Frederick Salvucci shares and encourages students to attend relevant public meetings, hearings, lectures, and other events throughout the semester. In this section, he discusses why these events are important learning experiences for students.
The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Kendall Square (Courtesy of Falk Lademann on Flickr. License: CC BY.)
One of the biggest reforms in transportation planning has come from the requirements for public meetings. These meetings force proponents of transportation projects to explain why they make sense to the public. Observing that process is important and informative, and you don’t get a feel for it unless you’ve gone to some of the meetings and seen how they work.
It’s a matter of luck if there happen to be hearings that are interesting during a given semester; if there are, indeed, relevant hearings while we’re in class, I’ll call attention to them. In the Fall 2016 iteration of the course, I encouraged students to go to the meetings convened by MIT about the Institute’s purchase of the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Kendall Square and what that means for the MIT community. They’re MIT students; they should know what the Institute is proposing. It’s not a very good plan. I’ve written articles in the faculty newsletter saying so.