OCT 27 2015
All images via The Great Exchange.
A major suburban county in the Atlanta metro region, Gwinnett County boasts a population of around 900,000 people, spread out over a vast area. As is typical in the suburban United States, cars are the dominant form of transportation in Gwinnett, and other options for getting around are limited. Long commutes and heavy traffic are a daily standard for some residents, leaving many wishing for alternatives.
In summer of 2015, the Gwinnett Village and Gwinnett Place Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) collaborated with area leaders to host a widespread dialogue on the future of transportation in the region, titled “The Great Exchange on Transportation.” They enlisted the help of design/strategy collaborative Aha! Strategy to design a massive outreach campaign, with a Textizen survey at its center.
Somewhat unusually, the effort was not designed to inform a specific project or proposal, but to get the entire community to paint a vision of the future of Gwinnett County. It was one of the most ambitious outreach efforts the region has seen, and resulted in tens of thousands of conversations, 1,400 web survey responses, and over 2,700 text survey responses in one week.
“The Great Exchange was a non-agenda driven initiative to get people to take a step back, provide broad feedback, and build the framework for a future transportation plan. We used this as an opportunity to let the people be aspirational, and it exceeded all of our expectations.”
Executive Director, Gwinnett Village CID
OCT 20 2014
Image via Transfort
Located along the Cache La Poudre River and bordering the Rocky Mountain foothills, Fort Collins, Colorado boasts beautiful sights and surroundings, and is a hotspot for bicyclists. The League of American Bicyclists even named it a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community — one of four in the United States. Yet Fort Collins struggled with the same tension as many cities: how to provide public transit access that worked for both bikes and pedestrians?
After the launch of their rapid bus service MAX this past year, Transfort decided to start a public conversation to learn more about their ridership’s views on bikes and transit, spread awareness of how Transfort accommodates bikes, and identify new ideas for dealing with bikes in the transit system. They set up an online discussion board and scheduled a public meeting, but knew that these would not reach most riders.
The ideal survey would be completable onboard a short bus ride, yet allow for targeted follow-ups with people who wanted to participate further. With many riders already passing the travel time on their phones, text messaging was an ideal solution. Transfort partnered with Textizen and launched a cascading outreach campaign.
OCT 06 2014
Image via temple_sea on Instagram
How do you ask for local input on bike sharing infrastructure that doesn’t exist yet, and generate excitement and anticipation for the arrival of this new mode of travel? Call Textizen, give us a week to get organized, and open your doors to hundreds of comments from soon-to-be riders.
With the help of our friends at OpenPlans, a local mural artist, and an energetic street team, Philly Bike Share and Textizen launched a mobile engagement and smart map outreach scheme that demonstrates what is possible with 21st century outreach technology.
“We’re the first bike-share system in the country to take this approach to public outreach,” said Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff at the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities. “We really wanted to do this in a way that would be much more active in engaging the public.”