Adapting policy and design to accommodate the changing transportation landscape
With increasing concern for balancing needs for all roadway users, and the growth of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, as well as online shopping and associated deliveries, demand for curbside pickups, drop-offs and dwell times, is growing dramatically. Potential users of the curbside include:
Drivers, both TNC and non-TNC
Parked vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) charging
Bicycles and bicycle infrastructure
Pedestrians and crossing infrastructure
Couriers and delivery vehicles
Transit and transit infrastructure
Taxis, transportation network companies (TNCs), and shuttles
Parklets and streetscape
We understand that jurisdictions need to inventory, assess, enhance, and prioritize curb spaces to meet the multimodal demands at the curb in a safe and efficient way. The challenge of resolving curbside conflicts will only grow as modal options and preferences change. Thus, curbside management is also about anticipating future trends – like how autonomous vehicles in particular will further disrupt the transportation landscape. Fehr & Peers is actively working in this area, with key efforts such as:
ITE-NACTO Curbside Management Practitioner's Guide
Fehr & Peers staff are serving as the project manager and co-authors of the ITE Complete Streets Council-NACTO joint effort to develop a handbook for local jurisdictions on how to inventory, assess, enhance, and prioritize curb spaces to meet the multi-modal demands at the curb in a safe and efficient way. The practitioner’s guide was envisioned to address key gaps in existing curbside guidance.
- How to measure curbside performance
- How to identify and resolve trade-off considerations
- How to explain the value of curb uses to stakeholders
This project represents the first proactive collaboration between ITE and NACTO to source a new practitioners’ guide. The guide will consider regulatory, operations, and technology strategies to optimize curb access and usage, and feature case studies and reference material for quick reference by ITE and NACTO members.
The guide is being assembled based on an initial white paper by NACTO, case study surveys of NACTO and ITE members (survey out now to request these), as well as presentations and workshops at key conferences in 2017/2018.
NACTO Initial Transit-Focused White Paper
In May 2017, NACTO released a draft white paper, Curb Appeal: Curbside Management Strategies for Improving Transit Reliability. Revised in August 2017 after a peer review process (which included Fehr & Peers staff), the white paper profiles cities across the US that are managing curbspace to prioritize high capacity on street modes. The cities are using five broad approaches:
- Strategically using curbside space to prioritize transit movement (featuring Seattle’s right-of-way policy)
- Managing other curbside users to clear the way for transit (featuring Brooklyn’s commercial loading and delivery zones)
- Measuring how a street works to most effectively manage it (featuring San Francisco’s SFpark dynamic parking pilot)
- Using curbsides to prioritize transit movement (featuring red bus lanes in Chicago and San Francisco and peak hour transit lanes in Brooklyn), and
- Looking beyond the corridor and beyond the curb at larger city-wide strategies (featuring parking strategies in Austin and Portland)
The paper set the stage for the conference discussions that followed, providing presentation material and a framework for gap identification, strategy selection, and prioritization. Final document release expected: Fall 2017.
ITE Annual Meeting, August 2017
The 2017 ITE conference featured two curbside management sessions sponsored by the ITE Complete Streets Council, a podium session and a half day workshop. Fehr & Peers staff helped to organize and facilitate these sessions.
The podium session included presentations from NACTO and the cities of Victoria, BC; Toronto, Ontario; and Coquitlam, BC, regarding the need for and solutions they are pursuing in curbside management.
The afternoon workshop featured a presentation on the NACTO transit-focused white paper and a series of “pecha kucha” short presentations from attendees on their key issues or preferred curbside management strategies. Attendees then joined small groups to discuss a curbside management case study in Rosslyn, Virginia, and provide input on strategies and priorities for a study area new the Metro station. The Rosslyn case study is envisioned as the building block for the Practitioner’s guide, where strategies can be defined, and tradeoffs identified and measured.
NACTO Designing Cities Conference, October 2017
This session will feature case studies from New York City, Washington, DC, and Seattle. These cities are capturing more value out of their curbs – keeping travel lanes moving, and more efficiently using street space to meet city goals. The speakers will share new approaches to curbside management including deliveries, loading zones, drop-off points, and shifted timetables, that are helping them get ahead of the increasing demand for deliveries and shared mobility services. The NACTO transit-focused white paper and draft results from the ITE and NACTO member surveys will also be presented. Fehr & Peers staff helped to organize and facilitate this session.
For more details about the presentation on Monday, October 30, click here.
TRB Annual Meeting, Washington, January 2018
With the increasing demand for curb space in urban areas and suburban centers, transportation professionals face challenges providing a safe, efficient, and effective system that moves freight and passengers and accommodates transit, transportation network companies, deliveries, parking, pedestrians, and bicyclists. What happens at the curb is important to the planning, funding, design, operations, and maintenance of a safe and efficient transportation system. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
View more details in the flyer here.
In addition to the ITE-NACTO initiative, Fehr & Peers’ curbside management projects include:
Future of the Curb in Cincinnati
Fehr & Peers is working with Uber and the City of Cincinnati to help balance the needs and safety of all users, prioritizing mobility of public transportation service while addressing the growing demand for curb space at key sites along downtown corridors. Our approach for this project will include reviewing several City streets to evaluate the interactions between transit vehicles and passenger loading activities. We will be collecting data related to transit activity, traffic volumes, and passenger loading activity, while also providing agency stakeholders with potential treatments, technologies, and innovative ideas to design the future of curb space to optimize the curb. Leveraging ITE and NACTO research and strategies, our plan is to make the most out of curb space as shared mobility grows as a hot topic across the globe. To read more about this project, click here.
TNCs and Street Safety White Paper
San Francisco, CA
Fehr & Peers is collaborating with the SFMTA and SFCTA to develop a white paper to document street safety issues and opportunities associated with app-based mobility providers (transportation network companies, such as Lyft and Uber) in San Francisco. With no data source available to begin the research, Fehr & Peers is overseeing a comprehensive data collection and analysis project with UC Berkeley, and also conducting interviews with internal stakeholders and cities across the US. The first-of-its-kind project will propose a series of policy, programmatic, and infrastructure steps the city can take to enhance safety in collaboration with TNC companies, drivers, and passengers.
Safer Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA
Partnering with SFMTA from the citywide scale of WalkFirst to the corridor scale of Safer Taylor Street, Fehr & Peers has worked with SFMTA to zoom in on corridor-specific safety issues, which may be slightly different than the citywide issues and priorities. Fehr & Peers put on a temporary complete streets installation on Taylor Street to demonstrate the potential improvements to the community in full-scale. One of the components of this installation included commercial and passenger loading spaces. By testing parking-separated bikeways with active passenger and commercial loading zones, we were able to take feedback from residents on a potential curbside management scheme for the corridor. View more about the project here.
Bike Bus Interface Study
Los Angeles, CA
Fehr & Peers is evaluating bus/bike interactions in a variety of settings across Los Angeles County. Recent policy shifts in Los Angeles County have yielded tremendous expansion in bike and transit infrastructure, increasing the frequency of interactions between bus drivers and bicyclists. With this study, Fehr & Peers is developing guidance to help Metro design future facilities to best accommodate these two modes. A key part of the study is a literature review of regional, national, and international best practices for multi-modal street designs. In addition to drawing on existing research, Fehr & Peers is analyzing 15 corridors in the county that contain varying design solutions to accommodate buses alongside bicycles.
Golden 1 Center
As part of the Golden 1 Center Transportation Management Plan, Fehr & Peers staff observed TNC drop-off activity prior to events and Sacramento Kings games. Staff were situated at several of the primary drop-off locations to measure the number of drop-offs. According to a survey of Kings game attendees, nine percent of attendees used a TNC to arrive to Golden 1 Center, and an average of 2.4 persons per vehicle were dropped off by each TNC. This suggests about 650 individual TNC drop-offs for a sold-out 17,500 person game. The most common reasons cited for using a TNC were their convenience and low cost. In an ongoing effort to manage traffic at games, traffic management personnel deploy signs to restrict drop-offs in certain critical areas. Initial monitoring of the event center revealed continuous and substantial improvements in how all modes of travel, including trips by TNCs, are managed in the vicinity of the Golden 1 Center during events. Click here to see an example of a designated pick-up/drop-off location on 4th Street during concerts and games.
SF Travel Demand Update
San Francisco, CA
Fehr & Peers and the City of San Francisco are conducting the first citywide, data-driven study of how land use development interacts with curbside loading, and developing a framework to estimate future curb demand in San Francisco. 24-hour observations of loading zones, as well as travel surveys, have captured new data on loading activity on streets across San Francisco. This loading activity includes passengers in TNCs and private vehicles, traditional deliveries, and deliveries from new app-based on-demand services. This data provides a new foundation for how new development can plan for and accommodate changing loading demand for a variety of contexts.