D.C. is trying something new to fight congestion that involves getting commercial drivers to use a new app to reserve parking in loading zones.
“We know that there’s a safety concern with double parking and triple parking that also leads to congestion,” said District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian. “We’re after everybody’s safety here, whether you’re driving, cycling or walking.”
The curbFlow app is available for couriers, on-demand food delivery drivers, package deliveries and commercial food delivery trucks, but does not apply to ride-hailing services and taxis.
A three-month pilot program and data collecting phase is now underway in nine locations:
- 1200 block of First Street SE
- 1200 block of H Street NE
- 400 block of Eighth Street SE
- 1100 block of Fourth Street SW
- 300 block of Tingey Street SE
- 200 block of Third Street SE
- 700 block of Maine Avenue SW
- 1400 block of 20th Street NW
- 1000 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW, near M Street NW
Thursday’s announcement and ribbon cutting was along a busy restaurant and fast casual food area near Nationals Park on First Street, just south of M Street, in Southeast.
A driver who had pulled over and double parked in front of a reserved curbFlow zone was asked about the new program. He sounded skeptical.
“I didn’t know, but I just pulled over so my daughter and them could run inside the store,” said Donn Younger, of Landover, Maryland. “A lot of people, even if they do know, they still (are) going to stop, because it’s more convenient.”
To discourage drivers not registered with the app from using the reserved parking spots, so-called curbFlow ambassadors will inform them the space is a DDOT research zone for the next three months and will be told they’re not allowed to use it.
The curbFlow ambassadors will be in place between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily to welcome and check in reservation holders, discourage parking without reservations and register new applicants.