Effective prioritization of curbside usage: data gaps and infrastructure limitations

Owing to the rising popularity of ecommerce, expedited deliveries, ride-hailing services, and micromobility options, curb space is in demand now more than ever. Because curbside is a public property, the burden of efficiently allocating this commodity comes down to city officials. However, despite being valuable real estate, a recent study demonstrates how city staff presently do not have the data or tools to efficiently prioritize the distribution of curb space, let alone profit from it.

Big Data sources for understanding non-motorized travel patterns

Although, there are many platforms and companies offering bike-ped travel data acquired through smartphone apps, location-based services, fitness apps, etc., the choice can be very confusing and at times expensive. A recent paper from Texas A&M Transportation Institute discusses the top sources for this travel data. This could help us understand how to solve the complexities of incorporating active transportation modes into traditional planning practices.

Using Big Data for estimating VMT and reliable travel patterns

For the longest time we’ve relied on the Highway Performance Monitoring System for understanding travel patterns and estimating vehicle miles of travel. But these estimates often have not been very accurate because of inadequacies in data collection. Big data is providing more precise and more complete information that can be used for both planning and seeing the impacts of policy. In a new report, StreetLight Data, a leader in the transportation big data field, is showing us how it’s done.

Is there bias in GPS enabled smartphone cycling app data?

Smartphones with GPS tracking ability are capable of collecting large amounts of pedestrian and cyclist movement data. But do tracking apps developed largely for athletic or route-planning use capture the big picture of where pedestrians and cyclists travel and what infrastructure they use? The answer, according to a new study in the Journal of Transport & Health, is “no.” These apps miss data from segments of the cycling population, as well as information about the usage of particular kinds of infrastructure by riders with particular characteristics.

Bellevue, WA, plans to use AI to leverage cameras for safety

Agencies that aspire to achieve zero traffic fatalities need to know where to invest for the biggest crash reductions. Advances in artificial intelligence are allowing DOTs to leverage their existing camera technology in order to extract large quantities of data that can then inform decisions about how to improve or control intersections. The city of Bellevue, WA, recently announced a plan to study footage from its traffic cameras in order to “analyze the correlation between past collisions” and near misses, according to a press release.

Researcher launches open source accessibility toolbox

DOTs and planning agencies interested in measuring access to destinations have a growing number of packages and data sources to choose from. Folks not looking to reinvent the wheel are turning to shiny products like Citilabs’ Sugar Access, Conveyal, and Remix. But those with tighter budgets and a little more technical expertise can build on existing platforms like OpenTripPlanner, UrbanAccess, and now the Accessibility Toolbox for R and ArcGIS, featured recently in Transport Findings.

Los Angeles and San Francisco using data to target Vision Zero efforts

As cities commit to Vision Zero, they have started to examine intersections and roadway segments with high crash rates, serious injuries, and fatalities to pedestrians. What they have found is that a small percent of roadways account for a large portion of serious crashes. And crashes disproportionately affect certain populations.

Chicago opens TNC data to the public

Getting data from transportation network companies for planning and other purposes has been a challenge. Agencies want to understand where TNCs are operating in order to address curb management, congestion, and transit-cannibalization issues. But TNCs have viewed such data as proprietary and have been reluctant to share. Chicago, however, has an advantage over many cities in this area, due to its per-ride TNC tax established four years ago. Now the city has made that data public.

Chicago opens TNC data to the public

Getting data from transportation network companies for planning and other purposes has been a challenge. Agencies want to understand where TNCs are operating in order to address curb management, congestion, and transit-cannibalization issues. But TNCs have viewed such data as proprietary and have been reluctant to share. Chicago, however, has an advantage over many cities in this area, due to its per-ride TNC tax established four years ago. Now the city has made that data public.

Parking, ride-hailing, and shifting traveler needs

According to a new study out of Denver, one-quarter of ride-hailing trips replace driving, which reduces the need for parking, particularly at specific land uses. Difficulty parking is also a key reason people are shifting to ride-hailing services, which suggests that places where parking is most difficult or expensive can expect a shift in demand to curbside pickup and drop off.