“Twelve days after I graduated from undergrad, I joined the Peace Corps in Guatemala and lived there for two years doing municipal planning. I worked in a small village and also went around the country teaching geographic information systems (GIS) to Guatemalan planners and other volunteers, so they could make maps for their communities.
From there I got my master’s in GIS because I saw the potential for using digital mapping in the planning world. After my master’s degree and two years working for the Federal Highway Administration, I knew I wanted to end up back in Chicago. My parents are here, and I wanted to live where I didn’t need a car.
When I was in the Peace Corps, a bike was the easiest way to get around my community. What really got me into biking in the U.S. was the fact that I was could save a ton of money if I got rid of my car — and all the associated payments and tickets. But it quickly became so much more than that. I feel much more connected to the city at the street level. Every trip for our family is an adventure — and my five-year-old daughter prefers just about any mode over a car. We have so much fun getting everywhere, and I’ve made friends just by chatting with people in the bike lane.
If you really want to get to know a community, it’s helpful to spend some time biking around. You get to see things you’d miss if you were going faster.”
Lindsay graduated from the University of Illinois with her bachelor’s and went on to complete her master’s in GIS at the University of Redlands. Recently, she has played an integral role in developing CMAP’s Sidewalk Inventory and Chinatown parking study.