Please give a warm welcome to our new Program Manager, Catherine Thibault!

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At Circulate San Diego, we think it’s a terrific place to work. We’re a team of committed, smart, and collaborative professionals that enjoy working together. Whenever we welcome a new employee it is an opportunity to learn about their experience and why they believe Circulate San Diego is a fit for them. We’re excited to welcome Catherine as the newest member of the Circulate Crew. We invite you to get to know her! 

Catherine,

Where are you from?

I grew up in Quebec City, Canada, and then I moved to Montreal for college. I have an undergrad in International Development and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. After college, I worked in planning first in the community sector and then for an architecture and planning firm in Montreal. I moved to San Diego in January 2016.

What is your favorite way of commuting to work?

I am lucky enough to live on the 215 Rapid route so I typically ride the bus to work and then I try to run back home a couple of times a week. I go through the Canyon trails in Balboa Park, it’s gorgeous!

I will be moving to Bankers Hill in a couple of weeks and then I’ll be able to walk to work. I’m excited for that!

How does the transportation system in Montreal compare to San Diego?

Montreal is a very dense island with an extensive subway, bus, and bike network. There is also a car-sharing program called Communauto, which are cars located throughout the city that can be rented for an hour or a weekend. It’s great!

I didn’t have a car in Montreal and I didn’t need one. I mostly biked, walked or used the Metro (subway). That is something I really miss. I got my bike shipped here when I moved and I try to use it for my commute, but crossing on/off ramps or cycling at night when there is limited lighting is challenging so I don’t bike as much as I would love to. Hopefully, there will be new infrastructure in San Diego in the next few years that will give me the necessary comfort to bike more.

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Montreal is considered a beautiful city, rich in history and architecture. What are some of your favorite parts of San Diego?

I think my favorite place in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs. It’s majestic and impressive and I love to go on walks there with my dog. I also like Balboa Park’s Artist Village. It took me a while to find it and it was such a pleasant surprise. Finally, I love how there are farmer’s markets in pretty much every neighborhood almost every day of the week. It’s a great way to develop a sense of ownership and community.

How did you become interested in creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant healthy neighborhoods?

I came to it through my work in community outreach and empowerment. I am a strong advocate for better urban education and making urban issues accessible to individuals. I worked for several years helping community groups and residents understand the transformations occurring in their neighborhood and the tools they had to influence those changes. It made me realize the impacts of mobility and placemaking on people’s overall quality of life. It’s a lot about equity and long-term sustainability.

Why are you most excited to be part of Circulate San Diego?

I’m motivated and looking forward to working with partners to integrate active and public transportation concerns into urban projects, from the very local Safe Routes to School programs to the development of Active Transportation Plans. I think change can and should happen at various levels. I like how Circulate San Diego takes a broad look at those issues and works with partners to apply these strong principles at the local level.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to play Ultimate Frisbee. This is actually how I met my husband and ended up moving here. I also like to travel a lot. Otherwise, I enjoy reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and trying new restaurants and breweries in San Diego.  And the Canadian Habs! Can’t wait for the playoffs to start!

 


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