The end of the car commute

I’ve planned some version of this post in my head for quite awhile, though I was beginning to think it would never happen.

Over two-and-a-half (!) years ago, I accepted a position promoting active transportation (with a focus on biking).  It was a great opportunity, with one big downside: my four-and-a-half years of biking to work came to a screeching halt.

I explored options for bike commuting, including combining biking with transit, but the location, sixteen miles away, with a river crossing that is only spanned by an interstate (if I didn’t want to travel significantly out of the way, and still be on high-speed highways), and no transit service made that an unrealistic option for me.  I know some people bike to work at that distance and longer, but spending over two hours getting to and from work, and my route options (or lack there-of), made it a nonstarter for me.

Going into it, I knew the switch from a bike commute to a car commute (about 30 minutes each way) would be hard to swallow, and it was.  Everyday, I drove past an overpass reconstruction that was set to be complete exactly a year from when I started the position, and I set an arbitrary deadline of finding something else by the time they completed the project.

A year came and went.  Then two.  I enjoyed my job and working with my coworkers, but the drive bothered me.  And I didn’t want it to NOT bother me, but it didn’t bother me enough to bite the bullet and leave without another job lined up, not in this economy.

I’ve known for several months now that continued funding for my position was uncertain, but I found out just HOW uncertain two weeks ago, when the higher-ups informed me that due to recent budget cuts, my job would be ending effective July 31.  Alrighty, then.

I’m exploring a few possibilities, and, at least for now, not even letting myself look at positions that I could not readily access without a car.  At this point, I don’t know what things will look like come August 1, but I won’t be spending an hour in the car that day, and that can only be a good thing.