Day 2 of the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board was an exercise of trying (and, alas, failing miserably) to be several places at the same time.
As I’ve developed research interests in freight logistics and traffic signal timing over the last year, I’ve noticed that there haven’t been too many efforts to link the two or explore the synergies between operations and freight sustainability. That point was driven home on Monday, as the freight sessions and meetings conflicted with the signal systems meetings for most of the day. My morning poster session prevented me from attending a signal systems meeting that I was interested in; the committee that sponsored my session met in the afternoon at the same time as another compelling operations committee. Luckily, I did get to see some terrific posters on both subjects over the course of the day before again lamenting the fact that there’s only one of me in the evening, as several receptions I wanted to attend took place concurrently.
I had some wonderful conversations during my poster session, particularly around a topic that I’ve been trying to figure out for quite some time: estimating a monetary consequence of being seen as a sustainable or “green” company by one’s customer base. And anyone who thinks freight logistics is a dry subject certainly wasn’t in attendance at the committee meeting yesterday, which got quite contentious as it became clear that some folks there, um, didn’t exactly care too much about issues like multimodalism or sustainability. But the clear highlight of the day was at a reception in the evening when Portland State’s own celebrity-noveau Jesse Boudart took to the baby grand piano.
Watch and be delighted!