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Short commute makes a difference
Omaha and Lincoln workers know what a tough commute is, but for the rest of the state, the gag photo of a "Nebraska traffic jam" -- a herd of cattle crossing the highway -- is more apropos.
It was a pleasant surprise when the Obrella Insider crowned McCook as "the best commuter city in Nebraska."
"The best commuter city in Nebraska is also a great place to launch or grow a business. The city's Keystone Business Center houses a certified business incubator to help entrepreneurs start their venture. Plus, the McCook Economic Development Corp. offers financial incentives to attract and retain businesses. Initiatives like these increase McCook's job opportunities, which means residents don't have to travel far for employment. That could be why nearly 85 percent of locals get to work in 15 minutes or less."
Many of us feel sorry for friends who commute to or from places like Benkelman or North Platte, but such commute times are common in places like Denver or Omaha.
Nebraska is a great place overall when it comes to commuting, 17.9 minutes on average, or seven minutes less than most Americans.
York, O'Neill, Chadron and Broken Bow round out the top five commuter cities, while, not surprisingly, the worst are in eastern areas; Plattsmouth is the worst, 24.7 minutes, down to 20.3 minutes for No. 8 Omaha.
Obrella Insider , which reports on insurance issues, notes that insurance companies take the length of your commute into account when setting rates on policies -- it could go up as much as $10 a month on longer commutes.
But Obrella cited other polls and studies that found that chronic neck and back pain increases in commuters who spend more than 90 minutes to get to work, and commuters who take longer than 45 minutes to get to work are 40 percent more likely to get a divorce.
Other negative effects of commuting include fewer friends, more obesity, less enjoyment, more fatigue and worry and less sleep, exercise and home cooking.
Run some numbers on a computer map program, and you'll wonder why more of us don't ride bicycles or walk to work.
Even in the most extreme case -- living near Community Hospital and working at Walmart -- the walk could be accomplished in 44 minutes.
It doesn't take many trips a city to appreciate the easy commutes McCook residents enjoy.
Check out the original Obrella Insider article here.