Low-income groups, people with disabilities, seniors, and communities of color are at higher risk of being injured while walking and biking. Information on the safety needs of all communities is also limited.
Traditional methods for addressing transportation safety try to prevent future crashes by utilizing historical police-reported crash data. While a critical resource and key to understanding collision patterns, it is important to paint a more complete picture of risk. For example, underreported or missing data (including in rural areas and tribal areas) means many injury collisions are not documented. Additionally, past crashes do not predict future problems. Areas that are dangerous due to traffic patterns, road design, etc. may not have had crashes in the past, but with new housing, traffic patterns, etc. these areas pose risk.
Collecting safety information from the public is one way to supplement traffic safety data and address these challenges. A team from SafeTREC is creating Street Story, an online platform that will allow community residents to report transportation safety issues with the goal of closing the gap between reported and unreported information.
The platform will allow the public to enter various types of information, such as photos, voice recordings, near-misses and perceptions of dangerous areas for walking and bicycling. This will provide community groups and agencies with data that better encompasses the needs of under-represented groups.
Street Story is currently being piloted in Bakersfield in partnership with Bike Bakersfield! Stay tuned for more details.
If you are interested in learning more about the Street Story project, opportunities for collaboration, or testing the platform, please contact: Kate Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Story FAQ
Why Street Story?
Summaries of police-reported traffic collisions are a critical resource; however, additional data is needed to capture the complete story about traffic safety concerns, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Street Story is a community engagement tool where individuals can anonymously report crashes, near-misses and general safety issues to help community groups and agencies in pedestrian and bicycle safety advocacy and planning.
What will we do with the data collected?
The information collected on Street Story will be publicly accessible, and is designed to be used by community groups and agencies to complement existing data sources.
How can I get involved?
Street Story is currently being piloted and will be widely available for California in Fall 2018. If you are interested in testing Street Story before then, please email email@example.com.
What are the benefits for participating in Street Story?
Community groups and agencies can use Street Story to complement community engagement processes around transportation safety issues at a variety of scales, from an intersection to an entire region. Street Story data can be used to complement police-reported data. Street Story can also be used as an evaluation tool.
Research and Publications
The following funded research and published works provide context for the Street Story project:
UC Berkeley's Center for Technology, Society & Policy funded research conducted by SafeTREC researchers Aditya Medury, Kate Beck and Jesus Barajas on Race and Income Disparities in Crowdsourced Traffic Safety in 2017.
Crashes on and Near College Campuses: A Comparative Analysis of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Aditya Medury, Camille Fink, Offer Grembek, Kevan Shafizadeh, Norman Wong, & Phyllis Orrick. Journal of the American Planning Association Vol. 80, Iss. 3, 2014.
Investigating the underreporting of pedestrian and bicycle safety crashes in and around university campuses-a crowdsourcing approach. Aditya Medury, Offer Grembek, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, & Kevan Shafizadeh. Accident Analysis and Prevention (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2017.08.014
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.