This weekâ€™s The New Yorker investigates the phenomenon of commuting, nominating Washington as a â€œworthy candidateâ€ for one for the countryâ€™s worst commutes. (Article not yet available online.)
The article, â€œThere And Back Again,â€ reserves the worst commuting honors for Atlanta and analyzes the experience of commuting in general. Simply put, commuting is overrated. People â€œtend to over valuate the material fruits of their commute â€" money, house prestige â€" and undervalue what theyâ€™re giving up: sleep, exercise, fun,â€ author Nick Paumgarten states.
According to political scientist Robert Putnam, whom Paumgarten quotes, thereâ€™s a simple rule of thumb for commuting: â€œâ€˜Every ten minutes of commuting results in 10 percent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness.â€™â€