This week the City of Aspen released initial findings of a pilot program to better manage the city’s curbs. The Smart Zone pilot program, launched in November, is conducted in partnership with Coord, a curb management company. Some 28 fleets, representing a mix of regional and national companies, are participating in the program.
With Smart Zones using Coord’s technology, commercial drivers use an app to locate nearby available loading zones and to hold, book, and pay for time in them. The goal is for drivers receive information and incentives to load in safe and legal locations, which in turn reduces double parking and blocked pedestrian access.
Spun out of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, Coord is deploying curb management pilot programs in Omaha, Aspen, Nashville, and West Palm Beach.
Coord’s Smart Zones are providing the City of Aspen with the data collected on when and where participating fleet vehicles load in the designated zones. Participating fleets include US Foods, FedEx, Frito Lay, Sysco and UNFI.
Among the initial findings:
In nearly 40% of bookings, the driver used the Smart Zone system’s “hold” function, allowing the driver to reserve the Smart Zone 10 minutes prior to arrival. In the other 60% of bookings, drivers spontaneously booked when they arrived at an available Smart Zone.
In Aspen, the most popular times of day for loading and unloading are between 9am to 11am, with 11am to 1pm the next busiest time of day. Although initial data suggests little loading activity past 2pm, Aspen will continue to monitor this trend to see if it persists during the busy winter season, the city said in a statement.
Tuesday and Friday are by far the most popular days of the week for loading, followed by Monday.
Wednesday and Thursday are the quietest days in Aspen for loading. Aspen sees only about half as many loading events on these days as it sees on Tuesdays.
The average stay at a Smart Zone is 34 minutes. The most common amount of time a driver books is 30 minutes, followed by 60 minutes.
Although prices are constant throughout the day, a smaller share of vehicles begins loading early in the day. These early bird vehicles tend to load for longer periods of time. Vehicles arriving between 7am and 8am on average load/dwell for about 80 minutes. Average dwell time decreases considerably as demand for the zones increases in the 9am to 11am period.
The City of Aspen will continue to monitor the program and will use the information it generates to modify Smart Zone locations, days and hours of operation, pricing, and time limits, the city said in the statement. In some cases, when it’s demonstrated there is not a demand for loading space, the City will allocate more space to other uses, such as parking.
“I am very happy with the support of the delivery trucks, the community, and the businesses during the successful first 30 days of the Smart Loading Zone pilot,” said Mitch Osur, director of parking at the City of Aspen. “The data collected has been very enlightening and we have learned some things already that we will put in place soon.”