Design an evacuation plan of San Francisco residents


This challenge has a common sense. In 2006, Kansas was assigned Grade A (highest) on the Emergency Evacuation Report Map compiled by the American Highway Users Union. New Orleans hit by Hurricane Katrina got D. What is the score for San Francisco? F. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles have also got this score.


Low scores are due to the large size of these cities, their complex geography and dependence on public transport. In an organization like Google, which is very sensitive to environmental issues, some interviewers are almost instinctively ready to discuss a transit public transport network in San Francisco. Most public transport routes run through the city. BART, the Gulf Zone Speed ​​System, can deliver people to Auckland. However, is that enough? Or will we evacuate the Auckland residents as well? The AMTRAK in San Francisco doesn’t even stop. If we talk about the near future, there is even no plan for a “green evacuation”. The emergency removal of residents from the city means the appearance of a large number of conventional internal-combustion engines on public highways.


Here are several evacuation plan points that you may specify in your personal answer.


  • Assume that everyone wants to get out of the city as quickly as possible in situations of extreme gravity or urgency. Therefore, transport opportunities should be determined based on market approaches. The biggest barrier to the evacuation after Hurricane Katrina was the fact that the New Orleans authorities did not timely allocate consultants who knew the free paths: they simply did not know which roads were blocked. Katrina hit a year before Twitter and a couple of years before smartphones that can be actively used anywhere. Your plan should encourage people to use Twitter or texts that tell you about road difficulties (but not while driving!), The plan should provide a way for this information to quickly appear on social networks, cartographic applications, broadcast media, and other similar media.


  • Use school buses. The total number of seats in school buses available in the country is greater than in all types of vehicles used for mass transportation of adults. Organize free school buses for people that do not have their own cars.


  • Fuel distribution for gas stations in the region. There was a fuel shortage in some places during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation.


  • In case of an emergency, most people cannot leave the place quickly enough, but you should especially care for the three categories of residents: those who refuse to leave; those who cannot be evacuated without the help of others (due to disability or being in hospitals); those who have not heard anything about calls for evacuation (most likely, many of them are homeless or old). If we talk about legal and practical issues, you can hardly do much with those residents who refuse to leave. In such a situation, it would be better to tell people that they have neighbours who want to evacuate, but they need help. Use all minibuses and ambulances, as they have special equipment for transporting sick and disabled people.


  • Some buses and trains allow you to transport animals and suitcases. One of the reasons that people refuse to leave is a concern for their animals and valuables.


  • When designing a plan, you need to create the ability to change the movement direction of all transport arteries’ lines from the city. This will increase the capacity of the leaving vehicles and will not allow people to enter the city in case they do not know about the evacuation. The so-called “backflow” is well known to people who often move through the Gulf region. Since 1963, lanes with a changing movement direction have been used on the Golden Gate Bridge. In the mornings, four of the six lanes are opened for going to San Francisco. At the rest of the day, there are three traffic lanes for each direction: to the city and to the suburbs.


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