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Commutingís Hidden Cost
the New York Times ^ | Oct 28, 2013 | Jane Brody

Posted on 10/28/2013 12:05:08 AM PDT by Cronos

According to the Census Bureau, more than three-fourths of all commuters drove to work in single-occupancy vehicles in 2009. Only 5 percent used public transportation, and 2.9 percent walked to work. A mere 0.6 percent rode bicycles, although cycling has finally begun to rise in popularity as cities like New York create bike lanes and bike share programs.

But workers are not the only ones driving for hours a day. The mid-20th century suburban idyll of children going out to play with friends in backyards and on safe streets has yielded to a new reality: play dates, lessons and organized activities to which they must be driven and watched over by adults.

In “My Car Knows the Way to Gymnastics,” an aptly titled chapter in Leigh Gallagher’s prophetic new book, “The End of the Suburbs,” she describes a stay-at-home mom in Massachusetts who drives more than her commuting husband — 40 to 50 miles each weekday, “just to get herself and her children around each day.”

..Suburban sprawl “has taken a huge toll on our health,” wrote Ms. Gallagher, an editor at Fortune magazine. “Research has been piling up that establishes a link between the spread of sprawl and the rise of obesity in our country. Researchers have also found that people get less exercise as the distances among where we live, work, shop and socialize increase.

..Erika Sandow, a social geographer at Umea University, found that people who commuted more than 30 miles a day were more likely to have high blood pressure, stress and heart disease, Sandow found that women who lived more than 31 miles from work tended to die sooner than those who lived closer to their jobs. Regardless of how one gets to work, having a job far from home can undermine health.

(Excerpt) Read more at well.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Travel
KEYWORDS:
Interesting read
1 posted on 10/28/2013 12:05:08 AM PDT by Cronos
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To: Cronos

Can’t disagree with any of it. The trick is figuring out how to support yourself but also have a short or nonexistent commute without living in the horrid city. I would go mad if I had to live in a city again.


2 posted on 10/28/2013 12:23:30 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: Cronos
I’d sure love to ride through the Holland Tunnel on a bicycle. Phew. The days of relatively-open-air trans-Hudson commuting on the ferries are kaput for vehicular traffic.

NYC hated vehicular commuting even at the height of the dominance of railroads, and always actively worked against it even to the city’s detriment. They even went so far as to ban steam locomotives south of 42nd Street—which dictated where Grand Central Terminal ended up, and prevented the steam railroads on the New Jersey and Long Island sides from building bridges into Manhattan. When the government started spending on roads, Manhattan’s NIMBYs jumped out of their skins over the prospects of projects such as the Mid-Manhattan Expressway and Lower Manhattan Expressway—which ended up not being built. (Even the West Side Highway, built by the New York Central Railroad, ended up being torn down and not rebuilt as planned.)

I would say that the nature of jobs rather than proximity might be a factor. The area in question used to have a lot of manufacturing—that is, until mayors like Robert F. Wagner Jr. showed up and started upping the taxes so that he and others could spend on social programs, which scared the manufacturing jobs away. People that commuted to these jobs did not have the same kind of health or sleeplessness problems that today’s commuters seem to suffer . . . then again, they also did not have access to the same kind of drugs . . .
3 posted on 10/28/2013 12:53:55 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Cronos

The Constitution requires an enumerated Census every 10 years; it does not required a fantastically bloated government agency with thousands and thousands of employees working full time, all the time.

Anyone who has seen the Census Bureau facilities in Maryland and well understand just how bloated this agency is.


4 posted on 10/28/2013 2:17:04 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Cronos
WARNING WARNING WARNING

This article has nothing to do with the incidence of high blood pressure among commuters, this article is an opening gun in the campaign on the left to destroy our federal system of cities, counties and states.

It is the plan of the Obama administration to do away with governmental jurisdictions being delineated by states and cities within states and to redraw our maps both geographically and governmentally so that the inner-city can suck taxes from the suburbs and achieve wealth distribution through this transformation. Do not think about New York, think Detroit.

More, the left's ambitions do not stop merely with taking over your property taxes and funneling them into the inner-city but those ambitions extend to controlling the school system, the road system, the tolls on those roads, and, through the zoning boards, to actually, literally control where you will be permitted to live. Do not think about easing highway congestion, think about how Obamacare federalized the health delivery system, the health insurance business, and inserted federal control over your doctor's decisions.

Same game new playground.

These are not merely my paranoid ravings, these are explicit ambitions of this administration reduced to writing and made public.


5 posted on 10/28/2013 2:29:23 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: ottbmare
The trick is figuring out how to support yourself but also have a short or nonexistent commute without living in the horrid city.

The trick is to find, nurture -- and when absent, rebuild -- strong, safe, attractive neighborhoods within the city. Most big cities have them, just not enough of them, and they are great places to live if you are fortunate enough to find one close to your work. If we could figure out how to make good neighborhoods the norm, we would have done something worth doing.

My current view is that the disaster in urban public education is the single biggest factor. Cities still attract young people. They come for a job, are attracted to the urban amenities, and prefer not to spend the lion's share of their free time in a car. But time passes, and they marry and have kids. And then, more than any other single factor, it is the lousy schools that drive young families out.

A walkable, bikeable neighborhood with job, stores, schools, and church within a mile or two radius is golden. These are places where one could easily live without a car. We abandoned that model in the 60's when LBJ and the Great Society smashed so much in their wrongheaded pursuit of a misguided master plan, and a lot of cities have been building poorly ever since. Cities across the country are now trying to rebalance. You see the same dynamic in reverse in some of the denser suburbs, which nowadays are often trying to create mini-city centers with a small town feel.

6 posted on 10/28/2013 3:05:18 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: nathanbedford

“It is the plan of the Obama administration to do away with governmental jurisdictions being delineated by states and cities within states and to redraw our maps both geographically and governmentally so that the inner-city can suck taxes from the suburbs and achieve wealth distribution through this transformation. “

I lived outside the city limits. We had our own volunteer local fire department down the road. The property tax was $700/years. The county forced new development to make themselves part of the city. My area got surrounded and annexed. The taxes went to $1600/year and the local fire house was shut down. Now fire trucks had to come from the city 20 miles distant. It was purely wealth redistribution.

The city owns the electric utility. They have the highest rates in the northern part of Florida. Five hundred dollars/ month is not unusual for an average household. The city has on numerous occasions attempted political moves to seize the local cooperative which has the lowest rates in the state. (I’m not sure how the cooperative has held on so far.) But it’s all about wealth redistribution.


7 posted on 10/28/2013 3:18:52 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Cronos

I used to drive up north to take one kid to boxing, out south to take daughter to horsebackriding, south west to take son to football, it was very time consuming but I don’t regret it. I like living in the suburbs and my drives were nothing compared to the commute my New Jersey living New York working cousin put up with until she moved here.


8 posted on 10/28/2013 5:06:03 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Cronos

I’ve never had to give Colin Ferguson a ride in my car.


9 posted on 10/28/2013 6:15:37 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: yldstrk

If ‘sprawl’ is so awful, why are leftists trying to build ‘afforable’ housing (sec 8) in the suburbs?


10 posted on 10/28/2013 6:16:48 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: nathanbedford

Just say Agenda 21


11 posted on 10/28/2013 6:34:27 AM PDT by B4Ranch (AGENDA: Grinding America Down ----- <<http://vimeo.com/63749370)
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To: B4Ranch
Yup.


12 posted on 10/28/2013 6:41:54 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: B4Ranch

You hit the nail on the head with exact force.


13 posted on 10/28/2013 6:48:59 AM PDT by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: Cronos

This coming from the NYT, an extreme left-wing rag, as liberals LOVE cities and want us all to live in them. They write articles like this impugning those that do not live in the cities.

I say demolish the cities, outlaw congested living, force the spreading out of businesses, and prevent these vote robbing geographic embarrassments.


14 posted on 10/28/2013 6:57:12 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: Olog-hai

Manhattan doesn’t need any more expressways and cars than it has already!

As you may have noticed, the borough has no trouble attracting employers and employees.


15 posted on 10/28/2013 7:47:12 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: sphinx

Very true! Union control of big-city schools is a large part of what ultimately forces NYers out to the ‘burbs. Of course, I don’t know where they’d fit all the incoming young talent if the old farts didn’t peel off to the suburbs to raise their spawn.


16 posted on 10/28/2013 7:49:45 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Cronos

The problem is the destruction of towns and small cities. Those environments provide a much better lifestyle for health, jobs, safety, and a feeling of inclusion. It would involve jobs and retail coming back to “downtown”.


17 posted on 10/28/2013 7:50:47 AM PDT by grania
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To: ottbmare

I live on the outskirts of warsaw. It takes me about 45 minutes by bicycle to get to my office. I have forests close to me. A small/medium sized city is the way to go :)


18 posted on 10/28/2013 7:55:34 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: ottbmare

Life’ll kill ya.


19 posted on 10/28/2013 7:56:53 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cronos

Anyone who ever watched a meeting of the Dallas City Council, will understand why I have absolutely no desire to live in Dallas.


20 posted on 10/28/2013 7:58:56 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cronos

But you are not living in the city. You are living 45 minutes away from it. That is the suburbs.

I live outside of Washington DC, just where the suburbs stop and the countryside begins. In some ways my situation is perfect, because I have a house and garden, and am a five minute drive from horses but yet a ten-minute drive from the terminus of the DC metro (subway) system that takes one into DC. I have also lived in or near several other large US cities, and have traveled and stayed throughout both Eastern and Western Europe. Cities are fascinating and exciting to visit for cultural purposes or to stay in briefly, but I cannot endure living in or near so much hardscape. I need trees, fields, soil beneath my feet, horses.

Like many Americans, I also want to be less dependent upon and controlled by government and less vulnerable to the behaviors of most city-dwellers. If the Lord allows, I will move further out into the countryside soon.


21 posted on 10/28/2013 8:13:49 AM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
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To: 9YearLurker
How many expressways does Manhattan have? There is one and only one: the Trans-Manhattan Expressway, which crosses the island way up in Washington Heights. The FDR Drive/Harlem River Drive is not an expressway (weight limit of 8,000 lbs per axle, all commercial vehicles prohibited); nor is the Henry Hudson Parkway, which formerly connected to the now-gone West Side Highway.

Commercial vehicles in Manhattan are restricted to city streets for the most part. All the tunnels and all the bridges, save the GWB, Trans-Manhattan Expressway and Alexander Hamilton Bridge (i.e. the I-95 corridor), force commercial vehicles onto Manhattan's city streets. The subways are not used for carrying freight, and neither are the commuter railroads; the sole freight railroad line (a former NY Central line on the west side) is used only by Amtrak north of 34th Street, and has been converted to an elevated walking trail from 34th to Gansevoort Street.

So if the LoMEX and MidMEX had been built, that would have meant fewer cars and trucks in Manhattan. The city is a “service economy” now, which technically produces nothing; it used to be a manufacturing center.
22 posted on 10/28/2013 8:15:30 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

It makes no sense for Manhattan to be a manufacturing center.

There’s no benefit to manufacturing being in such a tight space, whereas financial services and other type businesses thrive in such proximity.


23 posted on 10/28/2013 8:28:54 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Cronos
"Only 5 percent used public transportation"...smalldeadanimals.com has a regular column on the perils of "Riding Mass Transit Is Like Inviting 20 Random Hitchhikers Into Your Car"....don' think I'd go back to the bus again...
24 posted on 10/28/2013 8:29:45 AM PDT by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: 9YearLurker

I see. It makes more sense for the city and its suburbs to be welfare cesspools, then?


25 posted on 10/28/2013 8:33:26 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: CodeToad
liberals LOVE cities and want us all to live in them.

Self-driving cars are here and are going to make living in a dirty city old fashioned. The suburbs will grow and the cities will become primarily reservations for the welfare class. A long distance commuter can shower, dress, and enjoy a quiet breakfast then walk 10 seconds to work.

26 posted on 10/28/2013 8:42:22 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses

“Self-driving cars are here and are going to make living in a dirty city old fashioned.”

Many people can already telecommute. I do and it is rare I ever have to go into the city. What office work cannot be done at home? The majority of people I know that commute into work are those that don’t have a home office and kids at home.


27 posted on 10/28/2013 8:44:41 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: Cronos

You gotta make decisions in this world. When you decide to live “away from it all” you have to remember that “it all” is where you spend most of your not at home time, so you drive. That’s why I live in quiet corners of midtown, near “it all” but still with space and peace. Almost none of my drives are more than 15 minutes.


28 posted on 10/28/2013 8:52:33 AM PDT by discostu (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: B4Ranch
Agenda 21, now it's for the children
29 posted on 10/28/2013 9:20:38 AM PDT by Riflema
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

; obamacare; zerocare; abortion; deathpanels

The “commuting” described is that of a soccer mom taking her overscheduled kids around to various activities in the suburbs. The need for this could be obviated by — ta dah! — not overscheduling the kids.

That said, using the family vehicle (or more than one) to get around is 200% to 400% more time efficient than using public transportation, give or take wrongheaded public policy. In a few urban areas (LA comes to mind) so many single-occupant vehicles are on the road in the same two periods (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) that the same handful of major roads are jammed. And there’s a vacant carpool lane. This is a consequence of very few pairs of people both living in proximity to each other and having exactly the same (or reasonably similar) destination at more or less the same times.

Got to work by carpool, and not your week to drive, and the kid gets sick at school? What then?

Public/mass transporation is grossly inefficient in terms of time spent getting around, it simply cuts out more hours per day in by far most cases. It happens to be the best of the worst choices in a (very) few jam-packed urban areas, or (most obviously) for people who either have no personal vehicles (somewhat common in NYC, and in the ‘hood), have lost their licenses (DUI offenses and whatnot), or can’t find or perhaps afford the cost of, parking at their daily destinations. And of course, adding stupid bike paths while cutting out a driving lane — in parts of the country where winter eliminates 99% of the bike traffic — is another one of those Sunshine State one-size-fits-all “solutions” that warrants hunting down its advocates for extrajudicial executions.


30 posted on 10/28/2013 6:05:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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