Forget everything you’ve ever experienced or heard about: Los Angeles is the best place for car commuting in the US, according to a study by actual PhDs. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies analyzed 2010 data in what they say “is the first systematic comparison of trends in accessibility to jobs by car within the U.S.” (Not like LA was going to top any lists in bike or train commuting, probably.) According to Crikey, “[Lead researcher] Professor Levinson counted the number of jobs that could be reached within a range of driving times by the average worker resident in the 51 largest US metropolitan areas [during the morning peak period] … He established an overall ranking of the 51 metro areas based on giving closer jobs a higher weight than more distant jobs.”
And he found that “The average Angeleno can only reach 4.9% of metro jobs within 10 minutes driving time, but that very quick trip nevertheless provides access to a massive 237,203 jobs … With a longer 30 minute commute, the average Angeleno can drive to a mind-boggling 2,458,111 jobs.” (Unclear on how population figures into this, let alone education distribution and that kind of thing.)
The study reflects the also-counterintuitive finding that Los Angeles is incredibly dense: “workers can get to a large number of jobs within a reasonable time frame because both residential and employment densities are relatively high.” And then of course there’s the whole thing where the city was designed for easy car travel.
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