As most cities around the country struggle to cope with the increasing amount of traffic slowing down commutes, we found a study of ten areas where traffic is a small concern. The best part: Rochester tops the list.
Each city had to meet several criteria to be included in the study by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The cities needed to have a metro population of at least 1 million and a low congestion cost (a measurement of wasted time and fuel calculated by the Texas Transportation Institute). The average length of commute, local gas prices, yearly delays per commuter and public transit use also factored into the results.
All the cities that made the top ten had some common characteristics. Their congestion costs fall below $550 per person (the national average is $808). Some have seen massive declines in population, clearing out roadways built for heavier travel. Others have the advantages of excellent road networks and a large number of urban parking lots. Some of the national averages:
- Average commute time: 25 minutes
- Yearly congestion cost per commuter: $808
- Average length of commute: 11.79 miles
- Cost of regular gas: $3.23 per gallon
- Yearly delays per commuter: 34 hours
- Yearly fuel wasted per commuter: 28 gallons
- Public transit users: 5%
Rochester managed to top the list with an average commute of just 19 minutes. Although some residents might point out that we trade in the long commute for the snow and ice, it is hard to argue with the numbers.
Rochester commute statistics:
- Population: 1,035,566
- Average commute time: 18.7
- Yearly congestion cost per commuter: $273
- Cost of regular gas: $3.38 (Prices have definitely increased since this study)
- Average length of commute: 10.23 miles
- Yearly delays per commuter: 12 hours
- Yearly fuel wasted per commuter: 11 gallons
- Public transit users: 2.9%
The full list (which also includes another area in Upstate New York, Buffalo/Niagara Falls) is shown below:
- Rochester, N.Y.
- Columbus, Ohio
- Providence-New Bedford-Fall River (R.I.-Mass.)
- Richmond, Va.
- Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Cincinnati (Ohio-Ky.-Ind.)
- Kansas City (Mo.-Kan.)
- Louisville, Ky.
- Hartford, Conn.
Looking for a home in Rochester? Nothnagle can help.