TRB Annual Meeting

  • The 2021 Annual Meeting will be held virtually over a series of dates in January 2021
  • Dates for other future annual meetings are here.

Past TRB Annual Meeting Presentations


Celebrating Transportation Research on Film: What the Cutting Edge in 1970 Means for the Future

Event Description

The Highway Research Board commissioned a remarkable film celebrating the cutting edge in transportation research for its 50th anniversary. Narrated by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame, the film showcases the use of computer technologies for everything from road simulations to routing demand-responsive buses. Crash tests, new guard rail designs, and even holographic signs promote safety. An extended sequence in Watts, Los Angeles examines the impacts of highways on African-American communities. After showing Research: The Common Denominator (26 minutes), the panel and audience will share what the cutting edge in 1970 means for transportation, and transportation research, in the future.

Gregory Slater, Maryland State Highway Administration, presiding

Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50)

Introduction to the Film – Sarah Jo Peterson, 23 Urban Strategies, LLC


  • Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Dan Albert, n+1 Magazine
  • Richard Ezike, The Urban Institute

Transportation History Committee

Event Description

TRB’s Committee on Transportation History (ABG50) provides a forum for transportation historians, government archivists, curators, and others to develop historical analyses of transportation systems that inform current practice, identify gaps and opportunities to advance the preservation of transportation history, and exchange information.

Asha Weinstein Agrawal, San Jose State University, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50)

At the meeting, the committee will review its work from the previous year, plan for the coming year, and hear 2 research presentations:

 Historic Tolling in Alabama: Bridging the Past and Present

Bouran Mozayen, Alabama Transportation Institute

Göta Kanal: A Swedish 19th-Century Mega Project

Björn Hasselgren, Swedish Transport Administration (TRAFIKVERKET)

 Oral History Working Group

Jon Williams, Transportation Research Board, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50)

Members of the TRB Oral History Working Group will review their activities to date and plan for the coming year.


Presentation by Don Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the U.S. Senate

Transcript of Presentation

Audio Recording of Presentation


470 (JBS18-0002)

From Boom to Boom and Beyond: The History of Bicycle Transportation and Planning in the United States, 1890s to the Present

Event Description

The history of U.S. bicycle transportation and planning began with an explosion of technological innovation and popularity in the late 19th century that affected bicycle, motor vehicle, and pedestrian planning throughout the 20th century. During the first half of the century, bicycles were regarded as recreational for adults and toys for children but rarely as a serious transportation mode. Then the 1970s witnessed a second boom of interest in and sales of bicycles, just as conflicts emerged between “vehicular cyclists” and advocates for protected bicycle infrastructure, shaping subsequent bicycle planning debates and trends. This session explores this evolution and these conflicts with three insightful papers and time for discussion.

Bradley Flamm, West Chester University, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50); Standing Committee on Bicycle Transportation (ANF20)

Between the Booms: Bicycle Planning in Twentieth Century New York (18-00299)
Evan Friss, James Madison University

Reconsidering the Victory Bike in World War II: Federal Transportation Policy, History, and Bicycle Commuting in America (18-01429)
James Longhurst, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

A Historical Perspective on the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities and the Impact of the Vehicular Cycling Movement (18-05962)
William Schultheiss, Toole Design Group, LLC
Rebecca Sanders, Toole Design Group, LLC
Jennifer Toole, Toole Design Group, LLC

Discussant (P18-20396)
Martin Wachs, University of California, Los Angeles

199 (JBS18-0003)

Transportation Regulation Versus Deregulation: Is This Discussion Ever Really Over?

Event Description

This year marks the 40th anniversary of passage of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.  This legislation was not the first action to reduce federal economic regulation of domestic transportation activities. It is, however, the primary reference point for the process of pulling back from over 90 years of federal intervention into the operation of the nation’s transportation industries. A generation has passed since 1978, and while the term “deregulation” is still familiar to most transportation practitioners, there is nonetheless a growing lack of understanding as to what regulation entailed, what was actually deregulated, how it continues to influence transportation industries, and whether regulation might return again in some as of yet unforeseen form.

John Fischer, Consulting Services, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50); Standing Committee on Aviation Economics and Forecasting (AV040)

Rail Deregulation (P18-20259)
Robert Gallamore, The Gallamore Group, LLC

Trucking Deregulation (P18-20264)
Edward Rastatter, National Industrial Transportation League (NITL)

Airline Deregulation (P18-20322)
Robert Peterson, RMPAero, LLC

Residual Regulation (P18-20321)
Francis Mulvey

262 (JBS18-0004)

50th Anniversary of Federally Mandated Automobile Safety: What Are the Implications for Future Innovations in Automobile Design?

Event Description

January 1968 marked a turning point in auto safety; federal standards now regulated safety features of new automobiles. This pivotal moment brought together government activism and intervention, consumer advocacy, engineering, and medicine.  It broadened federal safety regulatory powers from commercial vehicles to new automobiles.  It represented a legal and moral victory over auto manufacturers, who approached safety primarily from a consumer demand perspective.  Yet the new federal standards did not fully protect the lives and health of motorists through car design and construction. This session uses this history to understand the lessons for future innovations in automobile safety technology such as connected and autonomous vehicles.

Ruth Steiner, University of Florida, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50); Standing Committee on Occupant Protection (ANB45)

The Seat Belt Mandate: Lessons Learned about Technology and Public Engagement (P18-20185)
Roger White, Smithsonian Institution

Re-configuring Responsibility: Fifty Years of Rethinking our Relationship with the Automobile (P18-20324)
Jameson Wetmore, Arizona State University

Human Behavior Matters: Why Vehicle Standards and Design Can’t Guarantee Occupant Protection (P18-20325)
James Hedlund, Highway Safety North

Lives Saved through Vehicle Design: Regulation, Consumer Information, and the Future (P18-20326)
Adrian Lund, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Transportation History Committee

Asha Agrawal, San Jose State University, presiding

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50)

The committee’s business meeting will include presentation of 2 papers:

Reconstruction of Western Europe’s Pre-Motorway Road Network Back to 1500: Data Sources, Historical Information Processing, and First Application (18-05184)
Raphael Fuhrer, ETHZ – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Kay Axhausen, ETHZ – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Ryan Westrom, Ford Motor Company
Chris Shaheen, DC Office of Planning
Rebecca Schwartzman, District Department of Transportation


A Tribute to Herbert Levinson

Event Description

A tribute to the life and work of Herbetrt Levinson. There will be a short program and remembrances are welcome from attendees

Dennis Hinebaugh, USF Center for Urban Transportation Research, presiding

Sponsored by Public Transportation Group (AP000); Standing Committee on Transportation History (ABG50)

 Overview of Mr. Levinson’s Career (P18-20366)
Samuel Zimmerman, The World Bank

 Remembrances (P18-20368)
Robert Paaswell, University Transportation Research Center

 Remembrances (P18-20370)
John Falcocchio, Polytechnic University of New York

 Remembrances (P18-20374)
Jack Reilly, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

 Remembrances (P18-20375)
John Allen