CrashStories

January 3, 2012 in 2011, Projects

Danielle Berger, John Hosung Lee, Kenneth Nadolski, and Jordan Salinger
Client: Transportation Alternatives
http://crashstories.org
Tools: Ushahidi
Report:CrashStories Brief

ABSTRACT

Working with Transportation Alternatives, this group developed a tool to allow TA to expand their existing CrashStat website with crowd sourced information about bike crashes and unsafe streets. Transportation Alternatives is one of the country’s leading advocacy groups for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. They work on many fronts to reduce vehicular traffic in New York City and promote bicycling, walking and public transit. Some of their recent campaigns include the East Side Action Plan, which is focused on street safety on the east side of Manhattan and Vision Zero, a plan for zero deaths, zero injuries and zero fear of traffic. TA also advocates for parking reform and the creation of “complete streets” which allows for all forms of transportation to occur safely and sustainably in the same space. TA wanted to create a crowd sourcing tool that would allow people to contribute photos, videos and stories that could ultimately become a layer on their CrashStat 3.0 map. Through this project, we created an interactive multimedia platform that addressed the needs of Transportation Alternatives and utilized crowd sourced data.

After meeting with TA, volunteer committees and active members in the cycling community, it became evident that the project would take that form of an interactive, online map which people could add data via the website, smart phone and text messaging. The goal was to get community members to submit photos, videos or written stories about their experiences on the streets of New York with the final product being a multimedia database that could ultimately be used for advocacy projects.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Language is key in getting the type of community input the organization is looking for
  • Visual design and consistency is crucial in communicating an idea
  • Pre-feeding your site with the type of content you expect helps users understand what to do