While local officials are dismayed at the prospect of Dubuque losing its “metropolitan” standing, there are some decided advantages of being on the smaller side of big cities.
We would hate to see Dubuque lose traction in its bid to compete with larger communities for economic development over some bureaucratic semantics. Call the Key City a metropolis or micropolis, but let us compete with the big boys when it comes to landing development.
Besides, there are some areas in which Dubuque stands head and shoulders above our big city brethren and all the problems that go with that status, including slamming-headache commutes.
Employees (and employers?) might just appreciate the benefits of a micropolis over more congested areas. Time lost sitting in traffic is time away from family, from community events, and volunteer service.
In 2006, Money Magazine ranked Dubuque No. 1 in the country for the shortest commute to work, with a median travel time of 11.8 minutes. That figure had inched up to 14.5 minutes as of 2018, according to the city.
Contrast that to Chicago, where this week, its Eisenhower Expressway was named the most congested road in the entire country. In 2020, the stretch between Tri-State and the Jane Byrne Interchange saw 41 hours of delays, down from 56 hours in 2019, according to the INRIX Global Traffic report. The same study named Chicago third (behind New York and Philadelphia) for most time stuck in traffic. Drivers each lost some 86 hours last year just sitting in traffic.
And that was during a pandemic when traffic was down more than 20%.
Don’t write off the advantages of smaller cities. Less time in traffic is a bonus for everyone.
Here we go again. This weekend marks the biannual changing-of-the-clocks ritual known as daylight saving time. Why do we do this, again?
Sure, we’ve all had more on our minds in 2020-2021 than getting Congress to abolish daylight saving time (or permanently stick with it). But once we get out of raging pandemic/volatile economy mode, how about we move on to ending this weird clock-changing thing?
New studies suggest that beyond being a change without much positive impact, messing with our sleep cycles is a downright bad idea.
Daylight saving time is, after all, something of a myth. There really isn’t any saving of daylight. We just move the time of day a little bit so we might enjoy more time outdoors before sunset. Which, if you like that, would be a vote for springing forward and then never falling back again the first Sunday of November.
It would be one thing if there were economic or energy savings in daylight saving time. But there is none. In 2005, before daylight saving time was extended by three weeks to save more of whatever it is we’re supposed to be saving, the Department of Energy released a detailed report.
Department of Energy officials noted that, while people use less energy (household lights) when there’s evening daylight, exactly the same amount of daylight was pulled from the morning, requiring more household lighting then. Imagine that.
Even worse, daylight saving time isn’t a zero sum game.
The impact can be seen in all sorts of circumstances, and the effects are always detrimental — largely related to the disruption in the sleep cycle. The concerns raised are so great, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine last month called for ending the practice of moving clocks forward and back.
Once we get past the treachery of COVID-19 and its ripple effects, let’s shut down this ineffective ritual and stop changing the clocks.
Following the turbulence of 2020, things keep looking up at Dubuque Regional Airport.
After temporarily halting all flights last fall, American Airlines reinstated one of the flights at the beginning of the year. Beginning this spring, the arrivals and departures will double with a second Dubuque-to-Chicago flight returning five days per week.
As of April 2, the new flight will arrive at Dubuque Regional Airport at 10:13 a.m. and depart at 10:47 a.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That’s an encouraging sign that the aviation industry is inching closer to normalcy and that Dubuque’s air service might be able to pick up where it left off before the pandemic
That’s great news for local business and pleasure travelers alike.
As the clouds of COVID-19 lift, and local residents begin to make plans to travel once again, consider using Dubuque Regional Airport. You won’t find a more accessible and convenient airport — there’s even free parking. And more flight options will make choosing to fly Dubuque even easier.