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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Gainesville drivers' commuting times shortest in Florida

Gainesville has been ranked by an Orlando newspaper as the city with the shortest commuting times in Florida.

About 86 percent of Gainesville drivers spend less than half an hour on the road, and about 43 percent spend less than 15 minutes driving, according to data published by the Orlando Business Journal on Thursday. The paper analyzed data from the five-year version of the 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The paper named Gainesville 19th out of 269 major U.S. cities in terms of commuting time.

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe attributed the ranking to the success of Smartraffic, a countywide traffic management system.

Philip Mann, city traffic operations manager, said the system lets his staff keep an eye on city streets. If one gets too congested, they can change the traffic lights to let traffic flow.

He said his staff members also tweet the locations of traffic accidents and update a map of the city on gac-smartraffic.com with crashes.

Construction on the traffic system started in 2007, Mann said.

The last stage, which includes adding neighboring towns into the system, is due to be finished by October.

"The report just substantiates what we've been trying to do," he said. "We try to get the info out so people can make smarter choices."

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