/ MOBILITY & TECH
Perspectives on the Curb
By Robert Ferrin
YNAMIC CURB MANAGEMENT has continued to grow as both a disruptor to our
industry and an opportunity to strengthen the way we serve our communities. During the past year, the topics of smart loading, commercial goods movement, and data-driven solutions have risen to the top of our conscience as the new frontier in parking and mobility. IPMI’s Research and Innovation Task Force reached out to some of the leading curbside practitioners in our industry to better understand how they are tackling the challenges at the curb.
Benito Pérez, CAPP, AICP, CTP Policy Director, Transportation for America. Formerly Curbside Management Operations Planning Manager, District Department of Transportation
How are the demands at the curb affecting your current operations? Curb demand has been evolving drastically in the past few years. With the rise of e-commerce, just-intime delivery, and technology disruptions in how we traverse our city, there are increasing demands to access the curb for people and goods. More recently, as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in the District, there has also been greater attention to the use of the street realm for pedestrian movement and outdoor commerce, only intensifying the demand and use of a constrained curb in a dense urban area. This has had ramifications on parking meter revenue, which is an input to our public transit funding formula. Additionally, this has had DDOT’s Parking and Ground Transportation Division re-evaluating its procedures, tools, resources, and skillsets to meet this evolving and intensifying demand for the curb.
10 PARKING & MOBILITY / JULY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
How are you and your team using technology, programs, and policies to address these effects? For the past several years, DDOT’s Parking and Ground Transportation Division has shifted from a reactive posture to a more objective, data-driven, context sensitive proactive posture in addressing the needs and emerging challenges at the curb. That has included also introducing new technologies in collecting and analyzing data (i.e. ArcGIS Collector or Survey 123, Tableau, ArcGIS Pro), rethinking our practice to be more inclusive (i.e. how do we design and communicate curb access and vehicle storage to facilitate accessibility (i.e. mobility, language access, multimodal harmony), as well as pursuing education and outreach campaigns in the community to stimulate a conversation about the curb (from where we came, where we are now, and where the community would like to orient the curb toward the future to meet their needs and neighborhood vision).
What’s your longer term planning look like around the curb? DDOT’s Parking and Ground Transportation Division is revisiting the underlying policies and framework around the curb, which has been historically oriented toward low-occupancy vehicle storage. Much effort to date has involved rethinking curb access and vehicle storage management in high density commercial areas, where