Nov 2, 2020

The City of Aspen Welcomes Its First Smart Zones


Dawn Miller

VP, Policy & Partnerships

We’re at it again! After announcing our first Smart Zone pilot in the City of Omaha just over a month ago, today, we are excited to launch a Smart Zone pilot in our second Digital Curb Challenge city: Aspen, Colorado.

For those who may not be familiar, Smart Zones are designed to improve the coordination, safety, and convenience of curbside delivery and service vehicle loading in cities. Not only do Smart Zones help cities better manage commercial loading on their streets, but they also benefit drivers, local businesses, downtown residents and visitors by reducing safety and congestion problems, such as double-parking, creating more efficient and enjoyable experiences for all.


How Does This Work, You Ask?

Smart Zones are typically spaces along the curb dedicated to loading and unloading for certain hours of the day. They are clearly marked with signage, and drivers use our mobile app, Coord Driver, to see real-time Smart Zone locations and availability. As they approach their destinations, drivers can hold, book and pay for time in a Smart Zone.


Aspen is employing Smart Zones in a novel way: in addition to using them to manage most of their busiest curbside loading zones, they are using Smart Zones to manage loading taking place in alleys. Aspen will also charge drivers reasonable fees for time spent in Smart Zones, incentivizing efficient use of this shared public resource and reducing reliance on challenging traditional time-based loading enforcement.


Alley in Downtown Aspen, CO


Do Drivers Really Need Another App?

According to a study by the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab on cruising behavior, commercial vehicle cruising represented 28% of total trip time on average. Industry experts report that up to 50% of overall delivery costs are attributable to the last mile of the trip.


Smart Zones provide delivery and service vehicle drivers with the information and incentives to quickly find available, safe and legal locations to load. For a fleet or driver, shaving even a couple of minutes off each delivery saves valuable time and reduces aggravation.


In addition to powering individual bookings, Coord’s system will provide the City of Aspen with information to make data-driven policy and operational changes. It will help the City see where and when loading space is most needed and enables the City to dynamically manage demand for it through pricing and time limits.


Tell Me About the Smart Zones in Aspen!

The City of Aspen has deployed eight Smart Zones powered by Coord’s mobile and desktop apps located in Aspen’s bustling downtown. The City’s goal is to streamline commercial deliveries that serve restaurants, retailers and other businesses in the downtown area, which accounts for 16 square blocks and generates $1 billion in retail economic activity annually.


Map of Smart Zone locations in Aspen, co

This pilot program, which is the second of four Digital Curb Challenge curb management pilots to launch over the next several months, builds on Aspen’s history of innovation in parking policy and strong collaboration between city government, local businesses, and other stakeholders.

We’re thrilled to be able to put Aspen’s Smart Zones into action and can’t wait to share updates on the pilot as it progresses. If you work for a public agency and are interested in learning about bringing Smart Zones or the Coord platform to your city, you can request a meeting with a member of the Coord team here.


Dawn Miller

VP, Policy & Partnerships

Dawn is Coord’s VP for Policy and Partnerships. She focuses on Coord's work with public agencies. She previously served as Chief of Staff at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the City agency that oversees New York City's taxi, car service and ride-hailing industries. Dawn launched TLC’s Research and Evaluation practice, serving as its first director, and worked as a researcher at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn and loves parks, bikes, beaches, stoop-sitting and group fitness.