ITE members benefit from the work conducted behind the scenes by the ITE Technical Programs Division at ITE Headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, often without knowing it. This monthly column (take from the May 2018 issue of ITE Journal)
seeks to better inform our members of the technical products, services, and partnerships that are being developed, facilitated, and supported by ITE Technical Programs Division staff.
ITE Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Streetsmart
To support ITE’s Transportation and Health initiative, ITE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Streetsmart
, a nonprofit organization in Oregon, to help develop a beta version of the Streetsmart evidence-based transportation tool. Currently in prototype form, this online tool will help better integrate a wide range of environmental and livability concerns, including health, into engineering and planning practice. The tool provides an online research synthesis, resource clearinghouse, and communication platform for transportation planning. Streetsmart Executive Director Kelly Rodgers explains, “The relationship between certain transportation strategies, such as traffic calming, and the goals we have for our communities, such as improved safety and health, have been described and documented in the research literature. However, this information isn’t
readily accessible to those who need it: planners, engineers, elected officials, and the communities they serve. As an interactive web-based tool, Streetsmart illuminates these relationships in a visually rich and compelling way using the best evidence available, making data that were generally inaccessible more actionable.”
According to the Streetsmart website, Streetsmart aims to help people understand the complex relationship between transportation investments and their effects on communities through the use of compelling graphics and standardized, easy-to-read descriptions. Streetsmart displays how transportation strategies affect goals through a performance dashboard. The design highlights how certain strategies offer multiple benefits. Those who want more detail can click through to a table that displays the study findings, and may click through further to read individual studies when they are available. With every query, Streetsmart provides links to case studies, guidebooks, and model codes so users can learn how best to implement the kinds of projects that achieve results. Streetsmart seeks to achieve its mission by helping by giving users the evidence and insight they need
to decide what works best for their community.
Currently, ITE members who are interested in shaping the beta version of Streetsmart are invited to be part of a focus group to provide feedback on the usability and functionality of the Streetsmart tool, currently in prototype form. The focus group will discuss your current frustrations with finding the health evidence engineers need as well as examine other tools and resources that can help them get the information they want. Additionally, ITE will assist with the review and translation of research results, form and support one or more potential user focus groups, recruit pilot agencies and manage pilot projects, support applications for funding, and connect ITE member transportation professionals to the availability and usefulness of the tool. Members interested in participating can contact Streetsmart Executive Director Kelly Rodgers at Kelly@ thinkstreetsmart.org for more information.
For those interested in participating, or who are generally interested in Streetsmart, ITE will host a webinar on June 14 to introduce the tool. The focus group will meet via a webinar on June 20. Stay tuned to all of ITE’s communication channels for continual updates related to this emerging resource, and learn more at http://welcome.thinkstreetsmart.org.