How far/long to traverse your town or city?

It’s oft been said that cities in Australia (especially Sydney and Melbourne) take the world records for ‘suburban sprawl’. That is, the CBD’s of both states are relatively compact, but the feeder suburbs go on forever, and ever, and…you get the drift.

Just googling my home town, Melbourne, which is the capital city of Victoria, it seems the suburbs (and I’m only including those serviced by a suburban train system here, ymmv etc) extend 73km east to west, and 78km north to south.

(FTR, for those familiar with Melbourne, I included Lilydale to Werribee for E-to-W, and Sunbury to Frankston for N-to-S. The sprawl is extending further than those destinations of course, but they’ll do for a benchmark.)

And according to googlemaps, it should take me under 2hrs in current traffic to do the N-S or E-W journey in a car, without taking major highways or any tollways. Which is a big fat fucking lie. :smiley:

Where do you live and how far does your town or city extend? And how long would it take you to get from one side to the other?

Okay, using your parameters the official city of Toronto is 1hr east to west (avoiding highways and tollways) and between 28 and 32 mins north to south.

What is really part of Toronto though goes all the way east to Oshawa, west to at least Hamilton and North to either Newmarket or Barrie if you’re feeling inclusive. A large portion of the entire area travels to another part of the area for work every day. If you were to use the extremes that would be 2hrs 42mins E-W and 1hr 52 mins N-S. Those are all empty road driving times.

For my route when I drive to work google thinks it should take me (still avoiding highways which I don’t) 51 mins. In reality if I leave my house by 7:25 I can pull into the parking lot at work by 9am. If I’m even a second later leaving the driveway it’s at least 9:15. Going home is worse. Somehow the evening rush hour extends from 3pm to 8pm and makes the return journey almost 2 hrs.

This is why I took a pay cut to stay at my current employer (went from contractor to employee) as I am currently working from home 4 days per week. It would take a shocking amount of money to make me commute every day again.

I live in the outer southwest Boston suburbs but Providence, Rhode Island is actually closer to me. It takes close to an hour during normal traffic to get into Boston proper and much longer than that to get to the northeastern suburbs. Worst case would be about 2.5 hours with normal traffic while still remaining in the same metropolitan region.

However, that has nothing on where much of my family lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. Talk about sprawl central. You may think you have a world record where you live but I have never seen anything like that even in U.S. terms. Right down the road = 20 miles and 45 minutes in traffic. Across town = 60+ miles and 1.5 hours in traffic. The outer bounds of the metro region are about 100 miles apart and can take hours to get across in a worst case scenario. My mother and my grandfather both claim they live in DFW but they are still 70 miles apart and it takes 2 hours with normal traffic to get from one house to another.

My town is 2.4 miles E-W (5 minutes on the main road) and 5.8 miles N-S (10 minutes on a couple different roads)

All very true. The DFW Metroplex is larger than a fair number of countries. The metro area covers 24,059 km[sup]2[/sup]–about twice as much as Sydney–which would put it at 145 on this list of 192 countries by area.

The upside is that the metroplex has a pretty good web of highways. From a town on the north edge (Little Elm) to one on the south (Red Oak), Google gives a distance of about 53 miles (85km) and a travel time of ~1 hour…on the 70mph (113kph) toll road with minimal traffic. East Mesquite to west Fort Worth is similar. There are diagonals that are quite a bit longer. It’s really when you add in the traffic that things get ugly–there are more than enough people trying to get places to choke all those highways.

The continuous urban area extends well beyond that along the highways, but the towns farther out usually aren’t considered part of the metroplex.

Tel Aviv proper (pop: 400,000) is vaguely hourglass-shaped. I’ve walked the narrowest section - Arlozorov Street from the Ayalon Freeway to the sea - in under 45 minutes.

Israel has very little sprawl, suburban or otherwise.

I live on one side of town, and I have friends who live on the other side of town. If I really go slow and hit all the lights, I can stretch that drive to almost 15 minutes. That includes me getting lost in their neighborhood, as I often do, because the streets are laid out like spaghetti.

If you obey the 30mph speed limit, it takes right at 2 minutes to go from east to west. The north to south route takes about a minute. I believe we have two (Maybe three, now that I think about it) stop signs in the small town where I live.

I live in a small town that’s basically a bedroom community for a small city. That city is uniquely compact due to draconian zoning. It’s about 6 miles across going either way. If you are on the interstate, that takes just a few minutes.

The Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area includes “14 metro area counties that encompass over 50 municipalities and the metro area spans nearly 50 miles in all directions.” and includes “a metropolitan area of 8,376 square miles (21,694 km2) – a land area comparable to that of Massachusetts”.

And, since there are no natural barriers (the ocean is 250 miles southeast, the mountains are 100 miles north), it keeps on expanding.

The Bay to Breakers traverses San Francisco East to West and is 12km (7.46 miles). The best runners finish in 33-35 minutes.

Easily 2 minutes in any direction will get you through my little city of a square mile.

Sounds like somebody who has never been to LA… :wink:

For the sake of comparison, the Atlanta Metro area cited by Doctor Jackson is roughly the size of Israel. DFW is 20-25% larger. Israel has a higher population than either–a population density of ~388/km[sup]2[/sup] vs 243 (Atlanta) or 245 (DFW), so even country-wide, it’s less sprawling. Tel Aviv itself has a density of ~8148/km[sup]2[/sup], which is incredibly dense by comparison.

Population density seems like a good starting point for measuring sprawl, but it runs into questions of where the sprawl ends and rural area begins.

Phoenix is all about sprawl.
It’s around 60 miles (maybe more) from the NW Valley (Sun City West) to the SE Valley (Queen Creek). I don’t know how long it would take to drive that and I’m not about to try…

Depending on how you define “suburbs,” I’d say that from Springfield’s southern suburbs to northern suburbs would take about 35 minutes if you don’t take the interstate; 15 minutes if you do. To traverse Springfield proper; north-to-south, no interstate: ~25 minutes depending on traffic; east-to-west, no interstate: ~15 minutes depending on traffic.

I live in a mid-sized town. You could drive through it easily in a couple of minutes.

On the other hand, I’m currently in Houston and that’s a big city that sprawls out in every direction. Driving across Houston off the expressways would take around three hours.

I live in a village - I can walk from one end to the other in a few minutes.

Other than a good daytime satellite view of an area, can provide a decent estimate of a location’s sprawl by seeing how it looks at night.

The Nashville Metropolitan area sprawls over several counties, for example.

The “city limits” is 9 square miles. I’m not great with time or distance and our town is laid out strange and divded by rivers, many different smaller “cities” within “cities” so if I were to count what everyone really counts as “Fairmont, WV”, I guess it would take about 45 min-60 min to drive through it if you want to see it all. Not a whole lot here, just spread out weird.