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Community Maps - Best Data Visualization

Abstract:  Each year, thousands of Wisconsin residents are injured and killed in traffic crashes. In an effort to prevent these tragedies, the legislature has established a Traffic Safety Commission (TSC) in every county. These commissions are charged, per Wisconsin statute 83.013 (1), to maintain a map of traffic crashes within their county and to review those crashes on a quarterly basis for general awareness and to provide recommendations for corrective action, as appropriate. Because of the complexity of traffic crashes, the legislature required a breadth of expertise to serve on these commissions. TSC membership creates a collaboration of stakeholders dedicated to reducing injuries and death on their roadways locally, regionally and statewide. In support of the TSC mission, the Community Maps system was developed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety (BOTS) in partnership with the Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to provide an accessible and timely map of traffic crashes for each county. Community Maps is updated on a nightly basis from the WisDOT crash database management system and includes a record of all police reported crashes in Wisconsin for which geo-coded locations are available. Crash records that have not been geo-coded are included in the total number of crashes for a given jurisdiction but are not displayed on the map. The Community Maps system serves as an integral component of the County TSC quarterly meetings and as a vital information resource for ongoing collaborative efforts at all levels of government and within local communities to address traffic safety needs. Project Objectives A major update to the Community Maps system was rolled out in January 2018 to integrate the WisTransPortal DT4000 crash data as the primary source data in Community Maps. This roll out was coordinated with a significant outreach effort to the County TSCs and Wisconsin State Patrol regional dispatch centers. Community Maps is now updated on a nightly basis and includes crash records for all crash severity levels. The 2019 project will provide system support and prioritized enhancements to the Community Maps system to build upon the successful 2018 rollout. Specific objectives include improvements to Community Maps analytics and reporting capabilities and enhancements to the TSC Resources area.

Andrea Bill - Traffic safety engineering Research Program Manager



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