City of Vancouver holding "hackathon" to manage traffic congestion

Oct 15 2019, 5:20 pm

For the second year in a row, the City of Vancouver is holding a transportation-related hackathon that invites local residents to help develop solutions to some of the city’s most pressing transportation issues.

This year, the event — named Decode Congestion — will have a goal of identifying ways that improve the flow of people and goods throughout Vancouver.

In a release, the city’s director of transportation, Lon LaClaire, says last year’s road safety-themed hackathon attracted 120 participants and 33 volunteer experts as judges and mentors. One of the teams later signed a contract with the municipal government to develop an app for safe walking routes to school.

“This year’s event will be equally challenging. It relates to a number of strategies and targets the City has set, including reducing transportation-related fatalities to zero and having two-thirds of all trips made by walking, cycling or transit by 2040. Our street network is also largely built out so we need to make the most out it,” said LaClaire.

Decode Congestion, held at UBC, will span over a weekend in early November. Data and information provided by the city will allow participants to develop and present solutions on one of five key areas: improve monitoring of traffic conditions and trends, improve road safety, ensure a smart and efficient transportation system, coordinate street use, and prioritize people and goods movement.

Engaged residents, strategists, designers, technologists, and transportation professionals are invited to participate in the collaborative workshop, with participants working in teams to develop a data-based solution that optimizes street use. Individuals with a background in data sciences and technology, web app development, interface, graphic design, and data stories are particularly urged to participate.

Cash prizes of $5,000, $2,000, and $500 will be awarded to the teams behind the top three ideas.

Decode Congestion Hackathon Vancouver 2019

Where: EDC Room 102, UBC Wayne & William White Engineering Centre — 2345 East Mall, Vancouver

When: 6 pm on Friday, November 8 to 5 pm on Sunday, November 10, 2019

Cost: Free! Register here.