Over the past couple of weeks, I have had A LOT of friends and family reach out to me personally, asking about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Could it be all of the news of Bitcoin or other factors recently? Those who previously scoffed at the idea are now curious. Crypto and blockchain are becoming mainstream.
While I’m very excited this is happening, there is also a lot of risks right now with new, uneducated people entering the ecosystem. For example to those unaware, there are now 3 types of Bitcoin! The intent of this article is not to reinvent educational content from others wiser than I, but to act as a brief December 2017 guidepost to the ecosystem as I see it right now. It’s an exciting world, but enter at your own risk!
I’ve taken a few days to reflect upon my experiences at the recent ITE/CITE 2017 conference in Toronto. While I’ve been to several CITE conferences in the past, this is the first time I’ve attended the international edition of the ITE. As always, it was a great opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and make new connections with other transportation professionals from around the world.
I wanted to share a few of my takeaways and impressions from this year’s conference while it’s fresh in my mind. Please keep in mind that my impressions may not necessarily coincide with my opinions on subject matter. Continue reading
Recently, I had the opportunity to have a call with an old acquaintance of mine, serial entrepreneur Dan Martell. Aside from personal pleasantries, he made me critically think about ideas for my industry… and ask questions internally… and… that’s a good thing! Big picture thinking is something many of us need to improve on.
I’d like to personally commend the ITE’s leadership in discussing the future of trip generation data and encouragement to gathering urban trip person data moving forward. I hope this is a fruitful endeavour and I hope that the ITE doesn’t lose sight of other technological opportunities during this process, such as the TripChain project.
This article is a response to the ITE Statement on the Future Direction of Trip Generation and Advances in Urban Trip Generation articles presented in the recent ITE Journal, July 2016, p. 16-19. More specifically, this response is to the “Steps Forward” section of the latter article and discusses how the TripChain project is positioned to contribute to accomplishing those steps forward in the industry.
I’m pleased to announce a project I have been working on called TripChain. TripChain is an open-source framework used for the derivation of trip generation rates for application in transportation planning and analysis.
Like many of us, I’ve worked with ITE trip generation rates throughout my career and at times questioned their relevancy in the context sensitive to a specific land use development. The ITE rates are a “tried and true” source of data, however they are not always the most applicable without additional data and/or local adjustment to best plan for transportation infrastructure. This is important both to transportation network planning and ensuring that development charges are appropriately levied.
Being an advocate of big data and open data, I believe these approaches are the best means to provide insight into real world situations. When a larger community is engaged to contribute more data, more easily, everyone wins – especially when that data can be easily shared in a manner that also ensures its integrity.
When I was a teen, I visited the City of Saskatoon’s traffic operations centre. Admittedly, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I recall a centralized control board visualizing the status of most of the traffic signals in the city. I also recall some complaint about “fault” conditions and “communication issues” with this centralized system. While impressive at the time, transportation technology has come a long way since the mid-1990s.
For the past decade, I have worked as a transportation engineer and conducted both planning and operational analyses. One of the biggest challenges to performing this type of work is acquiring relevant and sufficient field data – household activity surveys, vehicle turning movement counts, travel time surveys, etc. can become costly endeavours in many circumstances. Continue reading