Walking to work is a win-win on so many levels. Here are some of the most popular reasons to ditch the TTC or car and put on your walking shoes:
- Getting fit
- Saving money
- Reducing your carbon footprint
- Reducing stress
These are all great reasons to commute by foot. But the #1 reason in my opinion is this:
Walking is virtually 100% reliable.
In the years I’ve walked to work it’s been SO NICE to know when I’m going to get there! No worries about getting held up by
- traffic jams
- getting doored
- streetcars or buses getting bunched up
- all manner of delays on the subway.
When I commute by foot, there is almost no chance that I will arrive late.
You may think, what about the weather? Recently we had an ice storm.
And yes – I decided to take public transit when the sidewalks were completely coated with ice – because I am not superhuman!
(Plus I don’t have those fancy convertible ice-picky boots. More on walking gear in a coming post!)
But in the usual course of weather – through rain, snow, sleet and hail, as well as wind, sun and smog – I know if I need to figure in a bit of extra time. Because I’ve done it for so long, I have a pretty good idea of my walking speed in any weather.
Taking the weather into account
- Factoring in for heavy snow, I will leave up to 15 minutes earlier.
For example, my commute takes me across the Prince Edward Viaduct. Some bleak winter mornings, the plows haven’t gotten to those sidewalks after a heavy snow. I have trudged through knee-deep drifts and am here to tell you that it’s a great workout! Once I reach Sherbourne it’s usually pretty smooth sailing after that. Because in case you didn’t know, here in Toronto our slogan is “Be Nice – Clear Your Ice.”
- A very heavy rain and/or high wind means I need an extra five minutes.
I was very surprised the first time strong gusts of wind across the viaduct actually stopped me in my tracks. Is it possible to be windswept right off the bridge? It sure feels like it sometimes. Maybe I’ve just been lucky so far.
- Add five minutes for shade-seeking.
Except for the viaduct, which I must traverse to get downtown, I have a choice of routes to walk. In the heat, humidity and smog of a Toronto summer, I will give myself a few extra minutes to walk in the shade every chance I get.
You can count on me
I am always the first person at the office when there’s been heavy snow. Once, I was one of only two people who made it in that day! The others had turned back in defeat after sitting in their cars in traffic or waiting for transit to operate properly for like, two hours! Yikes!
Sometimes I’m the only one there for a 9:00 a.m. meeting, thinking this is weird, did I get the date wrong? Completely – and happily – oblivious to a widespread subway delay.
How’s that for reliable?