December 22, 2004

Extreme Commuting

Category: Society

traffic.jpeThe Freeway: A recent USA Today story highlighted the growing phenomenon of "extreme commuters" - those who commute 2 hours or more each way on a regular basis. I suppose if it happened once a week for a very good reason it wouldn't be so bad, but daily commutes of this type are just bonkers, and probably unhealthy, even if you're doing it on a train.

Not to fault the commuters per se, since they're generally just trying to find an afforable place to live - the problem lies with a lack of affordable development in urban areas, as well as a lack of developments that are built around transit. With a well designed train system, you could still live 100 miles away from your workplace and get there in an hour. Even better would be the promotion of mixed-use developments that would at least give some people the option of living close enough to walk or bike.

Posted by Nick at December 22, 2004 5:15 PM


Just my $0.02 on development in urban areas:

1) One of the things that I suspect really drives people out of multi-family dwellings in the US is the noise -- I can only attribute the lack of decent soundproofing to the cultural assumption that decent, quiet housing is only for those who can afford expensive, probably stand-alone, housing.

2) In many of the larger urban areas in the US, the problem is not only a lack of transit-accessable development, it's the suburban nature of a lot of recent office park development. Even if people can get to a train line that would take them to the central city, their job is often in an office park which would require them to go across the typical center-out public transit lines, or in and back out.

Posted by: paperwight [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2005 4:30 PM