Tuesday, 17 October 2006

The twelve minute rule

After various and sundry experimentation, I have concluded that no matter what I do, it will take me about 12 minutes to get to my Metrolink train Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I have my classes:

  • I can walk to the Richmond Heights station. This takes 10–12 minutes, depending on the signal phases along Brentwood Blvd.
  • I can drive to the Brentwood station—this takes about 7 minutes, but it takes me 5 to get in the car, get out, and walk through the parking garage construction zone to the station.
  • I can ride a bus (WashU Gold #1) along Brentwood to the Richmond Heights station. This takes less time, but to ensure I make the bus I have to leave the apartment 10–12 minutes before it would get to the station. And the bus only runs every 30 minutes, so unless I time things well I’ll get to the station faster if I walk.

The ideal solution to this dilemma, of course, would be if Metro had put a park-and-ride lot at Richmond Heights right next to I-170. Or if they’d stuck a station at Brentwood (or Clayton Rd) and I-170 or in Clayton Corporate Park.

I have also figured out that I can drive to the Forest Park station… but that doesn’t get me to work any sooner than the other options, and there’s the non-negligible risk of not finding parking when I get there.

So, the commute choice is basically driven by my level of laziness, how nasty the weather is, and whether or not I plan on doing any grocery shopping at Sam’s or Dierberg’s after work; if I do, then taking the car to Brentwood makes sense. But this also exposes me to the temptation of having dinner “out,” which makes the not walking worse.


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[Permalink] 1. JTMarlin wrote @ Sun, 22 Oct 2006, 7:36 am CDT:

By the Forest Park Station, you mean the one technically located at 275 S.Central?

I think they have their own parking structure there, if I am not correct.

I have the same problem, so I just take Forest Park all the way in.


No, I’m talking about the older station at Forest Park Pkwy & DeBaliviere; it has 100 free parking spaces. The Clayton garage is paid parking. I wouldn’t bother at all with Metrolink if I had to pay to park and ride. (I might change my tune when 40 gets shut down in the spring, though.)

If I didn’t have a halfway nice car, I’d just park on the street in the industrial wasteland under the Grand bridge and walk the 10 minutes to work. I’m cheap that way.

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