You may not have noticed, but I’m generally not among the more data-driven of the contributors to streets.mn. I do that on purpose; I think I can provide better value from content that’s a bit more personal or anecdotal. Also, it allows me to lazily avoid the maths. So I usually leave the data crunching to other contributors who actually know what they are doing while I stick to pontificating. But, “aha!,” you say, “I saw that sneaky little ‘usually’ you slipped in there and have inferred that there is data-crunching ahead!” You’re very observant.
Unfortunately, I’ve misled you because this post doesn’t so much involve data crunching as it does data shilling. That is, I wanted to let all you smart types who advocate on transportation and land use policy know that there’s a new source of data available, the Transportation and Health Tool, brought to you by the Department of Transportation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I’ve only just started poking around with the tool myself, but so far it looks like it might be an answer to all the times I’ve read a post and thought “I wonder where they find that info.”
Okay, so this isn’t going to be a substitute for the underlying data sets for people who want to do their own number crunching. But if you’re whipping up a blog post or an email to an elected official and you want to be able to compare the commute mode share for walking in the Minneapolis MSA to the rest of the country, for example, you can zip on over to the Transportation Health Tool and get some numbers. Which seemed worth mentioning. So I did.