Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Detroit is the 2nd worst city for commuters Previous Next
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Sg9018
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Username: Sg9018

Post Number: 199
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 2:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In today's Forbes. Forbes says detroit is the 2nd worst city for commuters. Only Atlanta traffic was worst that Detroit traffic. only 11% of Detroit commuters walk,carpool or take transit.
http://www.forbes.com/realesta te/2008/04/24/cites-commute-fu el-forbeslife-cx_mw_0424reales tate,html
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 6344
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Traffic around here doesn't seem that bad to me. Except for over by Commerce Twp.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 2:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Can you re-post that link? It doesn't work.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 6017
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A 2004 mass transit study reported the breakdown for four local counties of those using public transit for commuting was very low: Washtenaw 4%, Wayne County 3%, Oakland 1%, and Macomb 0% (figures rounded to the nearest integer percent). Livingston was also super low, but I cannot remember its figure.

That report is posted at least twice somewhere in the DY archives, BTW.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1238
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found the article. Here's something telling:

"The worst commutes were those that ate up the most hours and were the least reliable. The best commutes were in cities with short, dependable treks to the office, where fellow commuters efficiently use transit options to reduce congestion."

We haven't got short commutes because we've built up the exurban area into a ring of bedroom suburbs such as Canton and Macomb where almost everybody lives far from their employment. We don't "efficiently use transit options" because we haven't got any.

Still, having driven in Chicagoland and La-La Land during rush hours, it's hard to believe we're number 2.
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Jcole
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Username: Jcole

Post Number: 338
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The fact that we don't have mass transit is what is bad. I've been in Boston and Denver during rush, and believe me, even WITH several modes of mass transit in those cities, I'd take the D any day. Boston is the worst. You take your life in your hands just crossing a narrow street. I think the car dealers remove the brakes before they sell the cars
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4690
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is the methodology? If it's % of people that drive (or average miles driven), we're at the top or towards the top, but that doesn't translate into congestion neccesarily. Traffic flies on most of our roads, IMO, since we've built so many.

But if that perception makes us move faster to get regional transit, so be it.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 6345
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's what I'm saying. Barring an accident or other such circumstance, I can't complain about traffic. And I have to pierce the heart of the mixing bowl on a daily basis.
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Jcole
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Username: Jcole

Post Number: 339
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a matter of fact, I've spoken to several people in Denver who have had occasion to drive in Detroit, and they praise our highway system. One was a commercial chauffeur, and he claimed he'd rather drive here than in Denver because we have so many highways and they are well planned and built.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1239
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From a 2006 U of M study: "Whereas 43 percent of tri-county area respondents reported using public transit at least some of the time in 1975, only 12 percent reported doing so in 2001."

Difference: In 1975 more than half the metro population lived in Detroit, which still had a decent bus system at that time; now about 75% to 80% of the metro population lives outside Detroit and in the suburbs where transit is minimal (or the exurbs where it is nonexistent), and bus service in Detroit has been cut back drastically during the same period.

Incidentally that report gives an "average of 3%" of regional residents to be regular transit users, with the highest being 7% to 8% in Detroit and in Washtenaw County.

Interestingly, 1975 was just before the beginning of the current resurgence in rail transit in most big-city regions.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6723
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnlodge, I agree! What traffic? I can make it from downtown to home at 11 Mile & I-94 in SCS in 30 minutes or less... at 5PM!!

Now granted, once past the I-696 interchange, I-94 traffic gets much worse, but as an inner ring suburbanite... rush hour is fine!!

Sure beats trying to take a car out of Chicago, New York, L.A. or San Francisco at 5PM!

Gotta laugh at best/worst lists... they're usually either meaningless, or don't take everything into account.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11555
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Much of that is probably based upon average commute time. When we have people that choose to live 40-50 miles from work it makes for miserable commutes.

Most cities have bad commutes due to traffic. Many bad commutes in SE Michigan are due to idiots that feel it is necessary to live 50 miles from their job.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 6346
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1, you make it sound like finding a job close to home, or just up and selling your house and buying another one is the easiest thing in the world. Unfortunately, it is not. However, I will continue to try to convince my company to move 5 minutes from my house, because I'm sure as hell not moving to Bingham Farms. (would you?)
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 6347
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That being said, my commute is only about 20-30 minutes.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 11557
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

JL - True that is one important component and many companies move people around. I do however know many, many people that are settled at a job and decided to move to 30+ mile road knowing their jobs would stay in Detroit/Southfield, etc.

20-30 minutes is a pretty reasonable amount IMO but I know way too many people that move while set in a job and move way the heck out.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4692
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 3:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also think the poor ranking is because of long average commute times that reflect our residential sprawl more than congestion. No good really comes out of this, because employers might have one more reason not to locate here because of the perception of bad traffic.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1613
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"To find them and others, Forbes.com looked at the 75 largest metro areas in the U.S. and evaluated them based on traffic delays, travel times and how efficiently commuters use existing infrastructure, based on data from the Texas Transportation Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey. The worst commutes were those that ate up the most hours and were the least reliable. "

Travel delays = low to moderate

Travel times = relatively high due to dispursed nature of the region and mode. Flat geography = easy dispursion of population and employment. A commute of 45 minutes by transit or bus is not considered a bad commute, but by car its pushing the top end.

Efficient use of Transportation Network = low on buses/transit, low on carpools.

As far as I am concerned its a great city for commuters, but heavilly concentrated toward the SOV (single occupancy vehicle).
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 2221
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To me, the mark of a city that's kind to commuters isn't how much time they spend in a car in traffic, but whether they have real, workable choices other than driving a personal vehicle. On that tip, there are few places worse to commuters than the D. :P
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 1103
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1 has got it right concerning the the higher percentage of commuters in this region who choose longer commutes. The bedroom subdivisions of Livingston County and northern Macomb and Oakland counties are plenty of evidence. Tens of thousands of new homes were built in these areas in the 90's and 00's. The major factor for a developer in choosing an exurban site for residential development is proximity to the interstate. Commute times, not so much. For a long time, the lure of a new house, new schools and perceived greenspace amenities have trumped commute times as priorities for many households in this region. For many folks, as long as you're speeding down the expressway to work, everything is ok. Ten, twenty, thirty or forty minutes, it doesn't make much difference. The maintenance of this paradigm is driving the long planned expansions of I-94 through Detroit and I-75 in Oakland. Heaven forbid if you can't get all the way from Macomb Twp to Dearborn at 75mph at 8:30 in the morning.
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Johnlodge
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Post Number: 6351
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I expect that to change, at least some. New home builds are down 18%. The housing market is a factor, but so are gasoline prices. However, this doesn't mean people will necessarily be flocking back to Detroit unless the crime problems are resolved, since business and jobs exist throughout metro Detroit. I just expect less activity on the fringes, and possibly renewed interest in the core area.
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Karenk
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Username: Karenk

Post Number: 62
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit highways are a snap. I won't drive on the highways in Las Vegas or Boston for that matter. You don't know rush hour until you have seen it in Las Vegas!
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 5207
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.forbes.com/realesta te/2008/04/24/cities-commute-f uel-forbeslife-cx_mw_0424reale state.html
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1996
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit's congestion (or lack there of) may also include the fact that there's no particular center of employment for the region.

You never see our five lane I-75 out of downtown clogged up like Atlanta's or the Dan Ryan in Chicago.

We have an excellent street grid around here, just no mass transit to compliment it. :-(

Those people at Forbes just love to hate on Detroit.

(Message edited by DetroitRise on April 25, 2008)
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Otter
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Username: Otter

Post Number: 116
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 5:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I grew up in Atlanta and go back regularly, and traffic there is totally hellacious - utterly unlike traffic here, which is cake by comparison.

I have not yet read the article, but I must imagine that the criteria that went into what constitutes 'bad' must be such that bad means something a bit different than what we first think (as alluded to by a prev. poster.) Commutes here seem to be a longer.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 2223
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 5:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On the freeway tip: I'm amazed every time I leave downtown at 5 p.m. or after a game. People willing to wait a half-hour to get on a jam-packed freeway really freak me out! Woodward will be empty and a block away, but so many people still sit in traffic, inching toward the expressway. It's like some people don't know the surface streets at all! Perhaps to them, downtown is just another exit number on the interstate. :-(

Still, more room on the spoke roads for me. :-)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5953
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 5:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, the spokes never seem crowded, and they are practically highways. Actually, they are highways. lol Apart from the rudeness of drivers in Metro Detroit, actual road system is extremely easy to navigate, and compared to other cities the congestion makes it seem like a much smaller place than it really is.
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Jgavrile
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Username: Jgavrile

Post Number: 77
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 6:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No place sucks as bad as Chicago. Their traffic is ridiculous, along with the fact that they compound it with toll roads and pay as you go toll booths. I hate having to drive anywhere near Chicago. That system really makes ours look great. We have dumb bottlenecks and that, which tend to make us think we have traffic problems, like the "malfuction juncton" at I-96 and Southfield in the mornings , but Chicago has this situation everywhere. How can anyone say ,that its nice to go to Chicago?? Bunch of crap if you ask me.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1999
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"No place sucks as bad as Chicago. Their traffic is ridiculous, along with the fact that they compound it with toll roads and pay as you go toll booths. I hate having to drive anywhere near Chicago. That system really makes ours look great. We have dumb bottlenecks and that, which tend to make us think we have traffic problems, like the "malfuction juncton" at I-96 and Southfield in the mornings , but Chicago has this situation everywhere. How can anyone say ,that its nice to go to Chicago?? Bunch of crap if you ask me."

Any place that has decent leaders and an excellent economy are nice places to be. :-)
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Savannah
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Username: Savannah

Post Number: 34
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 6:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The bad thing about Atlanta is that there are no roads within 50 miles that allow you to by pass it. All roads lead to Atlanta. If you are southbound on I-75, You can get off at any exit, travel 20 miles and run right back into 75.
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Bussey
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Username: Bussey

Post Number: 653
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Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 9:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just moved to Chicago from Detroit and must agree that the traffic here is MUCH worse than back in Detroit.

When I was in Detroit I used to commute from Detroit to Birmingham and now from Chicago to Elgin. The drive back into the city here in Chicago is far worse than anything I ever had experienced in tha D.

And to the earlier post, the Dan Ryan is the least congested of the bunch. Hit the inbound Kennedy near O'Hare any time after 4pm and then you know what traffic means.

The pay as you go tolls, or as they are called here Open Road Tolling, is really a great system. You have a transponder attached to your windshield that is tied to your credit card. As you use up your money it just deducts another 40 bucks. The tools come off as you drive through and the road is subsidised by the actual users and not the senior citizen who just drives to their local store and back. Every "free" way should be modeled in the same fashion.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 733
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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 7:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with the majority consensus above. Detroit "bad" traffic appears to be a matter of distance traveled all the way to the exburbs, instead of duration sitting bumper-to-bumper such as Chicago and Boston.

There is a very glaring issue changing the tides around here, and it is gas prices. If anyone is buying a house now, they would seriously consider living closer to work because frankly, gas prices will only go up.
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Peachlaser
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Username: Peachlaser

Post Number: 173
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 9:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sg9018 said, "Only Atlanta traffic was worst that Detroit traffic."

It's all those Michigan tags in our traffic here in Atlanta! Seriously, we have three sets of new neighbors and they are all from Michigan...Detroit, Lavonia and the west coast of Mich. I think a huge reverse migration is going on. Bring your own water!
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 3043
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 9:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is what the article said about Detroit:

quote:

Detroit is losing population and has one of the worst commutes in America. Transit design in Motown is, not unexpectedly, tailored to the car, yet traffic patterns aren't smooth. The average Detroit commuter is delayed 54 hours a year, more than residents in California's sprawling "Inland Empire" cities of San Bernardino and Riverside, who log 49 hours of delays; and more than Chicago or Boston, 46 hours each. When you add up all the people that walk, carpool or take pubic transit to work, it's only 11% of the Detroit commuting population; that's the worst of any big city in America.



That sounds pretty accurate to me.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1764
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If we had transit more than busses that tripled the travel time maybe people would use it. Of course, the age old argument that no one uses transit here, so why invest in it is hurting us. It is beginning to sound like that is about to change with the AA to Detroit train becoming a reality, and this light rail line on Woodward that seems like it has a decent chance of happening.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 734
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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 11:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To be honest, there are many older residents who absolutely dislike HAVING to drive everywhere. My in-laws and my parents, as well as a few neighbors, friends and relatives across Oakland and Macomb counties would rather not spend their fixed retirement money maintaining and using a car.

The younger drivers frankly, are also frustrated at seeing senior citizens who have trouble with vision and reflexes driving on the highway at 45MPH - it is essentially endangering their own lives and lives of others.

There are 2 very important things that must happen organically to push Detroit's rapid transit to reality. #1 - gas prices NEEDS to hit $5. #2 - Metro Detroit taxpayers, voters and leadership must shed its legacy mindset to adopt the culture that virtually every major metropolitan in America has already embraced.
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Hooha
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Username: Hooha

Post Number: 174
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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 12:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the long commutes is due to a combination of the lack of a center of employment and the fact that people change jobs more frequently than they used to. My boss at my old job has only had 3 jobs since he left college, but they were in Flint, Ann Arbor, and Auburn Hills. Eventually, he stopped moving his family every time he got a new job and just moved where he wanted to live, which happened to be Howell. Now he's one of those people that I make fun of for having an hour commute to work, yet I completely understand why he does it.
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Classicyesfan
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Username: Classicyesfan

Post Number: 150
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 3:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm skeptical with Pittsburgh being chosen #5 best commute. I think it's a very difficult city to drive in due to unusual road configuration caused by the terrain, (narrow winding, etc.), and rush hour is as bad as anywhere else I've driven. People I know who live there have more horror stories than Detroiters.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1640
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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think someone @ Forbes must have lived in Detroit once and lost their job, had their car stolen or, didn't have any friends and was miserable or ran out of gas during a rush hour commute
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 2002
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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 3:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I think someone @ Forbes must have lived in Detroit once and lost their job, had their car stolen or, didn't have any friends and was miserable or ran out of gas during a rush hour commute"

Yeah Vizion, I was thinking the same thing. :-)

I'd feel the same way about NYC or San Francisco if something happened to me there.
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Detroit313
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Username: Detroit313

Post Number: 651
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 7:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is a very misleading article....

And why is it a night time photo? And in the winter! Very bias!

<313>

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