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the daily commute

You’ve probably heard stories about how bad traffic is in Silicon Valley, and how most people have to make long commutes to work each day, bumper to bumper, stop and go, on the freeways. So let me show you my typical morning commute.

Now that the rains have stopped (mostly) for the season, and since the days are getting longer, I’ve started biking to work again, as often as I can. Leaving home, I bike a couple of miles along the back streets of town…

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…until I come to the entrance to the Coyote Creek bike trail, which follows along Coyote Creek (naturally :-) north into San Jose. This stretch also parallels Highway 101, the major commuter route into Silicon Valley from the south. In the first picture below, you can see the usual morning traffic jam — at this time of day, it’s not unusual to take 30 minutes to go 10 miles!

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After 9 miles or so, I leave the bike trail and get back on the surface streets for the last mile or two…

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…until the lab where I work comes into view.

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The whole trip is about 11 miles by car, 13 by bike. Driving, it takes me about 20 minutes when the traffic is light and if I catch all the lights. Biking, the trip takes about an hour, at a pretty leisurely pace. So it’s true, I (like a lot of people in Silicon Valley) spend two hours a day getting to and from work, but you won’t see me complaining! :-)

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