Published January 14, 2010
A few minutes before 8 a.m. one morning last November, Kathryn Foster, director of the UB Regional Institute, stepped out into the world from the front door of her yellow home in a residential neighborhood just south of Hertel Avenue. She pulled on black leather gloves and, umbrella in hand, began a half-mile trek to the rail station on Amherst Street.
It was cold, the sky an iced gray, a thick sheet of silver clouds overhead. But Foster was full of energy, just happy to be outside. The city was alive with the signs of seasons turning. Up and down every street, trees stand with their naked limbs stretched upward, having shed their leaves.
In her 16 years at UB, Foster has commuted to work on foot whenever possible. Traffic and searching for parking make her hostile, she says, so better to leave the car at home.
With the UB Regional Institute recently relocating to the UB Downtown Gateway, Foster walks to the Metro Rail station and rides the train downtown.
Her two-part trip takes about 20 minutes if she times everything right. Before the institute moved, Foster would walk from her home to the South Campus, a journey of just over a mile.
“It’s healthy. It clears my head,” Foster says of her commute.
“When it’s snowing or cold, it feels righteous... I listened to the radio this morning, and the traffic report comes on and it tells me about traffic tie-ups and slowdowns, and here’s what happening on the Kensington, and here’s what’s going on on the 290 or whatever, and I don’t have to listen to that.”