Innovative use of Cellular Data Earns National Transportation Planning Award
(STATELINE, Nev.) – Stantec Consulting Services Inc. and the Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) have been recognized with a Gold National Planning Achievement Award for Transportation Planning by the American Planning Association (APA). The award recognizes Mobility Planning on the Cellular Level, an initiative that used cellular data to understand visitor trips and develop recommendations to reduce congestion and increase transit mode share during Lake Tahoe’s busiest tourism seasons.
“Using cell phone data revealed information we simply couldn’t have found the traditional way,” said Cynthia Albright, AICP CUD, GISP, Principal at Stantec. “We’re honored to receive the Transportation Planning award for this important project, and we look forward to the implementation of our multimodal recommendations to improve travel experiences for visitors to the Lake Tahoe Region.”
To help Lake Tahoe officials understand how traffic congestion from visitors affected the environment, planners created a comprehensive multimodal transportation implementation plan using cell phone data to show trip origins and destinations for several groups of travelers. The data revealed that the region received more than 10 million annual visitor vehicles on its rural roadway system, 2.5 times previous visitation estimates.
“Tracking visitation is important because more than 70 percent of the particulates impacting Lake Tahoe’s clarity come from the transportation system and built environment,” said Carl Hasty, district manager, Tahoe Transportation District. “Accurate visitation numbers give us a clearer picture of the demands on our transportation infrastructure, which helps inform region-wide transportation planning and identify funding gaps.”
After correlating the most popular destinations to transit ridership, planners recommended system-wide improvements to achieve 20 percent transit mode share in 20 years. Expanding transportation options and enticing more people to utilize alternate means of transportation, such as public transit, walking, and cycling is critical to preserving the pristine beauty that makes Lake Tahoe a national treasure, improving the Tahoe experience for visitors and ensuring safety for all.
“The jury was impressed by the coordination among multiple jurisdictions and extensive public outreach,” said Wendy Shabay, AICP, 2019 Awards Jury Chair. “Good planning is best accomplished when communities work together.”
Each year, APA recognizes outstanding efforts in planning and leadership through its National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards. The two-tier awards are selected through a juried process. Excellence Award recipients are the highest honor, and Achievement Awards recognize accomplishments in areas of specialization within the planning profession. The awards have recognized outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals for their leadership on planning issues for more than 50 years.
Stantec’s Mobility Planning on the Cellular Level nomination is being recognized along with all the 2019 National Planning Award recipients at a special luncheon during APA’s National Planning Conference in San Francisco on April 15, 2019. Award recipients will also be featured in the May issue of Planning magazine.
For a complete list and summary of all the APA 2019 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Award recipients, visit www.planning.org/awards/2019.
About The American Planning Association
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 40,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people’s lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. We care about the communities we serve – because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success. We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe. Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN. For more information about Stantec, please visit www.stantec.com.
About Tahoe Transportation District
The Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) is a bi-state agency responsible for the management and implementation of safe, environmentally sound, multi-modal transportation projects and programs in the Lake Tahoe Region, including transit operations. TTD leads multi-jurisdictional infrastructure projects to make travel safer, improve access to recreation, and reduce traffic congestion and private car use. TTD focuses on transit’s pivotal role in improving air and water quality because more than 70 percent of the pollutants impacting Lake Tahoe’s clarity come from transportation system and built environment run-off. TTD has delivered numerous projects to help reduce environmental impacts and address the high demand residents and visitors place on the region’s transportation infrastructure, including transit solutions, roadway and safety enhancements, water quality improvements, and pedestrian/cyclist paths. For more information, please visit www.TahoeTransportation.org.