Commuting In Amercia: Part 3

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  1. 1. PART 3 COMMUTING IN THE NINETIES6 Commuter Flow Patterns Describing commuting ows is an activity best done atthis more extensive treatment. This can make for a the individual metropolitan level. Many metropolitan large and sometimes confusing table. To avoid this, area planning agencies provide detailed ow maps ofthe ow elements are treated in logical parts: rst, work travel from small residence zones to work zones commuting within metropolitan areas; then com- from which complex patterns can be individuallymuting across metropolitan borders; and, nally, treated and qualied. Further, readers may be person-commuting based on the destinations of workers. ally familiar with the geography, if not with the actual As a starting point for the discussion of com- routes and patterns. At the national level, the processmuting ows, Table 3-1 looks at all workers by their must be more abstract; metropolitan areas must beresidence location for 2000, and also shows 1990 grouped in convenient clusters and the ows need todata for reference. An important facet of these pat- be synthesized into homogeneous groupings. terns is that fewer new workers were added in this Although the goal is to overcome the distinctionsdecade than in the previous one. Consequently, the among individual areas and look at items as a group, potential impact of new workers on shares was less some precision is inevitably lost in the process.in 2000 than in 1990. Note that the distributionbetween metropolitan and nonmetropolitan workershas changed only slightly with the more considerable PRESENT STATE OF COMMUTING PATTERNSdifferences between the central cities and suburbs as At its simplest level, the pattern analysis system central cities lost share and suburbs gained. employed here uses four main ows describing activ-Of the 128 million commuters in 2000, ity within metropolitan areas formed into a two- almost 100 million were in metropolitan areas and Of theby-two ow matrix as follows:the remaining 29 million in nonmetropolitan areas.128 million Note that these numbers vary from those appearing central city to central city central city to suburbs in other applications for purposes of comparability commuters in in ows measurement; they are based on the 1980 2000, almostsuburbs to central citysuburbs to suburbsdenitions rather than the 2000 denitions that100 million distort geographic ow patterns. They also excludeThis basic matrix is expanded to include thosethe minor number of workers that work outside the were in metro patterns owing beyond the metropolitan area toUnited States. In terms of percentages, almost 80% areas and the the suburbs and central cities of other metropolitan of workers are metropolitan and the remainder are in remaining areas and to nonmetropolitan areas. And, nally, nonmetropolitan areas. Americas suburbs continue includes the travel ows of nonmetropolitan resi-as the residence of roughly half of all workers. Most 29 million in dents that work in their own areas or commute into of the shift in percentages came from central citiesnonmetro the central cities and suburbs of metropolitan areas.where the share of commuters declined slightly from areas. All of these elements can be displayed in a large 28.0% to 26.8%. Based on the restructured deni- comprehensive matrix as in the sample layout intions employed here, nonmetropolitan areas gained Figure 3-1. The increases over the years in commut-slightly in share, returning to the share held in 1980. ing from one metropolitan area to another requires Table 3-2 isolates the metropolitan portion of the FIGURE 3-1 Comprehensive Commuting Flow Matrix DestinationOwn Metro Area Other Metro Area Nonmetro Area Origin Central CitySuburbs Other Central City Suburbs Central city Suburbs Nonmetro area46| COMMUTING IN AMERICA III
  2. 2. important trends in the pat- TABLE 3-1 Commuters (Millions) by Residence Locationterns. Two ow patterns have19902000gained share and two have Worker Residence No.% No.% lost. Flows with a suburbanCommuting All workers115.0100.0128.3 100.0 destination have grown while from central cityows with a central city desti- In metro area 89.6 77.9 99.177.2to suburb, so-nation have declined in share. In central city 32.2 28.0 34.426.8 The suburb-to-suburb share called reverse In suburb 57.4 49.9 64.750.4 has grown by 1 percentage commuting was In nonmetro area25.4 22.1 29.222.8point, as has reverse commut-ing. The traditional commute the other growth Note: Data adjusted to reflect 1980 geographic definitions.from suburb to central cityarea with a 9%has lost share from 20% to share in 2000, TABLE 3-2 Basic Metropolitan Commuter Flow (Millions)19%. The sharpest declineoccurred in ows from cen- accommodating Origin WorkersNo. of Workers tral city to central city, which 20% of growth Who work in same central city24.5receded from a 28% share in in commuting. Who work in same suburb7.5 1990 to their present 25.5%. Central City The largest intermet- Who work outside home metro area 2.3ropolitan ows focus on Total (rounded) living in a central city 34.4suburbs and may be short The traditional Who work in same central city16.6trips from one suburb to anearby suburb of an adjacent commute obtained Who work in suburb of same metro area40.8 Suburb metropolitan area, but theyabout a 14% Who work outside home metro area 7.3 could also represent very long share of growth, Total (rounded) living in a suburb 64.7trips. The trips from centralcity to central city, presum-considerablyow matrix and identies the major internalably are between adjacent metropolitan areas, and below its presentpatterns of metropolitan travel. are a very small contingent of travelers taking what share of all travel,After considering more than 89 million internalmust, almost by denition, be long trips in thatmetropolitan ows throughout the nation, there is a they must traverse the suburbs of both areas. (Notewhich is 19%.residual of 2.34 million workers leaving the central that according to the rules employed in the census,city and 7.29 million leaving the suburbs, or almost it is possible that some of these travelers were at10 million total, going beyond their metropolitanwork temporarily in different cities than theirborders to work. The details on cross-metropolitan home residence.)commuting are provided in Table 3-3.The remaining group of commuters to considerIn this ow pattern, commuting from suburbslives in nonmetropolitan areas and contains moreto suburbs accounts for 46% of metropolitan com- than 29 million workers. Their travel destinationsmuting activity (including the ow to suburbs in are very much internally oriented, and are shown inother metropolitan areas), with the traditionalTable 3-4. Obviously, travel between nonmetropoli-commute from suburb to central city at 19%.tan areas could involve major distances.Commuting within a central city accounts forThe overall metropolitan pattern, discussed25.5%, and reverse commuting from central city earlier and shown in Figure 3-2, indicated that theto suburb accounts for 9%. Suburbs now account typical ow is predominantly within ones ownfor the majority of metropolitan job destina-central city (71%) or suburban area (64%), withtions with more than 53 million of the 97 millionthe great majority of residents staying in their areaintrametropolitan commutes. These continue to work. The nonmetropolitan pattern even further TABLE 3-3 Commuters Leaving Home Metropolitan Area (Millions)Destination Other Metro Area Nonmetro Area No. of Workers OriginCentral CitySuburbs Central cities 0.681.14 0.522.34 Suburbs2.193.53 1.567.29 Total leaving2.874.67 2.089.63C O M M U T I N G I N A M E RI C A III | 47
  3. 3. accentuates the point that residents tend to stay in TABLE 3-4 Nonmetropolitan Commuting Destinations (Millions)their local areas for work, with just under 83% of DestinationMetro Areanonmetropolitan residents working in nonmetropol- Origin Nonmetro AreaNo. of Workers Central City Suburbs itan areas. Because nonmetropolitan areas are county Nonmetro areas 24.40 1.952.8629.21 based, it can be determined that more than 80% of Total leaving24.401.95 2.86 29.21those who both live and work in nonmetropolitanareas actually work in their own county of residence.Although the proportions of those working inFIGURE 3-2 Work Locations their area of residence is high, those leaving thearea are increasing rapidly, both in numbers and ina. for central city residents shares, and tend to have an importance beyond their 3% 2%numbers alone because their typically longer trip 2% lengths have a disproportionate effect on total travel.For example, approximately 2 million commuters 22%from nonmetropolitan areas that have destinationsin central cities traverse an entire suburban ring toget to work. So do 2 million central city residents 71%that go outside their metropolitan area to work. Ofgreat signicance are those who leave a metropoli-tan area and commute to a job location within anadjacent metropolitan areanot only are their tripslong, but they have an impact on two areas in eachcommuting trip, one outbound and one inbound. Same central city Same suburb Other central city Counting those from inside a metropolitan area Other suburbNonmetro areaheading into another, if all of the individual cross-metropolitan ows are tallied, they indicate thatb. for suburban residents metropolitan borders are crossed 12.3 million timesin the inbound direction each morning, representing 5% 2%a major commuting segment.3%26% All of these tabular segments are assembled toproduce Table 3-5 and shown in Figure 3-3. 64%COUNTY PATTERNSCounty-To-County FlowsIt is important to recognize that ows within anarea (e.g., from a suburb to the same suburb, from anonmetropolitan area to the same nonmetropolitanarea, from a central city to the same central city) Same central city Same suburb Other central city can involve origins and destinations that may be Other suburbNonmetro areaseparated by many