Planning for the Future of Transportation | Business AfterSchool

DESCRIPTION

In this workshop, middle and high school students will not only see how growth and new roads impact a city we will build, but also talk about some of our biggest transportation needs/issues locally (potholes anyone?), play transportation planner for the day and decide which projects should be built, and take a walk around downtown Spokane to see some good- and bad!- examples of transportation planning in their natural environment. This workshop will also highlight careers available in transportation planning and the skills needed for each.

Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) is the lead government agency for transportation planning and decision-making for the area covered by Spokane County. SRTC’s work happens long before you ever see heavy equipment or get stuck waiting in a road construction zone. One of our main functions is to distribute federal funds to local transportation projects and programs. That means we have to decide which projects will benefit the most people and are the biggest priority for the region. That’s a big job when there are lots of projects but little money. 

SRTC also does transportation forecasting, which has nothing to do with the weather. Transportation forecasting uses a software program and data to estimate the number of vehicles or people that will use a specific road, intersection or other transportation facility in the future. For instance, a forecast may estimate the number of vehicles on a proposed road or bridge, or the ridership on a bus line. Traffic data is combined with other data such as population, employment, travel costs, etc., to develop a “model” of the current situation. Add the site of a new bridge, traffic light or additional lanes on an existing road, and the model will, somewhat like a crystal ball only using science, show you the impact to traffic in the future.

This workshop is designed specifically for middle and high school students.