Coord announces Open Curbs, the first open and multi-city platform that makes standardized curb data publicly available through an open database license to city agencies, engineering firms, mobility providers and community groups, to better understand city accessibility - with the goal of supporting over 100 cities across the globe by 2021.
The bustling mobility industry is showing no signs of stopping. New transit options – like AVs, ride-hail, scooters, bike-share and more – continue to enter the market almost daily. According to a recent study, the global mobility as a service market is expected to reach $1.75 trillion by 2028. And, while the new innovations we’re seeing in the industry have created a sustained excitement about the future of transportation -- hello Jetsons, anyone? -- with more opportunity comes new and unique challenges.
For instance, curbs are no longer used for just parking. They’re now delivery hot spots, bike-share or scooter parking and ride-hail pick up zones -- the list goes on. And, with the growth of new mobility options, comes an emerging need for cities, mobility operators, commuters and residents to find new ways for increasing numbers of transportation options to coexist in already crowded roads, curbs and sidewalks. This means better integrating mobility options into existing transit systems and identifying new avenues for revenue as traditional transportation methods change.
Photo by Chilam Siu
But before cities can evolve the curb, they have to be able to manage it -- everything from parking signs, loading zones, fire hydrants, special access restrictions, and more. Today, most cities do not have a public digital record of what assets are on their curbs, let alone what the corresponding regulations are at any given time or place. And if they do, the functionality and format of curb data varies from city to city.
That’s why last year we released Surveyor, an app that uses augmented reality to quickly and accurately code the rules of the curb at a fraction of the cost of traditional surveying methods. By using Surveyor, we’ve been able to work with our partners to digitize the curbs of multiple cities across the U.S., while continuing to expand to new cities.
Introducing Open Curbs
As a next step, today, we’re excited to announce Open Curbs, a first-of-its-kind, public curb data source for city administrators, GIS analysts, transportation planners, software engineers, researchers and community leaders, to easily access and share standardized baseline curb data from a single place.
The data published in Open Curbs includes locations and descriptions of assets such as fire hydrants, parking signs, curb paint and other features along the curb. Initially this data comes from the collections created with the Surveyor augmented reality app, although we plan to support other curb asset data sources on Open Curbs in the future. This curb asset data is used by Coord to derive curb regulation data, which is then distributed via the Curbs API and other methods to customers, typically fleet operators.
“Having a complete picture of the current designations of our district's curbs helps us prepare for the future that is already here,” said Hector Soliman-Valdez, Mobility Manager at Downtown Santa Monica (Business Improvement District). “By this I mean the immense pressure that we have to convert our curbs into dynamic spaces that serve multiple uses at different times of the day. With this data in hand we can better engage TNCs, delivery companies and others to reduce their impact on our transportation network all the while increasing their efficiency.”
The platform eliminates the siloed nature of our cities’ curb data today and bridges informational barriers between the public and private sectors. Open Curbs can help cities innovate their curbs for new transportation options and help new transportation providers deliver seamless service while following the rules. As new cities are surveyed, surveyors have the option to publish the curb asset data via the Open Curbs platform for other users. Our Open Curbs initiative is launching with curb data for neighborhoods in:
Santa Monica (Collected by Downtown Santa Monica, business improvement district)
Denver (Collected by HDR, engineering firm)
Paris (Collected by Autonomy, mobility consultancy)
Milan (Collected by Systematica, engineering firm)
Los Angeles (Collected by Coord)
San Francisco (Collected by Coord)
Photo by Gerson Repreza
That sounds great! But who’s it for?
The Open Curbs data is available through an open database license to anyone interested in better understanding city curbs, including:
Not only do city officials want to share curb regulations with their constituencies, they also need an efficient way of inventorying and maintaining assets along the curb. Open Curbs is an open data platform that offers standardized curb asset data in both mapped and downloadable forms. Open Curbs is designed to be an industry-wide resource that helps the public and private sectors to better understand and exchange raw curb data and, ultimately, better inform policy, regulation and compliance along the curb.
Cities are increasingly requesting curb lane management studies and solutions. With efficient collection, analysis and visualization of digital curbs, engineering firms now have an important new capability to better serve this need. Whether assessing curb lane inventory or utilization, Open Curbs helps to create a shared language for the curb.
From business improvement districts to individual community leaders or activists, Open Curbs helps to inform discussions around the most productive use of curb space and help advocate for community needs. Providing transparency on curb data, enables better recommendations for accessibility and community improvements around the curb.
We’re happy to take this next step in solving for today’s transportation problems by bridging the physical and digital worlds and giving governments, companies and individuals a curbside management platform that helps make cities more accessible to everyone. Please get in touch to ask questions, suggest an idea or report a problem with our platform by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.