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Final 50 Feet Program

Last updated January 4, 2017

Overview

SDOT entered into a 3-year partnership with the University of Washington and private businesses, known as the Urban Freight Lab, to find ways for making it easier to deliver goods in Seattle and other large cities.

The Final 50 Feet program looks at methods to improve delivery at the end of the supply chain, such as loading areas, traffic control and street design. We will pilot low-cost and high-value actions to optimize operations of goods. This will help us understand, maintain and enhance safer and efficient deliveries throughout the City and Puget Sound region.

Background

Freight Master Plan

Seattle adopted its first Freight Master Plan in October 2016. The plan serves as a 20-year blueprint to guide freight mobility investments and improvements. The plan aims to support:

  • A growing economy for the City and the region
  • Improve safety and reliability for goods and people
  • Maintain a good state of repair
  • Connect manufacturing/industrial business centers with state and international networks
  • Promote equity, community health and environmental stewardship

University of Washington Urban Freight Lab

The Urban Freight Lab is comprised of retailers, freight carriers, technology companies, residential and retail/commercial building developers and operators and SDOT.

Members of the Urban Freight Lab include Costco, Nordstrom, UPS, and other Seattle-based companies who share their expertise and needs with the City of Seattle.

Why is this work important?

Moving people and goods have historically been considered very separate needs.  As e-commerce and travel options rapidly change transportation activities, conversations about each need to join so we can successfully share use of limited spaces in dense urban environments. 

Program Description

The first step is to gather data on how people and goods are interacting right now.  Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of current information that tells us about modern shopping habits, delivery information technologies, or how building design affects deliveries.  Next, we need to identify changes to help solve issues such as congestion and collisions.  Then, Seattle and the Urban Freight Lab will pilot projects to test solutions in a real-world environment.

Who collects the data?

The research team consists of graduate students from the University of Washington who are gathering data and will be in the following locations:

2nd, 3rd and 4th Avenues from Spring Street to Pike Street January 4th, 2017 – February 10th 2017

S Dearborn St to Denny Way to West of I-5 between November 17, 2016 and December 15, 2016

Seattle Center area between December 5th 2016 and December 10th 2016

How will this work be used in other places?

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

Related Articles

U.S. Dept. of Transportation taps UW to help solve traffic problems of the future

More online shopping means more delivery trucks. Are cities ready?

As online retailing booms, new Urban Freight Lab to work with industry, SDOT on delivery challenges

UW, Nordstrom, Costco and SDOT partner to improve urban deliveries

Logisticians Join Academics and Local Government to Tackle Seattle Urban

Cargo and e-commerce Issues

Contact Us

Christopher Eaves | (206) 684-4524 | christopher.eaves@seattle.gov
Jude Willcher | (206) 684-4059 | jude.willcher@seattle.gov

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