Researchers and students from the Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) consortium attended the 97th annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting on January 7-11, 2018. TRB brought more than 13,000 transportation professionals to Washington DC. While at the event, the CM2 team was involved in several key activities detailed below.
The week started with the USDOT UTC Outstanding Student of the Year Awards Ceremony. Our first Outstanding Student of the Year was Brendan Goodrich, a second-year Community and Regional Planning student at The University of Texas at Austin, and the first student to work with CM2. Of the banquet event, Brendan said, “It was truly an honor to be awarded as CM2‘s first Outstanding Student of the Year. Last year I was thrilled to be chosen to help set our UTC on the tracks after we were awarded the grant by the USDOT and was honored to be recognized for both this work and my research on transit-oriented development and mega-commutes with Dr. Ming Zhang.” His contributions supported the success of CM2’s first year and are described in this blog post.
Researchers and students from UT also presented some of their megaregion-related research at TRB. Dr. Junfeng Jiao presented two research papers at TRB. Dr. Jiao and Community & Regional Planning graduate student Nicole McGrath presented the paper, Investigating Uber Price Surges During a Special Event in Austin, TX, and Evaluating Walkability Through GIS Spatial Analysis in South Florida. Dr. Jiao also presented a recent paper on the built environment and pedestrian collisions, Accident Analysis and Prevention. In addition, Dr. Stephen Boyles and Transportation Engineering graduate student Cesar Yahia presented their paper, Network Partitioning Algorithms for Solving the Traffic Assignment Problem using a Decomposition Approach.
The CM2 administration also attended several business meetings. National Directors from United Transportation Centers (UTCs) across the United States gathered for an official UTC meeting. USDOT representation included Dr. Kevin C. Womack, Director of Office of Research, Development and Technology, and Leighton Christiansen, Data Curator at National Transportation Library (NTL), among others. Discussions included an update integral to the reporting, funding, and collaboration of UTC projects.
The CM2 administration also attended a Winter Business Meeting hosted by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC). Introductions by Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, President of CUTC, and Dr. Thomas O’Brien, Secretary of CUTC, kicked off the event. Among other things, the group discussed the partnerships that CUTC has maintained with important organizations in the field, as well as the upcoming 2018 CUTC Summer Meeting that will take place in Minnesota on June 4-6, 2018.
The TRB Megaregion Subcommittee met to discuss FHWA activities in 2017 and hosted an interesting dialogue on possible solutions to megaregion planning including cross-jurisdictional mandates and the intersection of commuting and freight transportation, among other topics. Additionally, CM2 Director Dr. Ming Zhang presented on the work of our consortium, and Director Joe McAndrew from the Greater Washington Partnership lead a discussion on the private sector and megaregions.
The CM2 consortium appreciates the ongoing support of the USDOT and the CUTC and is happy to work alongside partners in TRB’s Megaregion Subcommittee. The CM2 consortium thanks them for their work and for hosting a wonderful event.