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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Managing the Suburban Commute: A Cross-National Comparison of Three Metropolitan Areas


In recent years, the topic of "Suburban Gridlock" has emerged as one of the most significant transportation problems in the United States (Cervero, 1985). As population deconcentrates from central cities to suburban rings, and increasingly to the peripheries of those rings, employment has tended to follow. High-technology manufacturing, and associated research and development, have traditionally sought suburban locations, out-of-town shopping centers have consolidated their position, rivalling and often exceeding the sales and employment volumes of downtown stores, campus office parks have become larger and denser, producing mini-downtowns in the new suburbs. The result has been that traditional, radial, suburb-to-city commute patterns have been overlain and increasingly overwhelmed by a new pattern of non-radial, suburb-to-suburb trips.

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