Rochester and Buffalo boast best commutes, Batavia is a micro metro

Mar 2, 2011

Rochester and Buffalo have made another list.  This time it's "easiest commute."  Rochester picked up the top spot nationally, reports Steve Orr at the Democrat and Chronicle, according to personal finance magazine Kiplinger:

"When you look at these two upstate New York cities, there's a lack of congestion compared to some other metropolitan areas in other parts of the country. We enjoy a very good quality of commute, if you will," said Wally Smith, a vice president of AAA Western and Central New York.

"This could be not such a good thing, but our populations have remained stable or declined. There's less vehicles on the road and that results in very reasonable commute times and distances," said Smith, who is based in suburban Buffalo. "I've had people come here from other parts of the country and they marvel at the time it takes to commute to work and the ability to get around."

Buffalo got the number five spot on the list, handily beating the average commuting nightmare, writes Stephen Watson at the Buffalo News:

Kiplinger’s reports the average commuter here travels 8.15 miles to work, spends 17 hours stuck in traffic each year—half the national average — and wastes 16 gallons of fuel annually.

Even our rush-hour choke points — where the Thruway and Youngmann Expressway meet at the blue water tower, or on the inbound Kensington Expressway in the morning — aren’t that bad.

Part of the explanation is Buffalo’s declining population, which has taken a lot of traffic off the roads, and part is our ability to deal quickly with weather-or accident-related problems.

And Batavia is one of the nation's top "micropolitans" according to Site Selection Magazine, reports Andrea Deckert at the Rochester Business Journal:

A micropolitan area is defined as a city with a population of 50,000 or less that serves as the seat of a region or county. There are 576 micropolitan areas in the United States and Puerto Rico.

In 2010, the Batavia micropolitan was tied for ninth in the nation. It was first recognized in 2004 and ranked seventh.

“It’s an accomplishment we are proud of and that will continue to bring our region national exposure and recognition,” said Steven Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, in a statement.  

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