It would wonderfully ironic if delivery companies stopped using bike facilities to park trucks in and started using them to bike in. And that may be the wave of the future.
[DDOT's Jim Sebastian] said one of the “next steps” being contemplated by the Capital Bikeshare program is to offer cargo-carrying capable bikes within its network. Thus a local business could conceivably shift short-distance small parcel shipments over to bicycles.
After conducting several pilot projects in various European countries, DHL began testing in Germany last year the use of bicycles for the express delivery of documents and smaller parcel items. In Berlin and Frankfurt, the company deployed two different bicycle models.
The first is dubbed the "DHL Parcycle," which has a sealable transport box with a holding capacity of 140 liters (what’s that in pounds? I just don’t know).
The second model is what’s described as a “more maneuverable” DHL Touring Bike, primarily suited for use with a courier backpack. DHL added that its “bike delivery” tests will soon be expanded to two other major cities in northern and southern Germany.
"Using bicycles to make deliveries has made us significantly more flexible and faster in downtown areas and conurbations," noted Tobias Wider, member of the DHL Express Germany’s divisional board, in a statement. "Unlike delivery vehicle drivers, bicycle couriers can always drive right up to the recipient's door, are not affected by downtown traffic volumes or access restrictions and at times can even use shorter routes."
To date, DHL Express is using bicycle couriers in nine European countries so far – including the Netherlands, France, Great Britain and Italy – in about 40 cities total.
What would be great is if we could take some of the bike lane parking ticket money and use it to encourage DHL to make DC the first North American city with DHL bicycle couriers.