Special to Flip the Media by John Hellriegel, Cohort ’12
I reminisce about the days I lived on Capital Hill. Everything was a short walk away. The parks, the food, and the entertainment could be reached by a wonderful stroll through the neighborhood. I felt more a part of the community. I felt healthier. I was thinner then too. Time moves on and I moved off the Hill. A car was purchased to facilitate getting to work.
I do not see my car as a status symbol or as a form of freedom. I walk out to my car every morning and see a pit – and I keep shoveling money into that pit. I get tired of the insurance, oil changes, and maintenance. I must feed the beast a fuel that carries with it economic and environmental disaster. It’s a vicious circle. I make smug and dark jokes about the over-all costs to distract myself from the fact that I am part of the problem. Then head off to work. I sit in traffic and listen to NPR stories about wars, famine and pestilence. Sigh.
Spending time in Paris I became accustomed to the outstanding rail system connecting the cities neighborhoods. So when construction began on the First Hill Streetcar I was excited. I know a Streetcar system will be successful in Seattle – not only because of a generational shift in cultural values and lifestyle, but also how convenient and effective it is connecting neighborhoods. I wanted to show how this updated transportation system can benefit the Seattle community in basic daily activities and needs.
John Hellriegel currently resides in Seattle. When not engrossed with his final year in the MCDM program, he pursues photography, videography, and all things aviation.