Street Stories: Dr. Tan Lu

Name, age, any personal identities you feel like sharing, neighborhood where you live, who you live with/care for, school you go to, type of work you do or hope to do. 

Tan Lu, 59, originally from Beijing. I live in Cranston, and I live on my own. I’ve worked as software developer for the Rhode Island Department of Education since 2012. 

How do you typically travel around Providence? Is that working for you? How does it affect your life, your job, your family? 

I usually travel around by bike, it works for short distance travel with a light load. My commute is 5 miles each way. Not good for 30+ miles away, or carrying a heavy load. In that case (longer distance/heavy load), I will ask my daughter to give me a ride.

How would you ideally like to get around Providence and what would need to happen to make that a reality?

Not sure, maybe subway?

Do you feel safe when traveling around Providence? Where do you feel safe, and where do you not? 

Riding bikes is not safe on freeways, it is ok on bike path, but bike path is not everywhere. I got hit twice by car on freeway – Post Road near Apponaug. Bikes are not allowed on the highways.

When did you start riding a bike to get around? What made you decide? 

I rode my bike to get around before I got my car, which was the only way I could travel without a car. When I was trying to get my driver’s license in 2018, I passed the writing test, but failed the road test – inspector said I drive too slow, will block traffic😅. Before I got my second road test, I suddenly got ill – pancreas tumor/cancer. The tumor tissue block the bile conduct and I got stomach pain and digest problems. With numerous operations I finally realized I need more fitness to make me stronger, so I keep riding.