On some busy blocks, Uber and Lyft drivers have nowhere safe to park. Neither do parcel delivery personnel. Shared use mobility zones could address the problem.
"For nearly a century," Greg Rogers writes, "cities have used curb space designations to serve a set of well-defined purposes: mostly short and long term parking, but also freight deliveries, taxi stands, bus stops, and handicap accessibility." But as urban transport evolves, curb space may also require some tweaks.
In short, says Rogers, "TNCs [transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft] do not have a home on our streets, and freight vehicles do not have enough commercial loading zones and parking places to accommodate booming ecommerce."
Designating short stretches of curb as shared use mobility (SUM) zones, particularly at the beginnings and ends of blocks, could reduce the congestion and safety risks of forcing those drivers to pause amidst traffic.
"Outside of peak hours, these spaces could be converted back to regular parking spaces for consumer vehicles or, where needed, be designated as freight and parcel delivery zones to prevent congestion caused by double-parked trucks." While installing SUMs would mean removing some roadside parking, traffic snarls might also clear.
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Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
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