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There is that ‘tweener territory, communities that are not quite rural and not really urban. They are former stand-alone small towns where barbecue joints, Main Street groceries and dry goods stores have been turned into antique stores and knick-knack boutiques. People live in these towns, but they work in a big city nearby. Well, sometimes not so nearby, as some recent Census Bureau data reveals. Forbes lists the “America’s worst small towns for commuters.” These are places like Linton Hall, Virginia, a 21,000-person town 35 miles from Washington, D.C., where the 78% of residents who drive to work alone each day take an average of 46.3 minutes to get to work.
The D.C. area is the worst for small town commutes. Of the 100 small towns with the longest commutes, Forbes reports, 18 are in Maryland and 10 are in Virginia. The exurban towns outside Chicago fill 16 spots on the worst small towns list.
In the best small towns for commuters, the foot is a common method of transport. Some 45% of workers in State College, Pa., walk to work. (The average commute there is 13 minutes.) And Aberdeen, S.D., has the shortest average commute — just 10.4 minutes.