The National Academies

NCHRP 20-102(26) [Pending]

Dynamic Curbside Management: Keeping Pace with New and Emerging Mobility and Technology in the Public Right of Way
[ NCHRP 20-102 (Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies--Task-Order Support) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Contract Time: 15 months
Staff Responsibility: Ann Hartell
Comments: Proposals were due 8/27/2020. Contractor selection is pending.

The transportation ecosystem is evolving, with a rapidly increasing array of new mobility and delivery options offered by public and private entities. These new alternatives include ridehailing services (or transportation network companies (TNCs); organized vehicle sharing of cars, shuttles, and micromobility; delivery drones; and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). In urban locations, these current and anticipated innovations coincide with existing transit operations, privately owned and operated automobiles, traditional taxi services, freight and parcel deliveries, and pedestrians and other non-motorized users. This creates increased demand for space at the curb where passengers are picked up and dropped off, shared and private vehicles are stored, freight and parcels are loaded or delivered, and users transfer between travel modes. These curbside activities impact sidewalk users and the flow of traffic in travel lanes. Further, these activities are dynamic, with high variability in the level and type of activity at different times. This complex environment is often managed through diverse policies and seemingly conflicting regulations that are communicated with signage and markings that can be confusing to users.
An increasing number of jurisdictions are seeking to better manage curbside activity using dynamic curbside management. This approach allocates curbside space as a resource in response to real-time demand to improve operations for all users of the curbside and the rest of the public right of way, including adjacent travel lanes and sidewalks. A dynamic curbside management program can support goals for multimodal mobility, safety, congestion management, travel time reliability (including for transit), and equitable access. Common program elements include:  
  • Pricing: usually variable in response to the dynamic nature of demand (e.g., smart meters)
  • Regulating use: specific uses of the curb are permitted at certain times (e.g., transit use during morning and afternoon commute times, with midday parcel drop-off and pickup)
  • Permitting access: allowing access to the curbside only for specified operators (e.g., freight loading license, shared vehicle storage for specific operators)
The development and deployment of CAVs will bring additional challenges for curbside operations. For example, if a community shifts to widespread use of highly automated connected vehicles, this could increase pick-up and drop-off activity at the curb, while reducing the need for curbside parking as vehicles spend more time circulating or spend more time in designated areas. Although the effects from CAVs are difficult to forecast, this shift could reduce parking revenue, increase congestion, impact transit operations at station stops, and have safety implications for non-motorized users on the sidewalk and in the roadway.
To date, dynamic curbside management has largely been the purview of cities, with much of the relevant research and guidance directed towards local transportation agencies. However, state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other regional agencies can be important partners for these local entities because, in many cases, roadways and other curb zone elements, such as sidewalks or intelligent traffic system (ITS) infrastructure, are part of the regional or state network. Because dynamic curbside management programs rely on data, partnering agencies also need to understand data sources, data governance, and data standards as well as data-sharing arrangements. In addition, regional or state-level performance targets for safety, social equity, reliability, congestion, multimodal mobility, emissions, and other environmental impacts can be advanced through efficient curbside operations in high-demand locations. An MPO or state DOT may also be interested in encouraging coordination and consistency among local jurisdictions. Finally, many agencies—state, regional, and local—are looking for opportunities to integrate CAVs into current operations; the dynamic management of curbside activity is an important element of an efficient CAV network.
An effective dynamic curbside management program requires that transportation agencies understand how current and emerging mobility and delivery options operate within the public right of way and the complex interactions that occur at the curb. Agencies must also be prepared for continued evolution that will bring new technologies, new stakeholders, and new operational models to the curbside.  
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for state, regional, and local transportation agencies on developing and implementing a dynamic curbside management program. The guidebook will draw from current and emerging practice to define and describe policies, mechanisms, and data considerations for dynamically pricing, regulating, and permitting curbside activity. The guidebook will address current and emerging mobility solutions and technologies and will prepare transportation agencies to adapt to future challenges at the curb. 
Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking described in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach in meeting the research objective. The work must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
A key aspect of the research plan is providing opportunities for the project panel to review and oversee the work. The research plan should describe a suitable number of appropriate checkpoints and interim deliverables and include at least one interim report to be presented at a face-to-face meeting and an appropriate number of web-enabled teleconferences (including one within 1 month of the contract’s execution date).

The research plan should include, at a minimum, the following components:  
  • Review and synthesis of current and emerging practice in dynamic curbside management in the United States and abroad, including pilot projects, that describes:
    • Characteristics of each of the three main approaches (pricing, regulating access, and permitting access). For example, for pricing: how are prices determined, where are revenues directed, how stable and predictable are curbside revenues, and what other elements are needed to make pricing effective?
    • Mechanisms used for implementation (e.g., smart meters, permitting programs, applications for real-time notifications).
    • How dynamic curbside management supports related transportation goals (e.g., Complete Streets policies or augmenting transportation revenue streams).
    • Ways that stakeholder concerns are addressed (e.g., the reallocation of parking; social equity and equitable access).
    • The potential for current programs to be adapted to integrate emerging and future technologies, new mobility and delivery options, and societal changes.
  • Outreach to individuals who can provide representative and commonly encountered stakeholder perspectives on policies and mechanisms for dynamic curbside management (including, but not limited to, TNCs and other private mobility companies, transit agencies, law enforcement, elected officials, advocacy groups, and local residents and business owners). 
  • Investigation of emerging technologies or technologies that are used for managing dynamic access in other industries that may be appropriate for curbside management (such as applications that provide real-time alerts to customers on queue length or wait times). 
  • The development of a guidebook describing how to:
    • Characterize a curbside and adjacent sidewalks and travel lanes, including infrastructure, user groups, vehicle mix, and operational characteristics that are relevant for dynamic curbside management
    • Understand common stakeholder and community perspectives on curbside management
    • Identify features of a dynamic curbside management program appropriate for a particular location and that align with and support community and transportation goals
    • Understand data requirements and data governance including:
      • Data requirements
      • Data specifications and standards (e.g., Mobility Data Standard specifications, General Transit Feed Standards—Real Time)
      • Privacy concerns
      • Data sharing agreements and the use and control of data from public and private sources
    • Develop effective partnerships among local, regional, and state transportation agencies and jurisdictions that define roles and responsibilities (e.g., data governance, equipment maintenance)
    • Develop a forward-looking, flexible, and adaptable dynamic curbside management program that can effectively address future challenges, including but not limited to:
      • Integration of CAVs into curbside operations
      • Urban freight innovations such as automated delivery systems
      • Ongoing evolution in micromobility solutions
      • Facilitating and maintaining equitable access

The final deliverables should include: (1) the guidebook as a stand-alone document; (2) a final report that documents the entire research effort; (3) an executive summary in the final report that outlines the research results; (4) a Microsoft® PowerPoint presentation describing the guidebook; and (5) all data collected as part of the research.

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final deliverables. 


A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

B. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.

C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.

D. Item 4, “Research Plan,” shall be limited to no more than 20 8.5” x 11” pages. Material on the research plan included in an appendix will not be considered. Item 5, “Qualification of the Research Team” is limited to 2 8.5” x 11” pages for each member of the proposed project team. Item 5 should provide information on the qualifications of each member of the proposed research team who will make substantive contributions to the project. Material on qualifications of the project team included in an appendix will not be considered.

E. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.

F. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4868