Photo by John Williams

NCBW Newsroom - Regional and Local Actions

The National & International Scene | Regional and Local Actions | The Research Beat | Resources | Jobs, Grants & RFPs

SEATTLE HACKTIVISTS DREAM UP NEW TRANSPORTATION APPS
-> Over the weekend, 70 web developers and engineers, designers, data analysts, transportation advocates, traffic engineers, and bureaucrats holed up in the downtown Seattle offices of marketing software company MOZ for an event called Hack the Commute. The city-sponsored civic hackathon’s objective: Take a huge trove of public and private transportation data and use it to create or improve apps and produce data analysis and visualizations that make it easier to travel in Seattle.

Judges evaluated projects based on whether the project solved a real transportation problem, would serve either a wide variety of people or an underserved population, prototype quality, and if it could be implemented. The judges chose three finalists.

  • The Work Orbit web app helps new Seattle residents find a neighborhood to live in and the best mode for commuting.
  • Slügg is a mobile app intended to help solo drivers find would-be passengers to cut down on the number of single occupancy vehicles.
  • Hackcessible is a mobile app focused on helping wheelchair users and other people with mobility issues better navigate Seattle. [Source: http://bit.ly/1bs1AEN]

MN DOT COUNTING PEDS & BIKES CASE STUDY
-> The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is working to improve and coordinate pedestrian and bicycle counting statewide through the Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative, as introduced in this video (3:55, http://bit.ly/19kiIe4). MnDOT needed to know the walking and bicycling rates at each location where bicycle or pedestrian injuries occur in order to provide context. This allows MnDOT to estimate relative rates of injuries per traveler for various locations in addition to absolute numbers, helping the agency to prioritize countermeasures and more effectively improve safety outcomes. Overall, MnDOT's role is to provide guidance and tools so that everyone in the State is counting nonmotorized traffic in a consistent manner. [Source: http://1.usa.gov/19kiNOX]

OR SENATE PASSES BILL: BIKES, MOTORCYCLES OK TO RUN RED LIGHTS
-> The Oregon Senate unanimously approved SB 533 (http://bit.ly/1Gir0Az), permitting a "bicyclist or motorcyclist to proceed at stop light under certain conditions." The bill, now headed to the House floor with bi-partisan support, is designed to bring relief to bikers who constantly find themselves at stop lights that won't change. The bill would allow bikers to proceed at a red light if the signal "fails" to turn green after a "one full cycle." Under the proposal, the discretion to go is in the hands of the motorcyclist or bicyclist. [Source: http://bit.ly/1F8ZeWo]

AK DOT DIVERTS $1.3M BIKE FUNDING TO OTHER PROJECTS
-> More than $1 million originally planned for Anchorage bike infrastructure in 2012 is now being allocated for use on other road projects instead. $1 million had already been set aside for design. In 2012 advocates convinced Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions to add another $1.3 million for building things like bike lanes and putting up signs to make the city safer.

The state’s Department of Transportation was supposed to obligate that $1.3 million for project design by September of 2014. They didn’t. DOT Project manager David Post says the department was running late in finding a project manager to do the design work. Once they found one, he says they thought the original $1 million was enough. [Source: http://bit.ly/1GieeSy]

CA COMMITTED TO INCREASING BIKING, WALKING
-> CalSTA, the state agency that oversees all state transportation departments including Caltrans, is committed to improving conditions for transit, biking, and walking, according to its Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy and Housing, Kate White. "Our focus at the transportation agency is on the infrastructure and behavioral side of the coin. And that means improving transit, walking, biking, and housing to reduce vehicles miles traveled." [Source: http://bit.ly/18U4AZe]

CHICAGO: FUTURE LEADERS IN PLANNING YOUTH PROGRAM
-> Heading into its eighth year, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Future Leaders in Planning (http://1.usa.gov/1OyHKqK) engages local high school students who would like to learn about planning and contribute to a better future for our region. To enhance participants' experience, starting in July this youth leadership development program will transition to a one-week summer format rather than its prior schedule of monthly meetings throughout the school year. [Source: http://bit.ly/1Oue1PO]

Get a jump start on this news by subscribing to CenterLines.