Tests indicate z-axis technology for determining the altitude of a 9-1-1 call, which could help locate a caller in a high-rise, is not yet ready for real-world use. Issues include accounting for barometric sensor bias and the need for additional data on different device types and the impact of extreme weather.
More than 1,000 US jurisdictions are using the NG911 Clearinghouse emergency platform from RapidSOS, which uses data from connected devices to improve 9-1-1 responses. "This will absolutely improve response times ... If you talk to any 9-1-1 operator, they will all give you instances of a call they've taken where there's been long delays because the caller has been new to an area or just visiting an area," said Liz Graeber, 9-1-1 administrator for Maricopa County, Ariz.
The California Department of Transportation is planning to build tolled express lanes along Highway 101 in San Mateo County, but Foster City officials voiced some reservations about the project at a meeting last week. They said the toll lanes would not lessen traffic congestion and favor drivers who are "well-to-do economically."
The Urban Wildlife Institute, a part of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, is helping other cities deploy motion-triggered cameras and gain insights from citizen reporting. The program aims to gather data on how animals live in urban areas.
Children can provide insight into park design and engagement but need to be reached outside of the typical public meeting, writes Clement Lau of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Lau's suggestions include meeting with children at their schools, encouraging them to draw dream parks and polling them via smartphone.
The Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department has created a multimedia website highlighting its 182 parks that's technologically powerful and visitor friendly. "We wanted to make this website a tool for our communities to quickly find parks and programs based on hundreds of filters such as amenities and program types," says Mohammed Al Rawi, chief information officer for the department.
With a $60 million park bond on the November ballot, Cape Coral, Fla., is asking residents what amenities they would like in parks should the bond pass. The city is developing a parks master plan.
Urban public spaces are installing giant-sized games to lure visitors to parks and plazas. Games such as Connect Four, chess, checkers and Scrabble are part of a trend to engage visitors and get them to shop or dine at nearby businesses.
Officials in Springfield, Mo., terminated a practice that allowed city workers to increase their pension payouts by selling their accumulated vacation time back to the city after retirement. This move has saved the town around $1.5 million in a single year, according to Bill McCarty, the city's budget director.
Arkansas county lawmakers are pressing the state for permission to at least double the 911 cellphone fee and combine some dispatch centers. Local officials say the current system was developed to handle landline calls and the 911 centers are overwhelmed by the number of cellphone calls they receive.