Walking to Work - How Far is too Far?

Hey guys,

I'll be working full-time at an IB in July, and currently looking at places to rent.

Is a 20-22 minute walk to work "too far"? Only reason I'm considering this is because of the suite and building itself appear to be very nice, a price range a little lower than some smaller suites near my bank's office. I was initially targeting a 10-15 minute, but maybe I'm being too particular with my preferences.

Do you think this distance will be an issue? Particularly, I'll be in Toronto, so is walking this distance in the summer/winter (in very hot/very cold weather conditions) an issue to you guys?

What is a Reasonable Walking Distance to Work in NYC?

While much of this is up to your preference - our users share their thoughts below. Most users preference 15 - 20 minutes and emphasize that the winter isn't as much of an issue as the summer. If your walk is too far - you might end up sweaty by the time you get to work.

DaCarez:

It's really up to you - I did a 20ish minute walk to work to an internship in NYC, was perfectly fine, although some days if I you're running late in the morning you'll definitely be inclined to cab/train it.

UncleKevin - Investment Banking Analyst:

20+ minutes is def is the limit. I assume the walk is a little over a mile and 1/4. I live 1 mile and it takes me 15 min. Now that the weather is nice it's a great walk. Winter sucked but if you have hat/gloves/scarf its really no problem.

User @singularity explained that while cold whether any distance is fine:

singularity:

Warm weather, screw anything more than 15min or so unless you want to look like you were just swimming with the fishes.

DontMakeMeShortYou - Hedge Fund Vice President:

Have to agree--even 15 minutes is sometimes a bit much with warm/hot weather, especially if you're wearing a suit. I'm a 20 minute walk away from work and in warm weather, I have to slow down my pace to prevent/limit the sweating. 20 minutes definitely isn't too far.

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Comments (17)

Apr 14, 2010

It's really up to you - I did a 20ish minute walk to work to an internship in NYC, was perfectly fine, although some days if I you're running late in the morning you'll definitely be inclined to cab/train it. Of course at night, you can always get the car/cab depending on your shop's policy.

The big thing is whether you're personally OK with walking that long, weather aside.

Apr 14, 2010

Whether you can handle that during the winter is the question.

Apr 14, 2010

I did it for a summer internship in nyc, and most days it wasn't that bad. I definitely had to buy some shoes to walk to work and then change into my heels when I got there. I'm not sure how guys' shoes would hold up. It's very unpleasant in the rain though. Overall, I would recommend it because you'll get in a little exercise.

Apr 14, 2010

If your from New England you can tough it out. 20+ minutes is def is the limit. I assume the walk is a little over a mile and 1/4. I live 1 mile and it takes me 15 min. Now that the weather is nice it's a great walk. Winter sucked but if you have hat/gloves/scarf its really no problem.

I really want to bike to work but there is just no way for it to work out. Biking with work clothes is way too dorky. Could change at the gym but that would require pressed clothes there, which doesn't really work.

Also, how do people feel about the sneaker commute? It looks really comfy, but I think it should be reserved for women. Its way to 40 year old virgin esque for me.

Apr 14, 2010

Cold weather, anything.

Warm weather, screw anything more than 15min or so unless you want to look like you were just swimming with the fishes.

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Apr 14, 2010
singularity:

Cold weather, anything.

Warm weather, screw anything more than 15min or so unless you want to look like you were just swimming with the fishes.

Have to agree--even 15 minutes is sometimes a bit much (and I'm not one of those guys that sweats profusely) with warm/hot weather, especially if you're wearing a suit. I'm a 20 minute walk away from work and have to say that, in warm weather, I have to slow down my pace to prevent/limit the sweating. You will definitely get lazy at times and just cab/train it, but it's a great way to wake yourself up in the morning and gives you at least SOME physical activity throughout the day. If I get out of work early enough and feel relatively rested, I'll often walk home as well. 20 minutes definitely isn't too far.

Apr 14, 2010

I would just say take the walk a couple times and then gauge it. Nothing is worse than sweating in a suit and coming into a place. Same thing with being covered in snow and salt.

Apr 14, 2010

Depends on the person, I walked 30 minutes to my work in London during the summer - I like walking since it wakes me up. Sometimes I arrived there sweaty (yes London weather can be nice sometimes), but that goes away after a couple of minutes anyway, so no biggie. However I can imagine that rain will be a no-no for me.

Apr 14, 2010

It depends...

In good weather, like these days in NYC, 20-min walk has no big difference from 10-min walk. You can even say that you are enjoying the nice weather outside a bit more. However, on a cold, windy and snowy/rainy winter morning, 10 more mins of walking can be a complete nightmare.

Apr 14, 2010

Thanks for the replies so far.

The place I'm looking at should be a (1.1 miles) 1.8km-1.9km walk to work. I'm basing my walking estimates purely on Google maps.

For the bad weather situation, the place is almost 3 blocks from an entrance of an underground walkway ("PATH" for those in Toronto that are familiar).

The time issue is not huge, especially if the 20 minutes is an accurate estimate and the distance to the underground walkway distance doesn't raise any issues (eg. snowstorms, etc.).

Do you guys, as analysts, feel that 20 minutes is too long? Could the 10 minutes or so of extra sleep really be worth it? Or are there other benefits I'm missing out on?

Thanks.

Apr 14, 2010

20 minutes is not too long...the walk can be hugely helpful to clear one's head

Apr 14, 2010

It can be very windy and cold in Toronto. Take a cab on a cold day.

Apr 14, 2010

I walked this summer (~20 minutes each way), and here are my two cents:

It's nice not having to take the crowded subways in the morning. It's hot, smelly, and downright disgusting during the morning commute. It's also nice to start the day with some fresh air and sunshine. Plus, you save on having to buy a monthly metro, which is something like $150 a month?

The downsides... I had to walk uphill to work and during the summer, it gets hot. I really dislike sweating in my work attire, and changing into work attire at work is a hassle. Sometimes, you wake up late and the last thing you want to do is have to walk 15-20 minutes, so you end up cabbing it. That could add up to be pretty costly. Not only that, but cabs aren't exactly easy to snag in the morning around midtown.

This was during my internship, so I can't speak to what walking would be like over the winter, but I say try to live as close as possible to both your workplace and a convenient subway line. That way you have options in the morning.

Apr 14, 2010
froyo:

Plus, you save on having to buy a monthly metro, which is something like $150 a month?

Easy on that number. Its like $80 for all you can ride. Assuming you get a car home and on weekends, $2.25 x 20ish working days a month is only $45.

Apr 14, 2010

http://www.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm#unlimited
Good point, I forgot the prices since I haven't had to purchase an unlimited card.

Apr 14, 2010

Dont't know about Toronto, but I certainly would not prefer to walk in New York traffic for 20 min each way. Are the metro stations in Toronto spread further apart?

Apr 14, 2010
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