Information about the Challenge
WebinarsNYC DOT will host two optional webinars for Q&A on October 19, 2017 - one at 10AM Eastern Time and the other at 2PM Eastern Time. The webinars will be recorded and linked from this site. Email us to receive the details for the webinar.
Considerations for pilot siteParticipants should illustrate how their solution will work at our pilot intersection: West 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. West 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan is a 4-legged intersection, with one-way southbound traffic on 7th Avenue and two-way eastbound and westbound traffic on West 23rd Street. It is characterized by a bus-only lane on West 23rd Street and a left-only lane, separated by a median, on 7th Avenue. Several advocacy and service organizations are located in the area, and a high concentration of blind and low vision New Yorkers live nearby. As a result, the intersection is a hotspot of activity for blind and low vision pedestrians.
What is the endpoint of the challenge?Finalists will be announced at the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona in mid-November. The winning team(s) selected after a technical review will be eligible for up to $80,000, as part of funding received in a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, to implement their solution at the pilot site. Funds can be used for equipment purchase and installation. Winning team(s) will receive recognition for the successful pilot, and may market their achievement for future projects. The pilot will run for up to one year, at which point NYCDOT will evaluate its success and determine next steps.
Evaluation CriteriaSolutions will be evaluated by their potential to achieve the following:
- Improved access to information for blind and low vision pedestrians
- Increased mobility and awareness of surroundings
- Lower cost and ease of implementation
- Reduction in pedestrian injuries from pedestrian/vehicle and pedestrian/cyclist crashes
- Reduction in navigational injuries from pedestrian/object collision
- Alert users of street geography, hazards, and signal activity in real-time so that they can make informed decisions about when and how to safely traverse a crosswalk
- Incorporate audible components that work with or without headphones, to reduce added barriers to navigation
- Be minimally invasive, require low battery usage, and have long life spans with low operation, maintenance, and installation requirements
- Consider how solutions can be accessible to all users, including those without smartphones or data plans
- Engage with blind and low-vision individuals, or organizations that serve people with vision loss, to ensure that it meets user needs and preferences
- Maximize the benefit to users and minimize cost, so providers may propose creative solutions for partnerships or other methods of sustainability
City ResourcesSolutions can tap into a wealth of resources offered by the City of New York. Street furniture, such as WalkNYC signage, Real Time Passenger Information signs, and street lights, can be leveraged to implement certain features. 99.5% of NYCDOT’s traffic signals are pre-timed, which may support functionality for a solution relying on traffic signal activity. Participants may consider a variety of communications approaches, e.g.Bluetooth, NFC, beacons – that will most effectively support their solution, and propose the infrastructure necessary to enable it. The agency is currently undertaking a large-scale Connected Vehicle pilot funded by the USDOT to implement and test Digital Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure applications. Participants may consider how their solution might leverage a citywide DSRC network in the future if taken to scale. Note: It is absolutely necessary that all solutions include a mobile access component for users.
Additional Resources and AppendicesProposers will be permitted to access real-time signal timings. For technical review, they will also be provided with detailed technical specifications regarding available infrastructure at the intersection.
- Submit Application November 2, 2017: Applicants submit all required documentation. Applications must include how solution will be implemented at the pilot intersection site, West 23rd St. and 7th Ave in Manhattan.
- Submission Review November 3, 2017 - November 10, 2017: Evaluation panel reviews and selects submission to advance to the final review. Finalists will be announced at the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona.
- Finalist Demonstrations On or Before November 16, 2017, : Finalists are announced and will be asked to demonstrate how solution will work at the pilot site. Specific criteria for demonstration will be shared at the time of the request.
- Winner Selection On or before December 15, 2017: NYCDOT selects one or more solutions with whom to develop pilot agreements.
Marvin Souza Associate Project Manager Department of TransportationMarvin Souza joined New York City DOT in March of 2015 as an Associate Project Manager. Working as member of NYCDOT’s Signals and Intelligent Transportation Systems division, Mr. Souza is involved in the development, deployment and management of some of the city’s most innovative technologies such as Transit Signal Priority (TSP) for the MTA’s Select Bus Service, Accessible Pedestrians Signals (APS), and Real Time Passenger Information. Prior to joining NYCDOT Mr. Souza worked in private consulting as an engineer on projects such as the 2nd Ave Subway, 7 Line Extension to 34th Street, and the World Trade Center reconstruction. Mr. Souza received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering.
Joe Nieciak Assistant Highway Transportation Specialist Department of TransportationJoe Nieciak’s professional experience includes several years in the Transportation Planning field in the New York and Chicago metropolitan regions. This includes, but is not limited to, highway safety investigation, traffic impact analysis, parking capacity analysis, traffic sign design, origin/destination surveying, GIS mapping, bike share location planning, and traffic data collection. Joe joined New York City DOT in August 2016 as an Assistant Highway Transportation Specialist. He graduated from New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering earning a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Planning and Engineering in 2014.
Hilda Cardenas Outreach Specialist, Mobility Management Program Department of TransportationHilda Cardenas is the Outreach Specialist for the New York City Department of Transportation Mobility Management Program. Since joining DOT, she performed extensive community outreach to create awareness and understating of DOT’s projects, accessible programs and services. Ms. Cardenas received a B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies from Hunter College and is currently pursuing her MPA at the Austin W. Marxe for School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College.
Quemuel Arroyo Policy Analyst for Accessibility & Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") Coordinator Department of TransportationQuemuel Arroyo is DOT’s first Policy Analyst for Accessibility & Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Coordinator. He has served in this position since 2014. As Policy Analyst & ADA Coordinator, Quemuel ensures that all DOT programs and services are accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities. He is the primary contact for persons with disabilities requesting services; coordinating auxiliary services for persons with disabilities; responding to inquiries from members of the public concerning accessibility; developing agency policies and procedures to ensure full programmatic and communication accessibility for persons with disabilities; and conducting periodic training for agency staff on disability access issues. Quemuel is also an athlete and enjoys rock-climbing, scuba diving, skiing, and sky diving.
Walei Sabry Digital Accessibility Coordinator Mayor's Office for People with DisabilitiesBorn in Egypt; Raised in New York City; Once sighted; And now blind. Walei's field of expertise is transitioning in all facets of life. As the Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Walei makes sure that the City of New York's digital products can be accessed by all.
Considerations for pilot siteTo be considered in Barcelona, we would like you to focus particularly on single-level streets - urbanised, single-level streets which may have a differentiated road surface or a single surface or paving. These are streets where the speed limit is 10 or 20 km/h and, given the lack of vertically segregated pavement with curbs, they make it difficult for blind and low-vision pedestrians to navigate. Propose how the solution would work on streets within the pilot area bordered by Gràn de Gracia, Torrent de l'Olla, Nil Fabra, and Astúries.
What is the endpoint of the challenge?Finalists will be announced at the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona in mid-November. The winning team(s) selected after a technical review will be eligible for a €40,000 cash prize and the ability to do a pilot in the pilot area.
Evaluation Criteria:Solutions must consider:
- Layout of public areas and pavements
- Crossing points and pedestrian paths
- Navigation, guidance, and experience of use
- Communication with surroundings, technology, and individuals