(The Center Square) – The Seattle Department of Transportation has applied for a $2 million federal grant for a proposed pilot project that seeks the most efficient use of limited curb space in the city.
The federal Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grant project would use a combination of digital technologies and targeted outreach.
The department listed three key strategies to the proposed pilot program: engage with local businesses in the city and urban freight companies to better understand the challenges faced with deliveries, pilot a prototype digital commercial vehicle permit and use the findings to modernize the system and collaborate with a cohort of cities throughout the U.S. to implement the digital tool that cities and companies pilot and scale dynamic curb zones with.
If granted the $2 million, the department expects the project to result in better understanding of the pilot technology’s scaling potential and create a new data-driven commercial vehicle policy along with permit recommendations to be enacted during a later phase of work.
The proposed pilot project would take place in the downtown area and the Denny Triangle neighborhood business district in northern downtown Seattle.
The department would work with the University of Washington Urban Freight Lab and the Open Mobility Foundation on the pilot program.
Geri Poor, the regional transportation senior manager at the Port of Seattle said the port supports the grant because new technology would help delivery operations throughout the Seattle area.
“We support this grant because of our interest in last-mile delivery policy and operations throughout Seattle…we also endorse [the Department of Transportation’s] focused approach to talk with Seattle businesses and urban freight carriers to hear directly from them about their needs and challenges,” Poor said in a statement.
The transportation department said it expects to hear if it received the grant by early 2023. Work on the project would extend through the summer of 2024.