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This seems to be the usual retort anytime someone dares and propose a change in the insanity that is car driving in America. It is as if god personally swept down, laid out cities and then continued to crush their public transport systems.

In reality of course, these commute times are all of your own making. Just because politics in the 20th century designed cities a particular way doesn't mean it is now forever set in stone in the 21th.

These commute times are not your own making they are based on your salary, your priorities in housing (neighborhood, safety, price), and your work location.

There are plenty of times when it is too expensive to live near work.

There are plenty of times when housing near work is low income or unsafe.

To be fair though, there's nothing particularly difficult or slow about a ~20km commute with a good public-transport infrastructure.

Until recently I lived about 20km away from my work, and my commute took about 25-30min: 10min walking and 15min on the train. I found this a very nice and relaxing commute; being on public-transport means you can read / browse the web / zone out, and indeed it's a valuable unwind time for me (the walking time is also hugely beneficial in this respect). [The same trip by car takes about 30min with no traffic, or an indeterminate amount of time in typical rush-hour traffic...]

I wish Calgary had better public transport. As a Calgarian, my commute is 20 minutes by car, 58 minutes by bike, or 75 minutes by public transit.

Calgary is just silly large and special. My commute to the university is 30 minutes in good traffic by car. Mass transit implies about one and a quarter hours on the ctrain and twenty minutes on a bus. Plus waiting time.

In all honesty Calgary is a hopeless city. Consider Tokyo: https://maps.google.ca/?ll=35.637209,139.744034&spn=0.502803...

Now compare it to Calgary: https://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=50.988692,-113.841705&spn=0.3...

Keep in mind Tokyo is only the center of that metro area. Tokyo itself is 13M people. The full metro area is 35M! Meanwhile calgary is a mere 1M!

Calgary is just not scaling. If we tried to fit 35M people in Calgary the city limits would start hitting the Rockies! Just as CPUs are hitting limits on the speed of light Calgary is hitting limits on safe highway speeds. Mass transit could be improved but it cannot shrink the city.

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