NYC plans use of smart curbs to change how streets are used

New York City is testing out a new plan that will allocate parking spaces as loading and unloading zones in order to ease congestion from delivery trucks.

According to the Department of Transportation, 85% of New Yorkers are ordering goods online, and more than 20% are ordering up to eight times a week. Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez says it is time to acknowledge this new pattern and to redesign streets with what the DOT is calling ‘smart curbs.’

Beginning as a pilot program stretching from 72nd Street up to 86th Street, from Broadway to Central Park, the curb management initiative is considering installing commercial loading and unloading zones, separate parking for drivers picking up or dropping off, expanding safe space for an exploding cycling population, and using curves to get drivers to abide by the speed limit.

However, the program will still need enforcement to improve the behavior of drivers. And that change in behavior is something the commissioner says he is focused on.

"One thing we want everyone to understand is that our streets, or public spaces, don’t only belong to the people that have a vehicle," Rodriguez told FOX 5. 


New Yorkers spend equivalent of 10 days a year stuck in traffic, study finds

Drivers are traveling at an average of just 12 miles per hour during peak travel times around New York City.

According to Rodriguez, 80% of New Yorkers do not own cars, but instead walk, bike, or take mass transit, and the redesign is to re-balance how public space is used so that it serves the vast majority of New Yorkers.

Over the next few months, the Department of Transportation will be soliciting feedback at community board meetings, and through public hearings. After that process changes are expected to be implemented on the Upper West Side beginning next summer.