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BDA Position on Curb Management 

The BDA Board of Directors endorsed the BDA Transportation Committee's work on the draft Curb Management Plan (CMP) on May 18, 2023. The work endorsed reflects the committee's 15-month evaluation of the City's process to develop a CMP and key points regarding the draft CMP released on April 6, 2023.  

Position Statement

The BDA supports a CMP that successfully optimizes movement of people and goods in a manner that promotes and maintains economic activity, generates vibrancy in public spaces, ensures pedestrian safety, and improves multimodal access and permeability. To achieve success, the BDA acknowledges that the CMP must have an adaptable structure that is responsive to emerging curb uses, changes to demands and behaviors, and impacts to the multimodal system. This adaptable system requires reliable data collection and engagement with stakeholders who rely on curb activity to support business operations. 

The BDA will also take an adaptive approach to tracking the implementation of the CMP and measuring success by evaluating the CMP's progress and future curb projects against the BDA's Desired Outcomes for a Successful Curb Management Plan:

  1. Safe and efficient movement of people to and from the curbside with special care to protect pedestrians and other vulnerable users.
  2. Comfortable walking experience with improved connectivity to places and amenities.
  3. Biophilic urban design to separate pedestrians from vehicles and other curb conflicts.
  4. Quicker vehicle curbside turnover time to reduce the queue lengths and congestion impacts.
  5. Increase visits to street-level commercial businesses by reducing on-street parking times.
  6. Space for all modes to interact with the curbside without impeding throughput.
  7. Engages stakeholders to inform projects that repurpose curb spaces and track curb use changes; ensure alignment between the City, property managers, and tenants.
  8. More vibrant and appealing access experience to restaurants, retail, and open spaces.
  9. Enforcement personnel, resources, and infrastructure to resolve issues and deter infractions.
  10. Resources and permitting support to activate underutilized public spaces.
  11. Maintains schedules for transit, private shuttles, and school buses.
  12. Serves the demand for TNCs, freight and e-commerce without disrupting traffic flow.
  13. Dedicated curb spaces for single-ordered delivery and pick ups.
  14. Clear wayfinding for all modes, including ways to indicate spaces for special curb uses.
  15. Trash, recycle, and compost receptacles regularly maintained to avoid waste spillover.

On the Draft Curb Management Plan

The BDA Board approved a set of key points regarding the draft Curb Management Plan categorized as either alignment or issues based on the BDA Transportation Committee's work and analysis. Note: the scope of this input includes the draft CMP, Appendix A, and Appendix B. The content in Appendix C and D was covered earlier in the BDA Transportation Committee's process.

Outcomes that are consistent with the BDA’s work.

  1. The draft Curb Management Plan is a well-organized document that comprehensively packages the City’s previous work into a single plan. The scope and strategies presented in the draft are consistent with the BDA Transportation Committee’s Desired Outcomes for a Successful Curb Management Plan

  2. Appendix A – Curbside Practices Guide lays out proposed improvements that identify costs, needed stakeholders for input, and actionable steps. The proposals in the guide are consistent with the BDA Transportation Committee’s Endorsed Management Tools and Desired Outcomes outlined in its CMP Advocacy Package. Key callouts include:
    • Engages with stakeholders. The practices related to pricing components require an engagement process with nearby stakeholders to inform implementation and strategies for mitigating impacts. Changes to curb uses and/or dedicating zones include a stakeholder engagement process too. Every section of the curbside practices notes the “priority stakeholders” and methods to collect input.
    • Adapts to changing conditions. Each section of the Curbside Practices Guide includes strategies for collecting data to inform dynamic decision-making with a list of tools and technology that supports actionable steps to adapting the curb space.
    • Offers tools and approaches to manage spaces, including enforcement. The Endorsed Management Tools are represented in the Curbside Practices Guide except for enabling public-private partnership to address private ROW management issues and publishing a ROW map. Note: the missing endorsement tools are addressed in the issues section outlined below.

  3. Appendix B – Curb Pilot Roadmap provides a framework for gathering insights from six different pilot concepts to establish a strong understanding of project impacts, implementation costs, staffing required, and cadence of data audits. Building trust and confidence with the community has been a consistent BDA message throughout the process. The pilot projects allow for the improvements to be rolled out in a manner that is considerate of stakeholders concerned about impacts to their businesses and the multimodal system.

Outcomes not addressed in the BDA’s work.

  1. The draft Curb Management Plan does not account for privately-owned public spaces and how uses interact with those curb spaces. As an example, TNCs and delivery trucks often use City Center Plaza’s drive that loops through its plaza space. These types of interactions impact the City’s modeling of curb supply and demand known in the draft CMP as “curbonomics.” Additionally, the CMP’s management strategies cannot be applied to privately-owned public spaces that would benefit from management practices consistent with the public spaces. Note: Based on input from the City, the CMP’s scope is limited to public curb spaces where the City has authority. Designating privately owned spaces can create issues.

    Encourage the City to support partnership efforts that take inventory of privately-owned curb spaces in a manner that can integrate into the City’s Curb Typology as a supplemental layer of information. A successful tool would be dynamic by design so it can easily reflect changes in an unbiased way with relevant and accurate information.

  2. The draft Curb Management Plan and Appendix A – Curbside Practices Guide do not have specific language about how a traffic study would be conducted to inform changes to the curb or examine whether the outcomes are aligned with expectations.

    Although the draft CMP does not specifically callout traffic studies as a tool, its structure does include an adaptive model that allows the City to respond to changes. This is illustrated by subsections titled Strategies and Implementation Actions in the Curbside Practices guide, a dedicated section to data collection in the section entitled Digital Governance in the Curbside Practices Guide, and an implementation strategy to gather input to guide future projects shown in Curb Pilot Roadmap. However, every tool should be available for identifying potential impacts to the multimodal system, specifically tradeoffs that result in a capacity reduction to general purpose lanes. Including language about a traffic study and acknowledging the need to preserve capacity for general purpose lanes are important elements to have represented in the draft CMP.

    Add language regarding use of traffic studies to section DG.2 of the Curbside Practices Guide. Traffic studies should be available to 1) examine plans for a curbside project for potential issues to the surrounding multimodal network to mitigate impacts and 2) evaluate a newly implemented curb project to ensure the outcome aligns with what was expected. The language should also include details on the threshold for when a traffic study is triggered. Below are some triggers to consider:
    • Impacts to bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle movement and capacity. Ensure curbside projects adhere to the performance metrics and targets laid out by the Multimodal Implementation Plan.
    • Impacts to operations such as City services and business that rely on curb space activity.

  3. The draft Curb Management Plan does not highlight the boundaries of public right-of-way (ROW) to help stakeholders understand the parameters of what spaces can be activated along the curb with or without a permit. This information is also helpful for developers seeking to understand the design limitations and opportunities of real estate projects.

    The City should publish the ROW information as part of the final draft CMP or as a separate future initiative.

CMP Resources