- Curb management and data firm Coord will offer free pilot programs to three cities or other curb managers as part of its Digital Curb Challenge.
- Winning parties will be given access to Coord’s suite of management solutions, including a curb asset inventory and data visualization tools. They will also work with the company to develop a scalable pilot program for curb management solutions. The contest is open to North American cities and other bodies that oversee curbs, including airports, entertainment venues and university campuses.
- The pilots will allow Coord and its partners to experiment with new strategies, including smart commercial loading zones or demand-responsive pricing for parking, Coord CEO Stephen Smyth told Smart Cities Dive. Applications are open through Feb. 14.
The rapid rise of new mobility options has especially taxed curb space. E-commerce delivery vehicles, Uber and Lyft rides, car-sharing vehicles and personal vehicles must now compete for the same limited curb space. Yet many cities don’t have a reliable assessment of how curb space is used or how parking is regulated block to block.
Coord, backed by Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, has worked to give cities a better census of its curb assets and rules through tools like its Surveyor app and its Open Curbs data management platform. It has also partnered with major engineering firms to produce comprehensive asset counts in 15 major cities, with a goal of cataloguing 100 by 2021.
The curb challenge will help cities move from collecting data to acting on it through new management plans. Smyth said the goal is to help cities, or other curb managers, come to "decisions about how the space is allocated, and make tradeoffs for how to use it."
"We’ve been quietly learning about active curb management and refining our platform," Smyth said. "We really see a desire in this market, especially among cities, to go to the next level. Not just to inventory and allocated space, but also experiment in managing it."
The pilot programs could look at ride-hailing management tools that can reduce congestion (some cities have tried designating loading or pickup zones), or commercial loading zones for increased delivery traffic (likewise, pilots in cities like DC have worked to reduce delivery congestion). Smyth said cities could also explore demand-responsive pricing that would dynamically price parking meters to control demand and reducing circling.