The City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation recently announced that they installed 26 multi-modal sensors, primarily in the Downtown area. Their aim is to collect data on how people are traveling. We don’t recall clamoring for the data, but the City reports that “stakeholders” have expressed a desire to find out.
Why does Colorado Springs have an Office of Innovation? We’d prefer government stay away from trying to innovate anything.
The City of Colorado Springs contracted with Numina. Numina is a computer vision sensor company that does this kind of data collection. We asked the City for the invoice and contract for the sensors through a Colorado Open Record Act (CORA) request. They refused, claiming the contract contained privileged information. However, Numina representatives sent email reminders to city staff. Numina repeatedly asked for the $134,000 bill to be paid by the City. For 26 sensors, that works out to just over $5,153 per sensor. The lifespan of each sensor is 7-10 years. The Numina sensors count moving objects and provide direction of travel with a date and time stamp, as well as the mode of transportation.
Numina’s website explains more about their product through the following convoluted word salad:
Our mission at Numina is to empower cities with data to become more responsive and more equitable.
We believe smart cities are responsive ones — ones that can adapt to the needs of citizens and the evolving conditions of streets, neighborhoods, governance.
We believe that, collectively in communities, we must advance transportation equity. Giving people greater access to mobility is a major lever to improve people’s chronic disease outcomes, their sense of self and social value, and their economic opportunity. Transportation choices have a greater effect on health outcomes than factors like race, education, and income. (emphasis ours)
And we believe that technology applied to the public realm must uphold responsible and ethical standards when it comes to data use and privacy. For this reason, Numina does not collect personally identifiable information and has been dedicated from Day 1 to the idea of Intelligence without Surveillance.
The equity movement has moved into transportation, too. Is that like the recent nonsense that roads can be racist? According to this article, taxpayers are funding the racist road “solution” for $1 billion. Transportation is about getting from place to place. The bureaucrats sitting around thinking up these misguided ideas of transportation equity and racist roads have too much time on their hands, and too much of our money in their coffers.
Where are the sensors being installed? Funny you should ask. For some reason, one local group was especially interested in that information and reached out to the bureaucrats to find out. They are probably furiously pedaling back and forth in front of the sensors, as you’re reading this article.
From: Cully Radvillas – BCS Comm
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2023 3:59 PM
To: Pace, Joshua <Joshua.Pace@coloradosprings.gov>; Tamayo, Carlos
<Carlos.Tamayo@coloradosprings.gov>; Joan Stang <email@example.com>
Subject: Multi Modal Counter data and locations
Hi Joshua and Carlos,
I wanted to reach out to you to see if we could receive a little more information about the multimodal counters being installed. We received the press release at Bike Colorado Springs, we are very excited about this project and we would like to put together a post on our website about this project hopefully tomorrow.
We would love to be able to share information about the counter locations (both current and planned). Bike COS would also like to know if we would be able to access the data or if there is a plan to publish/share the data on a regular basis.
Thank you, please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Bike Colorado Springs – Communication Committee Chair
Here are the sensor locations based upon the CORA response:
Reach out to the Colorado Springs Mayor and City Council if you’ve had enough of having your taxpayer funds used to cater to a very small segment of our population. We’d like the potholes fixed instead, please.
Mayor Yemi Mobolade firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Springs City Council
Yolanda Avila Yolanda.Avila@coloradosprings.gov
Lynette Crow-Iverson email@example.com
Dave Donelson Dave.Donelson@coloradosprings.gov
Randy Helms Randy.Helms@coloradosprings.gov
Nancy Henjum Nancy.Henjum@coloradosprings.gov
David Leinweber firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike O’Malley Mike.OMalley@coloradosprings.gov
Brian Risley email@example.com
Michelle Talarico firstname.lastname@example.org