Thursday, August 31, 2006

our commuting habits according to the census

Despite rising fuel prices, the Detroit News claims "Metro workers OK with the drive". The article agues that living where you like is worth the commute.

"People tell me they're willing to live farther from their jobs if it means a clean, safe, very quiet neighborhood," said Anna Rudica, a Dearborn Realtor. "To do that, I'm referring people to homes farther and farther from the traditional older neighborhoods."

If only realtors and businesses recognize the potential benefit of creating a better environment near places of employment, perhaps families wouldn't have to run screaming to the suburbs. In the mean time, a CPA commuting one hour to downtown Detroit every day form his new home in Brighton gives this enthusiastic support of the suburban commute:
"I guess I'm used to it now," said Gupta, who became a dad last year. "Most of my neighbors do it. It's just a way of life."

That article, along with the recent release of the 2005 American Community Survey, got us interested in Ann Arbor's commuting stats. This is the first year A2 is a "place" on it's own, instead of being lumped into the Detroit/Flint metro area, so we couldn't get historical comparisons. But here are a few basics on how AnnArborites get to work:

65% of us drive alone to work
13% of us walk to work. Wow! That's more than biking, taxis, motorcycles and "other" modes combined!
19.8 minutes one-way is our average commute time, a little less than the 25 minute national average. That amounts to a little over three hours each week, which is a good amount of excersize if you are biking or walking. It's enough time to accomplish a decent chunk of reading, knitting, or studying on the bus.
13.3% of Ann Arbor commuters work outside the county, according to the ACS. That seems low to me, but it is good news for the carfree community. If you do work outside the county, you are about 50% more likely to drive to work alone.

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