McKinney residents have the longest commuting times among Texas’ large cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yes, McKinney beat out Plano, Mesquite, Dallas, Houston and Austin. Abilene commuters, in case you were wondering, have the shortest travel time to work, in the car for 14 minutes or less.
The Business Journals’ On Numbers blog analyzed commuting data from the five-year version of the 2009 American Community Survey, which was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Almost 50 percent of our population travels 30 minutes or more to work. Of that, 25 percent have a commute lasting over 45 minutes.
The stats tell me that most of us work outside of McKinney and we likely travel to Dallas or the mid-cities to bring home the bacon. We are a "big city" that is plenty far from Dallas but close enough to commute to work. Also, we have neighborhoods in McKinney that are 15 minutes from a major highway. We live here because of our outstanding quality of life but that could be jeopardy. Thankfully, our city leaders are well aware.
How can we address the long commuting times?
Infrastructure - Our city’s tremendous growth in the last decade has led to traffic delays. It is just plain hard to get in and out of our dear town. We have bottlenecks on our highways and side streets (Eldorado Pkwy) that will be alleviated with the 75 expansion project. But wait, our population sits at just above 131,000 and we’re expected to get to over 350,000. Plus, the widening of 75 only goes up to Telegraph Road. Won’t we continue to have bottlenecks along Central Expressway until we widen 75 through Sherman? (I would be remiss if I didn't mention the opening of the Rayburn Tollway and the McKinney Mixmaster. Both have shorted travel times for many in the last couple of years.)
Economic Development - I know our city council is working hard at bringing businesses to McKinney. There is much to be done in this area, but there is promise that more residents will be able to both live AND work here starting in 2013.
Public Transportation - From my experience, public transportation doesn’t necessarily reduce your personal commuting time but it does reduce some of the car congestion on the roadways.
Telecommuting - Working from home is the shortest commute possible! What are the trends in the Dallas area? Does your company allow telecommuting?
Does your commute influence your quality of life? I moved here because I spent at least two hours a day commuting ten miles in the Washington, DC area. I have made the decision to always live closest to work as possible.
How is your commute? Should the city be doing anything? Do you think mega-commuters tend to be disenfranchised from McKinney?
From the Business Journal:
Cities, incorporated towns and census designated places (CDPs) were awarded points for all commuters who drive less than 30 minutes to work. They lost points for all workers who take longer than that. (CDPs are unincorporated communities that are judged by the Census Bureau to have the basic characteristics of cities.)