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Assessing and Reimagining the Value of the Curb


The curbside is changing rapidly. Once the domain of facilitating vehicle storage, it has to facilitate access for people and goods, whether by enhanced investment in transit, shared vehicle, ridesourcing (transportation network companies), micromobility, street commerce (i.e. mobile roadway vending, sidewalk vendors), and freight/commercial needs. Then there is the end user, which demographically has become diverse and have divergent needs and concerns, which from an equity perspective can include limited mobility challenges, access to banking, and access to technology. Status quo at the curb in many cities is quite chaotic. Add a dash of changing demands resulting from public health emergencies like with COVID-19 since 2020, and there is a recipe of a system that cannot sustain the status quo, with additional pressures from streeteries, economic and municipal budget malaise. The pandemic provides an opening for many municipalities to reimagine and redesign their public space. One thing that also has to be thought out is managing the public space access. There is a need to define an approach to quantify the value of the curb/public access to manage the demand for access, while adaptable/cognizant of municipal priorities regarding economic vitality, social equity, and climate change.


The objective is to create a scalable methodology to quantify the value of the curb from an economic, environmental, social and equity lens and the direct and indirect community value generated or eroded upon the larger transportation system and land uses resulting from curb allocation prioritization.


The root of major transportation policy comes down to mobility and accessibility. Much of the focus in transportation system improvements is focused on improving mobility, improving speeds to move through the transportation system (notable in USDOT’s Value of Time guidance). Much of that focus is oriented towards the car. With current challenges stemming from climate change impacts and stark spotlights on historical transportation development adversely impacting marginalized communities, there is impetus to rethink transportation investments and policies. However, there is still resistance due to status quo behavior oriented towards the car. To make a meaningful impact to shift the mobility focus to other modes of transportation, it is important to focus transportation system improvements focused on land use accessibility, usually at the curb. By then quantifying the value of accessing the curb for people through various modes of transportation and the value externalities derived to the economy and society, this research has the potential to disrupt wholesale transportation investment, implementation, and operational priorities within communities.

Related Research:

Some of these research examples created tools to quantify benefits and can help prepare what it will take to assess the value of the curb. Other studies are more closely tied to social equity where there are transportation related fees.

Quantifying the health and economic benefits of active commuting in Scotland

Distributional Impacts of Congestion Charging

Effects on Social Welfare Due to Alternative Road Pricing Schemes

Equity Effects of Congestion Pricing: Quantitative Methodology and a Case Study for Stockholm

Induced Demand Calculator


The researcher team needs to consider the following tasks to achieve the objective of this research, including:

  • A state of the practice assessment across the transportation industry, as well as commodities, that looks at defining a value definition methodology for the transportation asset/commodity.

  • An analysis of the various lenses (i.e. economic, social, environmental, etc) to quantify the value of the curb and how each can be quantified.

  • An analysis of the direct and indirect costs associated with the transportation system and defining the variables that influence the cost/value.

  • Development of a methodology that can be scalable to a jurisdiction of varying sizes (i.e. rural community, rural town center, suburban, regional town center, urban city)

  • Development of methodology implementation case studies with industry organizations that easily translates the methodology into relatable examples for jurisdictions.

  • Development of a guidebook that collates the findings of the research.


The project has the potential to engage AASHTO, NACTO, International Parking and Mobility Institute, and the Institute for Transportation Engineers to test out the methodology and create demonstration case studies for other communities to emulate.


The potential users of this tool include parking managers and parking operators of municipalities during the planning stages of development or as policy changes are considered especially for oversubscribed on-street parking areas and curbs.

Sponsoring Committee:AEP60, Transportation Demand Management
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Benito O. Pérez
Source Info:Parking Management Subcommittee
Date Posted:07/05/2022
Date Modified:08/01/2022
Index Terms:Curbs, Curb side parking, Access, Urban design,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Public Transportation
Planning and Forecasting
Transportation (General)

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