The City of Columbus is looking to ease downtown traffic congestion and improve safety with a 12-month pilot program that began Monday.
The city is partnering with curbFlow, a mobility company that will allow delivery and rideshare drivers to reserve and pay for parking, using the curbFlow app.
City leaders selected nine locations, primarily downtown and along North High Street, to serve as Loading Management Zones (LMZ).
Blue and white banners mark the LMZs, which are located in areas where commercial drivers are often forced to double park.
Eligible drivers will now be able to use the app to reserve spots within the LMZs.
One of the LMZs is located outside Aracri Pizzeria on North High Street.
“Every day, there’s three, four or five delivery services that come in and out of here,” said Palmo Aracri, the restaurant’s owner. “If you order a pizza and someone can come in and out of here, it (the nearby LMZ) absolutely helps, especially in a congested area like this.”
Ride-share riders and passengers are also applauding the city’s efforts at making it easier for drivers to maneuver congested areas.
“If you can be in one area for a few minutes to catch that next ride and not have to worry about constantly moving, I can see that being helpful,” said Kaylan Sims, who drives for Uber and Lyft.
Officials said they will weigh the benefits of the app over the next year and determine if the program will be extended beyond that.
“We’ll be evaluating a number of different criteria to determine how well it’s being utilized,” said Robert Ferrin, the city’s Assistant Director of Parking Services.
Ferrin said he and other officials will consider how the use of curbFlow improves safety, access for drivers, and economic development.
Until Dec. 18, drivers will be able to use curbFlow for free. After that, the first five minutes of parking in an LMZ will be $0.10, and $0.02 for every minute thereafter.
For more information on curbFlow and the whereabouts of the LMZs, click here.
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