Coord, the industry-leading curb management company, today announced the launch of its second annual Digital Curb Challenge: the Bounce Back Better Edition. Starting today, cities and other curb managers, such as universities, airports, private developments, health systems and conference centers, across North America can apply to partner with Coord to undertake a free curb space management pilot program to better manage loading in their cities. Applications can be submitted at coord.com/digital-curb-challenge and are open until February 15, 2021.
Following an unprecedented year, cities and businesses have shown their resilience and creativity, finding new mobility solutions to challenges brought on by the pandemic — from creating more space for delivery and pickup activity to creating new safe spaces for walking, biking, and outdoor recreation and commerce. This diversification of curbside activity comes as delivery activity skyrockets, creating a need to ensure goods loading can still occur safely and efficiently. The Digital Curb Challenge 2021 launches in this unique context, seeking to enable cities and other curb managers to enlist new strategies and technologies that not only help them to recover today, but that also provide a foundation for success for years to come.
With Smart Zones, Coord puts the city at the forefront of curb management programs and empowers them with the tools needed to provide delivery and service vehicle drivers with the information and incentives to load in locations where it is safe and permitted. Today, Smart Zones allow commercial drivers to use a mobile app to see real-time Smart Zone locations and availability. When theyre nearing their destinations, drivers can hold a Smart Zone, paying for space in-app when they arrive. This provides drivers with advanced curb intelligence they can use to navigate directly to available space, reducing illegal parking and circling. Smart Zones improve the coordination, safety and convenience of loading in cities while offering a more streamlined experience for drivers, reducing the incidence of safety and congestion hazards and parking citations.
During this pandemic, cities have been facing one of their biggest challenges in recent history. As response work continues, today cities are both assessing whether and how to make pandemic response programs permanent and looking for new, innovative mobility programs that can move the needle even when state and local revenues are projected to decline a combined $467 billion across 2020 to 2022, said Dawn Miller Vice President of Policy & Partnerships at Coord. Smart Zones to better coordinate commercial loading are very inexpensive to implement, but can improve safety and access for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to local businesses. Because fleets pay to use Smart Zones, they actually generate new avenues for revenue along with mobility benefits. We have already seen successes in cities like Omaha, NE and Aspen, CO following our inaugural Digital Curb Challenge, and we look forward to partnering with new cities as they look to bounce back better.
Cities or organizations selected for the Digital Curb Challenge will have free access to Coords full suite of curb management tools for the duration of the partnership and the opportunity to work closely with Coord experts to develop an effective, scalable pilot program to be deployed in 2021.
In the first Digital Curb Challenge, Coord partnered with Aspen, Nashville, Omaha and West Palm Beach to design and deploy Smart Zone programs to better manage commercial loading in their cities. More than thirty fleets, including a mix of local and regional businesses and national brands such as US Foods, FedEx, Frito Lay, Sysco and UNFI, are already using Smart Zones in these cities. This year, Coord is looking for cities to take Smart Zones to the next level by exploring one or several of these features:
- Variable pricing to use different pricing for different times of day or different Smart Zones. This can help manage demand and improve availability for drivers, shifting more loading activity to times when it works well for the neighborhood (e.g., early mornings or overnight) or across more zones.
- Exploring greater automation, booking drivers automatically into the best available Smart Zone near their destinations.
- Deploying Smart Zones in public spaces beyond the curb, such as alleyways.
- Exploring Smart Zones for recurring or predictable uses of public space, such as charter buses, intercity buses, or mobile vending.
- Applying Smart Zones in a unique neighborhood, downtown or other commercial setting.
- New ideas from cities to address unique and pressing local challenges
We were very excited when Aspen was chosen to participate in Coords first Digital Curb Challenge in 2020. We went live in November of 2020, and I am even more excited now that we are in full swing with the pilot, said Mitch Osur, Director of Parking and Downtown Service in the City of Aspen. Working with Coord has been fantastic. Not only are they easy to work with, but the amount of knowledge we have learned from each other has far exceeded my expectations. The data we have collected has been enlightening. A few of the data points are what we expected, but a lot of data is different than what we anticipated. I can see Aspen making a variety of changes based on the data weve collected during this pilot, which will make our loading zones work more efficiently and provide a safer environment for Aspen. I look forward to what the future will look like in managing our curb space in Aspen.
Nashville partnered with Coord to pilot Smart Zones to increase compliance with loading regulations, improve traffic flow and safety, collect quality data, and ultimately capture the true cost of Metro-provided services and the value of public space, said Derek Hagerty, Transportation Engineer at Metropolitan Nashville Public Works. “The Coord team has worked hand in hand with us every step of the way – from developing our fee ordinance to designing program details and doing outreach. Even in these challenging times, we’re ready to launch on schedule and can’t wait to see Smart Zones in Nashville.”
“At the City of Omaha’s Parking and Mobility Division we aim to provide a positive experience for downtown visitors by actively managing our curb space, said Ken Smith, Parking and Mobility Manager at the City of Omaha. “The Digital Curb Challenge was a great framework for developing best practices in collaboration with the other pilot cities and Coord. We are proud to have been the first Smart Zone city and have extended our partnership so we can continue gaining new insights and collecting data to inform our work.”
West Palm Beach is committed to using data and technology to make our streets safer and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in our city, said Uyen Dang, City of West Palm Beach City Traffic Engineer. Deploying Smart Zones is the key step to ensure flexible curb usage while promoting the City’s mobility goals. The Coord team went above and beyond, working closely with my team and Related Companies to bring a thoughtful, innovative new program to our community.”
Coord is transforming city streets, starting with the curb. Coord is the only comprehensive curb management platform, empowering cities with technology to digitally operate and price the curb at scale, creating more efficient, safe and equitable streets. Recognized by CNBC Upstart 100 and Fast Companys Innovation by Design, Coord partners include cities like Seattle, Boston, Somerville, Pittsburgh, Omaha, Nashville, Aspen, Boulder and West Palm Beach. Coord is based in New York City and backed by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, Alliance Ventures, Trucks, Urban.us and DB Digital Ventures. For more information, visit coord.com.