The growth of freight activity is one of the results of urban population growth. The growth of freight means that more commercial vehicles must share finite infrastructure like alleys, loading docks, and yellow curb space. In this research project, curb space is studied in order to better understand the needs of commercial vehicles at the curb. Cities in the United States like Seattle have recognized that there are opportunities to better manage curb space, and have implemented programs such as the Flex Zone Program 2016 in order to do so. In this research paper, I have focused on just one aspect of the curb, which is the yellow curb space reserved for Commercial Vehicle Load Zones (CVLZ). The purpose of this thesis is to observe the needs and activities of courier drivers during deliveries/pickups in Seattle, and incorporate observations into a new design of freight curb space that may better respond to their needs. The new design suggests a system in which curb space is designed for different vehicle dimensions and activities. This is done by including paint, texture/pattern, and signage on the pavement and sidewalk that comfortably accommodate the vehicle and activities around the vehicle. By providing a better designed freight curb space that accounts for the needs and activities observed, the hope is that courier drivers will be less likely to partake in high-risk behavior such as double parking, and spilling over into adjacent transit lanes/pedestrian areas/bikes lanes, by providing better infrastructure for them.
Sheth, Manali (2018). Observing Goods Delivery Activities and Identifying Opportunities to Improve the Design of Commercial Vehicle Load Zones in Seattle. University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.