By Karly Siroky
Commute Options Specialist, Pierce Transit
Of the roughly 700 faculty and staff members at University of Puget Sound, more than 25 percent live within just one mile of campus. If you were to plot this data on a map, there would be so many dots within that on-mile radius that the only exposed piece of land would be the campus itself.
Belinda Timpke is one of those dots.
A Tacoma native Belinda remembers riding the bus to Stadium High School, and always wanted to get a house in the North End. “I live probably four blocks from the house I grew up in,” she shares.
Her current home is located a mere five blocks from the Puget Sound campus. “It’s one of the perks of working for this university,” she said. “The location just makes it naturally accessible. Because it’s located in such a nice neighborhood, staff and faculty are motivated to live here.”
As the administrative assistant in the business services office, Belinda provides support to a very busy John Hickey, who oversees Puget Sound’s auxiliary operations: the bookstore, community engagement, Dining and Conference Services, Mail Services, and Security Services. She has been walking to campus for more than 11 years. “I walk pretty much every day,” she says, “unless I have a doctor’s appointment or something. I also go home for lunch.”
Not even inclement weather such as last November’s surprise snowstorm can stop her. “Occasionally my husband will try to convince me to let him give me a ride,” she says. “But I really like walking in the snow. Except when we have snow days, I have no excuse to not be here!” Plus for Belinda walking isn’t just a mode of transportation, it's an important source of fitness. “It’s a great way to get at least 35–40 minutes of walking every day, at least five days a week.” Belinda walks everywhere: to the library, the store, the movie theater, and even to refill her vitamins!
As the sky begins to darken, we wrap up the interview and prepare to head our respective ways. “Are you walking home tonight,” I ask. She smiles and says, “Of course!”
Learn more about walking at Puget Sound.