GIS Applications & Other Innovations for School Transportation Planning

This presentation introduces an analytical ecosystem to leverage tools and techniques from a variety of fields and apply them to the particulars of school-related environments.

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In this webinar, we introduce some of the tools and technologies that MH have been applying in recent school transportation studies, and which in combination, we believe will enhance the degree of understanding and objectivity of school transportation analysis in a more systematic way.

Children’s journey to school is one of the most fundamental and universal transportation inquiries society deals with on a daily basis. Making sure kids get safely to and from school is a top priority for parents, schools administrators and city officials, yet the level of understanding and consensus about what constitute a safe road environment around a school, and how to objectively assess it and improve it remains quite subjective, and often piecemeal and reactive.

From the moment a child leaves home (or school), he/she faces numerous obstacles, crossing points, conflicts with other road users, and issues associated with the mix of walkers, bikers, buses, and car activity that typically intensifies during arrival and dismissal times in the vicinity of the school.

Through our work on assessing and alleviating congestion and safety issues around schools, we realized that there is an emerging set of recent technologies, research applications and analytical tools that, in some combination, could become an ecosystem of capabilities to assess, evaluate and improve multimodal school transportation issues in a more objective and systematic way beyond traditional traffic engineering approaches.

The suggested analytical ecosystem aims to leverage tools and techniques from a variety of fields and apply them to the particulars of school-related environments. Field of particular interest include but are not limited to: Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Computer Vision and Video-Based Analytics, Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), evidence-based road safety analysis, and queueing theory among others.

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Andres Beaz, Senior Transportation Planning Engineer

Andres is a well-rounded transportation planning and engineering consultant who strives for a balanced approach to data-driven solutions and context-sensitive recommendations. Over his 15 years of experience, Andres has focused on the interaction between transportation and land-uses, with emphasis on multimodal transport systems. He strives for an uncompromised approach to technical rigorousity alongside other dimensions of school transportation issues including safety, active mobility, sustainability and environmental stewardship. He brings a wealth of experience in school and community mobility projects across western Canada, both preparing and advising numerous school mobility plans, traffic and parking impact assessments, and neighborhood transportation plans associated with school site feasibility analysis, new school site design and construction, rebuilding or reconditioning of schools across Alberta and BC. Over the years, Andres has tailor customized tools for analyzing the local context and gathering critical information from school planners, administrators students and staff for a better understanding of the factors contributing to school traffic related problems and thus specific responses and mitigation countermeasures.