Hello, my name is Amy Harper. Where I am from does not have a simple answer. I don’t have a hometown nor a house that I have lived in for more than 4 years. My father was in the military and by the time I was 12 I lived in 3 States and 2 countries. I spent most of my childhood in Germany, from 6th grade to high school graduation, moving to a different house once while there for 7 years. So, I am just going to stick to Germany as to where I am from, although I am not German.
Now that the explanation is out of the way, the part of Germany I grew up in was called Kaiserslautern which is where Ramstein Air Base is located. Transportation on the base for a teenager mainly consists of walking everywhere or taking the free bus that loops around the main spots on base. I lived off base about 3 miles and would frequently ride my bike to base on an off-road dirt path, not along the streets. Once I got to base I would resort to just walking everywhere from my friend’s house. Transportation on base does not have a good infrastructure for cycling but it is established for pedestrians and public transportation. This off course is an opinion of a teenager who did not have a car.
Two of the places that have influenced my thinking about transportation are St Louis and London. I went to St. Louis for a last-minute concert and didn’t want to rent a car after flying in. I just wanted to use public transportation and/or walk. Their transit and pedestrian friendly walkways made this seamless. I went to London and flew into Stansted Airport which is northeast of the city. I had to take a train into London and transfer to the tube. Using the train to get to London just solidified the idea that traveling with a car is more stressful to get from point A to B and alternative transportation is the way to go. Traveling anywhere within the United States or overseas, I tend to lean more to the cities where I don’t have to drive and instead use other modes of transportation. Whether that be as a pedestrian or on transit. I have not really looked at bike infrastructure as a point of interest in a travel destination before, but no better time to start than now.
What am I looking for in this course is to see what an end goal for US infrastructure can be. I am hopeful to see a blueprint that American cities can be modeled after. With this idea in mind, I would be able identify steps the US can take to integrate a sustainable and useable infrastructure into existing cities such as Atlanta.