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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Super Cold is So Bad in NYC -- But Even Chicago is Not Chicago, Really

Relatives of mine in the Chicago area are used to cold winters, but this one is turning out to be a doozy

Recent reports on the amount of snow shoveling they have been doing, in one case also to help out an elderly neighbor, are something else

Also, they cannot get to their vacation home near Green Bay Wisconsin since the snow and cold make the journey just not worth it

WNYC also did a great program today talking to Street Vendors etc. and other people who are outside all day-- well, you can add layers and layers and stand on something on the concrete, but after a while it just is not worth it

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Why New Yorkers Suffer More in the Cold

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 08:00 AM

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New Yorkers bundled up as a polar vortex descended on the city January 7, 2014, creating frigid temperatures.  
New Yorkers bundled up as a polar vortex descended on the city January 7, 2014, creating frigid temperatures. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC) 
 
The high temperature in St. Paul, Minnesota Monday was minus seven. And, we're talking real temperature, not wind chill. But, guess what, New Yorkers do suffer more in the cold. Here's why.
Yes, it's been terrible in Minnesota this winter. But, as Paul Huttner, the Minnesota Public Radio meteorologist points out, a lot of that is spent going from a warm house to a warm car to a warm office.

In New York, we're walking. Half of us don't even own cars.
New York consistently ranks among the nation's most walkable cities. And it's true, we do walk a lot. More than 14 percent of New Yorkers walk or bike to work. Half of us get to work by bus or train, but that typically involves walking fifteen minutes on each leg of our commutes, according to a 2013 study by the Department of Health (pdf - http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/epi/PAT-survey-summary.pdf). In the spring, that's a delight. In the winter chill, it's less fun. 
The walkability of city neighborhoods varies a lot, according to a followup study released today by the department. Lower Manhattan has the highest ranking on the walkability index, and Staten Island the lowest. What makes a neighborhood walkable? 
Walkable neighborhoods have high intersection density; high residential density; a mix of residential, commercial, recreational and institutional land uses; few retail stores set back behind parking lots; and good access to public transit. 
The full report is here. Yes
New York consistently ranks among the nation's most walkable cities. And it's true, we do walk a lot. More than 14 percent of New Yorkers walk or bike to work. Half of us get to work by bus or train, but that typically involves walking fifteen minutes on each leg of our commutes, according to a 2013 study by the Department of Health. 

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