Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dear #unblockbikelanes

Dear #unblockbikelanes,

Its not me it’s you. At first our relationship was magical and full of promise. But then we started to have our ups and downs. I understand that the sole purpose of our relationship was to create a database of parking violation hotspots of cars parking in bike lanes. But what is the point in creating a database if you have no plans to use it to improve enforcement?

Actual enforcement has been a real problem, with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia stating that enforcement has been “mixed and inconsistent””. It's been most poignant when in the 2nd quarter of 2014  96% more tickets issued compared to 2013. However in the 3rd quarter 2014 20% fewer tickets than in 2013.

Posting to Twitter is a cumbersome process. You have to take a picture, add the address, and then post the tweet. Then to add to the frustration that if you want to see a map with all of the hotspots compiled in one spot you have to make one yourself. Or hope the PPA will do it, which will only happen when it benefits the PPA. So locations of hotspots is not readily available or easily accessed.

There is a better solution, Tow It,  http://towit.io/. Using the camera in your smartphone all it takes is one click and the App does all the work. It posts the picture, logs the location with your phone's built in GPS, and then adds the location to an open source map. A map that anyone can view through the Map It website, whether or not if they use the Tow It App. This means that the PPA can longer hide the data on hotspots behind a wall of bureaucracy. Anyone can see for themselves where the hotspots are.

Don’t think of this as breakup #unblockbikelanes. Instead we are just uncoupling.

1 comment:

  1. I think you could automate the existing process with an ifttt recipe, e.g. http://ifttt.com/recipes/218507-tweet-a-photo-with-your-location