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Home >> Blog >> Adapting to a New Commute: Keara

Adapting to a New Commute: Keara

Keara Mehlert
Keara Mehlert May 24, 2017 Keara Mehlert is the Property & Development Services Program Director at Arlington Transportation Partners. She has been car-free and loving it for the past five years and has been biking 5.5 miles to work every day since October 2012.
ATP Takeaway: Moving to a new home is often a good chance to explore a variety of commute options. Researching and planning ahead will help make any new commute easier.

After almost four years of living on U Street, my fiancé Nate and I recently moved to the opposite side of the city to the Navy Yard neighborhood. While Nate’s driving commute to Ashburn wouldn’t really change much (it will always be long and horrible), I was a little concerned about how my trip to work would be affected. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve really enjoyed my easy 3.5-mile commute from U Street to Rosslyn. It was just long enough to get exercise and was consistently a quick 20-minute bike ride.

In true ATP fashion, I wanted to share my experience with my new commute options – especially since moving to a new location is often the best time to try something new, before habits form and you get into a routine.



Commute Test 1: Biking

According to Google Maps, the new bike commute distance would be about 5.5 miles and take a little over 40 minutes. I expected it to be longer but it was a bummer to see that it would literally take twice as long as my old ride. However, the route is mostly along the Mall, in bike lanes or on trails, so overall it’s a somewhat safer and more comfortable ride.

After overanalyzing every route detail on Google Street View, the ride to and from work has been a delight, and it actually only takes me 30 minutes instead of over 40. I will say my legs have felt a lot more tired, but I recently realized that is likely because my new bike tires were inflated 50 PSI lower than what they are supposed to be. Oops.

Commute Test 2: Running

I decided that running 5.5 miles to and from work was not going to be an option once I saw that distance, definitely don’t have time for that in the morning. However, taking Metro to work and running home would be a great way to get exercise in while not totally killing myself.


My route running home is a little different than biking, I prefer to stay on the Mall all the way to the Capitol, then run through Capitol Hill to get back to Navy Yard. I still run with my trusty small backpack, although I did get fun new Bluetooth headphones so I don’t have wires hanging down while running that distance.

Commute Test 3: Transit

While taking Metro is my third best option, it’s not too bad! The commute consistently takes about 30 minutes, which is the same as biking, even on Nationals gamedays. I know there are several bus routes that connect to the Blue and Orange Lines from Navy Yard, which I haven’t taken yet, but it’s good to know that I have options on days when the Green or Yellow Lines might not be working well.

Conclusion: Commute Changes Are Actually Good

Overall, I’m pretty pumped that my new commute hasn’t been inconvenient or too much of a hassle to figure out. Even though it’s longer, I might enjoy biking and running even more now with such scenic views. Luckily the weather has been fabulous since we moved, might need to change up my go-to outfits come this winter.

Moral of the story: it’s always a little stressful when moving and changing up your normal habits. If you put in some time to research all your options, it’ll only make you feel more comfortable and confident when trying a new route.

Do You Need Help Planning Your Commute?

Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) can help you plan your commute and discuss your transportation options. Just fill out this form with your information and check out the resources while we find various options for you. We can also work with your employer to implement transportation benefits and programs at a company or building level.

Photo Credit: Keara Mehlert

Tags: Bike, How I Commute to Work, Metro, Active Transportation, Commute, Transit

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