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20 February 2011 @ 09:21 am
First world problems: alternative transportation issue  
One more reason I'm not looking forward to Amazon's move to SLU: The commute. When I first started at Amazon, I could take the bus to or from the PacMed building in 20 minutes, or walk it in about 45. The past few years downtown, I've been able to get there or back in about 45 minutes by transit - maybe an hour if I walked halfway. With the new campus, I have one more transfer added after getting downtown. Google's route planner says that it will take an hour to get each direction by my usual pedestrian+transit methods, best-case scenario. The more likely one-way commute scenario is in the 75-minute range, to go 5.5 miles.

So, here are my options:

Take the bus and cope. Be glad I get a free bus pass. Enjoy the reading time. An hour isn't that bad, right? This will be my default, at least for the first few months. If I get really, REALLY sick of this, I might consider other options.

Drive. Pay for parking. Be part of the traffic problem. Since Amazon does reimburse parking - but not enough for a full-month parking pass - I might do this 2 or 3 days a month.

Work from home more often. This really doesn't work well with how the new team is structured, and the "tech leader" role I'm trying to cultivate. I'll be dialing up this option (while looking for employment elsewhere and complaining to HR) if the dogs at the new campus are a Problem.

Get a bicycle. It's about 5.5 miles each way, with some hills. Would be good exercise? Too much? I'm not an experienced bicycle commuter, and this would take me through some of the densest parts of the city - as well as my own not-particularly-bicycle-friendly neighborhood, so there is a safety concern. I don't like making the hipster Critical Masshole gestapo of the First Hill/Lower Capital Hill segments of my commute happy, and acknowledge that they will probably throw rotten eggs and moldy tofu at me if they see me following through on any of the suggestions further down this page. I haven't ridden a bicycle since the 80s.

Vespa-Scooter-Moped-etc.. Probably not much safer than the bicycle option. Less intimidating than riding a bike UP Boren, UP First Hill, and UP Beacon Hill after a long day's work. Much more fuel efficient than a car. Starting into dork territory, which might be offset a little by hanging with the Georgetown Smarty Pants crowd. Not sidewalk legal, if it burns gas. I've never ridden a scooter. Do I need to get a Motorcycle Endorsement on my license?

Segway. Electricity is cheap and clean here, thanks to hydroelectricity. Street, sidewalk, and trail-legal, in this city. Probably not safer than a bicycle. Maximum dorkage, constant derision, would make my way onto a failblog within a week - especially when I do a helmet-and-raincoat combo. My round-trip commute would be well within the stated 24-mile range of the i2, even with hills and stopping for groceries. How does it handle, on hills, in the rain?
 
 
 
St. Sean the Amusedseanb on February 20th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Bicycle/motorcycle/scooter parking is free, in the Amazon.com garages.

Yes, pet-friendly workplaces are asinine, and have no place in any modern large-scale business that is not explicitly focused on dogs. I've already worked with HR, complained to space planning, and voiced my complaints up the administrative chain.