Thursday, July 03, 2008

West Side Story

Yesterday, I biked to work for the first time at my present job. It was actually the first time I've biked to work in seven years. This is the first job I've had in a while that has the facilities to support bicycle commuting (showers and bike storage) and is close enough to home that I can still make it to and from work in a reasonable amount of time when traveling by bike. I really should have done this a lot sooner, but it's taken me a while to find a good bike route across the west side of Providence. I figured out most of the route that I wound up taking last summer, but at the time, I felt like it had a couple of high traffic chokepoints that I wouldn't be able to make it through so I started looking for a new route that went up the more bike-friendly east side. After trying a friend's route across the west side that involved riding across Federal Hill, I decided to give my old route another try. After fighting the traffic on Dean St., riding around Olneyville Square suddenly didn't look so bad. As it turns out, the traffic on my route is not as a bad during the weekday commute as it is on a Saturday morning, since the most of the high-traffic areas are commercial districts that don't see as many shoppers during they week as they do on weekends.

Here's a link to the main section of my route. It goes from Park Ave. and Cranston St. to Branch Ave. and Charles St. I don't actually follow the route that I've mapped out between Park Ave and Webster Ave; instead, I follow the Washington Secondary Bike Path.

Hopefully, I'll be able to bike to work at least a couple times per week for the rest of the summer. It takes me just over twice as long to bike as it does to drive (40 minutes vs. 15). Unless gas prices shoot up by a couple more dollars per gallon, I'm not really going to be saving myself much money, but I should get some good exercise.

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