These are the best — and worst — places to go car-free in the U.S.A. | Thursday Morning Coffee

September 26, 2019 7:05 am

Lime, a scooter ride share company, is hoping to expand into Pennsylvania by mid-summer, but needs law changes to start offering their wheels to riders (Capital-Star photo).

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

If you’re thinking about going car-free to save the environment, save some coin, or avoid encounters with the local gendarmerie when your celebrations turn a bit too … ahhh … vigorous, here’s some insanely useful data to help you make up your mind.

Working with some colleagues, Richard Florida, of the compulsively readable site CityLab, put together a map of the best — and worst — places to go car-free in these United States.

And if you take a quick look at Pennsylvania in that graphic down there, you won’t be surprised to learn that the big cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, remain pedestrian-, bike-, and scooter-friendly. The rest of the Keystone State? Not so much.

(Map via CityLab)

The map, as Florida reports, takes into account “four key variables: the share of households that don’t have access to their own vehicle, the share of commuters who take transit to work, the share of commuters who bike to work, and the share of commuters who walk to work.” And it’s based on the findings from the Census’ data-rich American Community Survey. The map covers all 382 U.S. metropolitan areas, according to Florida.

As the map makes clear, “the wine- and rust-colored metros where people are most able to go car-free,” Florida writes.”The two largest car-free clusters are those stretching down the Northeast’s Acela corridor, from Boston to Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Northwest, from Seattle to Portland. By contrast, much of the Deep South is highlighted in light orange or pink, signifying much higher car dependency.”

Philadelphia, you may be interested to know, makes the cut of the Top 10 best places to go car-free. Pittsburgh, however, does not.

Too many hills, maybe? Too spread out-y?

If you’re from Pittsburgh and want to register a grievance, or have an explanation, hit me on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek or email [email protected].

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And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.