Does your commute suck?

My Commute sucksTom Greenwood wrote a Detroit News column earlier this month that highlighted a new web site called where commuters can report how good or bad their commute is.

Like most Metro Detroiters, Greenwood is often blinded by auto-centrism. In other words, the transportation options on the other side of the windshield are rarely recognized or understood.

For example, I don’t think he understands that non-auto commuting can provide additional simultaneous benefits. Sure, the San Francisco woman has a 90 minute round trip commute, however that also includes 40 minutes of exercise, time to relax, grab some food, read the paper, and apparently socialize.

Another factor rarely considered when compared commute modes is cost. As an example, for me, biking three miles into downtown Royal Oak takes about 5 minutes longer than driving. However, I need to work about 6 minutes to cover the added vehicle and parking costs. In effect, biking is slightly quicker, but especially once I include the time to find a parking space.

Also, based on his column, I don’t think Mr. Greenwood realizes that the group behind this web site, Transportation for America, is pushing for a new federal transportation bill that reduces auto dependence while increasing other options such as biking and mass transit.

Our congested roads have lanes added to them – yet promptly fill up again. More and more people are riding the train and bus, yet service is being cut. Biking has never been more popular, but it seems our streets have never been more difficult or dangerous to use.

I think that just put a crack in the windshield…

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One Response to “Does your commute suck?”

  1. Heather Hansma Says:

    I bike to work most days (rainy days being the exceptions), and it makes my commute much more pleasant. I bike just over 4 miles from North Royal Oak (basically Clawson) to Birmingham. It is a great way to start the day because the exercise gets the endorphins pumping.

    The path I take is very bike friendly with signs of bicycles and bike path signs. For the most part I have had no problem with motorists except for a few impatient people while I go around parked cars. Yesterday a car of teens/early 20s honked at me and screamed at me to get on the sidewalk while I was in a residential neighborhood that connects to a bike path. I am still really really angry. I had to ride around a parked car so they couldn’t easily go by me for about 3 seconds… and there was a red light ahead. This kind of ignorance drives me batty. I don’t know how to combat it either.

    I think some people are just RL trolls and like being ignorant jackasses. They are the kind that are mad that other people on their roads, and god help you if you are a bicycle… even if the speed limit is only 25 to start.

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