Hi there! Welcome to my Sustainable Transport Abroad Blog. If you didn’t already catch my name, I’m Jenna Krieger, and I am a first-year graduate student at Georgia Tech where I am pursuing a Master’s in Civil Engineering as well as a Master’s in City and Regional Planning. Please check back often as I will be documenting my studies throughout the semester including all of my adventures in The Netherlands.
Enjoying my first Braves game as an Atlanta Resident
A Throwdown for my hometown..
I grew up in the wonderful midwestern town of Lincoln, Nebraska. For any fellow Cornhusker fans out there, Go Big Red! After graduating high school in Lincoln, I moved to Ann Arbor to pursue an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Upon graduation in 2013, I was bit by the “Detroit bug” and the rest is history. I may be slightly biased, but I truly believe that modern day transportation was born in Detroit. Home to the widest streets I’ve laid eyes on, The Big 3, and what’s claimed as the first freeway in America, there is no doubt that Detroit earns its name “The Motor City”. Although cars may be Detroit’s claim to fame, America’s Comeback City has a growing cyclist culture. Don’t believe me? Check out my typical Monday night ride with 1000 of my best friends: Slow Roll. With the addition of new trails, like the Dequindre Cut, and plans for larger networks like the Joe Louis Greenway, some Detroiters have traded four wheels for two.
My home away from home, Detroit, MI
How transportation has changed me and how I plan to change transportation..
After growing up in suburban Nebraska, it was my (naïve) assumption that if you wanted to get somewhere, you had to drive. Upon moving to Ann Arbor, I was given advice from a fellow U of M Alum to ditch the car and learn the bus system instead. Although taking the bus set off a few internal alarms, I didn’t want to be the odd one out, and I reluctantly accepted what I thought would be a transportation challenge. I had nothing to worry about! The bus system was not just efficient – it was easy. Daily trips, weekend trips, airport trips, essentially any trip, could be made by bus. You missed the bus? Take the next one, it will arrive in under 5 minutes. Then, when I moved to Detroit, a city that is notorious for poor public transportation and a high percentage of transit-dependent citizens, I was reintroduced to biking. Biking went from a weekend hobby to a useful mode of transportation. Detroit’s wide streets, built for a population of 2 million people, yet transporting less than half this amount, were conducive to cycling – even for the less experienced rider.
Even though I haven’t yet experienced the bicycle network of The Netherlands or the bullet trains of Japan, I can tell you this: living without a car is possible in the US and there are places where transit or alternative modes of transportation are working. Hopefully, someday soon, efficient alternative transit will be a reality for all cities across the US. This leads me to…
My goals for the course..
1. Evaluate how other countries have complemented mass transit with alternative modes of transportation and how this combination has affected land use
2. Understand how a non-vehicular transportation network incentivizes users to reduce the number of trips made by vehicle
3. Determine how alternative modes of transportation could be integrated into the current roadway infrastructure in the US, focusing mainly on the Atlanta area
4. Discover the additional benefits created by alternative transportation modes e.g. healthier citizens, safer streets, etc