When walking, biking, or riding shotgun in the car, I take photos of delivery vehicles double-parking. At times I capture drivers trying to maneuver around the double-parked vehicles, sometimes ever-so-carefully nosing into oncoming traffic. I also take photos of delivery vehicles blocking crosswalks and ADA ramps. If I’m fast enough, my photo captures the pedestrians who’ve been forced into traffic to move around these vehicles.

I also notice the delivery trucks that have managed to find a pretty good place to pull over.  Sometimes it’s in designated loading space. Sometimes it’s not, but the location is reasonably safe and not interfering with anyone else’s safe travels. I want to give these drivers a socially distanced high five, but they would probably think I was nuts.

Although there’s a natural tendency to ascribe a person’s choices to their individual character or values, my belief is that there isn’t a major difference in moral character between drivers loading legally as compared to those loading illegally. I don’t believe the crosswalk blockers care less about pedestrian safety than other drivers do. What they are doing is reacting to their environment: the pressures placed on them by their employers, and the availability and discoverability of safe and legal loading options.

The good news is that as public servants and parking industry professionals, we have tools to improve this environment. We can use pricing, smart regulation, and technology to create the best set of options we can for commercial drivers, making their jobs easier while improving mobility for everyone else. As more and more people have begun to understand  the impact of deliveries on our streets, it is an ideal time for us to implement best practices and new technologies.

Dawn Miller is vice president for policy and partnerships at Coord. She will present on this topic at IPMI’s Mobility and Innovation Summit, online, Feb. 24-25.  For details and to register, click here.

Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb

COVID-19 parking transportation curbBy Matthew Darst, JD

COVID-19 has changed how we fundamentally live and the pandemic promises to continue to disrupt curbside management for months to come. While the tunnel is still dark, there is light—in the form of pandemic relief and vaccines—in sight.

There are measures that can be taken to help cities further mitigate viral spread, promote economic relief, and fund critical municipal programs. Parking professionals have a vast toolkit at their disposal, including digital curbside policies, virtual parking permissions, optimized enforcement, and data science. Coupled with data-driven amnesty programs, tailored payment plans, and sustainable, “asset lite” technologies, cities can deliver immediate assistance to those constituents and stakeholders most in need. And they can do it in a way that encourages social distancing.

In addition to decisive action, now is the time for planning and establishing a vision for the curb post-COVID-19. While average curbside occupancy may be returning to pre-pandemic levels, bock-by-block utilization presents a much different picture. Demand is uneven largely driven by the types of businesses proximate to the curb.

This reality provides opportunities to reassess the value of the curb and rethink use. We can better manage demand, allocate parking permissions, and restructure loading zones to help restaurants stay in or return to business. We can also reimagine parking enforcement to ensure those motorists most in need of economic relief today are not disproportionately impacted tomorrow. And we may even find that parking data offers clues to help identify and stop the spread of future viruses.

I’ll be discussing some of these strategies January 13 during an IPMI Webinar, “Curbing COVID-19 at the Curb,” and look forward to additional thoughts and feedback.

Matthew Darst, JD, is director of curbside management with Conduent Transportation. He’ll present on this topic during an IPMI webinar Jan. 13; click here for details and to register.


The Value of Curb Space

Cars parked along city curb.By Chrissy Mancini Nichols

A century ago, in establishing the first parking regulations, planners recognized the value of curb space.  In The Storage of Dead Vehicles on Roadways, William Phelps Eno discussed how parallel parking at the curb caused, “considerable waste[d] space” and that on roads dedicated to commercial purposes, “the importance of getting to the curb is paramount.” There was even a discussion on prioritization of curb use.  Eno wrote, “Surely conveyances such as streetcars, buses, and taxicabs, which are available to the general public, should have precedence, if necessary, over those for private vehicle use.”

Our predecessors understood that the curb was a tool to promote local business activity, grant people more access, and keep traffic flowing—the curb was there to serve people.  But historically the curb has mostly served as a place for private vehicle storage.

The curb isn’t a parking lot. It is a vital community space and one of the most extensive and valuable pieces of real estate in a city—and it is a finite commodity. Current trends that have only escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the importance of curbs in helping many industries succeed. Ride apps need pick-up and drop-off spaces, commercial and on-demand delivery companies compete for loading zones, dockless scooters and bike-share operators need parking spots, and restaurants want parklets for outdoor dining.

Given these trends, cities can use the policy tools at their disposal–zoning, regulations, financing mechanisms–to align private-sector goals with public-sector priorities for curb use. With active and intentional curb management, communities can offer more equitable access among different users, improve the level of service for everyone, collect data on transportation behaviors, and eventually create a sustainable revenue source.

Chrissy Mancini Nichols is the national curb management lead for Walker Consultants.  She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2021 Mobility & Innovation Summit online, February 24-25. Early-bird rates expire Jan. 15; for details and to register, click here.

MSNBC: Transportation Changes Equal Effect of Building Railroads

Cartoon delivery van in a city.An analysis on MSNBC equates pandemic-born changes to transportation with the birth of the U.S. railroads in the 19th century.

“If the pandemic were to continue or a vaccine was distributed right away, it really doesn’t change anything, because this was a train already moving down the track,” said Rich Thompson, who leads the global supply chain and logistics solutions team for the commercial real estate company JLL. “It’s just now accelerating.”

Thompson goes on to say a new network being created by private delivery carriers is effectively the same kind of revolution as the construction of the railroads hundreds of years ago.

“Parcel deliveries are akin to the creation of the American railroad system,” he said. “These alternative logistics providers are trying to create a private delivery network across the country — because that’s what we need.”

The article looks at what COVID-19 has meant for retail and delivery and briefly, into what it’s meant for cities; while curb management isn’t mentioned, there’s no question its acceleration has been a huge, permanent effect of the pandemic. Read the whole story here.

IPMI On-Demand Webinar: Curb Management: Strategies and Tech to Define, Manage, and Enforce the Curb

On-Demand Webinar: $35.00 for IPMI Members, $85.00 for Non-Members

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Description: Struggling with curb management or just starting to think about it? You’re not alone—balancing shared use of this limited and valuable real estate is a challenge, and it’s only projected to become more complicated from here. Learn what curb management is and how various technologies will support effective curb-sharing. This presentation explores four major categories of consideration and how technology will be applied to de-clutter and de-stress curb space.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the elements of curb management.
  • Understand the use and data elements that are required to define and manage the curb as a critical asset.
  • Discuss the established and emerging strategies and technologies that will help you charge for curb access appropriately and enforce access, restrictions, and more.


Mike Drow, CAPP, is senior vice president, corporate development, at T2 Systems, where he establishes and manages technology partnerships and acquisitions to align with the company’s long-term strategic goals. He has led the development of mobility services, remote management operations, mobile payments, and interactive marketing services, and has worked with municipalities, universities, airports, and urban garages. He is co-chair of IPMI’s Technology Committee.






Charles Debow is a managing member of D&D Advisory Group, a parking and mobility consulting firm.  He has extensive experience in the parking industry and is widely recognized as a technology and innovation leader. Prior to his current role, he served as SVP of sales and account management for Parkmobile, as director of municipal parking in State College, Pa., as well positions in private operations.  He serves on the IPMI Parking Technology Committee and is a frequent contributor to the IPMI magazine as well as the Blog.