After graduating from the University of Columbia I made a decision that Columbia is where I want to live. The primary reason? The good life can be had here by bicycle and on foot. No car required. By bike I can access friends, stores, parks, trails and so much more. Including work.
Starting next week I will work on the University of Missouri campus again. My new job working at KBIA allows me to bicycle to work. My work requires me to labor in Historic Jesse Hall on the MU campus. My office space is in a 110 year old adminsiration building. I will sit under a maybe-60-year-old student-painted mural. Again, no car required to do this job.
The nice lady who hired me made sure to mention in our initial conversation that as an employee I could get a parking pass for my vehcile. I thankfully declined. The bicycle racks are ample on the MU campus.
Barring injury I plan on bicycling or walking to work every day. Again, Columbia's sheer bikablility and walkability are why I live here and not somewhere else. There are other reasons, but this blog is about active transportation. On days when I am injured (but not too hurt to go to work) or when there is ice covering the Earth Columbia Transit can get me there and back. MU can sell that parking passes to someone else. Hell, maybe the envisioned transportation mode shift will accelerate and demand will fall off for parking passes on campus. Maybe there will have to be a Blue-Ribbon Commission assembled to discuss how to manage all those unused parking structures and empty surface parking lots. While I wait I shall not hold my breath nor will I buy stock in any parking structure repurposing start-ups.
The prospect of working at KBIA is truly exciting. Local community radio has been my home off/on since 1990. At our local NPR station I will work on-air during morning classical music programming. I may work with student volunteers and occasionally produce news. I've also been tapped to pour wine and greet arts patrons at station-sponsored cultural events. "And you'll pay me to do that?" I asked with a grin in the interview. Yes, they will pay me to do all that, but mostly to announce music and underwrites and PSAs. I feel blessed to have found work and to have found this work in particular. Bikable work no less.
After 20 noncontinuous years living in the town of my birth I have deep roots under me. I know a lot of people and they seem to know me. How much less might I know if I had spent all that time so far on foot and bicycle cooped up in an automobile?
See you in the Streets,