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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2023, 11:36 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Major cities in the US and Canada by count of nearby major cities

Limited to the 37 metros in the US and Canada with populations of 2 million or more.

Count of +2 million metros within roughly 300 miles by city:
  1. Cleveland 9
  2. Chicago 7
  3. Cincinnati 7
  4. Detroit 7
  5. Indianapolis 7
  6. Pittsburgh 7
  7. Columbus 6
  8. Baltimore 5
  9. Philadelphia 5
  10. St. Louis 5
  11. Washington 5
  12. Austin 4
  13. Dallas 4
  14. Houston 4
  15. Nashville 4
  16. New York 4
  17. San Antonio 4
  18. Boston 3
  19. Las Vegas 3
  20. San Diego 3
  21. Toronto 3
  22. Atlanta 2
  23. Los Angeles 2
  24. Miami 2
  25. Montreal 2
  26. Orlando 2
  27. Phoenix 2
  28. Portland 2
  29. Seattle 2
  30. Tampa 2
  31. Vancouver 2
  32. Charlotte 1
  33. Kansas City 1
  34. Sacramento 1
  35. San Francisco 1
  36. Denver 0
  37. Minneapolis 0

Average number of cities within roughly 300 miles by region:
  1. Midwest 4.6
  2. Northeast 4.5
  3. Southwest 3.5
  4. South 2.1
  5. West 2.1
  6. Canada 1.3


Count of +2 million metros within roughly 200 miles by city:
  1. Pittsburgh 5
  2. Columbus 5
  3. Detroit 4
  4. New York 4
  5. Cleveland 3
  6. Indianapolis 3
  7. Washington 3
  8. Philadelphia 3
  9. Baltimore 3
  10. Austin 3
  11. Cincinnati 2
  12. Houston 2
  13. San Antonio 2
  14. Toronto 2
  15. Miami 2
  16. Seattle 2
  17. Tampa 2
  18. Orlando 2
  19. Chicago 1
  20. Dallas 1
  21. Boston 1
  22. San Diego 1
  23. Los Angeles 1
  24. Portland 1
  25. Vancouver 1
  26. San Francisco 1
  27. Sacramento 1
  28. St. Louis 0
  29. Las Vegas 0
  30. Atlanta 0
  31. Phoenix 0
  32. Montreal 0
  33. Charlotte 0
  34. Kansas City 0
  35. Nashville 0
  36. Minneapolis 0
  37. Denver 0

Average number of cities within roughly 200 miles by region:
  1. Southwest 2.5
  2. Northeast 2.3
  3. Midwest 2.3
  4. South 1.3
  5. West 0.9
  6. Canada 0.0


Count of +2 million metros within roughly 100 miles by city:
  1. Baltimore 2
  2. Cincinnati 2
  3. Philadelphia 2
  4. Austin 1
  5. Cleveland 1
  6. Columbus 1
  7. Detroit 1
  8. Indianapolis 1
  9. New York 1
  10. Orlando 1
  11. Sacramento 1
  12. San Antonio 1
  13. San Francisco 1
  14. Tampa 1
  15. Washington 1
  16. Atlanta 0
  17. Boston 0
  18. Charlotte 0
  19. Chicago 0
  20. Dallas 0
  21. Denver 0
  22. Houston 0
  23. Kansas City 0
  24. Las Vegas 0
  25. Los Angeles 0
  26. Miami 0
  27. Minneapolis 0
  28. Montreal 0
  29. Nashville 0
  30. Phoenix 0
  31. Pittsburgh 0
  32. Portland 0
  33. San Diego 0
  34. Seattle 0
  35. St. Louis 0
  36. Toronto 0
  37. Vancouver 0

Average number of cities within roughly 100 miles by region:
  1. Northeast 1.0
  2. Midwest 0.7
  3. Southwest 0.5
  4. South 0.3
  5. West 0.2
  6. Canada 0.0

Roughly measured from city center to center and counted cities that fell within a few miles of the cutoff (less than 10). Northeast includes traditional Northeast corridor cities plus Pittsburgh. Southwest only includes Texas, as those were the only cities in the region large enough to make the threshold. All other designations are self-explanatory.

Observations: The Midwest should really have MUCH better inter-city rail. It is the most well spaced region of the country for a rail network. Texas also makes a lot of sense for inter-city rail.

ETA: I did not consider Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario as a separate "city".

Edited Feb 10, 2024: Correcting the 300 mile radius counts for Nashville and St. Louis.

Last edited by iheartthed; Feb 10, 2024 at 6:36 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 12:38 AM
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 12:57 AM
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"Metro" means CSA?
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 1:21 AM
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^ considering that DC and Baltimore are separate here, I believe the list is by MSA.

If this was all calculated individually using Google Earth, then that's quite the effort iheartthed!

Strong work.



Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post

Observations: The Midwest should really have MUCH better inter-city rail. It is the most well spaced region of the country for a rail network.
Not that I disagree that rail should be better in the region, but one of the complicatimg factors is that the Midwest is much more "webby", without a super-obvious, hyper-dominant single corridor like the northeast has with bos-wash.

Also, the Canadian border and america's general backwardness don't help. chicago-detroit-toronto-ottawa-montreal high speed rail would be a no-brainer in a less stupid part of the world.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Feb 2, 2023 at 3:48 PM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 1:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
^ considering that DC and Baltimore are separate here, I believe the list is by MSA.
Ah, in that case then LA has three MSAs with a population of 2+ million within 300 miles: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara falls just 25 miles short of the 300-mile measure, city center to city center.

So the list should be amended to show three for Los Angeles, and also four for San Diego.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 1:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Texas also makes a lot of sense for inter-city rail.
Yep. Hopefully the Dallas to Houston HSR proposal will actually come to fruition, and be successful enough to do something similar along the I-35 corridor connecting Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 1:46 AM
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Good stuff, iheartthed.

I have to think you’re going city center to city center. Since we’re talking metro areas… I wonder if results would be all that much different if it was somehow measure by the distance from metro area fringe to metro area fringe?
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 3:40 AM
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I'm obsessed with proximity. If I moved back east I'd definitely want alot of cities nearby. Today I drew a square connecting NYC, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Miami. I then drew an X from the corners to see whats exactly in the middle. It was Nashville! I triangulate cities too and see what's in the middle. Is that weird?
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 4:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
I'm obsessed with proximity. If I moved back east I'd definitely want alot of cities nearby. Today I drew a square connecting NYC, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Miami. I then drew an X from the corners to see whats exactly in the middle. It was Nashville! I triangulate cities too and see what's in the middle. Is that weird?
Not on an urbanist forum!

Sacramento and San Francisco account for the metros the two are close to.
Stockton and Fresno don't count yet.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 5:13 AM
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Sacramento actually has two MSA's of 2+ million within 300 miles--San Jose and San Francisco (and vice-versa).
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 5:57 AM
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Nashville has three within three hundred miles... Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati... St. Louis too if you just make it 'somewhere within the metro' to 'somewhere within the metro' haha
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigs View Post
Sacramento actually has two MSA's of 2+ million within 300 miles--San Jose and San Francisco (and vice-versa).
He talked about "major cities" and "metros" not MSAs. San Francisco-San Jose (and Los Angeles-San Bernardino) is a single metro area.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 3:36 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigs View Post
Ah, in that case then LA has three MSAs with a population of 2+ million within 300 miles: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara falls just 25 miles short of the 300-mile measure, city center to city center.

So the list should be amended to show three for Los Angeles, and also four for San Diego.
San Jose fell just under the population threshold to be counted. I didn't include Riverside because I used city centers as the endpoints, and I didn't know where to measure from there. I should've noted that before but just forgot.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 3:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
^ considering that DC and Baltimore are separate here, I believe the list is by MSA.
Yeah, DC and Baltimore were considered separately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
If this was all calculated individually using Google Earth, then that's quite the effort iheartthed!

Strong work.

It wasn't too bad for 100 miles and 200 miles but it got a bit too tedious after 300 miles.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 3:48 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
Not that I disagree that rail should be better in the region, but one of the complicatimg factors is that the Midwest is much more "webby", without a super-obvious, hyper-dominant corridor like the northeast has with bos-wash.

Also, the Canadian border and america's general backwardness don't help. chicago-detroit-toronto--ottawa-montreal high speed rail would be a no-brainer in a less stupid part of the world.
I think the solution is probably a few state owned regional rail agencies with combined service on interstate routes. It would probably look something like the Metro North, which operates in New York and Connecticut, but on a larger scale. NJ Transit also has a couple of rail lines that operate in upstate New York.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 6:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
He talked about "major cities" and "metros" not MSAs. San Francisco-San Jose (and Los Angeles-San Bernardino) is a single metro area.
Exactly. Obviously LA and the IE are one big metro area, even if the census keeps them as separate MSAs. Same with SF and San Jose. DC and Baltimore are separate cities. They are separate media markets, have their own sports teams, urban culture, architectural vernacular, cultural institutions, etc. They've somewhat sprawled together at this point, but it's a totally different situation than LA and Riverside, which is all just one big sprawled region with shared TV, radio, and newspapers, same regional rail provider, etc. LA is the urban center for the IE. The downtown areas of Riverside and San Bernardino feel like the commercial centers of small towns, not a metro of 4 million people.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 6:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiSoxRox View Post

Every Convention & Visitor's Bureau in the Midwest makes this same claim - we're within 500 miles of 80% of the population, or whatever.

The position that Cleveland Enjoyed for about 100 years was that it was the halfway point between Chicago and New York City, meaning it was the halfway point for express trains and a relatively each train ride to either.

Expressways and the jet aircraft put a quick end to that advantage.

Speaking of which - the distances between neighboring midsized cities in the Midwest are so short that there typically is no flight between them.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 7:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post

Speaking of which - the distances between neighboring midsized cities in the Midwest are so short that there typically is no flight between them.
ORD, MSP, & DTW have non-stop flights to all of the other main midwest airports, but that's only a function of their hub status.


for the lesser airports in the region:

from cleveland you cannot fly non-stop to columbus, cincy, indy, milwaukee, or KC.

from columbus you cannot fly non-stop to cleveland, cincy, indy, milwaukee or KC.

from cincinnati you cannot fly non-stop to cleveland, columbus, indy, st. louis, or KC.

from indy you cannot fly non-stop to clevel, columbus, cincy, st. louis, or milwaukee.

from milwaukee you cannot fly non-stop to indy, cincy, colmubus, or cleveland.

from st. louis you cannot fly non-stop to indy or cincy

from KC you cannot fly non-stop to cleveland, columbus, or cincy.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 7:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Speaking of which - the distances between neighboring midsized cities in the Midwest are so short that there typically is no flight between them.
This is because there are no hubs in midsized cities. Only Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis have hubs now. To fly from Cincinnati to Cleveland you have to go through either Chicago or Detroit. This is a major reason why the state of Ohio should be pioneering a rail network.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2023, 8:01 PM
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No direct flights between Cleveland and Cincinnati?!?! This basically means no flights whatsoever as a connection is impractical for such a short distance. I imagine this really harms the state.
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