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TRB, Taxonomy, and the Island of Misfit Toys

Animal House (1978)

An open letter to the leadership of the Transportation Research Board.

Early in the movie Animal House (1978),  Faber College freshmen Larry “Pinto” Kroger and Kent “Flounder” Dorfman are seeking to join a fraternity and come across the prestigious Omega Theta Pi house party.  Almost immediately they are sized up and ushered into a “special” room containing all of the potential pledges that are deemed unworthy.  The image of that room, with all its lost souls, says all you need to know about Omega Theta Pi.

Recently, the Transportation Research Board has reorganized Committees, of which Historic and Archaeological Preservation (old ADC50) is one.  The new TRB structure renumbers the ADC50 Committee on Historic and Archaeological Preservation in Transportation (AME60), and moves it from the old Environment and Energy Section (ADC00) to a new Transportation and Society Section (AME00) within a new Sustainability and Resilience Group (AM000).  The Historic and Archaeological Historic Preservation Committee still exists, for which I probably should be grateful as many other worthy Committees have been eliminated and/or consolidated. AME60 is possibly the only Committee in the Section other than AME30 with a focus underpinned by Federal legislation.  Surveying the other Committees in the Section it appears AME60 has truly been moved to the island of misfit toys, and says all you need to know about TRB decisionmaking…

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