Curb Space Management Finally Getting a Good Look

Cities are beginning to recognize that effective curb management is an important part of reducing congestion and ensuring equitable use of public space.

April 23, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Washington, D.C. Street

Tupungato / Shutterstock

The humble curb is becoming a hot commodity as cities scramble to regulate curbside parking and curb usage in the wake of new services and technologies that have made on-demand pickups, deliveries, and micro-mobility options more popular than ever. Writing for Governing, Skip Descant reports on nationwide efforts to regulate curb use and manage congestion. 

The city of Aspen, Colorado has established "smart zones" that drivers can book for quick deliveries, creating "a smoother orchestration of goods coming into the city’s small downtown." A Las Vegas project monitors curbside parking and alerts drivers and the city when a vehicle exceeds parking limits. "As these types of projects become more common, data sharing and data standards — like Mobility Data Specifications (MDS) — are needed to better manage public right-of-way spaces, said Regina Clewlow, CEO and founder of Populus."

Curb management initiatives and the "adoption of new digital tools" can help cities keep up with new mobility technologies and manage public space effectively and sustainably, said Clewlow. "Without data, many cities were essentially blind to how their streets, curbs and sidewalks were being used by new fleet services. With data, they’re now empowered to create policies, and more quickly establish new infrastructure that’s cleaner, that’s safer, and that’s more equitable."

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