Thinking About the Curb

By Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

If you look around the parking industry today, it seems like everything is revolving around the evolution of the curb. Many presentations at this year’s IPI Conference focused on the competing interests around this space. Vendors and technology specialists are creating tools and software to help manage this critical environment. And organizations outside of the parking realm are actively seeking to stake their claim to this coveted asset.

About eight years ago, I worked on my first curb-lane management study for the City of Charlotte, N.C. That study led to some pretty innovative approaches for the city that ultimately led to an IPI Award of Excellence for improving operations. As I look back at that study, I realize just how far we’ve come. Back then it was about balancing parking, transit, and commercial loading. Fast forward nearly a decade and we have to layer on dealing with transportation network companies (TNCs), food trucks, bicycles, active communal space, scooters, and just about every mode of transportation we can imagine (almost quicker than we can imagine it).

This space–critical to the success of our cities–is rapidly evolving and the practices and policies associated with it need to evolve as well. Stay tuned in the coming months for information from the IPI Parking Research Committee as we chart some of the successes and lessons learned from IPI’s members to promote active and dynamic management of curb-space assets.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is a parking planner with Kimley-Horn and co-chair of IPI’s Parking Research Committee.

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