This Texas City Has Been Named to Have the Worst Commute in the State
One who is a resident of Garland, Texas, might reconsider their location selection. According to a recent analysis by HomeArea.com, Garland has the most arduous commute in the state, surpassing all other Texan cities with a minimum population of 60,000, with an average duration of 29.2 minutes.
What factors make Garland’s commute so taxing?
Garland, a suburban area located around 15 miles northeast of the hub of Dallas, is home to a population that surpasses 230,000 individuals, thereby attaining the position of the twelfth largest city in the state of Texas. In contrast to neighboring suburbs such as Plano, Irving, and Arlington, Garland is not linked to Dallas via a direct highway. Consequently, in order to reach their destinations, commuters must traverse a network of roads and highways, which includes State Highway 78, U.S. Route 75, and Interstate 635.
Moreover, Garland is profoundly impacted by the pervasive traffic congestion that is characteristic of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a densely populated and swiftly expanding area on a national scale. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute ranked the DFW Metroplex fourth in the United States in terms of annual commuter delay per capita in 2019, with an average of 67 hours. Additionally, the region ranked fifth in terms of the overall cost of congestion, squandering an estimated $12.6 billion in petroleum and time.
What consequences does a lengthy commute entail?
A lengthy daily commute can have detrimental effects on both personal and professional spheres of life, resulting in repercussions including:
- Anxiety and tension: Prolonged commuting can lead to an increase in stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which impair mental health, sleep quality, and mood. A study conducted at the University of California, Irvine unveiled that individuals who commuted during periods of unpredictable traffic congestion encountered elevated levels of tension and anxiety in comparison to those whose commutes were more consistent.
- One additional health concern associated with an extended daily commute is an increased susceptibility to physical ailments such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. According to a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis, the probability of developing obesity increased by 6% for every additional hour spent in a vehicle on a daily basis.
- Decreased efficiency and contentment: Prolonged travel times deplete the time and vitality allocated to professional and recreational pursuits. According to research conducted by the University of West England, an additional minute dedicated to commuting resulted in a reduction of 0.025 points in leisure time satisfaction and 0.038 points in job satisfaction. Additionally, the research unveiled that a 19% decrease in salary had a comparable impact on job satisfaction as an additional 20 minutes of travel time.
In what ways might Garland improve its commuting circumstances?
There are numerous prospective strategies that could improve the overall commuting experience in Garland and the greater DFW Metroplex. Several of these alternatives are as follows:
- Investing in public transportation: Public transit offers an environmentally favorable, expedient, and economical substitute for driving. Presently, public transportation in Garland is inadequately utilized and lacks the potential advantages it could offer. Enhancing and augmenting the municipal transportation infrastructure, such as incorporating additional bus routes, light rail lines, or commuter rail services, might yield a substantial impact.
- Fostering telecommuting: By encouraging employees and employers to work from home, they can save time and money while eliminating the necessity for daily travel. Employers have realized substantial cost reductions as a result of the 173% increase in telecommuting in the United States between 2005 and 2018, which corresponds to the rising prevalence of remote work policies.
- Promoting the adoption of flexible work schedules: By implementing such arrangements, personnel are able to modify their commencement and conclusion times in order to bypass periods of heavy traffic and mitigate congestion. 66% of workers, according to a survey by Robert Half International, would rather have flexible work hours than a shortened workweek. Additionally, flexible schedules have the potential to improve work-life balance and overall job satisfaction.
Although Garland is complete with a multitude of attractions and conveniences, its lengthy commute times present a significant obstacle to the health and productivity of its inhabitants. In order to mitigate this concern and enhance the quality of life and appeal of Garland as a municipality, it may be imperative to adopt measures such as increasing funding for public transportation, encouraging telecommuting, and advocating for flexible work schedules. By adopting these modifications, Garland has the potential to improve the standard of living for its present and future inhabitants.