Web Apps for Transpo Planning: Share Your Insights

NashAndrew Nash

Andrew Nash, former Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, has just posted a paper about Web 2.0 for Transport Planning on StreetsWiki. He’s asking the Livable Streets Community, as experts on the ground, to contribute to it before he presents the final draft at the Transportation Research Board’s 2010 annual meeting.

Nash explains that web applications intended to improve the public input process for transportation projects often come up short:

The simplest example is using websites and e-mail to comment on planning studies. [But] often these systems are not very creative, simply mimicking the traditional paper-based planning process, which shows that there is room for innovation. An interesting idea is CitiWiki Pittsburgh’s project for creating a regional integrated transportation plan… It was meant to provide those who have a vested interest in creating a better transportation system with a tool and a venue for sharing their ideas for productively building such a system.

He goes on to propose a web app he calls Bus Meister, described in detail in a second wiki entry. The core feature of Bus Meister would be a game that:

…allows users to examine the impacts of public transport improvements on their own public transport routes. The game will both teach users about public transport operations and help them assess the value of their ideas… For example, the player could add traffic signal priority by dragging the “public transport priority signalization widget” onto the route map at the intersection.

Andrew invites you to make edits, corrections, and add additional examples or thoughts to the articles — he’ll take them all into account for the final draft. You can contact him directly, though we encourage you to keep the conversation public — by contributing to the wiki or commenting on this post — so everyone can benefit from your insights.

Also around the Community this week: Bike Hoboken is working with the city to secure state funding for a pedestrian/bicycle safety plan, PA Walks and Bikes is tracking how bicycle crash investigations are handled, and cyclists are needed this Sunday for a Biking Rules PSA photo shoot.

  • Well, Andy, this isn’t exactly what you were looking for, but I wrote a blog post in response. I’d love to know what you think of it.

  • Nathanael

    Comment: trouble is that such an application (“Bus Meister”) is a lot of programming work. Per city, no less. It’s a full-fledged transport simulation game, and very work-intensive and expensive to do right. In other words, probably not worth it!

    If you create such an application for your internal use anyway, however, for God’s sake use it for public outreach too.

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