The TRANSOC Friday Seminars kick off this week with Jay Primus of SFParkpresenting, "Putting Parking Management Theory into Practice."
"SFMTA established SFpark to use new technologies and policies to improve parking in San Francisco . . . To help achieve the right level of parking availability, SFpark periodically adjusts meter and garage pricing up and down to match demand. Demand-responsive pricing encourages drivers to park in underused areas and garages, reducing demand in overused areas. Through SFpark, real-time data and demand-responsive pricing work together to readjust parking patterns in the City so that parking is easier to find."
The seminar will be this Friday, August 26, from 4-5 PM in 406 Davis Hall. Don't miss Cookie Hour before hand in the library. We're baking something special.
A Northeast Corridor train derailment disrupted New Jersey Transit service to and from New York earlier this week. The derailment and resulting commuter nightmare has some transit riders calling for officials to reconsider the decision to kill the Mass Transit Tunnel. Groundbreaking for that project, which would have resulted in a second transit tunnel under the Hudson River, was held in 2009, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie killed the over-budget project in October of last year. The governor has indicated a willingness to consider other projects to increase transit capacity between New Jersey and New York. An Amtrak derailment earlier today is causing further headaches for NJ Transit.
Can you convert datasets to relevant information? Can you use visualization techniques to shed new light on transportation issues? US DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is looking for great data visualization ideas from students to support better informed policy and investment decisions. The themes are Transportation Safety and Economic Development. The Challenge website provides details and offers suggestions of possible datasets from the Census Bureau, FAA and other sources. Entries are due by October 31. The two best submissions will be recognized at TRB's Annual Meeting in January 2012; travel expenses will be paid for one member of each of the two teams, and each will be awarded a $2000 scholarship.
Since the last update of the American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE)’s Bay Area Infrastructure Report Card in 2005, we have seen several major infrastructure failures: the gas line explosion in San Bruno, California with major loss of life in 2010; wastewater discharges from Marin County into the San Francisco Bay; and a collapse of the Interstate Route 35 Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota with significant loss of life in 2007. All of these are classic examples of aging infrastructure allowed to perform without sufficiently funded monitoring, rehabilitation, and replacement programs. The 2011 Bay Area Infrastructure Report Card for the San Francisco ASCE Section aims at bringing awareness to, and quantifying the need for, funding to upgrade our area’s essential infrastructure to acceptable levels.
The ASCE San Francisco Section’s Infrastructure Report Card Committee’s reevaluation of the various infrastructure categories in 2011 resulted in an overall grade of “C”, with some of the categories being as desperately low as a “D+”. The Committee has determined that in order to bring all categories up to a grade of “B”, which was deemed the minimum acceptable level, we will need additional annual funding of $2.83 billion.
Of course, given the current economy and the state of the California budget, these improvements might be a long way off. Hopefully there won't be any more disasters in mean time.