The latest edition of AARP Bulletin has some fun facts about our use of cars and our commutes in the Jan.-Feb. 2012 edition. Titled “50 Minutes on the Road,” the article says – among many other things – that the biggest distraction when we’re driving is talking to other passengers, followed by adjusting climate and radio controls (I had a fender-bender at an intersection one day while trying to memorize the lyrics to a favorite Dixieland Jazz tune!), eating, using a cellphone, taking care of children, reading a map – and grooming. Grooming, for me, would come just after the Dixieland Jazz item, because that’s what I tend to do at stop lights. I know, I know. But most of the time I’m headed to some kind of appointment, and I tend to forget things when I’m dashing out the door.
Another fun fact is that Missoula, Montana has the shortest commute in the nation, at just 15.8 minutes. Part of the reason is Montana’s low population base; it’s just hit 1 million people, but they are spread out over 147,000 square miles. But the main reason is that Missoula is situated in a small valley at the base of five canyons, or other valleys. The geography of the area is not wide open and spread out The longest commute in the nation? As you would expect, that’s New York City at 34.6 minutes – and I have to assume most of those minutes are spent on public transportation like trains, subways and taxis.
Another fact mentioned in the AARP article is much closer to home: it turns out that more people in Corvallis, Oregon ride their bikes to work than in other communities. Portland probably won’t like that statistic. But I don’t think anyone will be disturbed in Eugene, because everyone knows that Ducks swim.
Oh yes – AND THEY WIN THE ROSE BOWL!!!! (I keep trying to calm down on that one, but it’s really impossible.)
Anyway… enjoy your commute or your distractions, but please balance them out! Hope you are enjoying our warm winter so far!