TRB Annual Meeting 2016

TRB Annual Meeting 2016

Ringstrasse150 homepage screenshot.

My Ring Ride – Ringstrasse150 project is being awarded an honourable mention award at the 2016 US Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting – Yea!

Here are my presentations and papers at the TRB Annual Meeting – Sunday 10 January -to- Thursday 14 January 2016:

  • Repurposing Travel Lanes for Multimodal Projects – Workshop 114 – Analyze This! What Planners Want to Know; Andy Nash, Green City Streets with Natalie Stiffler, City of Boulder. The workshop considers three problems, our problem considers the evaluation of and communications about the potential congestion impacts of sidewalk widening, bike lane, and transit lane projects. We’ll use Boulder’s Folsom Street project as a case study and try to develop strategies for improve the evaluation of these projects and communications about congestion. Sunday 10 January – 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 140A.
  • Enhanced Resource Conflict Graph Rescheduling Model for Freight Rail Traffic: Introducing Energy Saving; Toletti, Ambra, Valerio De Martinis, Ulrich Weidmann and Andrew Nash; Monday -1:30 PM- 3:15 PM – Session 367 – Current Research on Freight Rail Transportation, Convention Center, 149.
  • Tram Safety in Mixed Traffic: Best Practices from Switzerland; Improving Light Rail Through Operational and Safety Analysis – Marti, Christian, Jonas Kupferschmid, Michael Schwertner, Andrew Nash, and Ulrich Weidmann;  Monday – 7:30 PM- 9:30 PM – Session 470 – Convention Center, 143A.
  • Banedanmark TMS: ETCS as the foundation for attractive and efficient railway service; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, Marriott Marquis, Capitol (M4).
  • Evaluation of Freight Train Energy-Saving Potential Using Onboard Monitoring Data; De Martinis, Valerio, Ulrich Weidmann, Andrew Nash; Tuesday – 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM – Session 576 – Energy Efficiency Technologies for Rail Transportation – Convention Center, 147B.
  • Ring Ride – Ringstrasse 150 Project; Honourable Mention Award: Communicating with John and Jane Q. Public Contest 2016; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 10:45 AM- 12:30 PM – Session 585 – Public Involvement; Convention Center, Hall E.

Hope to see you there!

Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

Ringstrasse150 homepage screenshot.

Ringstrasse150 homepage screenshot.

We’re excited to be launching the Ringstrasse150 – Ring Ride project. The project consists of a website with information on improving walking and cycling in Vienna and a mobile phone game designed to increase engagement by linking to the website in the game results screen. The website is available here:

Ringstrasse150

We’ll be working on the website in the next few days to finish the German version and improve the content.

The Ring Ride game is available for Android from the Play Store:

Ring Ride Game for Android

The iOS version will be available as soon as it it approved by Apple.

We have rethought the project since our original idea for a website that would include mapping of improvement ideas. Instead the website now focuses on being a “one stop shop” for presenting information about how to improve walking and cycling in a city – in our case Vienna’s Ringstrasse. We’ll add learning elements to the website later. The main reason we decided not to include improvement mapping is that many cities already have these websites (including Vienna), so we’ll focus on trying to get people to use these existing websites.

If this project is successful similar websites could be developed for other cities following the same model. Here’s more information about the project and what we hope to achieve.

The goal is to increase support for walking and cycling improvements by creating a game (Ring Ride) that will introduce new people to organisations, activities, ideas and resources for walking and cycling in their cities.

Contact us if you want more information.

Ringstrasse150 homepage screenshot.

Cities aren’t smart

NY High Line - Sept 2011 - 09

Cities aren’t smart, people are.

I think this is a simple point, but important to remember amidst all the Smart City hype.

Smart cities are cities where people produce and use information to make cities more livable, economically successful, socially equitable, sustainable and fun.

And, who are these people producing and using information?

This is key: they are both the traditional city leaders and everyone else.

Today, city administrations have unprecedented access to data that enables them to both improve city services and make them more efficient. An often overlooked source of this data are city residents and visitors. Many cities do not use modern IT tools to collect, analyze and use input from the public. This is a shame because people could provide very high quality information for improving the way cities operate.

In some cases city administrations are not interested in public opinion, but in many cases good IT tools to help the public communicate information to cities and for cities to automatically analyze this information have not been developed. Often cities cannot even imagine that public involvement could be done more efficiently using new media and information technology tools.

What are these tools? One important set of tools are educational media since city planning and administration are complicated. Cities can get better information and ideas if the public knows something about how the city works before providing input. (This is the main idea behind my GreenCityStreets project: teach people about public transport with the BusMeister game and provide a social network for them to submit ideas to the city government.)

Another set of tools are programs to analyze and organize the data that comes in to cities through new media channels. This means designing the public input channels so that the information can be easily summarized and described. These tools could also help improve the existing public input process (e.g. public transport complaint telephone operators). The growing use of on-line 311 systems in the USA is a good example.

No doubt there are great challenges ahead as city governments involve the public more fully in the city planning and administrative process, but change is coming. New mobile communications and information technologies are making it just a question of time. Truly smart cities will embrace this change and develop the tools needed to fully engage the public in making their cities better.

What do you think?
Bus Meister: Public Transport Priority Best Practices wiki

Bus Meister: Public Transport Priority Best Practices wiki

Improve Public Transport wiki screenshot.

Improve Public Transport wiki screenshot.

I have started developing the Public Transport Priority Best Practices wiki as part of my Bus Meister project. The wiki is being developed on wikispaces and here’s a link to the page that describes how the Bus Meister game will calculate how long it takes passengers to board a public transport vehicle, and therefore how long the vehicle will need to stop at a station.

The page has links to the other pages too. Since it’s a wiki please feel free to edit it … it’s quite easy really, but I may need to invite you, so just let me know if you want to help!

Bus Meister and BRT

Bus Meister and BRT

Bus Meister will help citizens lobby city hall (this is Vienna) in support of public transport priority (from my flickr photos).

I just returned from a meeting in Udine (Italy) where I spoke about my Bus Meister idea of creating an integrated suite of web applications (game, social network and wiki best practices library) to help educate citizens on how to improve public transport operations (by introducing public transport priority measures) and to empower them to help actually implement these ideas. It’s a general approach that I think could be used to solve many urban problems.

Going through my e-mail I was glad to read about Barcelona’s new BRT lines which one of my UC Berkeley professors, Carlos Daganzo, is helping plan. The article in the ITS Berkeley News is a very good summary of for the importance of public transport priority and BRT. Daganzo is a brilliant scientist, it’s great to see him working on improving public transport!

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