Hack Grand Forks – 311

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and finally took a few evenings to do it. I built a Mastodon bot that toots each Grand Forks 311 request: https://botsin.space/@hackgfk_311. It also crossposts at https://twitter.com/hackgfk_311.

The code can be found at https://github.com/mattbk/hack-grand-forks. Yes, I built it in R.

Mastodon toots from @hackgfk_311@botsin.space.

Why “hack”? In the sense that this is information that should be more available to people, and I’m making it more available without going to a separate location. Perhaps something good can come of it.

Counterpoint API (quick notes)

Looks like first you would grab the counterpoint ID from here: https://counterpointapp.herokuapp.com/api/v1/counterpoints
EERC is counterpoint_id 606. Could select by bounding box (lat/long) too. This includes a list of counts (just labeled “id”) but no actual counts, so you could do time/date collection stat comparisons from there as well.
Then you can pull up actual counts from https://counterpointapp.herokuapp.com/api/v1/counterpoints/606 where the counterpoint_id is named at the end. This gives you a list of counts, including data.
It looks like minutes start/end on the second that the count was started, so aggregation by minute (not second) should be used.
It looks like minutes without data are excluded, e.g. no 12:51:52 minute is included here (EERC 606):
{"id":281510,"count_session_id":18223,"timestamp":"2016-06-21T12:51:56.000Z","bike_generic":0,"bike_adult":0,"bike_child":0,"bike_baby":0,"bike_cargo":0,"bike_child_trailer":0,"walk_generic":0,"walk_adult":0,"walk_child":0,"walk_stroller":0,"walk_disability":0,"walk_skateboard":0,"walk_visually_impaired":0,"walk_physically_impaired":0,"vehicle_personal":2,"vehicle_car":0,"vehicle_semi":0,"vehicle_moto":0,"vehicle_transit":0,"vehicle_oversized":0,"objectId":null,"gender_m":0,"gender_f":0,"gender_o":0,"onePerson":0,"twoPerson":0,"threePerson":0,"fourPlusPerson":0},{"id":281511,"count_session_id":18223,"timestamp":"2016-06-21T12:53:56.000Z","bike_generic":0,"bike_adult":0,"bike_child":0,"bike_baby":0,"bike_cargo":0,"bike_child_trailer":0,"walk_generic":0,"walk_adult":0,"walk_child":0,"walk_stroller":0,"walk_disability":0,"walk_skateboard":0,"walk_visually_impaired":0,"walk_physically_impaired":0,"vehicle_personal":5,"vehicle_car":0,"vehicle_semi":0,"vehicle_moto":0,"vehicle_transit":0,"vehicle_oversized":0,"objectId":null,"gender_m":0,"gender_f":0,"gender_o":0,"onePerson":0,"twoPerson":0,"threePerson":0,"fourPlusPerson":0}

Imported Posts

I have just imported my posts from the Grand Forks Streets blog to this one.  They have not been cleaned up, but the content is here and I will be shutting down the Blogspot version.  I no longer have time to devote to a specific streets-relaetd blog, but I plan to open a Twitter account to curate this type of content for the Grand Forks, ND area.

Imported posts are labeled as “Anonymous” but I will be changing that over time.  I wrote them all unless otherwise indicated in the post itself.

Quick Thoughts

  1. The intersection of the north-end bike path (north of Gateway) with 1) North Washington Street and 2) Mill Road are especially bad.
  2. There is no official way to cross the English Coulee on the north side of Gateway, but there is a desire line, which can even be seen in the satellite photo.
  3. Crossing 42nd Street is hard, too.
  4. It would be sweet if there were a pedestrian connection across 42nd St from 11th Ave S to the Alerus Center.

Columbia Road to be Widened

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Columbia Road will be widened to six lanes after a vote last week by the city council.

In another Herald article, we’ve heard city council member Tyrone Grandstrand suggest a six-lane option is overkill based on traffic patterns from the last ten years:

‘Grandstrand said the city should pursue projects that support mixed business and residential development and planning that supports public transportation rather than expect traffic levels to keep going up on business corridors.
“We’re going to have less traffic on Columbia and everywhere else,” he said.’

[Added 2012-04-09]
Grandstrand posted details of the traffic study in the Herald comments section:

I voted against 6 lanes but along with everyone else in Grand Forks I believe Columbia needed fixing a long time ago.  Columbia road traffic decreased by over 20% from 2000 to 2010. Along with traffic generally in Grand Forks, so people didn’t just pick a different road to drive on.  4 lanes, with intersection upgrades and some use of technology would have been just as effective and 1.1 million dollars cheaper. 

[end add]

The proposal presented to the city council can be found here (.pptx) and describes two phases of widening to occur: the first from DeMers Avenue to 11th Avenue South in 2013, the second from 11th Avenue South to 14th Avenue South in 2014.  The presentation contains a brief description of the current non-motorized facilities along this stretch of Columbia Road, which include a sidewalk to the east and a wider shared-use path to the west.

No official discussion has been heard yet of on-street bicycle lanes as part of this project.  There are four shared-use/driveway/street intersections between the Columbia Road/DeMers Avenue overpass and 14th street south, a distance of about half a mile.

 

First Post [GFK Streets]

Hello World! More updates to come.

Please post a comment if you are interested in contributing.  For the record, I’m hoping this can be a space for all stakeholders in safe, efficient streets in Grand Forks, so as long as you live here and have a thoughtful opinion, it doesn’t matter whether you identify as a pedestrian, cyclist, driver, something else, or any combination thereof.

If you are looking for a copy of any of the articles referenced, you can drop a comment with your email address and we can get that to you as well.  Some of the local media drops behind a paywall rather quickly.