Online shopping has become much more popular in recent years. In fact, it has become so popular that many brick-and-mortar stores are experiencing financial difficulties. It stands to reason that the more people find what they need online, the less they are traveling to malls and shops. What some people may not have considered is the impact that online shopping has on traffic.
The Negative Effects of Online Shopping
A few years ago, a man named John Benjamin Woodard sat outside of New York by Gehry, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world, to observe traffic patterns. The man’s purpose was to watch delivery vehicles. Not only watch them, but pay particular attention to where they parked and how long they remained idle. He also took stock of how the vehicles impeded pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
He recorded his observations back in 2013, and online shopping has only increased since then. Four years ago, Woodard found that delivery trucks stayed parked an average of 21 minutes. Two-thirds of those vehicles were double-parked. Woodard completed his study as part of a graduate program. What he found was interesting. While some may believe that ordering from online retailers means less cars on the road, because people aren’t leaving their homes to shop, it may actually mean more congestion. Ordering online doesn’t negate people from leaving their homes; it is actually freeing up their time to travel elsewhere. Online shopping is also putting more delivery trucks on the country’s roads.
The Impact of Online Shopping on Traffic
E-commerce is considered by some to be a forgotten problem when it comes to congestion in big cities. This is particularly true when you consider that online retailers have only gained business over the last several years. From taking up multiple parking spaces to impeding the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, delivering the goods people have ordered from the comfort of their own homes or offices is creating problems.
Can the Online Shopping Problem be Fixed?
For now, there is no good solution to the problem that has been widely accepted. Some cities have tried to increase deliveries by bicycle. Other cities have welcomed hubs from online giant Amazon, so consumers can pick up their own goods at a convenient location. Research on newly created traffic patterns needs to occur, so we can address the problems online shopping is creating on our country’s roads. Congestion is a problem in major cities, and it is being made worse thanks to the boom of online shopping.
While there has been no report of a published study, it can be assumed that more congestion means more vehicle accidents and more danger to pedestrians and bicycle riders. More research needs to be done on the effects of the online shopping boom to both study and ease the congestion that is clogging urban streets.
If you have been involved in a car accident in San Luis Obispo, please reach out to our office. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses and we will help you hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions.