Kicking Off the Commute Series


Between the all-consuming consternation of DJ Trump’s Electoral College triumph and finishing up a GIS Specialization on Coursera, November flew by with only one blog post. I thought I would break the drought by kicking off a new series of blog posts: The Commute Series. 

Much like Michael Pollan wrote about The Omnivore’s Dilemma, commuters today have a lot of choices (though most of us don’t know it, or don’t care). Especially in big cities, the options of how to get from A to B are numerous. Over the years, I’ve traveled to work the following ways:

  1. Bike
  2. Walk
  3. Run
  4. Drive
  5. Subway
  6. Razor Scooter
  7. Bus
  8. Kayak
  9. Carpool
  10. Telecommute
  11. Intercity Rail
  12. Probably more if I think hard about it
The view from my kayak commute on the Charles River

Even though it’s something most of us don’t think much about, it’s my job to think about transportation. Each method of getting where we’re going involves varying experiences, different frustrations and small joys. Each time we set out on a journey, we make a decision that impacts ourselves and the world around us. Whether conscious or not, each trip is a choice with consequences.

The Commute Series is my effort to shine a light on the experience and implications of these transportation choices. Some of the key questions I’ll be looking to answer are:

  • What’s the best part of my commute?
  • What’s the worst part?
  • What’s the most unexpected thing that happened to me?
  • If I could change one thing about the commute, what would it be?

I’ll also intersperse some this series with some more data-heavy aspects of commuting. Expect some posts about climate change, public health, transportation funding and spending, and demographics.

This should be a lot of fun, and my helmet camera which my dear wife got for me a couple of years ago is definitely going to come in handy. Stay tuned!