By Anne McNulty

A CurbFlow research zone; Courtesy of SWBID

In August, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) launched their partnership with the mobility tech startup CurbFlow to test an app-coordinated effort for commercial operator pickup-dropoff locations around the city. The program is being implemented at two Southwest locations: the 1100 block of 4th St. SW and the 700 block of Maine Ave. SW. The pilot began on August 1 and will run for 12 weeks. It aims to decrease congestion and provide DDOT with the information they need to make data-driven decisions moving forward. 

“DDOT is continually exploring innovative ways to address safety on our streets, and reduce traffic congestion,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “By exploring new curbside management options through this partnership with curbFlow, DDOT is able to keep traffic flowing, maximize efficiency of our curbside space, and make data-driven decisions about next steps.”

DDOT began experimenting with regulating pickup-dropoff zones, or PUDO zones, in October of 2017 in an effort to increase passenger safety by allowing for curbside access to the vehicle. The rise of car-sharing apps combined with a general increase in congestion and a shift towards more multimodal streets emphasized the importance of establishing and enforcing PUDO zones across the city.

DDOT is now broadening the scope of PUDO zones to include commercial players. Vehicles eligible to make reservations through the curbFlow app include parcel and goods delivery, couriers, and on-demand delivery.

The 1100 block of 4th St. SW and the 700 block of Maine Ave. SW are congested areas that see a high volume of commercial deliveries. CurbFlow will remove two to three parking spaces to accommodate the curb space needed for the commercial PUDO zone. DDOT will be monitoring this pilot and collecting needed data around curbside management that can ultimately increase safety and reduce congestion.

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