This time of year, when Dewayne Wages hops on his bicycle and rides to his job each morning, the sun barely peeks over the eastern horizon.

His commute takes him about a half hour from his home near Pinecrest Country Club to the city's public works complex, where he works in the sanitation department.

It's a distance of nearly eight miles using Cotton Street, Loop 281 and Harrison Road. Wages has few complaints.

"Traffic is pretty easy," he said. "I pretty much don't have to stop except for a couple of red lights."

Wages is among at least 1,000 Longview commuters who rely on their feet and legs rather than a vehicle to get to their jobs, according to ZipAtlas. The website collects demographic, social and economic profiles of zip codes, area codes, cities and states.

One area of Longview leads most of East Texas in the number of commuters who don't depend on vehicles.

In the 75602 zip code, about 3.3 percent of the 21,662 people living there walk or bike to work. That's more than double the percentage of every other zip code in Longview.

The 75602 code includes most of South Longview — encompassing LeTourneau University and Eastman Chemical Co. — and stretches into southwestern Harrison County.

Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls leads the state in the highest percentage of its population who walks to work. According to ZipAtlas, 56.7 percent of the base's 9,395 residents walk to their jobs, ranking it 82nd highest in the nation.

No other town in East Texas has a higher percentage of walking and biking commuters than Edgewood in Van Zandt County. Among its 3,255 residents, 6 percent don't use vehicles to get to work, ranking it 103rd in the state.

Commerce, home of Texas A&M University-Commerce, is close behind at 5.85 percent, ranking 109th in the state.

Easton ranks highest in Gregg County, with 5.08 percent of its residents walking or biking to work, though that percentage might be skewed, because ZipAtlas reflects Easton's population at 184 residents compared with more than 500 residents counted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Other East Texas communities ranked among the top 200 in the state are Shelbyville at No. 160 and Gary at No. 178.

College towns tend to have higher percentages of walking and biking commuters. Two of the top zip codes in East Texas in that category are Nacogdoches and Marshall.

Nacogdoches is home to Stephen F. Austin State University, and the 75941 zip code in Nacogdoches has 4.16 percent of its commuters who choose their feet and legs over wheels. Marshall, home to at least four college and university campuses, is close behind at 4.15 percent among its 75670 zip code.

Transportation planners are introducing more roadway plans that accommodate modes of transit beyond the automobile. An extension of George Richey Road, which opened this week, includes bicycle lanes, and Longview's Comprehensive Plan encourages more sidewalks and complete streets that incorporate sidewalks, biking lanes and other amenities.

Plans to widen Harrison Road include sidewalks and bike lanes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

That's good news for Wages, because he doesn't plan on ditching his bike anytime soon.

"I haven't drove a car in a while," he said.

East Texas walking/biking commuters