COMMUTER SPOTLIGHT: Jared Walker
All over metro Atlanta, commuters like you are choosing alternatives to driving alone. Check out how Jared’s life has changed since he started biking to his job at LeasePlan every day.
What clean commute mode do you use?
Biking is my main preference for commuting. I occasionally carpool with my wife because it’s easy.
When did you get started using that mode, and why?
I really enjoyed biking as a kid, and I biked in college, so it’s been a natural progression. It’s fun and it makes my commute enjoyable because I don’t have to sit in traffic. Plus, it cuts down on my carbon emissions and just makes me feel really good every day.
What do you like most about your commute?
It’s nice to not sit in line of cars — much more fun! I get to be part of my surroundings; when you’re in the car you’re closed off to everything. My commute lets me enjoy the small things, like riding over the Big Creek Greenway. It is all protected forest land and I can feel the temperature drop through the valley — so yeah, it’s getting to notice all the small things that people miss when they are flying past in a car.
What benefits have you seen from not driving alone?
I only have to get gas once in a while, which saves me a lot of money. I’ve had the same car forever, because I never drive it. I also don’t have the additional costs of new tires, oil changes, and maintaining it every single day.
Biking helps me mentally because I know I’m doing what I can to help combat global climate change and ocean acidification. Even though my impact is small, I know we can’t change other people’s actions, just change little things ourselves. Several years ago, I got so frustrated with the slow pace of social change related to the environment, and I had this thought that I can’t sit and point fingers at other people for not doing the right thing if I’m not doing the right thing. I have to do the right thing if I’m allowed to complain about it.
I like to think I’m an example to every person that sees me biking to work.
What did your commute look like before you started clean commuting?
Before this commute, I was frustrated and sat in his car. I did that for less than a year. I started getting very serious about biking to work about 7 years ago. Years ago, people would angrily pass by and try to knock me off the road — people didn’t know how to properly pass bike commuters. People have gotten more used to having bikers on the side of the road now.