Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Transportation Research Board Meeting 2011

Woodley Park is the home to two of the three hotels
(Marriott and Omni Shoreham) that hosts the
Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in January.
Washington DC in January, a great place to be. 
I attended my 14th Transportation Research Board Meeting (the last one I missed was in 2000) and my 11th in a row. I am counting the 2004 meeting where I had a spontaneous pneumothorax (lung collapse) that is legendary among my friends and colleagues. It is an experience I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

The TRB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to hear from so many different people. That's part of the allure of the meeting is the people and the relationships you can renew. It is also like any experience where you can look back on past meetings with nostalgia. Oh remember the snow storm of 1996 (that was the year before I started attending), and how about the snow of 2011! Yes, there was snow and the flights shut down from 1 PM on Wednesday to first thing Thursday night as the DC area had trouble with the 6-10 inches that fell. I was lucky to have a flight on Thursday night that didn't change. I did have a meeting on Thursday that was cancelled.

The experiences I have collected at TRB has been very positive. I have learned of the challenges that are facing our transportation system and the biases that people have towards traffic. I have strengthened my resolve to work towards a balanced transportation system.

I enjoy providing advice to new attendees to TRB. In this era of thinking out loud on the web through twitter, facebook, and blogs, I came across Brian Davis' post about his experience at the meeting that has been so much of my professional life. Here's the post: http://briandavispdx.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/lessons-learned-from-trb/

Reflecting on Brian's post, I was impressed with the insights he offers. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with Brian and other students at PSU and hope that messages like these propel the students to enjoy the same sort of success and interest I have sustained at TRB through these many years.
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