In just a few days, thousands of transportation professionals from across the country and around the world will descend on Washington, DC, for the 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. The meeting brings together transportation researchers and practitioners to share and learn from each other in every aspect of transportation from pavement types to designing better bike lanes.
This year, two dozen TPB engineers, analysts, and planners will attend the meeting. Most will attend one or more of the more than 750 formal talks, discussion panels, workshops, or poster sessions on offer at this year’s gathering. Some will play an active role in standing TRB committees, while others will present their own research.
Shaping future transportation research
Eight TPB staff are members of or hold leadership positions on several standing TRB committees, which will meet during the upcoming annual meeting. The committees are made up of academics, planners, engineers, and others involved in particular areas of research. The main focus of committees is on soliciting and reviewing papers and planning other conferences in their areas of focus.
When the committees meet next week, they will start planning for next year’s TRB conference by identifying hot research topics. TPB staff participate in committees focused on a wide range of topics, including accessible transportation and mobility, bicycle and pedestrian data, land development, paratransit, and travel demand forecasting.
Showcasing and sharing the TPB’s research
Two groups of TPB staff will present research at this year’s meeting as part of poster sessions—one focused on the use of big data in transportation planning and the other showcasing “fresh ideas” for state transportation agencies.
Both posters will highlight how the TPB has used real-time traffic data to shed light on disruptive regional events like snowstorms, visits by foreign heads of state, and transit-system shutdowns, as well as seasonal shifts in traffic patterns tied to summer break. One of the posters will focus exclusively on what happened when the region’s Metro system shut down for a full day in March 2016 to carry out emergency maintenance and repairs.
The analyses highlighted in the posters have helped transportation agencies and the public better understand and prepare for disruptive traffic events. By presenting the analyses at the TRB Annual Meeting, TPB staff are showing transportation agencies and metropolitan planning organizations in other regions how they too can use real-time traffic data analyze disruptive events and learn important lessons from them.
We’ll be Tweeting and posting our key takeaways
During this year’s TRB Annual Meeting, we’ll be taking to social media to share our key takeaways, things we learn, and the people we meet. Follow along on Facebook or Twitter, or by searching the hashtags #TPBatTRB and #TRBAM on Twitter.