Students for Urban Data Systems

at Carnegie Mellon University

Work Night: Transportation Camp Edition

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SUDS is joining forces with Transportation Club and Traffic21’s Transportation Camp for this Work Night.

The WPRDC has data on every vehicle crash in Allegheny County (and four other counties). This dataset includes 300+ variables on nearly every aspect of the crash. A crash gets in the dataset if the police were called, so it doesn’t include very small incidents, but does cover most.

  1. Download the dataset from the WPRDC for the full dataset, or on our github where we have a dataset that we filtered down to some of the most easily understandable variables. That one is called “crashes_smaller.csv”. Right click to download it.
    On our github you can also find an R file called transpoHackNight that created the smaller dataset, in case you want to work with that yourself.
  2. If you scroll down on the WPRDC’s page, you’ll also find the codebook and primer. this will explain what the variables mean. The crashes_smaller.csv dataset is filtered to those variables that are mostly easy to understand just by their names.
  3. As a reminder, this is open public data that people have been working on across the county. Here is a document containing questions that were posted at an early hack night looking into this dataset. If you find anything interesting, or answers to those questions, don’t be shy! Make sure to share your findings so we can all build on each other’s work.

Guiding Questions and Areas to Explore
Just to get you started…

  • What time of day, week, and year do more crashes happen?
  • Are there any interesting year to year comparisons?
  • What variables stand out if you compare crashes with minor injuries, major injuries, and fatalities?
  • Do car crashes involving bicycles fluctuate over the year? What about pedestrians?
  • If you map the data, do you see any patterns or areas of concern?
  • More questions and share your answers on the HackPad here.

Other Events

Tomorrow at 3:00 the WPRDC will be hosting an open data session at Transportation Camp. Be sure to check it out if you’re attending!

Also as part of Transportation Camp on Sunday, come tour the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s West Mifflin bus garage. Join CMU’s Transportation Club for a “behind the scenes” look at the daily operations of operating a transportation service, including the agency tasks that transportation planners and riders often take for granted (maintenance, cleaning, etc.). Included with the tour will be a discussion of how planning is impacted by the realities of garage locations, operator schedules, union rules, and other agency constraints.
Meet at the West Mifflin Garage, located at 1011 Lebanon Road, West Mifflin, PA 15122. For the full tour experience, take Bus 51 directly to the garage from downtown (or from Oakland by connecting with Bus 54). There’s a 51 bus that arrives at the depot at 9:49 am, and another that departs the depot for downtown at 11:24 am.
When: Sunday November 20th, 10:00 – 11:15 am
Where: West Mifflin Garage, 1011 Lebanon Road, West Mifflin, PA 15122
Sign up for the tour here: http://r1ght.com/bustour, you’re welcome to attend even if you’re not registered for Transportation Camp

Author: Lauren Renaud

SUDS leadership team: director of data projects

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