Over the weekend, I shared an interview with Kristin Bennett, the new Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Milwaukee.
The piece posted at OnMilwaukee.com covered Bennett’s work in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the philosophy she applies to creating a city that encourages people to walk and bike. It left out an important element: the beginning. How does a young gymnast in Grand Rapids, Mich., decide to become an expert on urban design, government bureaucracy and the best materials for bike racks?
Here’s our answer: “My mom says she’s not shocked that I went this way because when we were kids my sister and I were really into our LEGOS and really into our Fischer Price Little People, to the point where we set up little towns in our basement. I would draw little businesses on our driveway and my sister always wanted to play school. Now she’s a teacher.”
Bennett majored in political science and environmental science at Aquinas College, but followed her destiny after taking a class in transportation and land use planning as part of a masters program at the University of Oregon, Eugene. “That was it,” she said of the class and her experience in that natural laboratory of bicycle planning.
Her key revelation in how to guide people to walk or bike: “You have to make it easy.”
Check out the full interview with Bennett by clicking here.