Recently in Conferences Category

Two times in two days last week I was asked to fly to an east coast city for a half-day meeting. The meeting organizers offered to pay my travel expenses. I asked to save the travel money and tele-conference in via some/any web-based video technology. The organizers declined, saying they weren't set up to do that.

Seriously, you can pay more than a $1000 to bring me in considering airline tickets, hotel, ground transportation, and meals, but you can't get your act together to have a room with wireline internet, a camera enabled laptop (aren't they all now), and Skype or FaceTime or Google Hangouts or any of a hundred other services at a marginal monetary outlay of zero and a time outlay of damn close to that?

I hypothesize one source of the problem is the technological backwardness of the governmental/consulting/advocacy/transportation sector. This is a process of mutual causation. Technological backwardness deters the technologically advanced from entering the sector, reinforcing the backwardness. It's a wonder there are PCs on people's desks. It's no wonder we see no progress. I fully anticipate major changes to the transportation sector to come from outside actors, much like the Google self-driving vehicle because of this innovation aversion.

The second source of the problem might be incentives. I hypothesize the meeting organizers budgeted for travel, and not for information technology. They have no incentive not to spend the budget, the money has to get spent.

The third source of the problem is also incentives. My travel time costs them nothing. My video conferencing takes them a few minutes. No matter their few minutes are a lot less time than my travel, they (not me) are spending it.

I realize video-conferences are not quite as high a resolution in audio or video as being present, and in the hands of the incompetent have meeting-disruptive technical difficulties. But they are good enough for the purposes of this kind of conversation, for which conference calls are often used.

It is not that I object to spending your money, or actually want to save you money. I am not noble in this regard. It is that travel is a major hassle, filled with danger and uncertainty. This is often not worth it for me anymore especially for a less than one-day meeting in a city I have seen plenty of times where I am doing you a favor by being present (you asked me to attend, not vice versa). Moreover, I don't want to eat another dinner at an east coast airport.

Update: Bill Lindeke suggests: @trnsprttnst perhaps transportation scholars are inherently biased towards transporting things/people

Nexus group members (myself included) and affiliated researchers will again be presenting papers at next week's Transportation Research Board Conference in Washington DC. Our papers are listed below. (I will be at many, but not all of these places). We hope to see you there.

Day and TimeSessionSession Name/Article NamePlace
Sunday173Aligning Organizations with Needs of Their 21st Century MissionsHilton, Georgetown East
1:30PM- 4:30PM Enterprising Roads: Alternative Governance for America's Highways  
Monday 280Planning Applications: Sustainability and Transportation NetworksHilton, Lincoln West
10:15AM- 12:00PM Network Structure and the Journey to Work: Intrametropolitan Analysis  
Monday 413Innovations in Statewide Multimodal PlanningHilton, International Center
4:15PM- 6:00PM Understanding the Impact of Gasoline Price Changes on Traffic Safety: A Time Geography Approach  
Monday 424Understanding Interactions at Transit Stop and Route Levels: Tools to Estimate Accessibility and DemandHilton, International Center
4:15PM- 6:00PM The Time Between: Continuously Defined Accessibility Functions for Schedule-Based Transportation Systems  
Tuesday 504Emerging Learning Environments to Meet the Needs of the Transportation Workforce of TomorrowHilton, International Center
8:30AM- 10:15AM Multiagent Route Choice Game for Transportation Engineering  
Tuesday691Transportation Agglomeration and Network Effects in Urban and Rural EconomiesHilton, Columbia Hall 8
7:30PM- 9:30PM Agglomeration, Accessibility, and Productivity: Evidence for Urbanized Areas in the United States  
  Rural Highway Expansion and Economic Development: Impacts on Private Earnings and Employment  
Wednesday 733Finding Our Way: Modeling Route ChoiceHilton, International Center
8:30AM- 10:15AM Route Choice Dynamics After a Link Restoration  
  Network Structure and Travel Time Perception  
Wednesday 731Activity and Travel Behavior Mega-SessionHilton, International Center
8:30AM- 10:15AM Uncovering Influence of Commuters' Perception on Reliability Ratio  
Wednesday724Safety: Performance, Data, and New Advances, Part 1 (Part 2, Session 725)Marriott, Salon 2
8:30AM- 10:15AM Urban-Rural Difference of Gasoline Price Effects on Traffic Safety

I am going to be at this Monday and Tuesday of next week, as a discussant on a paper about transport and land development.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy:

"Infrastructure and Land Policies: The International Land Policy Conference

Date(s): June 4 - 5, 2012

Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Location(s): The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tuition: FREE

Participation in this program is by invitation only."

Nexus Group @ TRB

Nexus group research will be presented at the Transportation Research Board conference in Washington DC, next week. Details of sessions are below, along with links to the papers:

Type No. SponsorSessionLocationTime
Workshop173 ABE10 Analyzing the Risks and Rewards of Public-Private PartnershipsHilton, Georgetown EastJan 22 2012 1:30PM- 4:30PM
Session 328 ABG20 Alternative Pedagogical Strategies and Tools for Effective Learning (paper)Hilton, Columbia Hall 5Jan 23 2012 1:30PM- 3:15PM
Poster Session 352 ABE20 Issues in Transportation Economics: Marginal Cost of Travel, Value of Time, Value of Reliability, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Economic Activity (paper) Hilton, International Center Jan 23 2012 2:00PM- 3:45PM
Poster Session 600 ABJ30 Taking Urban Data to New Heights: New Sources, New Techniques,and New Applications (paper)Hilton, International CenterJan 24 2012 2:00PM- 3:45PM
Session 622 ADD30 "Where" Matters: New Evidence and Approaches to Analyzing Location Choice (paper)Hilton, Columbia Hall 7Jan 24 2012 3:45PM- 5:30PM
Poster Session 711 ADB10 Innovations in Activity and Travel Behavior (paper)Hilton, International CenterJan 25 2012 8:30AM- 10:15AM

Session 768 ADB10 Route Choice Modeling (e-Session) (paper) Hilton, International EastJan 25 2012 2:30PM- 4:00PM

I will be at BitCity 2011 in New York, November 4th.

David King is one of the organizers, and discusses it here:

Getting from here to there: Announcing Bit City: 2011: Transportation, Data and Technology in Cities.

The inaugural World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research
(WSTLUR) was held in Whistler, BC on July 27-30, featuring over 40
peer reviewed papers (submitted to the Journal of Land Use and
Transport, and keynote addresses from Ed Glaeser (Harvard),
Robert Cervero (UC Berkeley) and David Bannister (Oxford). Please see for the program and links to presentations and even
audio recordings of the keynotes.

The steering committee is now forming the World Society for Transport
and Land Use Research (WSTLUR), who will be charged with organizing a
subsequent symposium in 2014 and other aims of the Society. The
mission statement—broadly, to cultivate an interdisciplinary research
community/agenda--- is below.

Members of the society will elect the board (11 seats are open); the
board will then select its officers. (Please see bylaws posted at ; Kevin J. Krizek, University of Colorado, has been
appointed chair of the elections committee). If you are interested in
participating in this exciting international endeavor, we encourage
you to become a member of the society. Attendees of the World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research
(WSTLUR) are already members.
Fees are $75 for three years
and can be registered by going to .

Elections for the board will commence Sept 15, 2011; if you are
interested in becoming a member and voting in the election, please
become a member by September 9, 2011.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the board,
please send a nomination to Kevin J. Krizek ( by
September 9. Anyone can nominate members for the board, however,
nominees must be (or become) a registered member of the society. A nomination
consists of:

-Name of the nominee
-Current position and affiliation
-A narrative (not to exceed 80 words and written in the third person),
describing the nominee’s activities, broadly speaking, in the area of
integrated transport-land use research.

Self nominations are allowed and all nominations need to be accepted
by the nominee. Please end only one email to Kevin J. Krizek
documenting the above process with the nominee’s full name in the
subject heading. (Self nominees would need to send only one email;
others would send one email with acceptance embedded).

Should you have any questions, please contact
Kevin J. Krizek (University of Colorado) at

The purpose of WSTLUR is to promote the understanding and analysis of
the interdisciplinary interactions of transport and land use and to
provide a forum for debate and a mechanism for the dissemination of
information. More specifically the aims include:
1. The exchange and dissemination of information at an international
level on all aspects of the theory, analysis, modeling, and evaluation
of transport-land use interactions and related policy.
2. The encouragement of high-quality research and application in the
above areas, through debates, publication, and promotion.
3. The provision of a clearinghouse for information on recent
developments in the field and to foster contacts among professionals
within and between various countries and different disciplines.
4. The promotion of international conferences, seminars, and workshops
on all aspects of transport-land use interaction.
5. The representation of the viewpoints of members to appropriate
national and international bodies, as required by the membership.
6. The preparation of regular communications to facilitate the above aims.

Transportation at TED

California Farmer reports that now All UC Campus Seminars Online

This would be a great thing if true. See Ironically, the article does not allow cut and paste. Somehow, I don't think it is quite all seminars though. I doubt it is even all online seminars. Still this is progress and would a good thing to emulate.

Brookings Institution will be hosting an event on State Roads to Economic Recovery: Policies, Pavements, and Partnerships - Brookings Institution.

Event Information
When Friday, February 25, 2011 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Where Falk Auditorium
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

As the U.S. economy begins a slow climb to recovery, state and local governments are still reeling from the impact of the Great Recession. Revenues have plunged while the demand for key state and local services has soared. Meanwhile, unemployment remains stubbornly high.

On Friday, February 25, The Hamilton Project and the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will host a forum on state strategies that can help close budget deficits while also growing state economies and creating much-needed jobs. Brookings Vice President Bruce Katz will moderate a panel of policy experts and state leaders, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, now a senior fellow at Brookings, and Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The panel will discuss a range of fiscally responsible policy ideas to build the foundation for the next economy.

A second panel of economic experts, moderated by Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone, will discuss three new policy proposals to help state and local governments invest more efficiently in infrastructure to promote their long-term economic competitiveness. These papers provide a new approach to arranging public private partnerships to create greater public value and reduce risks; a reorganization of our national highway infrastructure priorities; and the establishment of a not-for-profit, independent advisory firm that would help reduce borrowing costs for municipalities and increase returns for investors. Former Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation Tyler Duvall will serve as a discussant for the proposals.

I will not be at the event in person, though I will be there in spirit and online, while Matt Kahn presents our joint paper, which is almost ready to be released.

(This is probably the most important work ever to be written on highway finance by two authors who walk to work).

From Sunday - Thursday of next week the Annual Transportation Research Board Conference will be held in Washington DC, spanning three large hotels. I and my colleagues will be there. The papers we are presenting are listed below, some papers are double-listed, i.e. they will be presented in brief (7 min) talks along with a poster. I hope to see many of you there. The only paper I am personally giving is on Value Capture, but given the schedule below, I will be found at the Hilton. In addition, there are various committee meetings I hope to see folks at.

World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research

July 28-30, 2011
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

We are pleased to announce the inaugural meeting of the World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research (WSTLUR) to be held in Whistler, British Columbia, July 28-30, 2011. The conference will bring together academics and practitioners at the intersection of economics, planning, and engineering in the fields of transport and land use.

In addition to presentations based on rigorously peer-reviewed papers, the conference program will include confirmed plenary presentations from:

  • Ed Glaeser (Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University), Keynote Address
  • Robert Cervero (Professor of City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley), Featured Luncheon Speaker
  • David Banister (Professor of Transport Studies, Oxford University), Featured Luncheon Speaker

The Call for Papers, seeking original and interdisciplinary research addressing the interaction of transport and land use, is open for submission until December 31, 2010.

With support from contributing partners, the conference is being organized by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota under the direction of the Organizing Committee and advisement from the Scientific Committee.

International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability

Save the Date and Call for Papers

July 22-23, 2010 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The aim of the International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability (INSTR) is to bring together researchers and professionals interested in transportation network reliability to discuss both recent research and future directions in this increasingly important field of research. The scope of the symposium includes all aspects of analysis and design to improve network reliability, including:
• user perception of unreliability
• public policy and reliability of travel times
• the valuation of reliability
• the economics of reliability
• network reliability modelling and estimation
• transport network robustness
• reliability of public transportation
• travel behaviour under uncertainty
• vehicle routing and scheduling under uncertainty
• risk evaluation and management for transportation networks
• ITS to improve network reliability

Submission of Papers
Papers will be categorized and ranked by peer reviewers. Theoretical, empirical, case-study, and policy-oriented contributions are welcome. Papers must be submitted electronically at byDecember 23, 2009 for consideration.

Key Dates
• Papers Due: December 23, 2009
• Papers selected and submitted: January 2010
• Final Papers Due (subject to acceptance): February 2010
• Early Registration Deadline: June 1, 2010
• Conference: July 22-23, 2010

More Information

Visit the INSTR Web site at

David Levinson
RP Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation
University of Minnesota

Sara Van Essendelft
Conference Coordinator
University of Minnesota

The conference is hosted by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.

I am pleased to say that the International Transport Economics Conference (ITrEC) came off last week (June 15, 16) without a hitch. We had 97 registered participants, About 70 presentations, lots of good conversation and stimulating ideas.

I want to especially acknowledge Herb Mohring, who launched transport economics at the University of Minnesota and made a number of important contributions to both road pricing and transit analysis (the Mohring Effect). The session in his honor was chaired by Lee Munnich, and featured presentations by Robin Lindsey, Erik Verhoef, and David Lewis, the first two describing and extending his contribution on full cost recovery of tolls.

Thanks go to several anonymous paper reviewers (you know who you are), sponsors: State and Local Policy Program at the Humphrey Institute (and especially Lee Munnich)
Taylor and Francis/Routledge, and Edward Elgar; and
Sara van Essendelft, Catherine Flannery, Kristi Miller, and Stephanie Malinoff for getting everything together and Jason Junge and Carlos Carrion for helping keep everything running, the scientific committee, and the local organizing committee.

I anticipate a location for the next ITrEC will be announced soon, and am relieved it will not be Minneapolis.

International Transport Economics Conference
Incorporating the International Conference on Funding Transport

The International Transport Economics Conference (ITrEC) brings
together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers interested in
questions of transport economics. Topics include economic questions
relating to revenue and finance; congestion, pricing, and investment;
production function and cost estimation; transport demand; energy and
environment; safety; institutions and industrial organization; and
transport and land use. The conference is designed to appeal to
participants from varied backgrounds, including economists and
transport professionals in particular.

The conference has previously been held in Banff, Canada(2006);
Leuven, Belgium (2007); and Paris, France (2008).

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts will be categorized and ranked by peer reviewers.
Theoretical, empirical, case-study, and policy-oriented contributions
are welcome. Abstracts of up to 1,000 words must be submitted
electronically by November 21, 2008 for

Key Dates

Abstracts Due: November 21, 2008
Abstracts Selected and Submitters Notified: January 2009
Final Papers Due (subject to acceptance): April 3, 2009
Early Registration Deadline: May 15, 2009
Conference: June 15-16, 2009
More Information

David Levinson
RP Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation
University of Minnesota

Sara Van Essendelft
Conference Coordinator
University of Minnesota

The conference is hosted by the Center for Transportation Studies at
the University of Minnesota.

Iowa Conference

I will be attending and presenting at Transportation Finance and Economics: Policies for the Future tomorrow. The conference is in honor of the late David Forkenbrock, who led the Public Policy Center in Iowa for many years. I will post my presentation after Friday.

Conferences and Laptops

I just attended NetSci 2006 , which was an interesting conference with physicists and social networks people claiming the title "Network Science" (I believe I was the sole representative of physical networks: transportation, electricity, telecommunications, etc.).

What was most remarkable about the conference was the especially large number of audience members who used laptops while someone was speaking, especially if the speaker was not a "name" or an especially experienced. Why bother showing up if you are going to pay more attention to your computer screen than the speaker?

One can understand the next speaker reviewing their powerpoint perhaps, but I think for something like this more communications channels (free wireless) is less, diminishing the effectiveness of the conference by having less common ground among the audience to discuss common issues (i.e. the presentations in the last session).

-- dml

NetSci 2006

I will be at NetSci 2006 in Bloomington, Indiana over the next few days. This should be an interesting interdisciplinary conference. I will be presenting The Evolution of Transportation Networks written with my former student Lei Zhang.


I will be attending the MeshForum conference in San Francisco May 7th and 8th.

This will be an interesting combination of random people from social networking, futurists, and Web 2.0, and me, apparently representing physical networks. I will be talking about the evolution of transportation networks. The conference also has a wiki. The conference is organized by Shannon Clark of JigZaw.

I saw a reference on a social networks message board, which is how I found out about it, and then saw that Professor Anna Nagurney carried the flag for transportation networks last year. Her talk is available at IT Conversations.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

View David Levinson's profile on LinkedIn

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