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Old 01-17-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,623,761 times
Reputation: 2739

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Well, they say its an "un-conference", but still...

Quote:
On Feb. 9, Georgia Tech will host TransportationCamp South, a daylong event which aims to bring together "thinkers and doers" in transportation and technology. It's the first time that a city in the Southeast has hosted the event, which since 2011 has taken place in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Montreal.
Total cost is $11.54 and comes with breakfast, lunch and a tshirt. There are 66 tickets left as of this posting. It doesn't sound like the most organized thing in the world as attendees are responsible for the sessions. But it should be interesting.

Events like this are nothing but good for Atlanta. Hopefully this will provide a venue for collaboration, inspiration, and motivation (cheesy I know) for improving transport here in our fine city and the region.

TransportationCamp South TransportationCamp

Last edited by tikigod311; 01-17-2013 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
217 posts, read 348,573 times
Reputation: 237
I bought a ticket a few days ago. Even if it isn't some mind-blowing, life-changing experience, I've spent $12 on much worse things.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,623,761 times
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Anybody at this conference?

Lot of great info, will posting high lights later.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA..don't go to GSU
1,110 posts, read 1,341,872 times
Reputation: 366
Sounds awesome. UGA's SEC renewable energy symposium and now this. I'm on a winning streak with these college conferences.

Buying.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Inman Park
402 posts, read 584,631 times
Reputation: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by tikigod311 View Post
Anybody at this conference?

Lot of great info, will posting high lights later.
Highlights or cliff notes would be awesome, thanks!
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,623,761 times
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...h.wek3bjfs2nqc

List of all the sessions so far. I'm like a kid at a candy store right now
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 AM
 
38 posts, read 71,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikigod311 View Post
. It doesn't sound like the most organized thing in the world as attendees are responsible for the sessions. But it should be interesting.

That's the point of an unconference, actually. When done well, they'll have sessions that are aimed at what the people in attendance want to hear about and discuss. It's not a lack of organization, but a different type of organization - the key, though, is good facilitation.

I wasn't at the event, because I had other obligations, but it looks like this had some interesting topics for discussion. I'll definitely be watching for the notes to be available.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,623,761 times
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Overall, this event was surprising and inspiring. The event held 170 people, which sold out with a waiting list. The majority of the crowd was young, under 30 by a factor of 5 to 1. The people attending came across as passionate about the topic of improving transportation in Atlanta. The conversations were generally well thought out and many good ideas were thrown around. Most everyone was well informed and ready to do more than talk. Sessions were mostly about developing transit related apps, transit expansion, and complete streets.

The whole event was referred to as an "un-conference". The idea being that the sessions were proposed by the attendies. It was extremely interactive. The only planned aspect of the conference was the first couple of hours. Those first hours had speakers from the City of Atlanta, MARTA, and the ARC.

First up: Ben Graham, Chief Information Officer at MARTA.

MARTA is working hard numerous cell phone apps. One of which is a see something, say something type app that is for more than just terrorism. It will have the ability to send pics directly to MARTA along with two way texting. Basically, you will get a response in real time. Apparently this is inspried by csafe of seesafe app being used by MBTA. They also want to put in interactive screens in the stations for area info and messages with specific questions that riders could text MARTA to let them know how they are doing. He also spoke a lot about the open data and stated that he wanted to work with developers to make some new apps. Also addressed the lack of real time train arrivals, stating that the system is from the 70s and uses lat and lon coordinates instead of GPS like the buses. He said they will be adding QR codes to bus stop signs to get real time arrival info.

The guy from ARC spoke about a new data warehouse / data center that they had recently implemented to help them work on getting a better grasp on traffic patterns. The idea is to standardize data from all the regional operaters (CCT, BUC, Atlantic Station Shuttle, College Park GO Bus, MARTA, GCT). They will be releasing that data set, but it is not available yet. Also promoted the Atlanta CleanWeb Hackathon on Feb 28th - atlanta.cleanweb.co .

The guy from the City of Atlanta spoke about the new investments the city is making in bike infrastructure. He stated that the city was not investing any money into road / highway expansion. They are actively working to expand the streetcar and will be moving soon to Phase 1, which is the crosstown connection in Midtown, running down North Ave or Ponce to connect with the Beltline E and W side. He spoke of this as if it was definite and referred to it as the Atlanta Streetcar Expansion Strategy. Here's hoping he wasn't getting ahead of himself. Also spoke about focusing on re working zoning laws and strengthing TOD development and preventing any suburban style developments in the city. Also mentioned re working the official truck routes in the city. He stated that they are working to develop unified bus signage (CCT, MARTA, GCT) in Midtown and Buckhead.

He also spoke about the MMPT. He stated that the project is on an accelerated schedule. Right now things are quiet since they are in the environment impact stage. Expected completion date in 2016.

After the speakers, sessions were selected for each of the hours, I put a link to all of the selected sessions in a post above. It was hard to pick one out per hour because there were a lot of good ones. Will post my thoughts on the rest of the day in a bit...

Last edited by tikigod311; 02-11-2013 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,623,761 times
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So the first session I elected to visit was one about MARTA and expansion. Basically spoke about the new privatization bill proposed by Senator (?) Jacobs. There was an official from MARTA in the session that was participating. They were not overly negative, but I don't think they cared for the idea. The topic moved to MARTOC governance without any funding from the state. It was a bit eye opening for me as I hadn't really delved into that before. The overall tone in the room is that while we would love to get MARTA out from under the hand of the state, we will likely have to work within those confines. Someone brought up the idea of getting more involvement from the feds, didn't exactly follow it, but it was well received. Was able to have a nice conversation with the MARTA rep after the session and we may be working on something that could involve interested people on this fine forum.

The next session was the easiest one to choose: "Conservatives for Transit?". This was hands down the most crowded of the smaller sessions that became standing room only. Of course, the general consensus was that transit investment was not something inherently liberal. The point was made many times that roads are one of the most socialized features of our country. With user fees, the gas tax, only covering a certain amount ( I don't remember exactly) of the investment, roads require a significant portion of the cost covered by those not necessarily using it. The numbers used in that session were stating that by and large, the percent of transit costs covered by transit fares far outweigh the total cost of roads covered by the gas tax. I'm not saying its true, somebody else can verify if they like. A big theme of the session was to change the conversation on transit.

The next session was about a new transit info app / website being developed. I didn't care too much about this, but the website did have some really cool info. TransViz is the name and the idea was to be able to look up detailed stats about the area surrounding the station. Check it out at projectcypress.herokuapp.com. Add /206 or /27 to see a couple of other stations.

The last session was about the TSPLOST and why it failed. This was actually a bit annoying. This honestly is a two line answer. The region was too big. The project list was too varied. I found this to be the most disappointing as it was mostly highjacked by people talking about integrating the university bus systems in Atlanta. The idea was to come up with ideas to make another tax more successful. At the end, the most popular solutions were Public Private Partnerships, Smaller Region, and a new type of tax (parking tax, congestion tax [yeah right]).

If I were to take one thing away from this conference, it is that there are a lot of young people in Atlanta who are determined to fix the course of transit development in this city. There was a lot of passion and good ideas. I spoke with one of the organizers and he said they certainly did not expect this much of a response. He said it was highly likely it will happen again next year.

People of City Data, you missed out. This event was basically like a big 'ol forum meeting. Except there were officials and representatives you could talk to and like minded people you can network with. I think some good things will come out of this. I know I personally made some good connections with some great folks. I hope to be organizing something soon that I would love to have some of the good people on this forum participate in.

Last edited by tikigod311; 02-11-2013 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:46 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,065,348 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by tikigod311 View Post
So the first session I elected to visit was one about MARTA and expansion. Basically spoke about the new privatization bill proposed by Senator (?) Jacobs. There was an official from MARTA in the session that was participating. They were not overly negative, but I don't think they cared for the idea. The topic moved to MARTOC governance without any funding from the state. It was a bit eye opening for me as I hadn't really delved into that before. The overall tone in the room is that while we would love to get MARTA out from under the hand of the state, we will likely have to work within those confines. Someone brought up the idea of getting more involvement from the feds, didn't exactly follow it, but it was well received. Was able to have a nice conversation with the MARTA rep after the session and we may be working on something that could involve interested people on this fine forum.

The next session was the easiest one to choose: "Conservatives for Transit?". This was hands down the most crowded of the smaller sessions that became standing room only. Of course, the general consensus was that transit investment was not something inherently liberal. The point was made many times that roads are one of the most socialized features of our country. With user fees, the gas tax, only covering a certain amount ( I don't remember exactly) of the investment, roads require a significant portion of the cost covered by those not necessarily using it. The numbers used in that session were stating that by and large, the percent of transit costs covered by transit fares far outweigh the total cost of roads covered by the gas tax. I'm not saying its true, somebody else can verify if they like. A big theme of the session was to change the conversation on transit.

The next session was about a new transit info app / website being developed. I didn't care too much about this, but the website did have some really cool info. TransViz is the name and the idea was to be able to look up detailed stats about the area surrounding the station. Check it out at projectcypress.herokuapp.com. Add /206 or /27 to see a couple of other stations.

The last session was about the TSPLOST and why it failed. This was actually a bit annoying. This honestly is a two line answer. The region was too big. The project list was too varied. I found this to be the most disappointing as it was mostly highjacked by people talking about integrating the university bus systems in Atlanta. The idea was to come up with ideas to make another tax more successful. At the end, the most popular solutions were Public Private Partnerships, Smaller Region, and a new type of tax (parking tax, congestion tax [yeah right]).

If I were to take one thing away from this conference, it is that there are a lot of young people in Atlanta who are determined to fix the course of transit development in this city. There was a lot of passion and good ideas. I spoke with one of the organizers and he said they certainly did not expect this much of a response. He said it was highly likely it will happen again next year.

People of City Data, you missed out. This event was basically like a big 'ol forum meeting. Except there were officials and representatives you could talk to and like minded people you can network with. I think some good things will come out of this. I know I personally made some good connections with some great folks. I hope to be organizing something soon that I would love to have some of the good people on this forum participate in.
I was at the first and last sessions with you. I loved that marta sent a team of people and they actually where involved in the sessions that involved them.
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