DOCK MANAGEMENT PLAN…that dog won’t hunt!

While it’s been popular for SDCI to use the term Dock Management Plan as a “cure-all” for inadequate loading and waste facilities in proposed downtown high-rise projects, the truth is that the City of Seattle has no practical experience with their operation due either to the newness or incompleteness of the projects involved.

In view of the unproven performance of dock management plans, we request that SDCI take these actions in any plan’s preparation and not let a project move forward without them:

1: Request the applicant to develop the management plan based on operational characteristics of the loading design and alley to determine the kinds of actions necessary to its success. Operational characteristics to consider should include:

a. Updating analysis of future alley delays stemming from new pipeline traffic on the adjacent alleys and streets.

b. Confirming the ability of trucks to use the loading berths independently of one another when the loading lifts are in action.

c. Verifying that trucks have sufficient room to load fully within the site’s property when loading lifts are in operation.

d. Evaluating the probable frequency for trucks to park in the alley to complete their deliveries and loading. Current code allows parking for up to 30 minutes. How will the dock management plan address this condition and its effect on other alley traffic?

e. Analyzing loading options for the subject project when trucks serving another building are parked in the alley (because it is the only option they have). How will the management plan address this circumstance?

f. Dealing with waste collection vehicles. Current garbage collection can often occupy the alley for more than 20 minutes, as can recycling and compost collection. How will the management plan handle delivery arrivals during those periods?

g. Communicating with drivers of scheduled and unscheduled deliveries. How will the dockmaster communicate with and handle unscheduled deliveries when loading berths are already occupied, or when multiple unscheduled deliveries overlap?

2: Establish a monitoring process for the plan. Describe how the plan will be monitored and verified for compliance. What methods beyond complaints will accomplish effective monitoring?

3: Describe the enforcement system to be applied should the plan fall short. What realistic remedies will be available and applied?

The material for this post was taken from a letter to SDCI Director, Nathan Torgelson, by transportation expert, Ross Tilghman, on behalf of Escala. The full text of his letter was posted on the SDCI web portal for the 5th & Virginia project on 10/15/18.