Improving Freight Movement in Delaware Central Business Districts

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Freight movement by trucks within a central business district (CBD) is often problematic for delivery drivers, pedestrians, automobile traffic, and downtown merchants. Freight pickup and delivery by trucks both contribute to and suffer from downtown traffic congestion. While the revitalization and economic sustainability of central business districts is paramount, the need for efficient freight movement, pedestrian access, traffic flow, and overall safety is equally important.A scan of federal, state, and local government freight-movement policies indicates that the regulatory focus has been primarily at the macro, rather than micro, level. Additional guidelines are needed to govern design and demarcation of downtown loading zones and facilities, development and enforcement of downtown loading zone/parking regulations, and development and placement of regulatory signage. To observe freight-movement issues first hand, field visits were made to ten Delaware municipalities with active CBDs. Many of Delaware’s small, historic CBDs are constrained by their physical environment and existing infrastructure that cannot be easily retrofitted for off-street loading bays or onstreet loading zones. Issues observed in Delaware CBDs included design problems (lack and condition of loading-zone facilities), lack of or unclear on-street parking regulations, and public safety concerns (e.g., intermodal conflicts and illegal or unauthorized parking).
freight, movement, Delaware, central business districts, CDB, policies, issues, loading zone