Some cities see curbs that line their paved streets as emergency routes. Some see curbs as places for people to convene as they hold for a walk signal, pick up or drop off passengers, grab a bike-share or wait for a bus. Many see curbs as a parking destination — Seattle, for instance, has 514,000 on-street spots serving a total population of around 704,000. Some see curbs as all of the above.
However, the curb’s role as a parking destination, in particular, was not a mainstream thing until 1972. In fact, it was illegal to park anything on a curb for more than a few hours in New York City until 1950. That’s why there’s clear practicality in cities working with industry players to take concerted, diverse steps to decrease road congestion and improve urban mobility. More importantly, the civic technology and transportation communities in cities everywhere have an opportunity to return the curb to the public.