Commute Interview #001 – Aaron B. Hockley

In my first interview questionnaire that I sent out it went to Portland’s one and only Aaron B. HockleyPhotographer Extraordinaire, Software Engineer, WordCamp Organizer, WordPress User, Dogcaught Writer & Photographer, a writer on OurPDX, and just another blogger!  Aaron often writes on these several blogs and takes awesome photos, like the one to the right.  One of his recent entries is even a video blog entry about Twitter usage.

After that mighty introduction, here’s the info on Aaron’s daily commute.

1. What is your occupation?  What exactly does the occupation entail?

I'm a software developer, working primarily with ASP.NET web applications and SQL Server.  I develop and support line of business applications for a local agency related to criminal justice.

2. How long have you been in the occupation?

I've been in the web/software industry for about 10 years, at my current employer for just over 2 years.

3. What city & state do you live in?

Live in Vancouver, WA and work in Portland, OR.

4. What mode (car, bike, foot, boat, airplane, train, airship, etc) of transport do you use for getting to and from work?   Airship? 

I wish.  A "typical" day involves driving from my house to a transit center (about 10 miles), then light rail train, then a bus for the last couple of miles.

2. How long does each leg of your commute take?  If you don't commute, how much time do you spend getting to and from your desk or place of work?

In the morning it's about 45 minutes from door to door, in the evening it's about an hour.

3. How do you pass the time while commuting or traveling?  Read, write, compute, chat, other?

Generally the time is spent listening to podcasts, and when I'm on the bus or train I'll catch up on RSS feeds or Twitter on my Blackberry.

4. If you had your choice, what mode would you take?

Ideally I'd live close enough to work that I could walk.

5. If there was one thing you could change about your commute, what would it be?

Other than making it shorter, I'd appreciate freeways with adequate capacity.  North of the Columbia River (in Vancouver), roads have for the most part kept pace with growth.  In Portland, massive population growth has led to zero new road capacity.

6. If gas went up to $5.00 a gallon, how would that change your commute?

Honestly, I doubt it would very much.  When it was over $4, we consolidated optional trips but it didn't affect my commute.



So in the next interview I’ll provide a tally, so we know where we are with types of commutes and other ideas that the answers provide.

New Transit Sleuth Logo!

The Transit Sleuth, that’s me the writer of this here blog, have got a new logo coming for the site.  I also intend to do more videos, slide shows, images, and media related things of transit related nature for the ole’ blog.  This is my first collage video, or slide show, or whatever one wants to call it.  Just a fun bit, and watch until the end for a first run preview of the new logo!

This video of images was inspired by another video by my fellow transit friend Al M, which I’ve linked below.  He put some shots I’ve posted over the various blog entries together into this awesome video collage.

MAX Green Line Running On The Mall

It appears, from my view 8 stories up, that the Green Line is operating non-revenue test runs today.  If you’re downtown, it’s an interesting site to see an LRV under its own power traversing our north south tracks downtown.

I had a feeling I should have brought my camera.  It’s a unique opportunity to see all the yellow busy bees herding around the vehicle at each stop.

Conversations, A Really Short Transit Story

A guy and his lady sit on the #9 with another guy sitting across from them.  Both silent as they look forward at the low floor section of the bus.  They don’t know each other and have no idea who each other are.  Then it happens, the lone fellow asks the guy with his lady something about good venues to check out at night in Portland.  A conversation, politely and at a respectful tone strikes out.  The young lady chimes in also, words of Seinfeld coming to town, places to go after hours, and what to do are sent back and forth between these strangers.  Smiles are had and both continue on in their discussion.  The conversation continues unabated with a friendly tone, new friends it is, whether single serving or not, they’re friend and cohorts for this ride!

You’ll never see that in a traffic jam or while driving about in an auto, isolated and alone.

Several more people board and we have a full bus.  Enough to make an average per passenger of about 45mpg!  That’s a VERY respectable efficiency at 11:21pm!

I get off before even half of these people have finished their ride.  In calm the bus lurches forward into the darkness down Powell.  Now I stand alone, to walk across the street and into home.  Another grand night of nerdy and awesome in Portland complete.  I am satisfied with my night.  Another 30+ people off to a calm comfortably warm night.

CRC Bridge Protest in Portland (It’s About Vancouver WA Too!!)

Joleen and I went to the protest on the waterfront about the prospect of having a new bridge built over the Columbia to replace the current I-5 Bridge.  It was pretty good, I’d love to have seen more people, but it was a good start in the effort.  With how many people are idiotically apathetic to action like this it is no wonder the Government can shove dumb ideas down our throats without much resistance.  Well for the CRC, specifically the 12 lane bridge, the resistance is growing larger by the day.  Even Vancouver residents are wakening up to the idea that a 12 lane toll bridge is NOT a good idea for them either, or for anybody in the metropolitan area.

A 6 lane, with other local traffic bridge, a light rail bridge, a pedestrian bridge, fixing the rail bridge or the current corridor, there are at least a dozen, if not 2-3 dozen alternatives that have a VASTLY SUPERIOR monetary, environmental, economic, and traffic impact than the current idea of a MEGA BRIDGE.

Please, check out the following sites and see if you can’t help us make some impact into this future destruction this 12-lane bridge proposal is suggesting.