Study: SCV commute among nation’s worst

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Americans’ daily commute has steadily increased over the years and Santa Clarita’s is no different. According to a newly released study, the city has the sixth longest commute in the nation.

Online life insurance agency Haven Life released Tuesday a 10 best and worst commutes in the U.S. report, revealing that four Los Angeles communities dominate the “worst” list, which included Santa Clarita.

To compile the list, researchers at Haven Life evaluated data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. The study factors in average round-trip commutes, the ratio of weekly working hours to commuting hours, the percentage of the population commuting two or more hours per day and the most common transportation methods.

Out of 10 cities on the longest commute list, with No.1 classifying as having the longest, Santa Clarita hovered toward the middle.

“Commuters, on average, spend more than an hour commuting per day,” the study reads. The average round-trip commute totals at 69.8 minutes, ahead of Naperville, Illinois, at 67 minutes in 10th place and behind New York City with nearly an 82-minute average round-trip commute in second place.

Palmdale, about 30-plus miles east of Santa Clarita, earned the No.1 spot in the nation as having the longest round-trip commute (85 minutes) as many make the long trek to and from Los Angeles.

A key finding highlighted in the study was that cities separated from major metropolitan areas lead the way when it came to locales with the shortest commutes. “These cities generally offer residents places to live, work and play without having to visit a neighboring hub,” the report reads.

With a place on the list, however, this key finding is not entirely the case for Santa Clarita. Jason Crawford, planning and economic development manager with the city, said that half of the estimated 90,000 working population leave the Santa Clarita Valley for work.

“This is something we recognize and want to address,” said Crawford. “We want to improve not only having work here so that people don’t have to drive to L.A., but also focusing on having job centers throughout Santa Clarita so that people don’t have to drive from Canyon Country to Valencia, for example.”

Some developments underway, officials say, will help ease the long commute issue, including the Needham Ranch project, a 135-acre business park in Newhall for industrial, office and research space, and the mixed-use community Vista Canyon.

Within Santa Clarita, Crawford said the city is looking at improving traffic issues with improving the timing of signal lights, restriping roads to increase capacity and building new roads.

To see the complete study, visit Haven Life

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