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