Randall Crane

About Randall Crane (Edit profile)

Randall Crane is Professor of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles (crane@ucla.edu).

As Jobs Sprawl, Whither The Commute?

Randall Crane and Daniel G. Chatman

The most transparent trend in metropolitan areas is the decentralization of jobs and housing into the suburbs and beyond. Scholars blame sprawl for many things, ranging from car-generated air pollution to commute-induced social alienation. But what do we know about its effects on travel behavior? According to conventional wisdom, people are driving farther to work these days—but supporting evidence is thin. It’s not clear whether homes and jobs are growing farther apart or closer, nor which industries and occupations are dispersing most or least. Here we tackle one key unanswered question: How does job sprawl affect average commute length?

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Travel By Design?

Randall Crane

Over the past few decades, most questions about land use/transportation linkages have dealt with the influence of transportation infrastructure on development patterns. Analysts have examined how highways and mass transit contribute to urban sprawl, how they affect the local balance of jobs and housing, or how they affect population density. There also exists a long, if less traveled, history of viewing these linkages from the opposite direction: examining how land use influences urban travel.

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