Transportation planning and project forcasting

​Transportation projects can fall under several different categories,
from new road construction and pavement resurfacing to bike lane
development and railroad crossing re-grading. One common theme among
all these project types is the amount of planning that is required to
successfully execute each one and minimize the effect each will have on
traffic flow in and around the project areas. To assist with this
process, the City of Des Plaines engineering department utilized the
city’s GIS program to develop numerous transportation data layers and
products that allow for a more coordinated departmental approach.

The ways GIS can be applied to a transportation project can vary
depending on the content and scope of the work involved. In some cases,
the system can be used before a project begins to help plan the overall
approach through the use of project area maps, analysis of how
different components interact with each other, and data layer
development. In other cases, the data or products produced can be
developed once a project has began and data has been collected from the
field or provided from completed work.

Over the past several months, the engineering department has used GIS
in both aforementioned circumstances to implement numerous
transportation initiatives. Examples of these initiatives include
planning a city bike network, the re-designation of downtown parking
spaces, and the development of a city ordinance-based snow route map.
The city’s GIS system allowed the department to view necessary
information for each of these projects together, spatially, to help make
more informed decisions. For example, by viewing the city’s road and
controlled intersections data layers together, the department was able
to effectively develop a plan for city-wide bike routes that fits with a
more regionally planned bike network. Using a geographic approach
helped to provide a more comprehensive view of the potential routes, and
the impediments along those routes, to help optimize the project plan.

By taking this geographic approach to project management, the City of
Des Plaines engineering department has become better prepared to
efficiently handle new project requests. By having a spatial inventory
of the existing transportation-related features in the city, the
department can quickly generate maps to assist with project planning or
add new information to the data to display a current problem or
situation. While using GIS is not absolutely necessary for
transportation project management to be successful, using a geographic
approach to share information about a project plan, or the progress of
an existing plan, greatly improves coordination and efficiency by
providing a medium that can be easily understood by all parties
involved. This helps to save time and money that is often spent on
developing revised project plans and holding additional meetings to
explain a project’s progress.

Transportation planning and project forcasting

​Transportation projects can fall under several different categories,
from new road construction and pavement resurfacing to bike lane
development and railroad crossing re-grading. One common theme among
all these project types is the amount of planning that is required to
successfully execute each one and minimize the effect each will have on
traffic flow in and around the project areas. To assist with this
process, the City of Des Plaines engineering department utilized the
city’s GIS program to develop numerous transportation data layers and
products that allow for a more coordinated departmental approach.

The ways GIS can be applied to a transportation project can vary
depending on the content and scope of the work involved. In some cases,
the system can be used before a project begins to help plan the overall
approach through the use of project area maps, analysis of how
different components interact with each other, and data layer
development. In other cases, the data or products produced can be
developed once a project has began and data has been collected from the
field or provided from completed work.

Over the past several months, the engineering department has used GIS
in both aforementioned circumstances to implement numerous
transportation initiatives. Examples of these initiatives include
planning a city bike network, the re-designation of downtown parking
spaces, and the development of a city ordinance-based snow route map.
The city’s GIS system allowed the department to view necessary
information for each of these projects together, spatially, to help make
more informed decisions. For example, by viewing the city’s road and
controlled intersections data layers together, the department was able
to effectively develop a plan for city-wide bike routes that fits with a
more regionally planned bike network. Using a geographic approach
helped to provide a more comprehensive view of the potential routes, and
the impediments along those routes, to help optimize the project plan.

By taking this geographic approach to project management, the City of
Des Plaines engineering department has become better prepared to
efficiently handle new project requests. By having a spatial inventory
of the existing transportation-related features in the city, the
department can quickly generate maps to assist with project planning or
add new information to the data to display a current problem or
situation. While using GIS is not absolutely necessary for
transportation project management to be successful, using a geographic
approach to share information about a project plan, or the progress of
an existing plan, greatly improves coordination and efficiency by
providing a medium that can be easily understood by all parties
involved. This helps to save time and money that is often spent on
developing revised project plans and holding additional meetings to
explain a project’s progress.