Eric Wood is our featured associate this month. [...]
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Collegiate Traffic Bowl is a Jeopardy-style competition held annually among ITE student chapter teams. The game functions in the same way as the TV game show Jeopardy, except all the clues are related to traffic engineering and transportation planning. The first Alabama Section ITE Traffic Bowl was held in 1999 as a fun event for ITE members at the Annual Meeting in Gulf Shores. There is an ongoing debate between the Alabama Section ITE and the Western District ITE as to who held the first Traffic Bowl, and who stole the idea from the other.
Each university in the state that has an ITE student chapter is eligible to field a Traffic Bowl team. The student chapter members and their faculty advisor will decide among themselves who will be part of the three-person team. The team members will then meet frequently (if they’re competitive and want to win!) to study and quiz each other. Of the ITE student chapters in the US and Canada, a total of 100 chapters of all student chapters have participated in at least one traffic bowl since 2009.
Currently I help write the clues and create the game boards to be used for both the Alabama Section ITE Traffic Bowl and the Southern District ITE Traffic Bowl. I have also emceed the Alabama Section ITE competition for the past two years. When I was in college, I was a member of the University of Alabama’s Traffic Bowl team so I have participated as a contestant in the competition. Now, I am actually putting the game together so I have access to all the clues and answers. It’s nice to be on the other side and not be nervously wondering if we’ve studied enough or if the clues are going to throw us for a loop.
The winning teams from each of the Southern District Sections will compete in the Southern District ITE Traffic Bowl this month. The Southern District ITE Associated Business Division (ABD) awards an annual student scholarship in memory of William H. Temple to the winner of the Southern District competition. That winning team will then advance to the International ITE Traffic Bowl, which will be held in Anaheim, California this year. The Alabama Section ITE has been to International ITE Traffic Bowl once, in 2015 in Hollywood, Florida, represented by Auburn University. The Southern District ITE has won the International Traffic Bowl once, in 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, represented by North Carolina State University.
The 2016 Southern District competition will be held April 11-13 in Nashville, TN.
2016 Traffic Bowl Update:
The team from Clemson University won the SDITE 2016 Traffic Bowl. They will advance to the International ITE competition in Anaheim, CA this August.