Fairfax Innovation Challenge: Bike and Pedestrian Safety Selects Winner in Shark-Tank-like Live Pitch Competition
Fairfax County, VA. April 22, 2021– Smart City Works Inc. and Fairfax County, in partnership with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), announced the winner of Pitch and Pilot: Fairfax County Innovation Challenge, an innovation competition where teams and companies propose high-impact solutions to address bicycle and pedestrian safety. The goal of the Challenge was to find, and ultimately pilot, innovative solutions to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in Fairfax County’s increasingly multimodal transportation landscape.
The winner was: Street Simplified.
The winning team was selected based on innovation, practicality, scalability, safety, and equity and inclusivity of their solution, and will be considered to implement a pilot of their solution in Fairfax County, Virginia’s largest county.
The winning team was selected by five judges, distinguished leaders in business, government, and nonprofit communities:
- Yvette White, Board member, Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling
- Eric Teitleman, Capital Projects and Traffic Engineering Division Chief, Fairfax County Department of Transportation
- Heidi Mitter, Transportation Planning Specialist at Virginia Department of Transportation
- Michael Fontaine, Associate Director / Virginia Transportation Research Council
- Lisa Brown, Senior Director, Local Government – Global Markets, Johnson Controls
“Fairfax County has invested more than $536 million in federal, state, and local funding to upgrade bicycle, trail, and pedestrian and bus stops. One accident or one pedestrian fatality is too many and we hope by harnessing innovative technology like the ones in this competition, we will be able to improve safety for all county residents,” said Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeffrey McKay.
“Fairfax County’s innovation initiative is not only going to help save lives locally, but will help nationally, as well,” said David Heyman, Founder of Smart City Works. “This is a national problem,” Heyman added, “the coronavirus pandemic has substantially altered how people travel—bike-riding is up, automobile usage is down, leading to less road congestion, but also faster driving speeds, and unfortunately more crashes. Smart City Works is pleased to partner with Fairfax County to help find innovative solutions to tackle this problem.”
This innovation competition attracted more than 15 teams from across the country. The other five finalists included:
To learn more about the Challenge, visit: https://www.smartcityworks.org/fairfax-innovation-challenge/
About Smart City Challenge Organizers
Smart City Works, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that empowers communities to solve urban challenges and improve economic growth, through technology innovation. Working with partners in government, universities, businesses, and nonprofits, welead the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative. The Smart Region Initiative’s goal is to help establish Northern Virginia as a world center of excellence for urban technology innovation, and a destination for digital technology companies to build and grow their businesses. Smart City Works is a proud winner of and is supported by regional innovation and economic development grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and GO Virginia.
Fairfax County is Virginia’s largest county with 1.1 million residents and the home of eleven Fortune 500 companies make Fairfax the go-to for smart technology. Professional, scientific, and technical services account for 25 percent of employment in the county (four times the national average). And we are home to innovative startups, hundreds of companies from other countries, and a vibrant minority business community.