If you’re currently living in Michigan, you're more than likely acquainted with the egregious conditions of our roads. Not to point fingers, but the civic authorities are restricted when it comes to funding our roads. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has its own web page dedicated to debunking many aspersions about their current methodology of road fix. To summarize that page, MDOT, more or less, confessed to not funding as much to our roads as their neighboring states. According to MLive, from a 2015 study, Michigan was ranked 50th (last in ranking) in terms of funding their own roads. In order to bridge that lack of funding, Roadery proposes to fix roads by crowdfunding pavement costs through our app.
Now, is the lack of funding the only one to blame? What about our deadly Winter? Surely, the Michigan cold is a detrimental factor towards our roads. This entails a lot more problems than just a lack of funding. Since there is constant damage being done to our roads, how do we detect all of these damages? Using Machine Learning and cutting-edge technology, Roadery will be able to detect potholes by analyzing the calibration data of our user’s phones when driving (but only with their consent). Thereafter, we use this data to classify if a user has driven over a bumpy portion of a road and can correctly classify it as a pothole. These newly found potholes would then be suggested to our users as a potential project to be funded towards.
Additionally, better roads are vital in many ways when it comes to the development of a community. Lancelot et al. conducted an impact evaluation study on the correlation of better roads and city development. Lancelot et al. has found that, “improvement of physical accessibility would contribute to increase travel demand to markets, schools, and health services. This would, in turn, contribute to improved education, better health, and increased business opportunities. Finally, it would result in long-term household income growth.” That is exactly the impact we envisioned with Roadery: we want to see a better-connected community filled with opportunities.
Firstly, before our pilot phase, we will run a public poll to find out the worst potholes (or portion of roads) that our drivers, residents, workers, and visitors commonly pass (or drive) by. Depending on the lack of responses for the public poll, the surveying phase may carry over to the start of the pilot phase and we will have to utilize the initial $6500 funding and extra, if needed, to proliferate for responses. At the start of our pilot phase, these potholes will be our immediate priority and we will focus on raising funds to fix those potholes (or roads). By focusing on the most high traffic and poorly funded areas, we will increase initial customer satisfaction. These documented potholes will be prioritized based on how bad the condition is and how populated that portion of the road is.
Secondly, if our strict timeline schedule for the 2020 pilot phase permits, we will also find where the most needed biker lanes and worst sidewalks are, raising funds for those categories, respectively.
Once the funds have been raised, we will work closely with Wayne County and the City of Detroit to have their certified pavement contractors restore those potholes. This will, in turn, explicitly create more job opportunities for pavement contractors in the area.
Moreover, it’s no surprise that the county doesn’t have enough money to fund every road possible. Roadery will pivot the mentality of having one single entity (government) to care for roads into a mentality of working together as a community (including our government) to own our roads.
Lastly, the current method of road fixing is a very long and complex process. On a very high level, the civic authorities have to document every pothole, then prioritize with their limited funding--leaving many of the roads we want to see renovated undone--and then they execute the reparations. However, with Roadery, the community will be able to target specific locations they desire to see renovated without waiting for the government or county to start the project.
MDOT Debunking: https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9620_67533---,00.html