Seattle’s Downtown Delivery System Needs Major Overhaul

There are 250,000 jobs in Seattle’s Center City, and nearly 230,000 people commute in and out of it each day. 

A UW/SDOT study found this explosion of urban growth and e-commerce has dramatically added to the number of commercial vehicles in the Center City. That congestion is compounded by the fact that only 13% of buildings in downtown, uptown and South Lake Union have private loading bays or docks, According to the study, the number of truck trips in that urban core may double by 2023.  

This explosive growth, not enough private loading bays, and too many new projects approved with inadequate loading designs is resulting in too many failed first delivery attempts and too much parking time in loading spaces…a recipe for chaos. This has caused SDOT to rethink how they manage street curb parking and alley operations for trucks and other delivery vehicles. This is causing the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to  rethink how they manage street curb parking and alley operations for trucks and other delivery vehicles. 

Out of the data, researchers set two priorities

1. Reduce the number of “failed first delivery attempts,” in which for a variety of reasons a package or parcel does not reach a consumer on the first try, and 

2. Reduce the "time trucks are parked in loading spaces". For many deliveries, the most difficult part is from the truck to the suite door inside the office building, which researchers refer to as the Final 50 feet.

Final 50 Feet Executive Summary, March 30, 2018:

Article in Seattle Times on Final 50 Feet Study, February 22, 2018:

Let’s hold City Council’s feet to the fire, so that they act on the findings of this UW/SDOT study and do a major overhaul of our downtown goods delivery system.