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D.C. kicks off pilot program to manage curbside deliveries via digital platform

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The city has replaced metered parking with commercial zones at nine locations

A FedEx truck makes a delivery in D.C. (2017)
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Update, August 1:

D.C. on Thursday launched a pilot program to study the impact of having dedicated pick-up and drop-off zones for commercial vehicles at nine spots across the city. The program, which will last for 12 weeks and is being carried out in collaboration with tech firm CurbFlow, aims to discourage risky driver behavior, such as blocking travel lanes by double parking. District transportation officials say several metered parking spaces at each location will be converted into special pick-up and drop-off zones for the duration of the pilot and data will be analyzed.

Original post, July 8:

Beginning next month, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says it will remove street parking at nine locations across the city’s core to create special zones for commercial deliveries and loading. The goal is to analyze how commercial operators use these curbsides and prevent dangerous behavior like double parking, per a recent release.

DDOT is partnering with CurbFlow, a San Francisco-based company that offers a digital queueing system for curb use, on the 12-week pilot. In a prepared statement, the agency’s director, Jeff Marootian, says the partnership will permit the city “to keep traffic flowing, maximize efficiency of our curbside space, and make data-drive decisions about next steps.”

The special zones will be dedicated to commercial vehicles such as FedEx and UPS trucks and for private vehicles performing commercial activity like delivering food via DoorDash. Participants in the program, which begins August 1, can register for free for the CurbFlow app. The company will gather data on curb use for possible District-wide curb-use policies.

The nine locations—stretching from Georgetown in the west to H Street NE in the east—are:

1200 block of 1st Street SE

1200 block of H Street NE

400 block of 8th Street SE

1100 block of 4th Street SW

300 block of Tingey Street SE

200 block of 3rd Street SE

700 block of Maine Ave. SW

1400 block of 20th St NW

1000 block of Wisconsin Ave NW, near M Street NW

Special zones for curbside commercial activity

This is not the first time D.C. has experimented with setting aside curbsides for specific uses. In 2017, city officials launched passenger pick-up and drop-off zones on Connecticut Avenue NW, in Dupont Circle, in response to an uptick in ride-hailing activity at night. The program was expanded in 2018 to include several other popular areas around the city, like the Wharf.