Chicago Has Nation’s Easiest Rush Hour Commute. Really.

Chicago Has Nation’s Easiest Rush Hour Commute. Really.

Another report is out ranking cities on their commute times, and again, Chicago’s at the top of the list. But this time, it’s actually good news for Chicago-area commuters.

The report from CEOs for Cities measures time spent in rush-hour traffic. And get this: of big U.S. metro areas, Chicago’s commuters spend the least amount of time in their cars. That’s even though Chicago has the second-worst congestion.

How can that be? Simple: shorter travel distances. Peter Skosey is a vice president at the Metropolitan Planning Council.

SKOSEY: If you’re moving very slowly on the highway, but you only need to go a mile to get to work, not a big deal.

The Council is involved in launching the report. But Skosey and other planners agree Chicago still has work to do. Jim LaBelle is with the civic group, Chicago Metropolis 2020.

LABELLE: I think it takes more than one measure to get a picture of a region. And this is a helpful one, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as the only one.

The report concludes that urban planning ultimately matters more than sheer volume of traffic on the roads.