Living in sprawl cost thousands extra per year
In 10 years, household transportation costs rose nearly three times as much in heavely car dependent locations as in compact, transit-served neighborhoods.
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There’s no getting around the fact that it generally costs more to live where you have to do a lot of driving than it does in a “location-efficient” neighborhood — one that offers easy access to transit, jobs, and amenities.
The latest figures from the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, the nation’s most comprehensive assessment of housing and transportation costs, show that the difference between living in a compact, well-connected place and living in sprawl rose significantly between 2000 and 2009.
Transportation costs increased by $1,400 a year for the typical household in a location-efficient neighborhood. They jumped by approximately $3,900 in locations heavily dependent on driving. The difference in transportation cost between neighborhoods where things are easy to get to and places that are more isolated grew by about $200 a month.
The figures were made public in late February when the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) expanded the H+T Index to cover 874 metropolitanand “micropolitan” areas, encompassing 89 percent of the US population.
To get a deeper understanding of the situation, Better! Cities & Towns asked the Center to break out figures for 20 representative areas across the country. CNT did so, organizing the findings into three categories: households in locations