New Website Lets Residents Monitor Bay Area’s Vital Signs
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today unveiled its innovative Vital Signs website, an interactive tool that Bay Area residents can use to track the region’s progress toward reaching key transportation, land use, environmental and economic policy goals. Residents also can consult the new website to learn more about historical trends, differences and similarities among the Bay Area’s many communities, and how the nine-county region stacks up with other major U.S. metro areas.
The first phase of the Vital Signs initiative examines 14 different indicators by which the health of the Bay Area’s transportation systems can be monitored. These include several measures of Bay Area transit agencies’ performance; a detailed look at pavement conditions on state highways, city streets and county roads; and a rank-ordered list of the 139 most congested freeway segments in the region. Phase II of the Vital Signs project, slated for completion this spring, involves land use and economic development measures. Data for Phase III, which will focus on environmental and safety questions, is due for release this summer.
“Vital Signs is a wonderfully descriptive and appropriate name for this effort,” said MTC Chair and Orinda City Councilmember Amy Rein Worth. “In the same way that temperature, pulse and blood pressure can reveal a lot about a person’s overall health, measures such as transit cost-effectiveness, freeway delay, housing construction or neighborhood poverty rates can be used to gauge our region’s overall well-being.”
Dave Vautin, MTC’s Vital Signs project manager, says the website was designed to provide both access to data and a unique online experience. “This information is not just useful to researchers but genuinely interesting to the public at large. We’ve worked hard to develop customizable charts and maps, combined with high-quality graphics, that will allow all Bay Area residents to better understand what’s happening in their county, city and neighborhood.“
Many of these measures originate from the performance targets developed in Plan Bay Area, the region's long-range transportation and housing blueprint. The public can learn more about the Vital Signs initiative and watch several short videos about the project on MTC’s website at: http://mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/vitalsigns_launch.htm.