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Extreme commuting, Texas style

Remember the concept of extreme commuting? There’s not that much of it here in Texas, at least compared to some other places, but that may change.

“Extreme commutes” — those of an hour or more — are much rarer in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth than in the metro areas of the East Coast.

That could change, a transportation researcher said Thursday, unless Texas cities can keep pace with expected growth in the coming years.

Currently, researcher Alan Pisarski said, 9.7 percent of Houston-area residents and 7.2 percent of Dallas-Fort Worth-area residents have commutes of more than an hour, compared with 18.4 percent of New Yorkers and double-digit shares in some other metro areas.

However, Texas will have a much greater population growth, accounting for 15 percent of the U.S. total, through 2030, he said.

I presume the implication of that is that more people in Texas will be living farther away from where they work. It doesn’t have to be that way, of course – we could do things that encourage mixed-use and transportation-oriented development, thus encouraging more of an urban lifestyle. Since I can’t even type that with a straight face, much less imagine it happening, figure we’ll hear more about folks with 50-mile-plus commutes in the coming years. Eye on Williamson has more on related matters.

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