Organic Collaboration Among P32 Initiatives

Mar 26, 2013 Transportation & Infrastructure

The Power of 32 initiative was designed to build relationships and recognition of shared challenges and opportunities and to create a culture of collaboration around common concerns and shared goals.

That spirit of collaboration is organically growing among the 14 P32 initiatives.

For example, Traffic21 (T21) and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) recently discussed how a real-time traveler information system (RTIS) could benefit the regional trail system.

“T21 is interested in multimodal transportation and the extension of a RTIS to bike trails.” says Rick Stafford, Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21.  “It is important that the people who are trying to figure out what RTIS will look like in the coming years and people who are developing bike trails are coming together.”

Davitt Woodwell, executive vice president of PEC also sees potential for “cross fertilization,” that bridges gaps between technology and the gravel and limestone of the region’s bike trails.

“The work that T21 is doing in crowd sourcing for transportation information could be done for trail information,” Woodwell point out. “For example, we could you use real time traffic monitoring approaches on trails to get real counts on users.”

Woodwell argues that for the 21st century, two wheels are going to be incredibly important modes of transportation. He expects to receive feedback from the recent Forks of the Ohio Symposium to better understand where the real intersections are for RTIS and trails.

Another example of organic collaboration is among T21, the P32 initiative to improve freight transportation in the region and the Capture Team.

According to T21’s Rick Stafford, freight is one of the areas of activities that would benefit the most from a RTIS.

“If you could  move everything in your existing transportation system more efficiently by providing information to everybody that had to make a travel decision, your system is going to get more efficient,” notes Stafford. “In the end, it means we have a more efficient regional economy.”

The P32 Capture Team, led by Fourth Economy Consulting, is spearheading the effort to apply for a federal grant to fund detailed planning of RTIS development. The principal applicant is PennDOT in partnership with the DOTs of Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.