I'm Alice, a teaching assistant for Sustainable Transport Abroad 2017. This is my second time TAing this course in the Netherlands and my fifth year as a PhD student at Georgia Tech. My dissertation research focuses on the use of quantitative metrics and analysis in urban transportation policy and planning, and I've worked on a number of projects examining planning, accessibility, and safety in the context of sustainable and non-motorized transportation.
I grew up in Chicago (South side, go White Sox!) where I walked, biked, or took the bus pretty much everywhere. There is also a great elevated rail system in Chicago that I rarely used since I didn't live near it. Now when I visit, I use it all the time. Actually, a lot has changed in Chicago in the last ten years, there is now a bike share system and a lot more bicycle infrastructure, the riverfront is now a pleasant, walkable park, and we no longer have a Mayor Daly.
After college I lived in the Spanish Pyrenees for a few years in a region called Catalonia. I didn't want to buy a car, but living in a semi-rural area meant limited transportation. Living in a small town is when I started biking everywhere. I could bike to neighboring towns and not have to rely on the busses that only came through once or twice a day. I soon found out that a lot of people in the region also relied on hitchhiking to fill gaps in transportation options, an option most of us would never think of in the US (plus, it's illegal here for safety reasons). Living in Spain gave me a view of how long distance transportation works in Europe, with lots of trains and buses and overall good, affordable connectivity between cities and countries.
I am excited to meet all of our students this year and looking forward to spending another two weeks in the Netherlands on bikes. My goals for the summer are to continue learning about sustainable infrastructure abroad, especially noting what designs we can bring back to the US; to learn from all of the students and professions joining us on the trip; to not get (too) lost; and to change a tire on a dutch bike as quickly as I can change one on my bike (or just not have to change any at all, let's keep air in those tires!)