Ready to work on the Eastside!

Later this month, I’ll be stepping into the role of Eastside Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator. After serving as the AmeriCorps Commute Program Assistant within Cascade’s Advocacy department this past year, I’m excited to continue working at an organization as effective and inspiring as Cascade Bicycle Club.

I feel incredibly lucky that I’m able to turn my passion for bicycling as transportation into not only a fulfilling career but a means toward making the region more accessible to those who ride bicycles as well as a region that thrives because of the transformative power of bicycling.

There has never been a more momentous time for bicycling on the Eastside, the Puget Sound region and the country and that is why I’m thrilled to be part of Cascade’s great team.

Growing up outside of Portland, Maine, I developed a love for bicycles early in life. At age two, I begged my parents to take off my bike’s training wheels one snowy February afternoon, but sadly had to wait until spring when the snow melted off the streets.

In my teens, I rode a sleek, steel-framed 1940’s Raleigh built by my great-grandfather, who worked as a Raleigh distributor at a bicycle shop in Newton, Massachusetts. Throughout high school and college, I rode for both recreation and transportation, which ultimately inspired me to delve deeper into a year of intensive research on bicycle transportation, politics, planning and culture in 2012-13.

As part of a yearlong academic fellowship, entitled “The Bicycle’s Influence: Changing Perceptions of Place and Space in Urban Environments,” I researched theories of urban planning, community livability and concepts of place and space while traveling to five cities (Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN; Denver, CO; Boston, MA; and Jacksonville, FL) around the country.

After meeting with urban planners, bicycle advocates and elected officials, I gained insight into the unique bicycling histories, challenges, cultures and future goals of these cities. My research centered around both the individual experience of riding as well as the large-scale social, political and environmental impacts bicycling can have on a city.

This country-wide perspective has informed my work in valuable ways this past year, and I look forward to applying this knowledge of bicycle advocacy and planning on the Eastside.

We’ve reached this critical tipping point, literally everywhere around the country, where people are realizing that thriving cities support bicycling and riding a bike promotes health, wealth and happiness. This goes for Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond as well.

In light of light rail expansion on the Eastside, recent corridor studies in Bellevue, Issaquah’s new mobility action plan, a newly adopted Cross Kirkland Corridor Master Plan, the great work of Kirkland Greenways and future bike share on the Eastside, I’m ecstatic to be part of this movement. I’m especially looking forward to helping build a safe, more connected regional bicycling network as we expand the network of safe, on-street facilities, build low-stress greenways and fill missing links along our network of amazing regional trails including the East Lake Sammamish Trail, the Eastside Rail Corridor and the Mountains to Sound Greenway.

If you have any questions about our Eastside work, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I look forward to meeting and working with you very soon!