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How CurbIQ Streamlines Traffic Management for Infrastructure Projects

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How CurbIQ Streamlines Traffic Management for Infrastructure Projects

We have all been there – stuck in traffic from a construction on a transit project or road improvements. Although the end goal may benefit us, all we can see are the disruptions in the moment. Despite all that cities do to manage and plan for this type of work, the communication of these impacts can be lost in the mail (sometimes literally) and temporary changes means that impacts to curb users can change on a daily basis. And this is only on the road! Finding parking, accessing businesses, and finding places to meet can all be made more difficult by big infrastructure projects. More often than not, these occur in busy, urban areas. Fortunately, there are ways cities can mitigate these impacts while still improving infrastructure. CurbIQ has solutions to help during all phases of construction from planning, to opening day, and beyond.

Improve Pre-Construction Planning

Large urban infrastructure projects are a huge undertaking; they not only involve a complex construction process, but also planning beforehand. Oftentimes, this pre-construction work is what makes the difference between a smooth, efficient rollout, and a PR nightmare. Coordination between all project, public, and private stakeholders is needed to make important decisions on construction traffic management: from curbside closures to alternative parking allocation and effective wayfinding communication. Unfortunately, the current method of delivering this can be quite labour intensive – endless drawings and revisions, multiple meetings, scenario comparison, and lots of back and forth.

CurbIQ streamlines this entire process by providing an interface to not only visualize this information, but help communicate options and make decisions:

  • Curb Viewer provides a friendly UI for relevant stakeholders to visualize the area and corresponding impacts from work being completed.
  • Curb Manager enables consultants to create various scenarios that show different traffic management and closure options.
  • Curb Analyzer can be used to compare and contrast these options.

For example, a full curbside closure may eliminate more spaces and decrease revenue on a main street but leave more room for temporary loading zones and overflow parking on side streets. By quantifying these differences, and fully understanding impacts, decisions can be made more effectively and quickly, with the option to further assess and refine during the project.

Using Curb Analyzer to make informed decisions before a construction project.

Communicating Information to the Public

At the end of the day, no matter how well planning goes, there will always be issues that arise. The ability to mitigate those issues and respond to them accordingly is key to a successful project. This is especially relevant in infrastructure projects in the public space. Any subway installation, road work development, or freeway expansion typically results in upset residents, businesses, and visitors. Transparency and communication can go a long way – using Curb Viewer during the construction process helps communicate changes to the public on work being done.

This can include more than just closures and restrictions: alternative routes and access points can be displayed, business information and associated parking can be highlighted, and up to date information can be emphasized for last minute changes. Having this central source of information can go a long way compared to an unexpected Road Closure sign on your way to your favourite restaurant or a mailing notice that blew away in the wind. Transit agencies and cities can reference this information to anyone affected by the construction to minimize confusion and effectively convey work going on.

Use Case: Broadway Subway Project

A perfect example of how CurbIQ can be used for large scale infrastructure projects is with the work IBI Group is doing for the Broadway Subway Project (BSP) in Vancouver, British Columbia. IBI is involved in a variety of large transit construction projects – for the Broadway Subway Extension, one of IBI’s main roles is planning and coordinating the traffic management throughout the duration of the project which will last for at least 5 years. IBI’s BSP team brought on CurbIQ to help with their work and better plan curbside closures and restrictions throughout the project.

Firstly, CurbIQ’s curbside data collection methods were used to get an inventory of the pre-construction curbside conditions for the project area, to fully understand the impacts. Once this was all collected, digitized, and uploaded to CurbIQ, the BSP team used CurbIQ to propose and plan various closure routing options for traffic while simultaneously seeing the impacts of those changes through Curb Analyzer. Additionally, CurbIQ enabled the team to finalize designs before generating drawings in Civil3D (a requirement of the project), which resulted in significant time and cost savings as working and revising in Civil3D can be quite involved.

Now that construction has begun, the project’s curbside regulation changes have been published, so a digital record of all impacts to the curbside can be recorded. Once construction is complete, the new design and curb designations can be updated and continuously adjusted to provide the best usage of curb space to modes that can provide last-mile services from the newly built stations. The continuous documentation of the changing curbside provides a historical record that can be used as a method to track progress on the cities’ goals. Sustainability goals, number of users, or potential revenue of the curbside can all be assessed to help the city work towards the climate action plans’ goals and increase the implementation of shared and sustainable mobility solutions in the future.  

Curbside regulations surrounding the site of the Broadway Subway project. (note: regulations are not current).

Using CurbIQ to Improve Infrastructure Projects

Although it’s impossible to solve for every problem that comes with infrastructure projects, there are ways to be proactive about addressing them. Visualization and management tools like CurbIQ let consultants and cities not only better plan for large scale closures and interruptions to road networks, but also provide an effective way to share these disruptions and minimize impacts. This way, the focus can be on the benefits that will come from the end result of the project, not the impacts now. Don’t hesitate to reach out to see how CurbIQ can help you manage your next big project!

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Jacob Malleau

Jacob’s passions for big cities, systems technology, and sustainable mobility align with the work he is involved with as a Transportation EIT at IBI Group. Jacob brings his combination of systems design experience, policy background, and data analytics perspective to help integrate many of IBI Group’s existing practices with the tech-based solutions they are pushing forward.