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Meet Sheryl

Name: Sheryl
Occupation: Senior Office Assistant
Employer: Tacoma Housing Authority
Gets around by: Walking

Where do you live and where do you work?
I live and work in the Hilltop neighborhood.

How do you get there?
Sometimes I saunter and other times, I speed walk. Naturally, it depends on the weather that day.

How does it all add up? How much money and time do you save?
I have not paid for gas or insurance in the last 15 months. It’s incredible how much more money I have been able to save.

What’s in it for you?
What’s in it for me? I always see someone I know. If not, I meet people who I wouldn’t normally get to meet if I were in a car. There are health benefits, plus, I’ve learned to endure the elements. It’s good for the body and soul. I get to make connections with people on the street who others might be afraid of. It feels so good to say hello to someone who looks as though they are never approached and get them to crack a smile. I get the chance to pay attention to detail. It’s great to walk past Second Cycle and see that there are children just on the other side of the windows learning how to work on bikes and grinning ear to ear. There is a sense of power and enlightenment when you walk past a “Little Free Library” and you have time to stop and browse the selection. You begin to think about the ways you can contribute to your neighbors. Walking makes my day and it helps me recognize my community.

Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this mode for the first time?
If I could give one piece of advice to new alternative commuters, it would be to persevere. Don’t give up because it becomes uncomfortable. Focus on the positive and take your time. You learn a lot about the dynamics of the area or city you thought you knew so well before.

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