Digital Curbs for Urban Mobility

March 8, 2021
By Oliver Lewis

The Curb is Prime Real Estate

“Traditionally, the curb has focused on private vehicle parking. Changing demands requires cities to understand curb utilization to determine if private vehicle parking is the best use based on actual activity and mobility goals. The curb has the potential to provide greater access to more people if options beyond private vehicle parking are considered.”

(Source: Walker Consultants)

Spot Parking's top 5 trends for curbs in 2021
Spot’s top 5 trends for curbs in 2021

How do Cities Optimize their Curb Management?

Cities can take steps to optimize their curb management by establishing goals for curb access that match their transport strategy. Once this has been done, a city will need to thoroughly analyze the existing curbside conditions. 

This goes far beyond knowing where the metered parking is and what the tariffs are. To approach this analysis from a place of facts and data, a city can digitize its curbside restrictions across a targeted area - or the entire LGA.

By digitizing the current curbside restrictions, a city can then:

  • Use data to model future curbside use
  • Use data to inform congestion modeling
  • Inform economic development
  • Visualize data to help communities understand curbside rules
  • Communicate in real-time curbside changes
Digital asset inventory of curbside restriction signage
Digital asset inventory of curbside restriction signage

Why Digitize Curbs?

The digitized curbside restriction opens up a wealth of possibilities for future innovation. A city should view this as a foundational dataset that will support intelligent transport systems and improve mobility. 

In fact, if you think about the macro trends we see in mobility - e.g. CAVs (connected and autonomous cars), MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service), expanding options for micro-mobility; all of these will benefit from the digitization of curbside restrictions.

A city will need to control and manage this information in an increasingly digital format, to allow these emerging technologies to be up to date and accurate for changes that may be affected by city events, temporary road closures, and maintenance.

Indeed, long-term, strategic, and data-driven decisions aside; a city can also capitalize on this investment in the short term.

An up-to-date inventory of categorized curbside parking restriction signage is a serious level up for a lot of cities that Spot works with. Asset managers can sort maintenance and replacements for vandalized and damaged signs in order of where it is needed most. Place managers can view the digital twin of the curbside signage to gather localized information for developments, informing changes to be planned without even leaving their office.

With consumer-facing tools, the public can more easily plan their journey,

 “You can plan that trip…and you can have confidence that when you get there you’re going to find a park in that area that suits the nature of your trip” 

Dylan King - Transport for NSW Innovation Lead, talking about Spot’s public-facing parking finder in the Northern Beaches.

Spot Parking's 3 steps to future proof curbs, a crucial piece of mobility infrastructure
3 steps to future proof curbs, a crucial piece of mobility infrastructure

Spot is at the forefront of digitization of curbside restrictions globally, with clients in both Australia and the US. Find out more at https://www.spotparking.us/.




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