Transportation engineer envisions more pedestrian-, cyclist-friendly Westbank with town center
Thursday, January 31, 2013 |
Name: Joan German Hudson
Age and place of birth: I just turned 46 years old. Born in San Antonio, my family moved to Austin when I was 3.
Family: My husband is Paul Hudson, owner of Hudson Properties Inc.; son Collin, is a junior at Westlake High School; son Cameron is a seventh-grader at Hill Country Middle School; and daughter Janie is a third-grader at Eanes Elementary School.
Education: Bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M; and master’s degree in transportation engineering from the University of Texas.
Occupation: Transportation engineer with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
What’s your career ambition? Reduce traffic congestion, increase safety and improve public health by designing family-friendly walking and bicycling infrastructure connecting neighborhoods and destinations.
Civic or other nonprofit activities: Girl Scout Brownie Troop 2288 co-leader, volunteer crossing guard at Hill Country Middle School, Eanes Elementary Book Fair co-chair and library volunteer, EISD School Safety and Health Advisory Council and St. John’s United Methodist Church member.
What is the latest project in which you are involved? Project Purple – make healthy choices. Go Purple!
What is your favorite business in the Westbank? Besides Hudson Properties Inc., my current favorite is Brilliant Sky Toys.
Hobbies: Playing with my kids, seeing movies, traveling, walking/jogging the trail and snow skiing.
What person do you feel had the biggest impact on the Westbank area and why? Martha Hudson and the six other women who established the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. As development continues along Loop 360, their gift will be even more apparent. Beyond them, I’d recognize West Lake Hills Mayor Dave Claunch, who makes a huge difference moving critical projects forward.
The one thing I’d like to change about the Westbank is: We need a Westbank Town Center with safe and accessible ways to walk, roll and bike there. I’d like to move away from dependence on my car.
Most significant or interesting job: Oversaw the Austin Speed Hump Program, later called the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program, where we worked to reduce speeding and cut-through traffic problems. It was very rewarding and challenging.
Which of your civic-oriented accomplishments make you the proudest? Being the co-leader of my daughter’s Brownie troop. I love these girls and their families. Girl Scouts has such a wonderful mission.
What is one interesting fact about you that people probably don’t know? I wanted to grow up to be a park ranger.
What is your fondest childhood memory? Driving vacations to the Rocky Mountains and Smoky Mountains in the pop-up camper. My sister and I would stay up late playing gin rummy.
If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say? Above all, love yourself and your neighbor. Push for equality for all, no exceptions. Be present in the everyday moments. Listen for God.
My most humorous moment was: A nighttime visit to the hot springs in Big Bend National Park without any clue that clothing was optional. My headlamp gave me more than I bargained for. Will my Big Bend friends ever let me forget it?
If you could sit down and ask questions of anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why? Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, to ask her about the many barriers she overcame as a woman to empower girls for greatness.
Most exciting or dangerous thing I’ve ever done: Bicycling in Alaska while four-and-a-half months pregnant.
Life’s most challenging endeavor is: Maintaining sanity when raising children. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh the noise, noise, noise!”
If you were stranded on an uninhabited island, with no means of communication or escape, what is one thing that you would you like to have? I would pick a Swiss Army knife.
Is there anything that you passed up on doing that you now regret? Studying abroad as a college student.
How would you like to be remembered? As a great mother – my most important role. And, as someone who cared for the earth and all of her inhabitants.
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