Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chicago ranks #2 on worst city commutes

When I'm out with clients one of the first questions that arise in a location that they're not familiar with is, how close is the bus, the el, or the expressway. Yes, Chicago real estate and transportation, public or private, are connected at the hip. And it's no wonder. According to the US Census Department, Chicago is #2 of the 10 longest commutes by city. Excuse my rant, but how are we possibly ahead of Atlanta and Los Angeles? If you've spent any time in either of those cities, you'd understand. I think it was FIXED! Unfortunately, the results don't necessarily account for lifestyle choices, which I think would have a big impact on the results. I was recently working with a seller who had decided to move to Huntley as they were pregnant and were looking for a lifestyle change. While she would be working in the area, he would continue to keep his current job in Chicago's Loop. As a result, he was anticipating an hour and a half commute one-way, not bad considering that even without traffic, it's an hour drive. So are we stretching our commutes for lifestyle or is traffic just getting worse? Probably a bit of both.

On the humorous side of the issue, the good ole Chicago Tribune had this great article on how much we are irritated by how our neighbors drive and vice versa....our neighbors being Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. While there is no evidence that our driving patterns are different, I don't think you'll convince many otherwise. My husband's family calls Chicago's expressways and highways, raceways, yes, raceways and don't even get me started about driving in Ohio or Kentucky.

Here's some commuting resources, helpful whether you are thinking of buying or have already bought:

IDOT (Illinois Dept of Transportation) just launched a great all-in-one website, drive less, live more, that not only provides commuter calculators, but also a central location for travel updates including Metra and CTA (limited at the moment). Now if only we could actually work from home.

I love the Chicagoist.com for their great CTA updates and CTA Tattler for their updates and commentary about Chicago's beloved public transportation. And of course you can go directly to the source.