My office park, 2010

Ten minute walk to 16th Street BART. Ten minute train ride to Balboa Park Station. Ten minute shuttle bus ride to the Sierra Point office park. Add in 5 minute buffers and my commute to work each day is about 45 minutes each way.

I don’t mind the commute too much. I used to take MUNI from Van Ness to the ball park each day, and even though my old office was in the city, the commute was over 30 minutes on public transportation. My new commute is a little longer but it is a reverse commute, so there is always a seat. In fact, it is just enough time for me to check email and Facebook, or to write these little posts.

But still.

Unlike commuting to points in the city, my new office park is isolated between the freeway and the Bay and close to nothing else. It is a big adjustment from all those years in the city. There are no street businesses and no residents–just office towers and office workers. But the area is nicely landscaped and clean, with a beautiful public trail and a marina and plenty of places to sit and look at the water during a break. But because of the geography and development plan, Sierra Point is isolated–almost an island that requires a two mile drive to get to the nearest community, and walking or riding a bike to the office is impractical. There is no public transit, just an office-sponsored shuttle to BART or Caltrain.

During the middle of the day, my options are limited in ways that I never had considered before–no errands, no lunch with friends, no walking to SFMOMA when I need a break or going home early if I have to wait for the shuttle. The modern office park is designed for cars and little else.

As a long time user of public transport and/or bicycles, the idea of driving to work is still something I have to get used to. Right now a motorcycle seems like the best alternative, so now I have to figure out how I can get out of the office island during the day to get to the DMV…