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Documentary traces Oregon transportation

The Argus-Observer (Hillsboro)
HILLSBORO, ORE. – A series of preview screenings at local theaters will offer the public a sneak peek at a new locally produced television show, "ZigZag: Real Stories, New Angles."

The show explores how transportation affects the daily lives of people who live in urban, suburban and rural areas in Oregon by following four families or individuals throughout their daily comings and goings – whether by car, bike, bus, train or foot.

Financed by Metro, the regional government, through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, the show is part of a larger project that includes an April 21 broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting, transportation-themed short films created by local filmmakers and an interactive web site.

The free public screenings provide an opportunity to discuss the program and to meet the featured families as well as producers Beth Harrington and Brad Smith. The short films, produced by local filmmakers Reed Harkness, Melissa Steineger and Cornelius Swart, which tell the stories of some of the 17 families involved in the project, will also be shown at the preview events as well as on the web site.

The events also will feature a community resource area where viewers can explore travel options, and learn about services such as Transit Tracker and Carpool Match. Metro's "Way to Go Wizard" from its Regional Travel Options program, will answer questions and help people access resources. Viewers also will be eligible for door prizes, including bicycles, transit passes, outdoor gear and Flexcar memberships. The Portland event at the Hollywood Theatre will feature live music by Trash Can Joe, master musicians who play homemade instruments, fashioned from trashcans and washtubs.

"Zigzag: Real Stories, New Angles" features a Mennonite couple whose faith has not only defines their understanding of the world but their transportation choices as well, two friends who deliver food to shut-in seniors, a wedding planner who -- despite her best intentions -- finds she's really wedded to her car, and a berry farmer struggling to meet the challenges of delivering his products to market as rural roads become commuters' thoroughfares.

Each was asked to keep a journal to document their lives, especially as their activities related to getting places ? home, school, recreation, work, shopping or other places.

The accompanying web site – – allows viewers to post their transportation stories and share their thoughts on a community Weblog, see journals and interviews of the participating families, preview short features and film clips of the program and explore transportation options.