City Seeks Feedback Ahead of ‘Smart Curb’ Pilot

smart curb pilot nyc dot

Map of Smart Curbs pilot area on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (DOT)

The city is getting ready to roll out its ‘Smart Curb’ pilot on the UWS and is looking for local input.

There will be two sessions for the community to give feedback on the program after the holidays. One will be in person on Monday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m. at 100 West 84th Street (P.S.9). The second will be on Zoom and will take place on Wednesday, January 10 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. You can register here.

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ILTUWS first reported on the details of the Smart Curb pilot back in September. Essentially, it’s an attempt to alleviate traffic by making better use of the city’s valuable curb space. Right now, that curb space is – even with the addition of outdoor dining – almost entirely used for (mostly free) parking.

That means fewer lanes for drivers and a lot more traffic, especially when you factor in all the double parking it causes when delivery drivers have to pull over and stop for drop-offs. That’s a problem this pilot, which is taking place from 72nd to 86th streets between Broadway and Central Park West, is hoping to fix.

The choice to start with Upper West Side is no coincidence. This an ideal spot to test a neighborhood-focused curb use plan. Despite being one of the densest residential neighborhoods in the United States, we have one of the country’s lowest vehicle owner ship rates (approximately 73% of people who live here don’t own a car, according to a DOT press release).

“As our city evolves, it’s clear our curb space no longer reflects New Yorkers’ needs,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Our curbs need to be smarter, and that education is happening through using new methods and technologies that can reduce friction and provide New Yorkers with more usable space.”

The feedback sessions may not be happening until January, but in the meantime, the city wants help gathering data. They’re asking people to report any curb related problems they encounter in the neighborhood using their online feedback map which was created for just this purpose. These problems currently fall into 13 categories including bike related issues, double parking and lack of public space.

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“Upper West Siders, we want to hear from you! Through our ‘Smart Curbs’ pilot, NYC DOT will be taking a blank-slate approach to how we allocate our curb space to better meet the demands of today and tomorrow—and make our streets safer for everyone,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Your voice is critical in guiding our plan to develop this pilot, which would provide new curb uses like loading zones, bike parking, carshare, public space, and other innovations.”

So if you have thoughts on the pilot program make sure swing by the meetings and speak your mind. This is no time to curb your enthusiasm.

Once again, the details on the two sessions and the feedback map can be found below

The city’s full report on the curb management action plan can be found here.


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