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Transportation specific conferences

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
483
Points
12
Has anyone been to Rail Volution, NACTO, Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place, APTA, ITE, or other transportation-specific conferences instead of the APA National Planning Conference? What has been your experience doing so?

I gave up going to APA five years ago and have instead focused my once-a-year conference ask specifically towards Rail~Volution and NACTO Designing Cities. It's been awesome tbh. But I'm hoping to be AICP certified by Jan 2020, so I'm trying to decide where to focus my energy and fill all the requirements of getting my AICP CM's. On one hand I like being able to just focus on transportation since it's more relevant to my job (because even that is a huggeeeee field with a lot of sub-topics). But on the other, I sometimes miss being more in the know about the bigger planning picture and meeting other types of planners (housing, land use, environment, urban design, zoning, etc.). The other ones are also nice because they are smaller, usually less than 1,000 people so more akin to the State APA conferences (but national). They do tend to focus on the large coastal cities, though, while APA is much more balanced in terms of geographic scale (rural, regional, counties, MPOs, federal, etc.).

Have people been to other conferences? What was your take?
 

bigfoxy98

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
The Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting is another great conference that offers AICP credits. They also offer more topic specific meetings throughout the year across the country. Other transportation related conferences are NARC, NADO Rural Transportation.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
483
Points
12
The Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting is another great conference that offers AICP credits. They also offer more topic specific meetings throughout the year across the country. Other transportation related conferences are NARC, NADO Rural Transportation.

I forgot about TRB! Yes definitely a great one - it's huge and overwhelming, but when I lived near there I used to go attend all the auxiliary events before, after, and during TRB.
 

southern_yank

Cyburbian
Messages
144
Points
6
I agree about ditching national APA conferences. They're just too broad and about 70% of the topics aren't applicable to my focus area. I've been going to NACTO and TRB - they're great if you're interested in transportation planning, traffic engineering or other mobility issues.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,112
Points
17
This year's NACTO in Toronto was fantastic (loved the work they put into their program guides and walking tours all over the city), as was the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) conference held in Chicago this March.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
483
Points
12
Gross and sweeping generalizations but my concluding thoughts:
  • NACTO - best suited for large city employees working on street design/technical stuff. Arguably the one where you learn the most.
  • RAIL-VOLUTION - best suited for for generalists, transit agencies and real estate/TOD folks. Arguably the most fun one.
  • APA - best suited for generalists, land use planners, and students. Arguably the one where you're most likely to be exhausted every day. But best one for AICP prep/CM credits.
  • APTA - best suited for technical transit operations folks
  • TRB - best suited for researchers and engineers. MASSIVE. Arguably the best one for DC locals attending auxiliary events all week without actually registering for the conference :roflmao:.
  • Transforming Transportation - best suited for TRB attendees who want a global perspective. And DC locals because it's free, sponsored by the World Bank.
  • ITE - best suited for engineers.
  • WTS - Best suited for women. Arguably the one with the most comprehensive view of transportation, from aviation to cement to bike lanes.
  • SUMC and SXSW- best suited for techies and private mobility providers
  • APBP and Walk/Bike/Place (formerly Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place) - best suited for advocacy groups, non-profits, urban designers, and generalist bike-ped and placemaking folks
  • CNU - best suited for urban designers and place-making
  • NABSA - best suited for bikeshare folks. Arguably the smallest/most intimate feeling one.
  • Transportation Camps - best suited for everyone, since they are small, super low cost, local or regional, and on a weekend so you don't have to ask for funding or time off. Interesting mix of planners, techies, advocacy folks, and students.
What do you think? Anything I missed?
 
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