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Question of the Week: How far do you live from where you work or play? Why?

2008 June 2

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Location, location, location: A few weeks ago, we asked Why are you or aren’t you biking to work? We got hundreds of comments and many of you answered that it depends on where you live. We wanted to follow up on this point because where you live affects how you get around – to work, to school, to anyplace – and this affects the environment.

How far do you live from where you work or play? Why?

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En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

Todo depende del lugar: Hace un par de semanas preguntamos el por qué viaja al trabajo en bicicleta. Recibimos cientos de comentarios y muchos de ustedes contestaron que dependía del lugar en que vivían. Estamos interesados en dar seguimiento a esta pregunta porque el sitio donde vive influye en cómo usted se transporta – al trabajo, la escuela, a cualquier sitio – y esto influye en el medio ambiente.

¿Cuán lejos vive de su trabajo o del lugar para recrearse? ¿Por qué?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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224 Responses leave one →
  1. Jonathan permalink
    June 8, 2008

    I live 3.2 miles from where I work, making a daily bicycle commute easy and far preferable, if done properly. Aside from the money I save on transportation, it’s the fastest way to get around. If anything, impatience motivates me enough for even sub-zero winter riding.

  2. webdoyenne permalink
    June 8, 2008

    Five miles from work. Just changed jobs; used to commute 18 miles (one way). Play? No time…

  3. Patti B permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I live less than 2 miles from work, but I live in a small town. I use to live between Milwaukee and Chicago. I had a 45 minute drive one way, and when we had kids it became to much.

    We never even considered buying bikes since we live so close to where we work. It would also mean that we would have to walk our bikes up a steep hill, since we live in a river town. We may consider changing things, but we still have issues to deal with with the kids and daycare.

  4. Louis Craver permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I work for the at Fort Hood Tx, It is only (2) miles from where I work, with the gas prices as high as they are I am better off than many that have a long distant to drive to and from work, If I had to I could walk to work. a bicycle would not be good for me with my bad knees.

  5. Christine Smith permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I live in Webster, TX, 25 miles from where I work just west of dowtntown Houston. The reason I live there is because we originally moved there for my husband’s job (he’s got ~5 mile commute) and because the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus was there and when I first moved here, I was a graduate student. Then I got my job…first job was 40 miles away, my current one at 25 miles away. There don’t seem to be any companies in my field (environmental management/planning/analysis) that are any closer.

    Distance from “play” depends on what it is…to go to Galveston or to the museum district is ~25 miles; other things like our park are within ~5 miles.

  6. Ingrid permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I live 3.5 miles from work. I wish I could ride a bike to work, but a number of factors prevent that. (1) My office has no facilities in which to shower. (2) I have children who need to be dropped off and picked up from their schools. (3) Biking in this area is rather hazardous- not many trails or marked routes. (4) As a single mom who gets to spend little time with her children, driving is a faster mode of transportation.

  7. Jarrod permalink
    June 9, 2008

    5 miles from downtown Charlotte. I was fortunate enough to purchase a home in my neighborhood before housing priced tripled. Otherwise, I would be forced to sprawl like the rest of ‘em. My friends have said they would like to live closer to center city, but housing prices are well above their means.

  8. boysaregoobers permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I live 8 miles from work because I hate commuting. The roads to work are shoulderless and winding, and drivers don’t ‘share’ the road well. I do not ride a bike to work because I fear I’ll be struck by a hasty commuter!

  9. Lyndon permalink
    June 9, 2008

    When gasoline was 2.25 a gallon, I lived 1.2 miles from work. At 25 miles per gallon with an 18 gallon tank, it took 13 days or so to burn one gallon of gas, and about 200 days to use up a whole tank. What would have been the point of walking or cycling?
    Now, in my new employment, I live 30 miles away and still drive it in my 25 miles per gallon vehicle. (I am considering an SUV that gets about 7 miles per gallon).
    You want to know what’s green? Our legislators’ pocketbooks and bank accounts get greener and greener everytime gasoline goes up a penny. Want to know what’s green? Middle Eastern OPEC owners, China and Venezuela war chests party chests. Those get greener and greener too.
    Start drilling in the U.S. and I will consider opening an ear to your “green” rhetoric.

  10. David W. Carr permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I work from home sometimes. I do have to travel from place to place, however my typical commute is less than 10 miles a day. My wife and I chose to live in a smaller place to limit our driving. Many people in the Southern California area have chosen to buy a bigger house at a lower cost increasing their commute time. Obviously looking at today’s gas prices ($4.50+ per gallon) I think the time on the road plus the cost of fuel out weighs any savings in purchasing a home for a lower price out in the boonies.

  11. Joanne permalink
    June 9, 2008

    I drive alot for my job, but usually not more than 30 miles from home, and am reimbursed $.50/mile. Not too bad, but I’d rather not have to support the price-gouging oil cartel.

  12. Les Pace permalink
    June 10, 2008

    I am self employed and drive 0ver 100 miles a day. No reimbursement. In rural Oklahoma, this is common, if one wishes not to be on the goverments hand out list.

    Bicycle, any thoughts to rainey days, snow days, Ice storms, and thunder storms?? not good two wheeler times, plus, those 100 degree days would be rough in a suit.

  13. June 13, 2008

    I live 30 miles away from work and I am up to $500+ per month on gas alone. Just gave up my place to move within a 10 mile radius.

  14. Lisa permalink
    June 16, 2008

    When we bought our house we couldn’t afford to buy inside the beltway but we do live near a metro station with parking so we usually take the metro to work – if we do drive to work it’s only 12 miles so not too terrible compared to some in this area.

  15. Jeff permalink
    June 22, 2008

    I live 50 miles away from where I work. My wife works only 7 miles away. We love where we live. My job is not the most secure. I want to keep my options open.

  16. luvnola2 permalink
    July 2, 2008

    I live a 2 minute drive, a 20 minute walk away from work. I just moved there and have walked a few times when it is nice out. Right now it is blazing hot and I would be drenched by the time I got to work. Plus the traffic is a bit crazy when you are on foot or bike during the day hours. Since I play in the same area, I bike everywhere else.

  17. baz permalink
    July 2, 2008

    Many people would love to bike to work if they had safe bike lanes, showering facilities at work and a safe place to park their bikes. Everytime I hop on a bike I am aware of how unsafe I would be if I had to bike to most places. A truly livable society would build bike lanes that have a true separation between bikes and cars. Many “bike lanes” are simply a painted line on the side of the road – yep, that’s gonna prevent a distracted driver from mowing down a cyclist. I don’t follow the laws when I’m on a bike. I bike on the sidewalk if there aren’t pedestrians there. I’d much rather get a ticket than be on the losing end of a bike/car accident.

  18. Jill & Victor permalink
    July 2, 2008

    We are “green” architects and design builders. Our house is next door to our office in the 1st ENERGYSTAR 3 flat in Chicago which we built in our vacant lot. We typically take public transit downtown and are able to walk to many restaurants and stores. We ride one speed bikes around the city. We are very lucky!

  19. Michele permalink
    July 3, 2008

    I live about 35 miles from work, and probably play in that same range. I hate to limit where I go for fun, but in these days of higher gas prices we are sticking a bit closer to home. We originally moved there since we could not afford to buy a house closer to where I work and it was half way between my husband’s job and mine. He has changed jobs so he is less than 10 miles away now though. I can’t really change where I am though. I have looked for greener options. Ihere’s a new bus route but it would take me 2-3 hours to go that distance one way.

  20. Becky permalink
    July 26, 2008

    I currently live 16 miles from work, but next week am moving 31 miles from work. Right now I live about 30 miles from play and when i move, i will be within walking distance of most things i would want to do. Friends and Family will live withing 6 miles.

    To save some wear and tear on my car (it doesnt really save much gas money), when i move, i will drive 15 miles and take the bus the rest of the way to work about two weeks out of the month.

    i wish the bus stop was a lot closer to my home and the times were easier to catch the connecting buses. My work is in Denton County and they are working on making the public transit system easier and more accessible i believe. I also hope my work switches to the 4-day work week flex plan to help save on gas money and wear and tear.

  21. Mike permalink
    July 29, 2008

    My wife and I live on Kent Island and I commute to DC every day. We love the laid back atmosphere of KI and the fact that there is water everywhere. It is a different world than DC and worth the hour commute each way.

  22. lseamore permalink
    January 21, 2010

    I would say a good 5 mile, in that way I can walk on the way home. A long walk.

  23. CoverageCarInsurance@http://coveragecarinsurance.com permalink
    May 29, 2010

    I live about 10 miles from where I work. Fortunately, my friend only works 1 mile away from where I work so we go to our jobs and back with one car most of the time. This has helped quite a bit with the increase in the price of gas. It saves us some money.

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