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Is Los Angeles a Time Saving City?

Mar 22, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Dear Los Angeles,

Real Simple recently published a survey entitled, "21 Top Time-Savings Cities." 

By analyzing various data covering America’s largest cities, Real Simple ranked each city on a scale of 1-5, into 5 separate categories:

Los Angeles

  • Getting Around
  • Health and Safety
  • Information and Technology
  • Green Time-Savers
  • Lifestyle

The city rankings were based on measuring issues such as each city’s walkability, average commute, average wait to get a doctor’s appointment, number of personal trainers, number of community gardens, bike friendliness, and so forth.  

They then added up the totals from each category to determine the top Time Saving Cities.  With a total of five categories, the top possible score was 25.

Are you curious who scored what?

Below is the list of cities and points accumulated for the Real Simple ranking:

1.  Seattle – 22.5
2.  Portland – 21.5
3.  San Francisco – 21
4.  Boston – 20
5.  Minneapolis – 19.5
6.  Denver – 19
7.  Washington DC – 18.5
8.  Pittsburgh – 18
9.  Miami – 17.5
10. Atlanta – 17
11. Baltimore – 16.5
12. Philadelphia – 16
13. New York City – 15.5
14. Chicago – 15
15. Austin – 14.5
16. Cleveland – 14
17. Dallas – 14
18. Los Angeles – 14
19. San Diego – 13.5
20. Houston – 13
21. Phoenix – 11

Although I’m a bit disappointed to see that Los Angeles and San Diego are in the bottom half of the list, it’s great to see three major cities from our state make the list (Kudos to Texas, too).

Community Gardens

But we need to look at it as a wake-up call, and a reminder that we’ve have lots of work to do in California.  To be sure, some of the criteria to improve the quality of life here such as our “bike friendliness,”–with the long awaited bike sharrows–on the way. 

As well, the reduction of our traffic congestion could be greatly reduced if more people, yes, that’s you and me, actively use alternative forms of transportation.  But is just the start.

After reading the criteria for the various city categories, here’s a few ideas that LA should consider and implement:

  • Greater availability of Wifi
  • An iPhone app that allows reporting of 311 issues
  • More community gardens:  Considering LA’s weather, this is a no-brainer.
  • Bike sharrows are just a start.  Again, with the weather here, safe biking options should be high on our to-do list.
  • If you still want to drive, how about a way to pay for your parking meters via your cell phone with text messages that let you know when your time is almost up?  I love this idea.
  • More books:  Baltimore’s Book Thing is a great idea.  Let’s just give away unwanted books.  There are so many out there.

These are just a few of the ideas that the Real Simple survey brings to the forefront for us to think about. 

Los Angeles is a great city, but we can always implement many ways and means to improve it, and learning what other cities are doing that works, keeps us on our toes.  Plus, many of these options don’t cost millions of dollars.

It’s just a matter of spending on the "right" ideas.  Maybe with next year’s survey, LA could jump ahead of NYC.


Lisa Newton
Travelin’ Local

P.S. What are your suggestions for Los Angeles so we can be at the top of Real Simple’s Time Saving City list?

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