This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2022.
Register to join us at the annual CTS Transportation Research Conference, scheduled for November 3, 2022, at the Graduate Minneapolis Hotel on the east bank of the U of M’s Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.
MnDOT employees are sharing knowledge and displaying leadership in Washington this week by delivering presentations and conducting meetings at the nation’s preeminent transportation conference.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting held Jan. 8-12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., is expected to draw more than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world. According to its website, the 2017 event scheduled more than 5,000 presentations in more than 800 sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. TRB’s 2017 annual meeting theme is “Transportation Innovation: Leading the Way in an Era of Rapid Change.”
“Every year when TRB holds its annual meeting, MnDOT’s strong presence at the event is a reminder of our state’s commitment to top-notch transportation research,” said Linda Taylor, director of MnDOT Research Services and Library.
The following is a roundup of MnDOT employees who were invited to deliver presentations and participate in key committee meetings along with their presentation topics and committees (not all staff may have attended the conference; however, due to limited funding or availability):
The one-day event, held at The Commons Hotel on the U of M campus, will highlight new learning, emerging ideas, and the latest innovations in transportation. Sessions will also explore implementation efforts and engagement activities.
In the opening session, “Creating Sustainable, Livable, Forward-Compatible Cities for Economic Resilience,” author Gabe Klein will explore the innovations taking place in cities and how government, business, and nonprofit leaders can utilize this wave of change to shape a quality of life that is improved and not compromised.
Following his presentation, the following panel of experts will share perspectives on the implications for the future of transportation systems in Minnesota cities:
Mayor Ardell Brede, City of Rochester
Mayor Chris Coleman, City of St. Paul
Anu Ramaswami, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Mayor Betsy Hodges, City of Minneapolis (invited)
In the luncheon presentation, “How to Promote and Prepare for Automated Driving,” Professor Byrant Walker Smith will present steps that governments can take now to encourage the development, deployment, and use of automated driving systems.
Complete program details and registration information is available on the CTS website. Please plan to join us for a day of discovery and innovation!
The 2015 PedalMN Bicycle Conference will be held in Minneapolis May 4-5, 2015. The conference theme is “Building a Bike Friendly State.”
The conference sponsors invite individuals, communities and partnerships to share stories of how they are building better places to bike through planning, policies, infrastructure, events and strategic funding.
Before a national audience of 1,400 urban planners and transit enthusiasts, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and others told the story of how the Twin Cities metropolitan area was transformed into a community that embraces “livability” and mass transit, including light rail.
“The growth was horizontal and there were lots of people who were saying it wouldn’t work in Minnesota,” said McLaughlin, during the opening plenary of the RailVolution conference in Minneapolis.
But the metro region bucked years of infighting and helped pass a transportation bill in 2008 that allows counties to tax for the expansion of transit in the metro area. Anoka, Ramsey, Hennepin, Dakota and Washington Counties decided to pool their resources from the quarter-cent transit sales tax, which is why the Southwest Light Rail Line is able to move forward.
“They had to believe their day would come,” McLaughlin said of the counties.
This was the first time the annual conference has been held in the Twin Cities, allowing Minnesota leaders to share their success stories.
Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, who biked the Greenway trail to get to the conference, spoke of MnDOT’s commitment to multi-modal transportation and maximizing the health of Minnesota’s people and economy.
“MnDOT is more than a highway department,” he said. “We have a statewide bike plan and we will probably be the second state in the union to have a statewide pedestrian plan.”
Michael Langley of Greater MSP said a mix of transportation types is critical to attracting talented workers to the Twin Cities, especially millennials.
“Nearly every area of the world is facing a future workplace shortage,” he said. “It’s fueling a competition for talent like we’ve never seen.”
Federal Highway Administration Secretary Anthony Foxx on Tuesday addressed conference attendees about the need for a bipartisan compromise on funding. He proposed moving away from the Highway Trust Fund to a more inclusive transportation account (named the Surface Transportation Trust Fund) that also addresses rail needs, with $19 billion in proposed dedicated funding. He also discussed the recent announcement of $3.6 billion in resiliency funds for transit systems.
During his comments, he wore a red bicycle pin that the MnDOT commissioner frequently wears at multi-modal events.
During the five-day conference, attendees toured the recently completed Green Line and attended dozens of workshops on topics ranging from street walkability to bus-rapid transit to the use of mobile phones to enhance bus service. On Sunday, the Northstar commuter train traveled for the first time to St. Paul’s Union Depot and conference attendees took it back to Minneapolis.
Presentations and materials from the conference, including video of the keynote speakers, will be made available on the CTS website in coming weeks. In the meantime, here are a few photos from the conference.