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.


Thursday Job Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers. Looking for a job? Here are the current listings: Research Analyst, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston, MA The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Data Services […]

DOT’s Park Slope Plan Requires Community Board Support

Crain’s reporter Erik Engquist gets some more information about the Department of Transportation’s plans to convert two Park Slope Avenues into one-way streets. DOT’s press office is now saying: DOT would like to change Sixth and Seventh Avenues to one-way streets to simplify the turning movements at intersections along the Avenues which would enhance safety […]

How TIGER Transformed Transportation Planning — And Lived to Tell About It

When the buzz about a new, stimulus-funded, discretionary transportation grant program started to circulate in 2009, some environmentalists opposed it. They worried it would be a slush fund for the Federal Highway Administration, used to build unnecessary roads that would aggravate sprawl and pollution. But insiders knew that wasn’t how the new Obama administration would […]

Less Is More: Highway Removal Could Make Buffalo a Better City

Harvard Economist Ed Glaeser wrote a controversial article a few years ago that highlighted the multiple, failed, federal government-backed interventions aimed at saving Buffalo from post-industrial decline. The city tried a $9 million downtown urban renewal project, a $50 million waterfront redevelopment project and $500 million metro rail project with mixed results, leading Glaeser to […]