Addressing Online Retail's Ceaseless Curbside Deliveries

The rise of online retail has come with a flurry of delivery trucks that don't always have good places to stop. Researchers from Amazon's hometown are on the case.

January 29, 2018, 5:00 AM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Deliveries Truck

Philip Lange / Shutterstock

While a drone-based future for goods delivery gets a lot of hype, we're still stuck with trucks and vans (and some bikes). As Timothy A. Schuler writes, "The increase in deliveries has major implications for Complete Streets programs, which seek to accommodate the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and vehicular traffic within existing corridors."

In Amazon's hometown of Seattle, researchers are looking into the issue. "Recently, the City of Seattle partnered with the University of Washington (UW) and several major retailers to launch the Urban Freight Lab, a three-year research effort to better understand the rapidly changing landscape of goods delivery."

Curbside goods delivery is often a regulatory blank slate. "Unlike public transit, goods delivery has no single governing body or regulatory agency. [...] As a result, municipal governments often lack reliable data on where loading bays and loading zones are located, and whether or not they are meeting demand."

Anne Goodchild, director of UW's Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center, put it this way: "How much do we ask the transport to modify itself for the place? And how much do we modify the place for the transport?"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in Landscape Architecture Magazine

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

State Capital of Utah

Affordable Housing Proposal Faces Backlash in Salt Lake City

A public hearing last week revealed widespread opposition to a plan to loosen density and height limits and reduce parking requirements to encourage more developers to build affordable housing.

44 minutes ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

1 hour ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

2 hours ago - KUT

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.