Are Walkable Cities a Threat to Frequent Freight Shippers?

A street view of a walkable street

Should Businesses Who Frequently Ship Freight Oppose Fewer Lanes on Motorways or Less Parking?

With many cities and countries worldwide shifting their focus from cars to cities when it comes to urban design, it’s fair to wonder how this may affect your business! The topic itself is somewhat divisive with many people wanting more sidewalks and bike lanes, and many who want more parking spaces and better car accessibility. 

This article is simply meant to highlight how the increasing changes might impact your business’s shipping habits and needs.

Trucks are a necessity in freight shipping. They are large, cumbersome, and unavoidable. With less parking space and fewer lanes on our roads, there’s bound to be heaps of delays, right? Not exactly!

Induced demand

Congestion on a freeway

The concept of induced demand means that if, for example, the price of a service or commodity drops, the demand for it will rise. Likewise, when it comes to transportation (where we can consider time currency) demand goes up when a new lane is added to a street or when a new motorway or highway is opened. 

What that means is that no matter how many lanes or new roads we add to battle congestion, demand will catch up. This has proven to be the case so far.

So what does this mean for transportation if lanes and streets are being removed or pedestrianized, instead of added?

Fortunately, induced demand works both ways. When the price goes back up, so too does demand. That translates to people opting for walking, cycling, or using public transportation if those options are faster, cheaper, or more convenient

All of this means that there are fewer cars on the roads, and that means that there should be less congestion. This allows for trucks to still move just as efficiently if not better through our city streets. 

Where do the trucks stop

Retractable bollards protecting a pedestrian-only street

Fewer parking spaces have proven to be a solvable issue as well.

One of the main reasons that parking spaces in cities have been removed is due to car access simply being restricted in some streets. If that access is restricted by installing automatic bollards that can be lowered by delivery services, pickups and deliveries can actually be made easier. Without any traffic to delay the truck (or the truck delaying other vehicles), everyone can actually save time

In places where road space has been turned into bike lanes or expanded sidewalks, there are usually still spaces for trucks to maneuver for easier loading and unloading. If there are no such spaces, drivers will still be able to stop on the street for the little bit of time it takes them to complete their order. The only difference is that they will be stopping slightly more to the side so as to allow pedestrians and cyclists to pass in the space designated for them.

You may think that closing streets off to cars might be bad for the business itself, regardless of pickups or deliveries. It turns out that the opposite is true. If you happen to be on a commercial street that becomes closed off to motorized vehicles, don’t despair. It’s been shown that when a street becomes accessible by more than one means of transportation, they become livelier than ever. That’s right, business improves

Conclusion

As a company that strives to make freight shipping as green and as convenient as possible, these changes seem to bode well for both us and our clients. As congestion decreases, our carriers’ services will improve and speed up! And as your streets become more walkable and less polluted (both air and noise-wise), you should start seeing an uptick on your end too! 

The news is good, and services are improving. With that said, make sure to check out our instant quotes for freight shipping! With both Freightera and city planners striving to make life easier for everyone, there’s no better time to start shipping with us! 

 

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