Tag Archives: delivery trucks

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.

An Interesting Equation for Managing the Curb

By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

I recently read a Wired.com article entitled, “Uber Writes an Equation to Help Cities Measure–and Manage–the Curb”.

The equation devised by Uber is meant to help cities evaluate how efficiently they’re using this increasingly contested space.

Here is the article’s opening paragraph: “After years of neglect and scorn, this strip of urban infrastructure, long the sole domain of the meter maid, has gotten incredibly crowded. Bike- and scooter-share companies would love to park their wheels there. Transit agencies would love for drivers to stay out of their bus stops. Delivery drivers—the folks transporting businesses’ daily merchandise, the roughly 30 percent more UPS, FedEx, and USPS packages sent since five years ago, the 20 percent more takeout orders—would love to idle just outside their destinations. Ride-hailers like Uber and Lyft would love to pick up and drop off their passengers quickly and safely. Car owners would love to park there, ideally for free.”  Sound familiar?

IPMI’s 2018 Emerging Trends in Parking survey agrees.  The survey begins with a heading that reads, “It’s All About the Curb.” New lifestyles put transportation and mobility center-stage, shining a spotlight on curb management, alternative commuting methods, and parking.

In a report released last month, Uber and the transportation consultancy Fehr and Peers published what they’re calling a “curb productivity index.” It’s a way to figure out what the curb is doing for you. The equation is deceptively simple:

Activity/(Time x Space)

Activity is the number of passengers using the curb space by a specific mode, time is the duration of their usage, and space is the total amount of curb footage dedicated to that use.

The article provides several examples on how to apply this equation and suggests that it is “an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way to communicate the benefits of turning over parking in very busy downtown centers to more productive uses.”

The full story can be accessed here.

What do you think of this approach?

Dennis Burns, CAPP, is regional vice president with Kimley-Horn.