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District Department of Transportation

DDOT, curbFlow Research Project Finds High Demand for Pickup, Dropoff Zones

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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DDOT, curbFlow Research Project Finds High Demand for Pickup, Dropoff Zones

DDOT launches new application inviting more innovative research on District Streets

(Washington, DC) — Today, the District Department of Transportation released highlights from a three-month research project with curbFlow focused on analyzing the demand at the District’s curbside space, specifically for commercial pickup dropoff (PUDO) activities across the District.

“In a dynamic city like the District, we are always looking for cutting edge solutions to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, and achieve Mayor Bowser’s goal of being a leader in public sector innovation,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “Through this partnership with curbFlow, we collected critical data that will inform the next generation of policies, plans, and strategies that we employ to better manage the demand the curbside.”

The research study conducted by curbFlow, a mobility company that coordinates commercial operator PUDO at the curbside in real time, builds on DDOT’s efforts to improve the safety of PUDO activity. The results of the project are based on data collected from 6,350 commercial drivers representing more than 900 companies. Commercial drivers reserved space at the nine curbFlow PUDO locations across the District over 15,000 times during the research period.

Highlights from the research project include:

  • Incidents of double parking and illegal U-turns decreased by an estimated 64% in immediate proximity to the curbFlow PUDO zones.
  • On-demand delivery (e.g. online food delivery services), freight and parcel deliveries lasted an average of 7-11 minutes, while rideshare and taxi PUDO activity lasted less than two and a half minutes on average.
  • On-demand deliveries were the most frequent users of the curbFlow PUDO zones, followed by freight and parcel deliveries.

curbFlow’s research project in the District began August 1 and removed parking spaces to create loading zones for commercial activities at nine locations across the District. The zones were used by both commercial vehicles and private vehicles operating in a commercial capacity such as picking up for an online food delivery service or other online delivery platform.

Following the success of the curbFlow project, DDOT has launched a new application process for researchers and innovators seeking to conduct research on District streets. Proposals for pilots, tests, or demonstrations of new technologies and approaches to help DDOT deliver on its mission should be submitted via the intake application available here. For more information about DDOT's research program, click here.


The mission of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.

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