May 12, 2014

Understanding travel patterns in the West End

Maybe this will help.

From The Dish: Gays Don’t Stray Far.


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At least not when they live in “gayborhoods,” according to a recent study:

In their simplest model, comparing the travel patterns of members of gay, lesbian, and straight couples, the authors found that travel for non-work purposes were shorter in neighborhoods with more gay and lesbian couples. But this was especially true for gay men. Travel distances of trips made by straight men and women and lesbian women decreased by 6.2 percent for each percentage-point increase in the share of same-sex couples in the census tract. For gay men, trips decreased in length at nearly twice that rate, at an incredible 12.2 percent. …

So what’s behind this connection between shorter travel distances and gay neighborhoods?

The authors suggest that it reflects a broader concept of “neighborhoods of affinity,” where people live in neighborhoods because they share common interests and are drawn to similar features and amenities, as well as, potentially, the kinds of jobs that are available. In other words, in addition to our search for jobs, services and amenities, and transportation access, it is the very fact that we sort and cluster together that defines the way we move around a neighborhood. And these travel patterns can inadvertently reinforce the forces of sorting and segregating, as shorter travel patterns create even more self-contained worlds for some city residents.

Also articles done by a couple of geographers on census maps of gay/lesbian households in San Francisco – here and here.  But they’re on pdf, so, um, no one is likely to read them.

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  1. I’m not surprised at all.

    Gay people are probably more likely to live urban lifestyles (at least that’s a stereotype). Urban lifestyles lead to less travel.

    Why do gay folks live urban lifestyles? Maybe partially because they are less likely to have kids. Maybe partially because cities are more accepting of different kinds of people.

    In fact, I’m surprised the result isn’t more pronounced.

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