Seattle SMART Grant Digital Commercial Vehicle Permit Project

June 18, 2024

What's Happening Now?

Do you get regular deliveries for your business or building? We want to hear your thoughts!

As part of our Curb SMART program, we are talking to local businesses and building managers in Seattle’s north downtown to better understand how they get deliveries and use commercial vehicle loading zones. Through these conversations, we hope to learn how we can improve commercial vehicle parking, so people can deliver goods reliably and on time, reducing costs and headaches for both drivers and businesses.

Do you have a business or manage a building in north downtown? Would you be willing to talk to us? We will ask questions about the kinds of deliveries you get, where delivery drivers park, what’s working and not working, and discuss ideas for improving commercial vehicle parking. This conversation will take about an hour, and we will provide a $100 Visa gift card to honor your time.

If you’re interested, please contact us: or (206) 775-8878. Interpreters available.


In April 2023, the US Department of Transportation via its SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) grant program awarded SDOT a $2 million grant to improve commercial vehicle access to the curb. The Seattle SMART Grant Digital Commercial Vehicle Project will advance work to provide reliable, modernized access for commercial devliery vehicles at the curb using a collaborative, data-driven approach.

On September 1, 2023, SDOT began working on Stage 1 of the grant project which will last approximately 18 months. The project’s primary focus is to prototype and evaluate digital permit technology in the North Downtown area of Seattle. If Stage 1 is successful, SDOT could be awarded a Stage 2 grant to roll out the digital permit at a city-wide scale going beyond the North Downtown area. As part of the grant, SDOT is converting its curb data in North Downtown to the national Curb Data Specification (CDS) standard set by the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF). Using CDS will help SDOT better manage its curb space by creating a standardized curb regulations inventory and curb usage database. These datasets in CDS format will be made publicly accessible to commercial delivery drivers and other interested curb users.    

Project Goals

Stage 1 of the grant (our grant award from USDOT) will prototype and evaluate a digital permit in North Downtown. The goals are to engage with local businesses and commercial delivery users with a SDOT issued decal to prototype a new digital permit to make more efficient use of commercial vehicle load zones, automate payment for users, and provide usage data at the zones for City and public use.

Stage 2 (contingent on a successful application after completing Stage 1) goals are to take the findings from Stage 1 and develop data-driven policy and permit recommendations to be used at scale citywide. These policy and permit recommendations will align with the City’s climate goals while also improving curb access. 

Timeline of work to be done in SMART grant.

For more information on our SMART Grant, see our project presentation.

Project Partners

The University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab (UFL) brings together private industry, academic researchers, and public transportation agencies to solve urban freight management problems that overlap private and public spaces and have wide-ranging benefits. Their work integrates in-depth consultation with industry and the public sector, transformative research, and executive education, and serves the powerful nexus of industry, transportation infrastructure, and policymakers to deliver cutting-edge research. In Stage 1, UFL will be leading the project’s research by developing a technology assessment and existing commercial vehicle curbside utilization data collection plans, parking and pricing policy scenarios assessment, analysis of project results, and recommendations for building a digital permit at citywide scale for Stage 2. 

The Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) is an open-source foundation that creates a governance structure around open-source mobility tools. OMF is leading a Collaborative Program of 8 SMART grant awarded cities who will be using CDS to implement and manage their grant projects. Over the course of the grant project period OMF will provide Seattle and the other collaborative cities with ways to improve the capabilities of CDS, provide technical implementation assistance, and to build a shared learning and knowledge exchange to improve project outcomes. 

OMF SMART Grant Collaborative

The SMART Grant Collaborative includes Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San José, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Miami-Dade County. This cohort is committed to tackling a common problem with similar technologies – specifically to digitally gather and analyze curb information to reduce congestion, enhance livability, and improve safety and equity on city streets. The shared, open-source CDS lies at the heart of this effort.  

The OMF will lead the collaborative, including further development of the open-source CDS, providing technical implementation assistance, and engaging directly with the Collaborative Program members on their learning journey. Collaborative members will pool resources through the OMF to engage in shared facilitation for information exchange, learning and additional technical assistance via in-person and virtual convenings. 

Curb Data Specification Overview

Curb Data Specification (CDS) is a digital tool that allows cities to digitally represent their curb space, communicate with curb users in different ways, and use metrics to improve those curbs.  

Explanation of Curb Data Specification

Curb Data Specification process in the curb space.

Benefits of using Curb Data Specification.

Source: Open Mobility Foundation

For more information on CDS, visit OMF's webpage.


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.