VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2
COVID-19 Uncertainty Leads to Opportunity:
Record Attendance at the 2020 Texas Pedestrian Safety Forum
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) hosted the first-ever virtual Texas Pedestrian Safety Forum Aug. 6, 2020. Supported by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety, the event focused on pedestrian safety issues.
By moving to a virtual platform, the 2020 Texas Pedestrian Safety Forum team provided 588 people from across Texas and the country the opportunity to attend. The one-day forum helped attendees learn more about pedestrian safety from industry leaders. One significant benefit of the virtual platform is the ability for attendees to view recordings of all sessions for up to one year.
“Dealing with the uncertainty of COVID-19 prompted us to move the forum to a virtual platform,” says TTI Senior Research Scientist Michael Manser. “Hosting the forum online allowed us to attract speakers and attendees from all over the state and country.”
The forum had a diverse list of speakers from various sectors that deal with pedestrian safety, including public health and law enforcement, among others. Richard Retting, national practice leader for safety and research at Sam Schwartz Consulting, delivered the keynote address, providing insights into what data tell us about the current trends in pedestrian fatalities and how we might address them in the future.
“We were extremely pleased with the breadth of expertise and the diversity of topics that our presenters brought to the table at this year’s forum,” says TTI Assistant Research Scientist Ben Ettelman. “Our goal at these events is to ensure that every attendee — regardless of background or level of pedestrian safety expertise — will walk away having learned something that will assist them as they strive to make Texas safer fand pedestrians. We feel confident that the 2020 Texas Pedestrian Safety Forum met this goal.”
TTI would like to thank everyone involved in setting up this conference, including Ettelman, Manser, Event Coordinator Stephanie Ferguson, Senior Administrative Coordinator II Christie Havemann, Associate Research Scientist Laura Higgins, Assistant Transportation Researcher Katherine Murdoch, and Communications and Marketing Coordinator Olivia Thomas; the eShow team, whose platform presented the conference; the webinar hosts and moderators; and the presenters for their time and flexibility.
“Dealing with the uncertainty of COVID-19 prompted us to move the forum to a virtual platform. Hosting the forum online allowed us to attract speakers and attendees from all over the state and country."
"Our goal at these events is to ensure that every attendee — regardless of background or level of pedestrian safety expertise — will walk away having learned something that will assist them as they strive to make Texas safer for pedestrians."