Faced with Clogged Streets, Downtowns Consider Shorter Delivery Hours, Steeper Fines

Like many business districts, the village of Ridgewood, NJ, faces traffic snarls caused by trucks making deliveries.

Ridgewood is considering a dramatic crackdown: The village council has entertained — but not enacted — a ban on deliveries between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. The village also considered imposing a weight limit of 18,000 pounds on vehicles traveling downtown.

Chicago is taking a different tack. It tripled the fine for delivery drivers who double-park on downtown streets. While Oklahoma City, OK, has taken a gentler approach. It is using polite Post-it Notes on windshields to alert parking scofflaws.

Finding space for delivery trucks is an age-old challenge for downtowns. But the problem is intensifying in the era of e-commerce, which sees more and more consumers ordering clothes, drugs, and groceries for delivery to their homes and offices.

In Ridgewood, the proposal to limit delivery hours brought harsh reviews from downtown business owners, illustrating just how fraught the topic is. But there’s little question that deliveries create traffic bottle-necks and safety problems.

More on how these cities are coping with downtown deliveries appears in the May issue of Downtown Idea Exchange. Click below to learn more about Downtown Idea Exchange and other resources for revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors.

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