(original article by CARNET)
Despite the efforts to promote sustainable transportation systems, cities still face challenges in distributing public street space to different uses. For example, double-parking caused by delivery vehicles is one of the main negative impacts of the outburst in last-mile deliveries. This impacts private vehicles and vital roads, generating conflicts with pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, and emergency vehicles. In addition, data on curbside (e.g., parking, loading zones) is unstructured and insufficient to take proper decisions. There is a need for innovative measures to help cities reduce congestion and trips, achieve sustainable mobility goals, improve delivery efficiency, and potentially increase revenues. Last year, a consortium of EIT Urban Mobility’s partners began the FlexCurb project to find new and innovative solutions. Co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, the project aims to overcome all these challenges through a series of tools used by drivers and public administration.
Thanks to the success of 2022, the project recently kicked off its 2023 edition. Its main focus during 2023 will be to validate the solution in real-life environments further and adapt the existing technology to the particular case of the pilot city of Strasbourg, France. Also, the Connected Vehicles extension for the FlexCurb Planning platform will be designed and validated during the year. This will reveal historical patterns of curb use and inform actions to reduce occupancy rates, and illegal parking, redistribute curb spaces, and promote sustainable mobility and logistics.
In addition, the FlexCurb Driver App is being upgraded. New features will be added, and the main objective will be to help drivers inform about their operations by displaying the areas of the city with the most and least parking activity based on historical patterns at a given time. This feature will help to control the flow of vehicles, as many drivers will be able to evaluate whether it is convenient for them to drive their cars based on the parking activity mentioned.
These tests intend to keep enhancing the app and adapting it to the needs of users and councils. Looking back, during 2022 the project achieved significant results in developing innovative solutions for curbside management with the cities of Leuven, Strasbourg, Funchal, and Toulouse. One of them was creating the concept of Shared-Use Mixed Zones (SUM Zones), which integrates parking management, urban vehicle access regulations, and freight management with flexible curbside management.
Considering the needs of various stakeholders, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation, and freight services, the proposed curbside management solutions can potentially revolutionize urban mobility by promoting a balanced and inclusive transportation ecosystem. This approach will reduce the environmental impact of conveyance, minimize vehicle emissions, and support the shift towards greener modes of transportation.
The partners involved in the project are CTAG, Urban Radar, CARNET, Ghent University, the city of Funchal, Toulouse Métropole, Ville et Eurométropole de Strasbourg, city of Leuven, POLIS Network, and FIT Consulting.
If you want to know more about the FlexCurb project, you can visit the project website here: https://urbanradar.io/flex-curb/