This case study focuses on the challenges faced by Traffic Violence Rapid Response and the ways the team leveraged Felt's collaborative features and intuitive interface to document fatalities and propose solutions.
Understanding Traffic Violence in Oakland
In June 2022, a cyclist named Jonathan Waters was killed by a speeding driver while making a turn on Shattuck Street in Oakland, CA. Together with their peers, Bryan Culbertson and Kuan Butts formed a group in response to Waters’ tragic death. Recognizing the frequency of such incidents, they wanted to raise awareness about the issue and urge the city to take action. As the team organized vigils and gathered data on collisions, they realized they needed a systematic approach to address traffic violence in Oakland.
To show that Jonathan's death was not an isolated incident, the TVRR team turned to Felt. “To start up the project, I decided to map collision data in Oakland,” says Bryan Culbertson. He used The Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) dataset that shows collisions recorded by the local police. “They don’t have a geospatial export feature, so if I used any other mapping software, I would have to write a parser for the CSV and then convert it into GeoJSON, but with Felt, I just dragged it into the screen and immediately saw where all the data points were,” adds Culbertson.
Then Culbertson added layers from Oakland Open Data portal so the viewer can see neighborhood boundaries, bike lanes, parks, and council districts. “I could put all of those on the same map without having to write any of my own data processing, and that was really useful,” he adds.