Welcome to Holland (and this blog)

Hello! Welcome to my blog for Sustainable Transportation in the Netherlands, a study-abroad course offered through Portland State University and a partnership with Northeastern University and TU Delft.

For everyone who has not yet met me, I’m Dylan Johnstone. I recently finished my first year in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. I grew up in the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina and moved to Boston, Massachusetts for college. My interest in active transportation developed when I bought my first 10-speed road bike after my freshman year of my undergrad. I spent the first year riding that bike stubbornly in one gear because I didn’t like using its down tube shifters. While this proved to be a challenge for navigating Boston’s many hills, it didn’t stop me from embracing a love of riding. After only a few months of cycling, I began feeling drawn to both bike advocacy and design. Given the piecemeal network of bike lanes and paths in Boston at the time, I knew that conditions could be made safer, more convenient and accessible.

In July 2011, I studied abroad in the Netherlands for the first time through Northeastern University’s Sustainable Transportation Perspectives course. Five years later, I’m excited to return to southern Holland to experience the change and re-absorb myself in the program. This time around I am more interested in understanding the design and application of protected intersections, two-way cycle tracks, and the integration of bicycle and pedestrian facilities with public transit.

Over the next two weeks, you can look forward to daily updates from me as I’m immersed in lessons on Dutch transportation planning and design through this study-abroad experience.