As a field team that does a wide variety of outreach and maintenance tasks, ArcGIS QuickCapture has been great for recordkeeping and storytelling of program impact. I can confidently say that staff stopped to sweep up broken glass in February 97 times!
GIS-Driven Initiatives Promote Active Transportation in Washington, DC
Washington, DC, is a city that has placed increased emphasis on prioritizing biking and walking. A recent Vision Zero initiative led by Mayor Muriel Bowser's office and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) reflects the commitment to and importance of active transportation in the nation's capital.
Location is at the center of this initiative. Understanding where bike-share stations are, getting feedback about where new stations are needed, or identifying where trail maintenance and cleanup need to occur are all facets of a successful active transportation network. SymGeo, a minority, woman-owned Esri partner based in Maryland that develops mapping and digital community engagement platforms, offered two different solutions, both built using Esri's ArcGIS software.
Capital Bike-Share Community Survey
With over 6,000 bikes covering over 180 square miles of the region, Capital Bikeshare is a great way to explore the DC metro area and travel to and from various destination points. The network of 700 bike stations is constantly expanding, and community feedback is an important part of deciding where to locate new stations. To facilitate the presentation of proposed locations to the public and gather community feedback, SymGeo was tasked with building a Capital Bikeshare Station Request tool using Esri's ArcGIS Online technology.
The tool leverages ArcGIS Online to generate a map and ArcGIS Web AppBuilder for the application, as well as ArcGIS Survey123 for the gathering of comments on proposed bike stations. These apps are hosted on ArcGIS Hub, a platform that supports the civic inclusion necessary to ensure a successful bike-share program. Sharing feedback for a selected station opens a survey page using URL parameters so that the comment is connected to the appropriate station.
If a resident would like to suggest a location for a new site, an alternative survey is launched with additional data capture fields. This information helps Capital Bikeshare better understand and evaluate community needs and requests.
The Request New Capital Bikeshare Location survey was constructed using Survey123 Connect and offers the ability for a user to suggest multiple sites in the same submission.
"The SymGEO team helped DDOT quickly implement a complex, public-facing tool with a simple user interface to help us gather a high volume of public input data, which is extremely useful for Capital Bikeshare planning purposes," said Aaron Goldbeck, manager of Capital Bikeshare at DDOT. "SymGEO's knowledge of GIS and Esri products helped make a challenging project with many stakeholders simple and quick to turn around."
DC Trail Rangers Use ArcGIS QuickCapture for Trail Maintenance
The DC trail rangers are a consistent and helpful presence on DC's mixed-use, paved trails. They are charged with assisting trail users; improving trail conditions; and working with local agencies to keep the trails clean, bright, and clear of obstacles. Trail rangers are equipped with bike repair tools and cleanup equipment and are eager to help patch a flat, provide a quick fix, dish out maps and directions, or clear up glass and debris before it causes trouble. Successful program presence means a quick response to downed tree limbs, less ducking around branches, and more reasons to safely enjoy the area's trail network.
This program, run by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), is made possible through a grant from the DDOT's Urban Forestry Division.
To help facilitate the data collection process and quantify work efforts, WABA collaborated with SymGEO to configure and deploy an application built using Esri's ArcGIS QuickCapture for the DC trail rangers team. This app was chosen to make it easier for rangers to quickly identify, register, and complete work requests.
The QuickCapture application was deployed across the team of trail rangers, facilitating the collection of every trail service, maintenance task, work order request, or trail-side event. All services and events are captured with location information, with optional notes or photographs, and are tagged to the appropriate trail.
To assist with task management, the collected data was used to populate an internal dashboard, created using ArcGIS Dashboards, that lists all tasks and events by trail ranger and the date of the event. A public-facing version of the dashboard, called the DC Trail Ranger Event Dashboard, allows visibility into all the activities undertaken by the trail rangers to better DC's collective trail experience.
The DC trail rangers cover nearly 25 miles of trail owned and maintained by the district. They are out daily throughout the entire year, giving trail users peace of mind and help when they need it most.
"As a field team that does a wide variety of outreach and maintenance tasks, ArcGIS QuickCapture has been great for recordkeeping and storytelling of program impact," said Ursula Sandstrom, former trail ranger and outreach director at WABA. "I can confidently say that staff stopped to sweep up broken glass in February 97 times!"
Through focused, intuitive GIS-based web and mobile apps, users of the District of Columbia's active transportation network have access to timely location data and the ability to provide feedback to administrators. Transportation administrators now have near real-time feedback on bikes and trail status that helps them make better-informed, data-driven decisions.