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Old 04-08-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
distributed "throughout a metro" is not centralized


Very presumptive and inaccurate, even in a city. To the extent there is any "centralization", the center would be the home/residence not some other location in the world. But then that would apply to everyone. Perhaps that why so many see the "urbanists" promoting downtowns and other locations as "centers" as, well, off-center.
Jobs concentrate in locations, you are only thinking of a singular downtown when you think of centralization.

If you are actually interested in this topic and not just arguing for the sake of arguing, William McDonough's Hannover Principles goes in to great detail about this topic and how to make metros efficient.

The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability | William McDonough

He also has two great books that I advise you to check out.
Cradle to Grave and his new one The Upcycle are a must for anyone interested in this topic of urban planning.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Here's one that shows mean commute times. There's also a Bloomberg link, but the "number of workers" field doesn't make sense to me.

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/relea...mmuters_us.pdf

Longest Commutes: U.S. Cities - Bloomberg Best (and Worst)

I did my own calculation using the most recent Census data. By MSA, I wanted to see the percentage of workers who needed more than 30 minutes to get to work. The rankings look like this:

Washington, DC - 56.3%
New York - 51.0%
Chicago - 49.26%
San Francisco - 48.28%
Atlanta - 47.9%
Boston - 47.5%
Houston - 46.2%
Miami - 45.4%
Los Angeles - 45.3%
Philadelphia - 43.6%
Dallas - 42.6%

So based on the data, sprawled out Dallas is clearly the winner here and compact, transit-oriented DC is the clear loser. Now let's look at the percentage of workers in each city that need more than 30 minutes to get to work.

New York - 67.6%
Chicago - 58.1%
Philadelphia - 53.4%
San Francisco - 52.5%
Boston - 51.4%
Los Angeles - 48.4%
Washington, DC - 45.6%
Miami - 40.7%
Houston - 40.5%
Dallas - 38.9%
Atlanta - 34.2%

When we talk about "sprawl" in these forums, people often paint the picture of some guy trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours on end (most likely in a jalopy with no air conditioning just to accentuate the suffering). But that's not what the reality looks like. The typical commuter in Dallas has a much breezier commute than the typical commuter in San Francisco or DC.
Thanks for the numbers, does these numbers include combined commutes of transit and car? I can definitely vouch for DC, an hour sitting in their traffic during rush hour makes you want to start playing some real life Grand Theft Auto.

Also another thing to remember are people who commute by transit can have a longer commute time, but that can also involve stopping to pick up coffee or things like that along the way. Also there is the downtime while on the train, I personally like to plan out my day while I commute, something I could never do while driving.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The issue is the % of people who have short walking/transit commutes are in select portions of transit-friendly commutes: these cities are all large and centralized, so only some parts in the center near job centers would have a short commute.

You'd need to look outside the US to find a good example of a city with high non-car usage and short commute times. A dense, not too big and somewhat less centralized city should have shorter walking/transit commute times. I suspect German and some other northern European cities would do well. Barcelona has a relatively short commute times.

Did a quick search, Barcelona has shorter commute times than Dallas

Cities with the shortest and longest commute times - SkyscraperCity
Barcelona is an urban planners dream, you can't as for a better planned city than that.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11716
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Thanks for the numbers, does these numbers include combined commutes of transit and car? I can definitely vouch for DC, an hour sitting in their traffic during rush hour makes you want to start playing some real life Grand Theft Auto.
Yes. But drivers generally have shorter commutes in all cities, including DC.

Quote:
This is not to say that a given New Yorker’s commute would be faster by car than by mass transit. The survey was not a comparison of point-to-point times by different methods. It found only that commuters who drove got to their destinations faster than mass-transit users got to their destinations, wherever their start and end points might be.
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ype=blogs&_r=0

I'm not even going to argue about point-to-point travel times. We really have no evidence other than anecdote ("It took me forever in a car but it was a breeze on transit with my iPad and coffee!") and Google. I think the data I posted simply blows apart this stereotype of car-centric cities with horrendous commutes and transit-oriented cities with easy-breezy commutes. Dallas has more people with short commutes than Manhattan. That's saying something. So since we're all so big on destroying myths and stereotypes, can we please destroy this one too?

Quote:
Also another thing to remember are people who commute by transit can have a longer commute time, but that can also involve stopping to pick up coffee or things like that along the way. Also there is the downtime while on the train, I personally like to plan out my day while I commute, something I could never do while driving.
Why can't a driver stop and pick up coffee? Don't you know there are Drive Thru Starbucks? Also, you can do whatever you please in your car whereas there are some systems like WMATA that prohibit food.

And I'm not really into getting into subjective value judgments about time.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11716
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Barcelona is an urban planners dream, you can't as for a better planned city than that.
I'd put Paris over Barcelona. Same type of layout and compactness with better integration of modes. Barcelona only has an advantage in that one ticket can be used by multiple people.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Yes. But drivers generally have shorter commutes in all cities, including DC.



http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ype=blogs&_r=0

I'm not even going to argue about point-to-point travel times. We really have no evidence other than anecdote ("It took me forever in a car but it was a breeze on transit with my iPad and coffee!") and Google. I think the data I posted simply blows apart this stereotype of car-centric cities with horrendous commutes and transit-oriented cities with easy-breezy commutes. Dallas has more people with short commutes than Manhattan. That's saying something. So since we're all so big on destroying myths and stereotypes, can we please destroy this one too?



Why can't a driver stop and pick up coffee? Don't you know there are Drive Thru Starbucks? Also, you can do whatever you please in your car whereas there are some systems like WMATA that prohibit food.

And I'm not really into getting into subjective value judgments about time.
That is true, commuting in general is very subjective. And in general, large expensive cities are going to have longer commute times on average for most people.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11716
City-Data car stereotype.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2He-eSqBYc.../roadrage1.jpg

City-Data transit stereotype (fantasy).

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/f/20..._by_YukiPi.jpg

Last edited by BajanYankee; 04-08-2014 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The transit girl is a cutie, but I do all my commute reading on my phone these days, takes up less space. Though not something I would consider a fantasy for people who use transit, it is often times a reality.

As for the angry guy behind the wheel, he looks like the guy behind me wailing on his horn when we are all stuck in traffic.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,226,229 times
Reputation: 11716
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The transit girl is a cutie, but I do all my commute reading on my phone these days, takes up less space. Though not something I would consider a fantasy for people who use transit, it is often times a reality.

As for the angry guy behind the wheel, he looks like the guy behind me wailing on his horn when we are all stuck in traffic.
Like I said, that's buying into stereotypes (which I thought were deplorable). The reality for mass transit systems during rush hour is much closer to this (for the most successful systems anyway) than it is to the photo I posted.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/imag..._BenC_6351.jpg

http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/wordp...onsorcny11.jpg

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...0120113610.jpg

http://davidmixner.typepad.com/.a/6a...fc2d5dc970d-pi

Of course, we can cherrypick all day to make a point. But when we get down to the hard, cold data, commuters in sprawling metropolises don't have it too bad. And drivers in NYC have commutes that are 15 minutes shorter than those of transit riders.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 04-08-2014 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Like I said, that's buying into stereotypes (which I thought we were deplorable). The reality for mass transit systems during rush hour is much closer to this (for the most successful systems anyway) than it is to the photo I posted.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/imag..._BenC_6351.jpg

http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/wordp...onsorcny11.jpg

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...0120113610.jpg

http://davidmixner.typepad.com/.a/6a...fc2d5dc970d-pi

Of course, we can cherrypick all day to make a point. But when we get down to the hard, cold data, commuters in sprawling metropolises don't have it too bad. And drivers in NYC have commutes that are 15 minutes shorter than those of transit riders.
Which those photos like the other ones are nothing more than cherry picking. Though like gridlocked traffic, packed full trains are similar, both can be uncomfortable and annoying to be in.

The point for making this is that there needs to be options for those to commute, especially the larger the city. Could you imagine how bad NYC would be if everyone drove? And that isn't even addressing the other issue, where would they all park?
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