Explosion of Deliveries Disrupts Streets

E-commerce and its delivery trucks are a big problem for narrow streets, homes, and retailers that don't have loading docks.
June 15, 2017, 2pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Philip Lange

Changes in logistics mean more trucks, which has created problems that range from slowing down transit to endangering the lives of pedestrians.

"Because so few of the city’s buildings have internal loading areas, drivers have no choice but to park at the curb, even if it means stopping traffic," Inga Saffron reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This is particularly difficult in cities like Philadelphia that have narrow streets, the very streets that slow down traffic and have been proven to  be safer for pedestrians and drivers. Trucks can also block sight lines and bike lanes. "Parked trucks can reduce visibility for other drivers and greatly increase the danger to pedestrians and bicyclists," Saffron writes.

There are some strategies to mitigate these issues, "Mandating night deliveries, especially for drugstores and high-volume stores like Target, could not only reduce congestion but also save energy," Saffron reports, but with E-commerce steadily growing around 15 percent a year, this problem isn't going away any time soon.

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Published on Thursday, June 8, 2017 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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