Studies of residential sprawl have shown that longer commutes are typical for residents of these areas, but the effect of sprawling workplace locations on journey to work patterns has not yet been closely examined. This paper uses commuting data from the 1990 and 2000 Census Transportation Planning Package to examine the impact of employment sprawl on commuting, and its differing impacts on black and white workers within Birmingham, Alabama. This analysis finds that workers who commute to sprawling areas travel shorter distances, often spend less time commuting, are less likely to drive alone, and are more likely to bike and walk, though they do not earn as much as workers in urban areas. This suggests the possibility that workers may be able to reduce their commutes as more jobs relocate to sprawling areas. However, increased sprawl may result in increased commutes for black workers if they are not able to adjust their residential location, as shown by their longer commutes to jobs in sprawl locations.


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pp. 53-74
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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