(2/12/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short
Government transit agencies spend countless amounts of their resources toward studies. What the agencies may or may not know is that highly useful transportation data is already available on the Internet. For example, search for “los angeles las vegas time lapse” on Google’s Video search and see what comes up.
At the surface, the returning results may look like nothing more than freeway fans filming long stretches of the I-15 between LA and Vegas, speeding the footage up in their video editors, and posting them to YouTube. However, if one is to take a video and slow it back down to actual speed, some useful planning information would be available on the spot. Therefore, individuals who film entire freeway and rail corridors and posting them online are patriots.
For instance, simply by viewing footage of the I-15 freeway, toll lane planners would be able to instantly see San Diego County’s I-15 Express Lane facility end-to-end and note its peculiarities. Likewise, slowing the video down to emulate traffic congestion can help planners calculate the cost and misery of gridlocked freeways.
Public entities may want to review the data that is available out in cyberspace, certify any relevant findings without infringing copyrights, and keep a library of this data available to the public and contractors assigned to conduct studies. Even a few hours worth of research at hand can save big bucks in taxpayer money on studies.