US looks to Europe to "Fix Secret Cause of Urban Traffic"Package trucks—those familiar parcel delivery vehicles that double-park on your block—have become an international target of commuter ire.
One of these new strategies, the BentoBox, works by shifting delivery truck activity away from peak driving hours. ....
TNT Express has a program in Brussels, where the courier company delivers about 1300 parcels per week, three-quarters of those deliveries are already made using pedal-assisted electric tricycles....
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According to the (US) Federal Highway Administration, a significant amount of city gridlock can be attributed to restrictions on freight movement, like a lack of space for trucks in cities. By one estimate, 947,000 hours of vehicle delay annually can be attributed to delivery trucks parked curbside in downtown areas.
And it's only getting worse. Many cities are tightening laws that restrict the operation of large vehicles. At the same time, the rise of internet shopping has made courier services more important to urban commerce than ever. Analysts at IBISWorld Inc., an independent source of industry research, expect internet shopping to be the driving force of growth in the $188.5 billion global courier and delivery sector, which was hit hard by the recession and by high gas prices in 2008.
But cities are taking action. Over the last couple of years, urbanists have dreamed up a handful of new parcel delivery strategies. A number got a field test in Europe last year as part of CITYLOG, a project funded by the European Union to evaluate fresh ideas in urban transport.
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