Rochester named best mid-sized city for commuters

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — The results are in and according to a recent study, Rochester is in the top 10 for most livable mid-sized city in the county. And of the top ten cities, Rochester is the best for commuters.

While this study Smart Asset, a finance and technology company, does not identify how people are getting around, it indicates that on average Rochester workers spend about 17.5 minutes commuting.

So what makes it so easy to get around, at least compared to the rest of the country?

“It’s very easy for me, I use Rochester Public Transit,” said Rochester resident Dennis Johnson. “It costs less to use the public transit service and it’s safer because you don’t have to worry about the safety of your car.

“Typically I’m on my bicycle when the weather allows me to, otherwise I walk,” said Rochester resident Sara Walters.

“Well parts of downtown Rochester are very walkable and that’s a big part of the desire from downtown Rochester, to be more walkable for employees and our visitors especially,” said Kathleen Harrington, President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

Despite the struggle with parking downtown, it’s not as difficult as dealing with traffic in bigger cities.

“I would say for the size of the city, it’s good,” said Madison Ousley. “I’m from the Twin Cities actually, so compared to that it’s much easier to find everything and get places.”

“It’s great,” said Walters. “I think the city of Rochester has done a really good job at making sure that pedestrians have ample opportunity to get to where they need to go.”

And with the growth and expansion related to Destination Medical Center, planners are working on getting ahead of future problems.

“Rochester is very unique in the volume of people that come in downtown to work everyday,” said Harrington. “30-some-thousand commuters coming into our core of the city everyday and then leaving, that’s unique. It does create challenges for traffic patterns and drivers at certain times, which is why one of the things I think commuting is a big part of the public conversation now; increasing more buses, having a transit circulator, making sure that we are as walkable a city as possible.”

Out of the top 25 cities in the study, Rochester is the only city from Minnesota that made the list.

To view the full report, click here.

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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