Business Center

Commuter Highlight: Biking and Bussing to Work with Annie Kitch

By: Sydney Lund, Transportation Demand Management Intern

September 3, 2019

Here at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), we are working to enhance the quality of life and the environment of the citizens of Colorado by creating an integrated transportation system that focuses on safely moving people and goods by offering convenient linkages among modal choices. Many CDOT employees are serving as role models for their commitment to commuting to work by walking, biking, taking transit, or carpooling.

This week's commuter highlight is Annie Kitch!

Annie is an Analyst working at CDOT’s headquarters in Denver. She commutes to work by riding her bike or taking the bus. Read below for an interview with Annie where she talks about her commute and provides some practical tips for commuting to work by bike.

Annie riding her bike home after work.

How do you commute to work?

Some days I drive, but I try to bike much more than I drive. I bike between two to three days a week. In the winter, I will take public transportation more often once the roads start getting bad.

Why do you prefer to commute by bike or public transportation?

It is better for the environment and I want to reduce my carbon footprint. When I bike, I noticed I am a lot happier during the workday because I got some exercise in before work. Biking is a really great addition to a morning routine.

How long does your commute usually take you?

Biking will usually take me 15 minutes, which includes waiting for the light rail to pass. The bus probably takes me 30 minutes from my front door to work.

When it is raining or snowing, do you commute a different way to work?

If the weather is bad, and the roads are dicey, I would prefer to take public transportation. Sometimes when the weather is bad enough, public transportation is delayed. When that happens, I will resort to ride-sharing. I will get a Lyft share with a couple of other people if it is really bad outside.

What are some tips you have to other employees regarding commuting by bike or public transit?

If you are new to biking, I would recommend looking up biking etiquette. It is important to be safe on roads, sidewalks, and areas where you think there are fewer cars. Definitely make sure you are knowledgeable about biking etiquette and safety for the sake of other bikers and pedestrians. Understanding bike etiquette will help with your confidence in biking.

For public transportation, my advice is to really just embrace it. In the mornings when you are commuting by public transit, you’re commuting with a lot of other workers. It is a great way to meet people. Also, it is a really great way to get more knowledge on the bus system and to see the importance of public transportation in Denver. It is also a great opportunity to read and not have to worry about traffic.

What are some obstacles that you face when commuting to work by transit and how have you overcome those obstacles?

The first one is the weather. You could ride your bike in the morning and it is 70 degrees and sunny but then in the afternoon it could be raining or hailing. In those cases, that is when I would consider my next option for getting home, which would be public transportation or ride-sharing. In my opinion, there is always a solution to getting home using public transportation when it comes to bad weather.

I think one of the barriers that a lot of people face is safety. I certainly felt safety was a barrier before I got into biking more because I felt that biking made me a bit more vulnerable. Make sure you have proper safety gear, a helmet, and the proper clothing in case bad weather does hit. Also, I would suggest understanding how to use the tools that you might need to fix your bike in case something happens.

How do you get around on the weekends?

If I stay in the city, I try to bike and walk as much as possible. I tend to go out of town a lot on the weekends to the mountains. When I do go to the mountains, I will drive and carpool with friends.

If you could be any mode of transportation, which would you be?

I would be an autonomous flying vehicle, whether that is a drone or a plane. That way I could get to places faster! Also, having the autonomous aspect, it might cut out some issues with human behavior and driving.

Interested in commuting to work by walking, biking, or taking transit? Check out these biking and transit resources designed to help you commute to work.

Check out our past commuter highlight interviews here.

Do you commute to work by means other than driving alone? If so, we would like to highlight you! Send an email to Sydney Lund to be highlighted as a part of our commuter highlights series.