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July 2000

Boulder's commuter of the year is Karl Hanzel

Multimodal transportation is a way of life for Karl Hanzel. He gets to and from kayaking forays on Boulder Creek by toting his kayak on a bike trailer. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

He does own a car, but you'll never see it in the FL parking lot. Karl Hanzel (COMET) relies on foot, RTD, and pedal power to get virtually everywhere in the metro area. Even when the weather's unfriendly, Karl often manages to keep his car in the garage.

For his dedication to car-free travel, and for his work on the UCAR/NCAR Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Karl has been named Boulder's Best All-Around Employee Commuter of the Year. The honor was one of six announced in conjunction with the city of Boulder's Walk and BikeWeek 2000, held 10—18 June. As one of TAP's core members, Karl initiated the "blue bike" program that maintains a fleet of donated bikes and provides them to short-term visitors through the ML and FL reception desks. (Donations of bikes and tools are always welcome.)

Karl follows in the tracks of Rick Anthes; the UCAR president was one of five citywide Commuters of the Year in last year's Walk and BikeWeek.

According to Karl, "Some folks have said that winning Commuter of the Year is a scam because I only live on the other side of FL4, and my 'commute' is barely a quarter-mile to FL3." However, he adds, "It was by deliberate choice that I moved there, knowing that I would never need to drive to work. It was, and continues to be, a lifestyle choice." Karl says he actually misses the lengthier bike commuting he enjoyed when he lived farther from work.

Lest he appear a Luddite, Karl says he believes that "cars and other motor vehicles have their uses, but doing a person's routine, like commuting to work, should not be one of them," especially with such perks as free local and regional bus service available to UCAR/NCAR staff. He offers this challenge: "If you really don't believe that you can find an alternative way to get to work, just call me [ext. 8479] and I'll help you work something out."

• BH

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Wed Jul 19 13:56:38 MDT 2000