What we did
We tried to minimise our transport impact through choice of location. When Andrew got tenure at the university at which he was then working (Deakin), we decided to move from Ascot Vale (west of Melbourne's CBD) to somewhere closer. The two
criteria that narrowed down the candidate locations we looked at were that they be:
- within walking distance of a train line (both for us, and for our children as they got older and wanted transport independence)
- within a 30 minute cycling radius of the campus Andrew worked at
We managed to succeed with the former of these, but only partially succeed with the latter. Andrew has managed to ride to work in 30 minutes on a few occasions, but only then on days with little traffic and with the help of a tailwind. A
more normal commute time was around 40 minutes (for a total distance of 15 km) until 2015 when his work office shifted from one campus of Monash University to another. This pushed the distance out to 20km and the commute time to 60 minutes. He
has now been riding to work since 1987. The estimated total distance covered (mix of estimate and actual) to date is 191,000 km (all on the same bicycle until 2011 when he upgraded to something with better brakes, after a series of interesting
near-misses). His goal is to get past 200,000 km before retiring.
What we should have done
Probably the same - we can't think of any shortfalls in our decision. As Andrew gets older it might be nice to live a little closer to work, but then having to exercise a bit harder is a good thing also and so far he is coping.
What we are considering now
No changes for Andrew, but we are looking hard at electric vehicles for Dawn. Her work commute is mostly by train now, and the possibilities for using the car battery as a grid leveller are also attractive. We just need to stretch the current
car another 3-5 years and we'll be able to move off petrol.