Archive for July, 2010

The New Orleans City Assisted Evacuation Plan (CAEP) and how it can be improved

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Author: Eston Spain, Emergency Planning Associate, IEM

I recently indicated in a previous posting that the New Orleans City Assisted Evacuation Plan (CAEP) was very useful in helping some of the City’s residents (approximately 20,000) in evacuating for Hurricane Gustav. But, like any good plan, as effective as the CAEP has become, it should be updated to reflect any changes or problems encountered in the earlier version.

Bus shelter with route map. Courtesy of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

As a suggestion, these updates could include: bus evacuation, route information, and the map updated to reflect the changes. I determined that for each evacuation center, an evacuation route could be identified using GIS. Furthermore, bus stop kiosks and bus stop shelter walls are ideal locations for placing mass transit and city-assisted evacuation information, such as maps, evacuation shelters serviced by a particular route, and evacuation shelter locations. Bus route maps located at bus stop shelters are convenient to mass transit commuters and way-finders in a large metropolitan city.  These maps can display route specific information, such as streets serviced or located along a route; or display the route as an overlay in a large scale map that covers a greater area, such as a city.  The larger scale maps often include multiple bus routes, highways, main and secondary streets, as well as certain geographic and topographic information. The downside to this type of map, as opposed to route specific maps, is that the more information displayed, the more complicated the map becomes, thus the more difficult to read and less likely that one can find the information needed (let alone the bus desired). But, this is not always the case, even though New Orleans does not have maps at their bus stop shelters. Perhaps some examples would help to demonstrate why maps are important features for bus stop shelters. (more…)