Well, OK. It looks as though I might have gotten ahead of myself. I introduced myself and where I’m coming from in my first post. In my second post I started rambling/ruminating about what “sustainable transportation” means to me. I never said anything about what it is Jake and I are doing. I think that might help to make sense of what is appearing on this blog. 

At the Evergreen State College students are able to design their own courses of study if they should so desire. Jake and I share the desire to learn more about sustainability through the study of transportation. To satisfy this desire we are putting ourselves through five week-long experiments beginning next week. Those experiments are to drive everywhere we travel during the first week; take public transit everywhere we’d like to go that is more than city blocks from where we happen to be during the second week; ride bicycles anywhere we need to go during the third week; walk everywhere during the fourth week; and to experiment with the “100-mile diet” during the fifth week. 

We will be recording and reflecting upon our personal experiences on this blog during those weeks. 

During the week of driving we will be reading Asphalt Nation by Jane Holtz Kay and researching Thurston County’s road system and car culture. We think driving everywhere we go might give us some insight into what the transportation needs might be of someone living in rural Thurston County.

During our week of riding the bus we will be reading My Kind of Transit by Darrin Nordahl and learning about Intercity Transit’s past, present, and future. Jake and I think this week will help us understand the perspective of people in the county who don’t or can’t own a car.  

During our week of bicycling Jake and I will be reading Pedal Power by J. Harry Wray and researching Thurston County’s bicycling infrastructure and programs for promoting bicycling.

Our final personal transit will undoubtedly be our most difficult. We will be reading On Foot by Joseph Amato. This is the most basic form of transit. How well will it work for us?

While Jake and I hunt for food that completely originated within 100 miles of Olympia, or some similar boundary, we will will be reading Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J. B. Mackinnon. We will be exploring the transportation of goods (as opposed to people) in Thurston County. We will be looking at the rail, air, and marine transport infrastructures. 

During our five weeks of experiments and during the concluding four weeks of the quarter we will be creating a short documentary film about sustainable transportation in Thurston County.