NN Tools: Open Source, Adaptive, Comprehensible, Accurate
Black box models may be profitable, but they often don’t give clients what they need. At Nelson\Nygaard, we’ve developed a comprehensive suite of tools that our clients can own, understand and continue to adapt long after our contract is complete. Our tools use readily available software like Excel, and they are designed to be modular so that they can be separated or combined as needed. More importantly, their architecture is clear, with built-in explanations, so that we can tailor the formulas based upon locally available data and the latest research.
NN Tools: The Right Tool for the Job
Our favorite tools use game theory to help citizens understand the choices and trade-offs faced by transportation planners. The Smithville Planning Game©, for example, is a structured and facilitated exercise that allows citizens to design their own transit systems and see how it fits their stated aspirations and fiscal reality.
Other tools, like the vehicle trip generation module of URBEMIS, are court-tested techniques to predict exactly how much Transportation Demand Management, land use changes and other factors affect driving behavior. Our custom URBEMIS tool is a big Excel spreadsheet that our clients can play with, allowing citizens to see how different scenarios impact traffic congestion.
Many of our tools are used by our clients to improve their own efficiency. Our paratransit cost allocation model helps coordinate service programs fairly allocate service costs across many programs while complying with complex Federal requirements. This model, built in Excel, can be customized to fit the needs of other providers around the country and can accommodate adding new funding sources or programs.
Other tools help clients make the most effective use of their investments. For example, we have an array of parking tools that can calculate how parking demand varies based upon land use factors, how parking can be shared across different land uses, how to set the optimal price of parking, and how to determine what mix of new parking plus other access investments can most cost effectively meet the needs of your community.