Hello people of the world! My name is Andrew and I am a fifth year in my final semester as a undergrad studying Civil Engineering here at Georgia Tech. I am originally from Greenville, North Carolina which is located in the rural eastern portion of the state halfway between the coast and Raleigh. Greenville, being home to East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center (the largest hospital east of I-95 in NC), is considered the big city in our part of the state but for the most part it is very similar to the sprawling suburbs of Atlanta. Cars dominate as the primary mode of travel, biking is really only for recreation, and nobody takes the bus unless you have absolutely no other choice. I come from a family of cyclists with my dad being an avid roadie and my older brother and sister-in-law being adrenaline obsessed mountain bikers, but never used cycling as a transportation until I came to Atlanta for school.
During my time in school I had the opportunity to travel to Sydney, Australia, where as part of our program we were provided with unlimited use transit passes to access the various ferries, buses, and trains that operate in the city. This was my first experience with a fairly comprehensive and effective transit system (sorry MARTA I love you but….) and was probably the start of my move toward transit as a career path. I was enthralled with the high frequency of the trains moving through Central Station and Circular Quay and the strange ferry system that shuttled us off to the beaches each afternoon. In addition to visiting Sydney, I have spent time in numerous US cities that have varying levels of effective transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure and that have influenced my view of transportation. The cities I have spent time in include Louisville, Boston, San Francisco, Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington D.C., and Huntington, WV.
Ultimately, my main goal for this course is the gain useful knowledge about some of the best integrated bike and transit design in the world. After graduation, I will be working for a consulting firm doing transportation planning and design work here in Atlanta and I want to be able to bring in elements of things that are done in the Netherlands to improve both transit and cycling in the metro Atlanta area. Outside the transportation realm, I am also looking to learning about the Dutch culture because my grandfather is a first generation American whose parents immigrated from the Netherlands.