Scoping the Event: Challenge Sets and Judging Process Explained

Posted on September 17, 2015

TrafficJam Challenge Sets

The Challenge Sets are meant to get participants thinking in the right direction, serve as a conversation starter and help steer participants’ creative energies on a course that will result in a submission that can positively impact the quality of Toronto’s traffic. While each team must base their submission on one – or a combination – of the Challenge Sets in order to be eligible for prizes, participants are ultimately in the driver's seat and need to rely on their creativity and ingenuity to create solutions for Toronto’s Traffic troubles.

Challenge Set #1

Understanding Congestion
  • What are some of the primary causes of congestion in Toronto and how does congestion impact our road network? When and where is congestion the worst? Why does this happen?
  • What are the trends and changes in the last generation regarding how we move around the City?
  • How can we better encourage active transportation (i.e. walking and cycling?).

Challenge Set #2

Road Management Effectiveness
  • How can we tell if policy changes that we make are effective (i.e. before & after analysis?)
  • What type of process can the City of Toronto create to evaluate road management policies better? Some examples to consider:
    • How have the Richmond/Adelaide/Simcoe bike lanes impacted the speed at which people move through these corridors?
    • What is the impact of the surrounding network when we close the Gardiner or DVP for maintenance?
    • Has upgrading timing signals on XXX street been effective?

Challenge Set #3

Immediate Impact
  • How can the City of Toronto better inform the public of current and future road conditions?
  • How can we improve traffic and mobility on Toronto’s most highly congested intersections and road networks?

The TrafficJam team will be explaining the Challenge Sets in detail at the Toronto Workshop on September 15th (for confirmed participants and mentors only). If you are a confirmed participant who cannot attend the workshop or there are questions left unanswered after the workshop, please don’t hesitate to reach out and email us.

TrafficJam Judging Process

All TrafficJam submissions must be submitted in one of two categories and will be judged in three steps. This allows us to ensure that multiple judges see every submission and the best TrafficJam projects rise to the top.

Submission Categories

Participants can submit TrafficJam projects in two categories:

Solutions could be submitted as web apps or mobile apps and need to have some level of functionality


Insights could be submitted as data stories or data visualisations, and can be either interactive or static

Each category is judged based on different criteria. If a submission could qualify as both a solution and an insight it is in the hands of the team to decide in which category they would like to submit. This decision should be based on an evaluation of which categories’ judging criteria they believe they could score higher in. Download an overview of the judging criteria in each category.

Participants will need to identify to the Judging Committee in Step 2 in which category they would like to be judged in.

Judging Process

Phase 1

Does your idea work and solve a traffic related problem?

Each team’s submission must meet the minimum category requirement to move on to Step 2 of the Judging Process.

Solutions category minimum requirement:

  • Application must load, work and have functionality
  • Submission must attempt to solve a traffic related problem

Insights category minimum requirement:

  • Submission must attempt to solve a traffic related problem

Phase 2

Judging Committee

The Committee Judges will review all submissions that have met the minimum requirements in Step 1. Each submission will be judged by at least three judges. Once all submissions have been reviewed, the Committee Judges will will select the top ten submissions to move on to the finale round of judging.

Phase 3

Finale Judges

The Finale Judges will re-evaluate the top ten using slightly modified judging criteria that can be applied equally well to submissions in both categories. The top three will be chosen based on the three highest scores, regardless of category. The judges will take the stage at the Awards Ceremony following the TrafficJam EXPO to announce the winners and award prizes.

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