Recently I started following @shanedphillips on Twitter after reading a terrific guest column he wrote at Planetizen. Shane lives carfree in Los Angeles and blogs at www.betterinstitutions.com. I’ve added him to my blogroll today- please check out his writing.
He is also hashtagging this month as #marchmapness on Twitter as he is creating carfree commute maps for various states. I asked him about NC, and he whipped this map up in less than a few hours. Thanks, Shane!
For Carrboro, three of the four primary Census Tracts that make up most of town have non-car commute rates of over 20%. If you zoom in you will see that there is a big change in non-car commuters from Census Tract 107.05 to Census Tract 107.06, where non-car travel drops from 24.9% to 6.4%. My first read on this was “well, the F bus goes up North Greensboro St and Hillsborough Rd, but then turns back south on Old Fayetteville Rd- that should explain it.”
But look again- while transit commuting falls from 7.6% to 4.8%, the real drop in non-car commuting comes from the loss of Bike and Pedestrian commuting. In 107.05, over 17% of commuters walk or bike to work.. But in 107.06, only 1.6% of commuters bike, and nobody walks. Also interesting is that if you go one Census Tract *further* away from the employment center of Chapel Hill / Carrboro, bike commuting actually *increases* to 2.6%.
To me, this is an indicator of how powerful proximity to a significant mixed-use destination can be on transportation choices. The Census Tracts closest to downtown Carrboro and Chapel Hill have very significant numbers of people commuting without cars.
What do you see of interest in this great tool that Shane created?