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  • "Curb Management"
    Curb management involves efficiently managing and regulating the use of curbside spaces along roadways. With the increasing demand for these spaces due to micromobility, transportation network companies (TNCs), ecommerce home delivery, and transit access, the goal is to inventory, optimize, allocate, and oversee curb space usage to maximize mobility, safety, and accessibility for users and needs.
Start Date: January 2024
Funding: Urban Freight Lab
Project Budget: $100,000
C40 Cities, a consortium of cities worldwide with the collective goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, introduced an initiative in 2017 to create “Zero Emission Areas.” These areas, or zones, would be closed off to fossil fuel-burning vehicles and serve as a testbed for scaling up zero-emission regulation. Seattle, along with U.S. counterparts Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, CA, is a signatory to the Zero Emission Area Programme and as such, is obligated to create such an area by 2030....
Start Date: September 2023
Funding: U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) grant program
Project Budget: $350,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
Partner(s): Seattle Department of Transportation (lead), Open Mobility Foundation
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded a new $2 million grant via its SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) grant program to fund a collaboration between the Urban Freight Lab, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Open Mobility Foundation to fund curb space digitalization. This project will establish new commercial vehicle permit policies and pilot a digital permit. The aim is to reduce congestion, improve access to the curb, and promote more sustainable forms of urban delivery.
Start Date: July 2023
Funding: National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
Project Budget: $450,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
Partner(s): ECONorthwest (Lead), Citifi
The Urban Freight Lab (UFL) at the University of Washington is partnering with ECONorthwest and Cityfi to develop a research product for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) on the topic of revenue strategies for new mobility options. The team will analyze the public sector’s potential role in using revenue-related strategies to encourage or discourage new mobility options in personal mobility and goods delivery. The objective of this research is to develop a toolkit for transportation agencies that addresses how revenue-related strategies (e.g., taxes, fees, and subsidies) support policy objectives and shape the deployment of new mobility options. The toolkit can assist agencies to develop, evaluate, implement, and administer revenue-related strategies for new mobility options that transport people and goods.
Start Date: January 2022
Funding: University of Washington
Project Budget: $50,000
For this project, two research groups at the University of Washington (the Urban Freight Lab and Lilian Ratliff's research group) will collaborate to integrate different data streams currently being collected separately and in an uncoordinated way, including data from in-ground curb sensors at CVLZs and PLZs, paid parking transactions at paid parking spaces, and data obtained from timelapse camera recordings. The groups will create a holistic framework to analyze not only the curb behaviors of different users but also how different users interact in the competition for limited curb space. The collaboration will advance the state of environmental science by providing the most complete dataset and creating innovative tools to inform policymaking on curb parking pricing and curb allocation to reduce cruising for parking and unauthorized parking events, therefore tackling the climate crisis by reducing urban vehicle emissions and traffic congestion, and the state of data science by developing a new statistical framework and machine learning algorithms to analyze curb space use behaviors from users and develop recommendations for cities on how to better allocate curb space to different competing demands.
Start Date: December 2021
Funding: City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)
Project Budget: $32,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
This project will build upon a previous Urban Freight Lab study (funded by the U.S. Department of Energy) that was aimed at improving commercial vehicle delivery efficiency generating and providing real-time and future parking information to delivery drivers. In this subsequent study, researchers will build upon the knowledge developed and the existing network of parking occupancy sensors installed in a 10-block study area in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, to explore how historical parking occupancy data can be used by urban planners and policymakers to better allocate curb space to commercial vehicles. We will use data from the sensor network and explore the relationship between the built environment (location and characteristics of establishments and urban form) and the resulting occupancy patterns of commercial vehicle load zones and passenger load zones in the study area.
Start Date: January 2021
Funding: PacTrans (Region 10 University Transportation Center)
Project Budget: $180,000
Other PI(s): David Hurwitz (Oregon State University)
This study will use a driving simulator to design a simulation experiment to test the behavior of commercial vehicle drivers under various parking and delivery situations and to analyze their reactions. The ability to modify the simulator’s environment will allow the researchers to relatively easily test a range of scenarios that correspond to different delivery and parking situations, such as changing road characteristics (land use, number of travel lanes, nearby signals, traffic in adjacent lanes), curb allocations (paid parking, commercial vehicle loading zones, passenger load zones), and other road users (passenger cars, ridehailing vehicles, bikes). In addition to monitoring behavior and decision-making, the simulator can also monitor distraction (through eye tracking) and the stress level of drivers (through galvanic skin response) when making these decisions and interacting with other road users. Analyzing parking decisions and driver stress levels based on roadway and driver characteristics will provide insights on travel behaviors and the parking decision-making process of commercial vehicle drivers, and will help city planners improve street designs and curb management policies to accommodate safe and efficient operations in a shared urban roadway environment. This study is intended to fill knowledge gaps and serve as a valuable resource for policy makers, transportation engineers, and urban planners.
Start Date: January 2020
Funding: U.S. Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO)
Project Budget: $500,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne GoodchildDr. Andisheh Ranjbari
This project aims to develop a city-scale dynamic curb use simulation tool and an open-source curb management platform. The envisioned simulation and management capabilities will include dynamically and concurrently controlling price, number of spaces, allowed parking duration, time of use or reservation, and curb space use type (e.g., dynamic curb space rezoning based on supply and demand). Researchers will design, implement, and test a curbside resource usage platform for fleet vehicles communications at commercial vehicle load zones (CVLZs), passenger load zones (PLZs), and transit stops, and perform demonstrations with stakeholder agencies and provide pathways to practice for promising curb allocation policies.
Start Date: September 2019
Funding: PacTrans (Region 10 University Transportation Center)
Project Budget: $180,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne GoodchildDr. Ed McCormack
Other PI(s): Kevin Chang
This research aims to develop innovative methods for managing curb lane function and curb access. The rapid rise of autonomous vehicles (AV), on-demand transportation, and e-commerce goods deliveries, as well as increased cycling rates and transit use, is increasing demand for curb space resulting in competition between modes, failed goods deliveries, roadway and curbside congestion, and illegal parking.
Start Date: January 2018
Funding: U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE)
Project Budget: $2,140,200
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
The UFL received $1.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to help goods delivery drivers find parking with minimal circling around, time wasted, and increased congestion. With a coalition of public and private sector partners, researchers will integrate sensor technologies, develop data platforms to process large data streams, and publish a prototype app to let delivery drivers know when a parking space is open – and when it’s predicted to be open so they can plan to arrive when another truck is leaving. The UFL will also pilot test common carrier locker systems in public and private load/unload spaces near transit stops. This is a timely project as cities are looking for new strategies to accommodate the rapid growth of e-commerce.
Start Date: January 2018
Funding: City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Amazon, Challenge Seattle
Project Budget: $200,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
The Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center and Seattle Department of Transportation worked in collaboration with employers, transit operators, and transportation network companies (TNCs) to test a variety of strategies to mitigate the traffic impacts of TNC pick-ups on the greater transportation network and improve safety for passengers and drivers. Strategies included increasing the number of passenger loading zones in high-traffic pick-up areas and geofenced pick-up or black-out areas.
Start Date: August 2017
Funding: Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center
Project Budget: $80,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
The purpose of the research project was to test two promising strategies to reduce the number of failed first delivery attempts in urban buildings: (1) A common carrier smart locker system; and (2) grouped-tenant-floor-drop-off-points for medium sized parcels if the locker is too small or full. The pilot was held in the 62-story Seattle Municipal Tower skyscraper in Downtown Seattle and was open to the first 100 tenants who signed up to participate. 
Start Date: January 2017
Funding: City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans)
Project Budget: $240,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Anne Goodchild
Part of the Final 50 Feet Research Program, this project contains: a curb occupancy study, a survey of First and Capitol Hill Loading Bays, a pilot test at Seattle Municipal Tower, and the development of a toolkit. Taken together with the Urban Freight Lab's earlier private infrastructure inventory (Seattle Center City Alley Infrastructure Inventory and Occupancy Study 2018) in Downtown Seattle, Uptown, and South Lake Union, this project finalizes the creation of a comprehensive Center City inventory of private loading/unloading infrastructure. The study also provides the city with on-the-ground data on the current use and operational capacity of the curb for commercial vehicles, documenting vehicle parking behavior in a three-by-three city block grid around each of five prototype Center City buildings: a hotel, a high-rise office building, an historical building, a retail center, and a residential tower. Researchers also tested a new urban goods delivery system strategy: Common Carrier Locker Systems. Tools used by the Urban Freight Lab are publicly available in an Urban Goods Delivery Toolkit, a one-stop-shop for planners to replicate this work in other cities.
Final 50 Feet