Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Actionable traffic accident data

I have complained about the lauded "dashboard" of DC's Department of Transportation (see "DC DDOT transportation access portal doesn't really say anything" and "More thoughts on what gets measured gets done") because it provides limited actionable information. Therefore it's not useful.

With regard to traffic accident statistics, rather than just a couple numbers as before, now they are linking to a set of summary data. But it still doesn't provide anything actionable.

Streetsblog had an entry about the Inwood neighborhood in Manhattan ("City Shows Inwood Some Much-Needed Livable Streets Love"), and they ran a chart, compiled from NYC Police Dept. data, of pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile accidents at various intersections in the Inwood area of Manhattan.
Traffic Accident data table, Inwood neighborhood, Manhattan, New York City

The next level of data would be to have information on the categories of each of the type of accidents, and the beyond that would be at the level of the individual accident.

So you need 4 types of data, from gross to fine:

1. Gross data;
2. Data by category of accident;
3. Category data sorted by major types of accidents;
4. Category data sorted by major types of accidents and locations;
5. Individual accident data by category of accident and locations.

As mentioned previously, the PEDSAFE and BIKESAFE safety guides and countermeasure selection systems should be employed at the local level, in a joint effort by planning departments, transportation departments (sometimes they do planning, sometimes they don't), and police departments (crime analysis and statistics division, traffic enforcement and traffic safety divisions) to systematically address structural problems contributing to unsafe bicycling and pedestrian environments.

-- Definition of pedestrian crash types

-- Definition of bicycle crash types

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