Dec 9, 2020

Coord Joins City-Led Initiative to Create Open Curb Data Standard

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Jacob Baskin

CTO & Co-Founder

We at Coord couldn’t wait to share some exciting news with you, our community of curb enthusiasts. Today, the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF), a global coalition of 25 cities working together to create open-source technology that empowers cities to manage mobility in the modern era, has chartered a Curb Management Working Group to create a set of open data standards for curb management.

 

Coord is proud to join OMF and the Curb Management Working Group, and to contribute our curb asset specification and API definitions as starting points for city and private-sector leaders and members of the public embarking on an open, participatory standards creation process.  The initiative will create data standards for describing the multiple layers of curb data cities need, from assets (physical things in the world such as signs, hydrants, bike racks, curb cuts) to  regulations (what you can do on a given curb at a given time) to occupancy (how the curb is actually being used). This data will only get more important for cities to collect and understand as they look to curbs to meet communities’ changing needs—from growing delivery, ride-hail and shared micromobility activity, to sustainable transit such as buses and bikes, to recreation and commercial activity. 

 

Today, there isn’t a broadly agreed-upon standard for how to digitally represent curbs. In fact, most cities do not even have an up-to-date, let alone digital, record of the location of their curb and how it’s regulated. That’s why, over the past four years, we have been hard at work to empower cities with the necessary tools to digitally inventory, allocate, price, and manage the curb. Coord's curb data management has enabled Aspen, CO and Omaha, NE to launch the first-ever Smart Zone pilot programs with us as part of our Digital Curb Challenge. Now, by joining OMF in this initiative, we hope that broad participation and consensus-building across the industry made possible by OMF’s open governance model, will accelerate curb management across the country.

 

Why are we contributing to this initiative? Because the data cities produce with Coord is only useful if lots of people can read and use it. A city should be confident that the data they have will serve their needs into the future, even if they change technology vendors. Cities should be able to produce regulation data for private sector users, such as ride-hail or freight delivery companies, in a shared format that they can understand. And these companies in turn shouldn't have to learn a new data format whenever they work with a new city. Standardization is essential to the digital curb, and thus to the work that we do. 

 

OMF is a well-suited governing body for this process particularly due to their extensive membership from city government. We believe that cities, who are responsible for their curbs and to their communities, must be the ones to drive a standard that meets their needs. But producing a useful standard requires private sector involvement as well, which is why, at OMF, cities work in concert with private sector members such as Spin, Ride Report, Waymo, Microsoft, and now, Coord. This ensures that, when they produce standardized curb data, cities have the ability to share it and use it in ways that benefit their residents and businesses.

 

We are confident that this initiative will accelerate cities’ efforts to align curb space regulations with community priorities and to more dynamically manage access to their curb space. We look forward to engaging in this important work and sharing the group’s progress with you.

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Jacob Baskin

CTO & Co-Founder

Jacob Baskin is Coord's co-founder and CTO. Before starting Coord, Jacob worked at Google, where he helped to build Doubleclick Ad Exchange, one of the Internet's largest advertising platforms. In his free time, Jacob enjoys playing bridge and walking around far-flung areas of New York City -- not just to look at the parking signs!