Beyond the Curb: SDOT and UW Work to Streamline Freight Delivery Downtown

Along with thousands of commuters who head downtown every day, freight delivery drivers are trying to drop off goods and keep customers happy.

Sometimes, the journey from warehouse to downtown building happens on public streets, but we want to make sure that last leg from the load zone to the lobby – the final 50 feet – is as seamless as possible.

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To make it easier to deliver goods in Seattle, we entered into a 3-year partnership with the University of Washington and private businesses known as the Urban Freight Lab.

The Final 50 Feet Program looks at improving delivery at the end of the supply chain: loading areas, traffic control, and street design. This will help us understand and maintain safer, more efficient deliveries throughout the city and the Puget Sound region.

The first step is to gather data on how people and goods are interacting right now. Downtown, from the waterfront to I-5, and from Denny Way to S Dearborn Street, grad students are collecting data on loading bay locations, load zones, alleyway access and any other means of delivering goods to downtown destinations.

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Next, we’ll identify changes that could help reduce congestion and collisions. Teaming up with the Urban Freight Lab, we’ll pilot test solutions in a real-world environment.

We’ve received requests from many other cities, including Washington, DC, to share results and lessons learned during the Freight Master Plan development process and early actions coming out of this 3-year program. Check out a few articles that have made local and national news:

Seattle is committed to being a leader in urban goods policy and problem-solving and keeping our economy thriving.

To learn more, please visit The Final 50 Feet Program webpage or contact Christopher Eaves at Christopher.Eaves@Seattle.gov.