NaTMEC logoCSCRS-hosted NaTMEC 2021 brings record attendance to virtual format

In June 2021, CSCRS hosted the National Travel Monitoring Exposition and Conference (NaTMEC), an event designed to provide travel monitoring professionals and transportation data users a forum to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of multimodal traffic monitoring programs. The theme of the 2021 event was “Connecting Travel Monitoring to Transportation System Safety and Mobility.” Approximately 400 attendees – a record for NaTMEC – participated in the virtual conference. Originally scheduled to take place in June 2020 as an in-person event in Raleigh, NC, NaTMEC was rescheduled for 2021 and transformed into an all-online format.

Dr. Jamila Porter

The conference featured 43 sessions including interactive online poster discussions, sponsor showcases, a virtual exhibit hall, and a social travel trivia game. The conference opened and closed with plenary addresses – speakers in the opening plenary set the tone for the whole event. Welcoming keynote speaker Jamila Porter, DrPH, MPH, former Director of Resilient Communities with the Big Cities Health Coalition (now with the de Beaumont Foundation), challenged attendees to consider how the history of redlining in the U.S. was directly tied to the construction of interstates, which is directly related to the connections we still see in our communities today between traffic, congestion, and segregation. Robert Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, U.S. Department of Transportation, urged attendees to address racial equity and justice, climate, and resilience through a holistic systems approach by recognizing interconnectedness to transportation. And David Winter, Office of Highway Policy Information, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), emphasized the fundamental importance of data quality.

“Hosting NaTMEC provided CSCRS the opportunity to link the concepts of Safe Systems with travel monitoring, aligning with our mission to create and exchange knowledge to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, systems-based approach,” said Laura Sandt, CSCRS Director. “We enjoyed working with the FHWA team and the Conference Planning Committee on this unique virtual event, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with travel monitoring professionals and transportation data users on enhancing data-driven decisions related to road safety and more.”

NaTMEC by the numbers:

  • NaTMEC attendees represented a diverse audience:
    • 45 percent from state government agencies
    • One fifth from private industry
    • One fifth from academic institutions including 26 students representing 13 universities
    • The remaining from the federal government, local government, and other organizations
    • 40 states
    • 11 countries including Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Slovenia, and India
  • NaTMEC featured 11 research posters
  • NaTMEC had 16 sponsors
  • Leading up the the conference, NaTMEC hosted a series of five webinars in conjunction with the Institute of Transportation Engineers  

Seth LaJeunesse presents during NaTMEC 2021

In addition to hosting the NaTMEC, CSCRS and UNC Highway Safety Research Center staff were pleased to add to the content of the meeting, including:

  • “Rating Datasets for the National Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Data Clearinghouse, ” Krista Nordback, UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC)
  • “Systemic, Risk-based Pedestrian Safety Process,” Wes Kumfer, Ph.D, RSP1, HSRC
  • “Walking with biosensing wristbands: An exploration of pedestrian stress in natural and urban environments,” Seth LaJeunesse, HSRC
  • “Use of Performance Measures to Improve Data Quality, ” Nancy Lefler, HSRC

CSCRS, working with FHWA and the NaTMEC Conference Planning Committee, was responsible for managing all aspects of NaTMEC including the call for abstracts, marketing and communications, website maintenance, sponsor development, registration, online meeting platform management, managing the webinar series, and all tasks related to postponing and re-planning the event. Sarah O’Brien of HSRC was the lead on the CSCRS NaTMEC planning team.

The next NaTMEC will be held June 13-16, 2022, in Boise, Idaho, hosted by the Idaho Transportation Department and the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans)