Curb Management Working Group Announces Scope of Work

May 3, 2021

Urban curb is a valuable, limited, and often under-managed part of the public right of way. Curb demand is growing, including from commercial activity like passenger pickup/drop off, on-demand delivery services, and traditional goods and freight delivery. While cities have made some progress in digitizing their curb and using curb data, more tools are needed to proactively manage curbs and sidewalks, and in doing so deliver more public value from this scarce resource. Curb data standards can provide a mechanism for expressing static and dynamic regulations, measuring activity at the curb, and providing access and utilization for curb users.

In December 2020, we announced the launch of the Open Mobility Foundation’s Curb Management Working Group. Formed to develop data specifications for curb space in the OMF’s unique open-source model, the group is led by a steering committee of individuals representing public agencies and private sector companies. We’re thrilled to share that the working group has completed an initial scope of work for the new Curb Data Specification (or, CDS for short), and will move forward with starting development and implementation work next month.

SCOPE OF WORK

The group’s near term vision is to provide a curb data specification that will help cities and companies pilot and scale dynamic curb zones that optimize commercial loading activities of people and goods, and measure the impact of these programs. This vision is outlined in an official scope document, which also details the group’s goals, process, potential use cases, and answers other key questions. 

According to the official scope of work created by OMF member organizations, this vision will guide the development of “standards that are necessary to support dynamic curb utilization use cases for commercial loading activities by privately operated companies.” This includes an initial focus on:

  • On-demand pick up/delivery 
  • Parcel delivery
  • Neighborhood loading zones
  • Traditional loading zones
  • Passenger services (TNC, taxis, AV)
  • Commercial/contractor loading 
  • Freight delivery zones
  • Food and beverage resupply

In order to build these standards, the group will work to define and create:

Regulations: A standard way for cities to specify a loading zone and its regulations, as well as potentially relevant nearby regulations, and share this information with companies and the public.

Events: A standard way for anyone to transmit real-time and historic commercial events happening at the curb to cities, third parties providing curb management or data analysis services, or researchers. Event data comes from company feeds, sensors, payments, check-ins, enforcement, and/or other city data feeds.

Metrics: A calculation methodology for consumers or producers of event data to determine historic dwell time, occupancy, usage, and other aggregated statistics from events recorded in areas of interest.

KEY PLAYERS

Participation is key to any successful open source project. As outlined in the official scope, “this work is contingent on having the right mix of public and private partners willing to work collaboratively and participate in mutually beneficial curb use outcomes. We are looking for partners to host pilot curb data projects, contribute their knowledge and needs, and participate in OMF Member volunteer leadership roles.” Required key players include:

Cities: cities and their authorized partners providing curb management or data analysis services on behalf of cities need to have programs that meet our scope, work with us to help develop a way to publish info, and are interested in measuring how curbs are used.

Curb users: commercial partners to use the curb area data from cities and potentially send usage event data back.

Technology companies: build tools to publish regulations, create/ingest event data, analyze utilization

WHAT’S NEXT

If you are a city, company, or individual who is interested in this effort, learn more about how to get involved. The Curb Management Working Group is open to both OMF members and individual contributors. To participate:

Mark your calendar for the first meeting at 9am PT/Noon ET on Tuesday, May 18 (details are on the OMF public calendar). This meeting will provide background on the exploratory process and an overview of the scope of work, making it a great introduction for new participants.

If you have any questions about how to get involved, contact us

Thanks to all the members of the working group, including the Working Group Steering Committee who has done an incredible job of guiding the group through a six-month exploratory process culminating in a thoughtful vision for the future. 

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