For years, Anna Anctil lived in cities like Washington D.C., where notorious traffic problems make bicycling to and from work an attractive transportation alternative. Today, Anctil, the Interim Director of Human Resource Services at Harvard College Library, still often rides to work, and cites the sustainability benefits of riding as one reason why.
“I started riding because it was easier to get around by bike, and because I didn’t have to pay for parking,” Anctil said. “Later, I always tried to fit that mode of transportation into my life by riding to work, or to do errands. Now, it’s a choice I make based on the combination of having one less car on the road and because it’s a great way to get exercise, and I get to work faster than if I drove.”
With a commute of just four miles, riding to and from her office in Widener Library is relatively easy for Anctil – depending on the route she takes, the ride takes only about 30 minutes, and bike racks located just outside Widener Library allow her to ride virtually door-to-door. Anything she needs for work can be packed into saddlebags which attach to either side of her bike’s rear tire, and she carries a padded backpack for her laptop computer.
Though she doesn’t bike to and from work every day – during inclement weather Anctil either drives (in an environmentally-friendly hybrid car,) or commutes by bus – she credits Harvard with providing facilities that make bicycle commuting easy both for those who choose to commute using pedal power.
“Harvard is very good about making sure there are bike racks and sheltered bike storage all around campus,” she said. “There are showers in many different places. There are definitely ways to make it happen if you are interested in commuting by bike.”