Friday, February 3, 2012
Little Elm residents face worst commute in Texas
Although the town has gained more residents, it doesn't necessarily mean that they changed jobs as well.
On Numbers at The Dallas Business Journal recently released statistics that named Little Elm as the worst commute in Texas for small communities with 10,000-49,000 residents. However, Little Elm Interim Town Manager Doug Peach said that view depends on how you look at it.
Ranking at 2,988 out of 3,012 communities in the nation, 38 percent of Little Elm workers spent 45 minutes or more commuting to their workplace. Those who spent 30-44 minutes commuting were 30 percent of the town, and 17 percent of workers have a commute of 15-29 minutes. Those who have a commute of 14 minutes or less were only 15 percent.
While these numbers place Little Elm as the worst commute in Texas, Peach said there are other factors that contributed to that data that is not solely focused on the town itself.
"What it amounts to is we've had a large amount of growth where people from other areas, mainly those that did live south of here in the inner city or inner suburbs, moved further north," Peach said. "Just the mere fact of moving north increased their drive time."
The price of housing and the area itself caused a boom of growth to the town over the last decade. Peach reminded that although the town gained more residents, it doesn't necessarily mean that they changed jobs as well.
Peach said his commute is only two minutes in the town. He said others are only on Little Elm streets for a mile or two while the other 30 or 40 miles are spent on tollways or highways in other cities.
"You're associating the traffic with the town, and that's not the case. If I want to leave here, I'm not actually on Little Elm streets and roads for more than five or six minutes," Peach said.
To get their results, On Numbers used data gathered from the five-year version of the 2009 American Community Survey as conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Cities gained points for commuters who drive less than 30 minutes to work, but they lost points for those who drive longer.
"I think the information is a little aged. I'm not sure if it takes in consideration the toll bridge," Peach said. "If you reran the numbers today, you may not get the same [result]."
The Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge was opened to traffic just three years ago in August 2009. Peach said he has a close friend who lives in Little Elm, but has worked in downtown Dallas for the last 18 years. He said his friend doesn't have any complaints about the traffic in the town since he takes the toll bridge and is out of Little Elm in less than two minutes.
"There are concerns with existing road conditions, but there are things underway to correct [them]," Peach said.
Some of those construction projects include Farm-to-Market Road 423, which will be completed later this year. The 26-month Eldorado Parkway construction project to widen the road into six lanes will begin this spring.
"I'm not surprised by [the claim], but I'm not seeing it as a big concern," Peach said.
On Numbers also reported that the best commuting city in Texas is Fort Hood with 66 percent of commuters spending 14 minutes or less in traffic.
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News
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