Hello health + transportation aficionados,
A colleague of mine has been working on a tool to make it easier for
planners and community members to understand the impacts of different
transportation strategies on outcomes including health, safety, and more.
Currently, she's looking for reviewers. Please reach out to her directly
if you're interested.
The relationship between certain transportation strategies, such as
complete streets, and the outcomes we want to see in our communities, such
as improved safety and health, have been described and documented in the
research literature. However, this information isn’t readily accessible to
those who need it: planners, elected officials, and the communities they
serve. An interactive web-based tool, StreetWise, will illuminate these
relationships in a visually rich and compelling way using the best evidence
StreetWise is an online platform that helps people understand the complex
relationship between transportation investments and their effects on
communities. Through a marriage of evidence and insight, StreetWise will
provide planners with the tools they need to implement solutions that work
best for their community. StreetWise will help planners to:
Evaluate and prioritize investments based on demonstrated successes
Defend innovation that is contrary to the status quo
Learn from case studies so they can successfully implement projects
StreetWise seeks to visually illuminate the relationships described in
the research through the use of compelling graphics and standardized,
easy-to-read descriptions. StreetWise users will be able to search by
outcome and by strategy. For each strategy or outcome, StreetWise will
provide a definition and description, with annotated hyperlinks to support
claims. StreetWise will display how transportation strategies affect
outcomes through a performance dashboard. The design will be especially
adept in highlighting how certain strategies offer multiple benefits. Those
who want more detail will be able to click through to a table that displays
the study findings, and further will have the ability to click through to
the study itself when it is available. With every query, StreetWise will
provide links to popular resources so planners can learn how best to
implement the kinds of projects that achieve results.
Planners will be able to search through guidebooks, model codes and
ordinances, and case studies. StreetWise will also have Case Study Briefs:
reports that summarize the case study collection on a particular topic,
complete with insights on how to frame conversations, build relationships,
and anticipate problems. Registered users will be able to upload their own
case studies and reports.
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StreetWise will arm its primary audience—public and private sector
planning agencies working on local, sub-regional, and regional
transportation plans—with the best available data about the effect of
transportation investments. StreetWise will have a wealth of resources
available to help them learn about how to frame conversations, anticipate
challenges, and problem-solve. Public health professionals exploring the
relationship between transportation investments and health and safety will
also benefit from the tool.
The secondary audience includes the community members, engineers, and
elected officials that the planners are seeking to educate through a
transportation planning process. The graphic user interface will be
designed with this audience in mind: highly visual and informative at a
quick glance. The detail-oriented community member or elected official will
also benefit from the hyperlinked annotations and the ability to click
through to detailed articles.
Academics will appreciate the StreetWise’s ability to increase
publication reach and make research more useful to practitioners.
Furthermore, StreetWise will be created through a collaboration of
academics who will review and index articles for inclusion in the database.
Why Communities Need StreetWise
Transportation systems offer more than just mobility: they drive
economic investment, facilitate active living, provide access to
opportunity (or present a barrier to it), and are a key contributor to
environmental and human health. And yet transportation decisions often are
made using a limited set of mobility measures that don’t reflect the full
impact of potential investments, compromising the ability for people to
make fully informed decisions.
In a growing performance-based transportation planning context, having
the evidence at hand to educate community members and decision-makers about
the effectiveness of different strategies is critical. By increasing the
visibility of evidence, engaging people through a transparent process, and
telling a story about transportation, StreetWise will help communities make
better decisions about transportation investments.
Kelly Rodgers, Confluence Planning
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