sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I loved the quotes from the Sierra Club's David Sullivan in this morning's N&R article on (gasp) urban sprawl.

Sullivan says at first that the Sierra Club's report on the "effects" of sprawl in Guilford County is "not adversarial; it's not pointing fingers."

Then, at the end of the article, Sullivan says:

"It took 40 to 50 years to get into this mess. It's going to take us 30 to 40 years to get out of this." Sounds pretty adversarial to me.

The chart that caught my eye was the average number of minutes to work. According to the chart, it took 16.5 minutes to get to work in Greensboro in 1980; in 2000, it took 20.4 minutes, a difference of 3.9 minutes.

Maybe it's just me, but a four-minute increase over 20 years doesn't sound that bad. Then there's the asterisk*: Those numbers include "traveling by means of private vehicles, public transportation, walking and all other forms of transportation."

Aren't those other forms of transportation going to put a time-drag on automobile travel, since it obviously takes longer to walk, ride a bike or catch the bus than it does to drive?

So with that in mind, the increase in travel time to work appears even less alarming. You guys know my mind works in mysterious ways; help me out if I'm missing the point.


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