FutureStructure

Tackling Congestion with Data Visualization

The Washington, D.C., transportation department hopes open data visualization will reveal clues about how to lessen congestion and make a more accessible transportation system.

by / February 14, 2017

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which oversees local transportation issues for Washington, D.C., has released a new Web tool to help frustrated commuters understand where and when traffic congestion is at its worse. On Monday, Feb. 13, the DDOT released its District Mobility Project in order to create an open communication between the residents and transportation officials.

The site tracks all types of surface mobility, including personal vehicles, city buses, bicyclists and more. Statistics are shown on congestion, reliability and accessibility in the district in a graphic way to better understand problematic areas, which helps narrow down where the most amount of help is needed. By creating a full picture of the situation, transportation officials hope to derive insights into individual parts of overall system mobility.

“The goal of the District Mobility Project is to better quantify and qualify the state of the district’s transportation system performance from a holistic, multimodal perspective,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo in a release. “The interactive, data-rich design of District Mobility provides an innovative platform for sharing the state of mobility and DDOT’s progress toward reducing congestion on our roads.”

The maps break down where certain forms of transportation are available, and provides layers on race, income level and age. The interactive maps allow users to see and understand how transportation demand changes throughout the day and on weekends.

While the data available currently is only being used to help understand where (not why) congestion occurs, the DDOT is expected to use this data to help guide short- and long-term investment strategies.