Take 2 Kents and Call Me in the Morning
New study determines that Kent is good for your health. Newsweek magazine reports that commuting in heavy traffic to work increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Psychologists in Los Angeles report that 50% of their patients suffer from commuter stress. Researchers have noted a 3% increase in weight gain for every 30 minute increment of commute time (that’s because commuters eat an average of 32 meals a year in their cars and the Dodge Caliber even offers an optional fridge in the glove compartment). And if all that doesn’t get you, road rage is on the rise on our highways and byways.
I know, “what kind of idiot would say he loves traffic?” Well, it would be the kind of idiot that waged a daily war with traffic in Washington DC for 11 years. Traffic is definitely one of those perspective things and after rotting in my car for my 1 1/2 hour commute in DC (each way), I used to feel guilty about my 3 minutes and 45 second commute here in Kent — but now I just bask in it. It’s like being told that the dark chocolate we love is actually good for us. Kent isnt just good, it’s good for me too.
Think of it this way. In DC I wasted 3 hours a days, 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month and 720 hours a year entombed in my Nissan pick up truck. (We won’t even talk about the fact that I spent 5 times more on gas in DC than in Kent.) 720 hours a year is the equivalent of spending a total of 30 days a year sitting in my car. Over my 11 years that amounts to 11 months — almost a year of my life — sacrificed in the name of commuting.
I can’t get those hours back but I can sure make up for them. I did a rather unscientific study of travel time in Kent and I could get to anypoint within Kent’s 8 square miles within 15 minutes. So if you lived and worked in Kent the worse you should expect is to give up 15 minutes a day in drive time. That’s an amazing number but it’s still 5 times more than I am willing to spend. Actually, if I didn’t have to do the suit thing, I’d ride my bike or even walk to work.
Can you imagine, someone walking to work? Actually you don’t have to imagine just look at your window and you’ll see a surprisingly large number of foot peddlers communting to work each day down Kent’s sidewalks. Not only does walking have obvious health and environmental benefits I haven’t heard of a single incident of sidewalk rage anywhere.
Nationally, commute time average is 21 minutes. Move to Kent and traffic ( or the lack thereof ) is just another reason why you’ll beat the average every time.