Transit agencies awarded funds to support safety, delivery measures

Mar 29, 2023, 4:01 PM


FILE - Delivery trucks arrive at the loading dock at the United States Postal Service sorting and processing facility Nov. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The federal government awarded both Sound Transit and Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) $2 million each in funds from the Strength, Mobility, and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant.

SDOT spokesperson Mary Catherine Snyder said the funds will help the agency rebuild its three-decade outdated delivery permit system.

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“We are really excited about the grant that came out because it really gives us an opportunity to get some funding that we can apply towards figuring out how we modernize the system,” Snyder said. “It’s a 30-year-old system [it’s actually a decal that goes on the truck], and it allows people to park and load at our commercial load zones that are both designated spaces for business freight.”

Snyder stated the goal is to reduce congestion and create more sustainable forms of delivery for residents and businesses.

“One thing we’re going to be doing about the grant is really having a concerted effort to sit down and talk with the systems around the city and our freight delivery partners,” Snyder said. “We will talk about the specific problems and some solutions.”

Some of those problems are delivery trucks parking in the center turn lane impeding traffic, causing dangerous situations for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians in the area.

“How do we put that all together into a new policy and a new program for managing curb delivery? What do we need to do to change the commercial boat zone policy?” Snyder added. “What kind of permits are appropriate? Who has to be really eligible for those permits? How do we do that so we’re having a better sense of providing the appropriate space at the curb, so people don’t have to use the center left turn lane or block something, and that they’re able to find spaces?”

She also claimed the other part of the grant is to work with the Open Mobility Foundation.

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“And so, how do we think about our signs? What if, in the future, the freight delivery companies also know those locations, and so when they’re doing the planning, when they’re doing their routes for their deliveries, they can know where the signs are, leaving that event availability information for those zones,” asked Snyder.

There’s a lot of information to consider.

SDOT sent us the blog they wrote last year when they applied for the grant. You can see how the story unfolded here.

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Transit agencies awarded funds to support safety, delivery measures