Saturday, April 07, 2007

Car-free cities

I don’t have a car and don’t care to have one, so there aren’t many places in the U.S. where it’s feasible for me to live. But the group Bikes at Work has a database of all the places in the country where lots of people don’t drive to work. I expected New York to rank highly by this measure, but most of the places where people don’t start their day with road rage are small communities: military bases, college towns, and resorts such as Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Telluride, Colorado. They sound like nice places to live if you aren’t looking for a job and you like to meet new people who aren’t going to stick around for very long. So I looked for places with more than 30,000 residents and discovered these pace-setters in car-free living: Highest percentage of commutes made without a car (places with more than 30,000 people): 1. Hoboken, NJ (70%) 2. New York, NY (66%) 3. Cambridge, MA (56%) 4. State College, PA (53%) 5. Atlantic City, NJ (51%) 6. Jersey City, NJ (49%) 7. Washington, DC (48%) 8. Boston, MA (47%) 9. Union City, NJ (46%) 10. West New York, NJ (46%) Highest percentage of commutes made by public transit (places with more than 30,000 people): 1. Hoboken, NJ (59%) 2. New York, NY (54%) 3. Jersey City, NJ (40%) 4. Washington, DC (34%) 5. Union City, NJ (34%) Highest percentage of commutes made on foot (places with more than 30,000 people): 1. State College, PA (42%) 2. North Chicago, IL (29%) 3. Cambridge, MA (26%) 4. East Lansing, MI (22%) 5. Atlantic City, NJ (21%) Highest percentage of commutes made by bicycle (places with more than 30,000 people): 1. Davis, CA (15%) 2. Boulder, CO (7%) 3. Berkeley, CA (6%) 4. Urbana, IL (5%) 5. Cambridge, MA (4%) Highest percentage of households without a car (places with more than 30,000 people): 1. New York, NY (56%) 2. Atlantic City, NJ (50%) 3. Union City, NJ (46%) 4. Newark, NJ (44%) 5. West New York, NJ (43%)

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