New report ranks accessibility to jobs by auto in top U.S. cities

nationwide_accessibility_autoA new report in the Accessibility Observatory’s Access Across America series estimates the accessibility to jobs by auto in the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. The report also estimates the impact of traffic congestion on access to jobs in the same areas.

Rankings are determined by a weighted average of accessibility, with a higher weight given to closer, easier-to-access jobs. Jobs reachable within 10 minutes are weighted most heavily, and jobs are given decreasing weights as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.

Top 10 accessible metro areas:

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. Dallas
  5. San Jose
  6. San Francisco
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Houston
  9. Boston
  10. Philadelphia

Top 10 areas with the greatest loss in job accessibility due to congestion:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Boston
  3. Chicago
  4. New York
  5. Phoenix
  6. Houston
  7. Riverside
  8. Seattle
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. San Francisco

“Rather than focusing on how congestion affects individual travelers, our approach quantifies the overall impact that congestion has on the potential for interaction within urban areas,” says Observatory Director Andrew Owen. “For example, the Minneapolis–St. Paul metro area ranked 12th in terms of job accessibility but 23rd in the reduction in job access due to congestion. This suggests that job accessibility is influenced less by congestion here than in other cities.”

The report—Access Across America: Auto 2015—presents detailed accessibility and congestion impact values for each metropolitan area as well as block-level maps that illustrate the spatial patterns of accessibility within each area. It also includes a census tract-level map that shows accessibility patterns at a national scale. The report is part of the Access Across America study, which began in 2013.

The research was sponsored by the National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study, a multi-year effort led by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and supported by partners including the Federal Highway Administration and 10 other state DOTs.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Land use, Traffic data, Transportation research, Urban transportation

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