Thursday, October 20, 2011
iReporters put their commutes on video

"Beautiful and fast!" That was the term Paula Lauren Gibson used to describe her commute after watching the video she made with a dash cam in her car for iReport’s Cultural Census.


When we simply asked iReporters to tell us how they get around, some of them, like Gibson, went the extra mile.


Gibson ended up putting together a video of a drive to her father's house, as a series of quick images (with a few breaks in between) going from urban Los Angeles, California via the 10 freeway, then moving on to the Pacific Coast Highway.


"You get ocean views along with views of the Santa Monica mountains."


As she takes a winding road through the canyon, she gets a look at “stunning cliff vistas."


Despite improvements in public transportation there, she said she still prefers taking her car to get to where she needs to go, especially because of the sights.


At the same time, she said, “Driving freeways can be tedious. I have taken historic route 66 over the freeway to go to the Grand Canyon. When I drive to San Francisco, I always take the longer PCH coast route and sometimes take the scenic by pass by Carmel, too, which makes the trip even longer.

"I think I always prefer the road less traveled!"

According to census statistics from 2005, we spend about 100 hours a year on average, commuting to work.  So, in order to get a look at one particularly long commute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Doug Simonton shot a time lapse: “I shot similar video during a previous trip to Iceland by simply holding the camera out the window.”

This time he put the camera on a small hand-held mount and drove off. (He also confessed to running two red lights, which we definitely don’t recommend).

Colin Lord also shot a time-lapse of his (much shorter) 15-minute commute to Blacksburg, Virginia. “I lived in Atlanta before living up here so it was quite a culture shock to go from the downtown connector to driving by cows and farmland on Route 460.”

And then, there’s always good old-fashioned walking, which William Harpole demonstrated in the small town of Maben, Mississippi.

“All the people in my town know each other, and we do all walk alot and have a nice walking track at our town park,” he said. “Since the tornado we had in April, we had people helping each other with the clearing of the rubbish of trees and limbs and parts of houses, and not sitting and waiting for somebody else to do it.”

As we've seen, commuting can be a fact of life taken for granted every day, but it can also be a thing of beauty. And it doesn't hurt to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

As Gibson put it, "You haven't lived until you have pulled over on PCH, and stood by the cliffs in Big Sur listening to the seals barking way down below."

We hope these videos have inspired you, and we encourage you to show us your commute, too. As always, remember to be careful while documenting your travel. Share still images or footage you've captured of the way you get around town.

October 21, 2011
Click to view n6vcw's profile

Driving in a cage is just commuting, regardless of the scenery out the window.  Riding to work on a motorcycle is AWESOME!  I get to see the scenery in an unobstructed 180 degree panoramic view.  Not much can top that!

October 21, 2011
Click to view WallyBalloo's profile

Maybe it's me, but I would have pointed the camera out the side window at the scenery going by, not at the cars in front of me.

October 21, 2011
Click to view vr13's profile

Commute to work...  It can't be "beautiful" by definition.

October 21, 2011
Click to view tdave123's profile

Things are crazy at work.  Things are crazy at home.  Sometimes, the commute is the best part of my day.

October 21, 2011
Click to view CX580's profile

Isn't it illegal to drive holding a cell (presumably to document your travel as CNN suggests) in most states now? Is CNN condoning this? There are already enough idiots on the road, this is not what we need Time Warner.

October 21, 2011
Click to view turdtosser's profile

100 hours a year after subtracting weekends means the average driver only goes about 10 minutes or so to work each way, I would think the average is longer than that

October 22, 2011
Click to view neville94's profile

The 25 minute ride to work at 5:30 in the morning with the radio off is the calmest quietest part of my day. It is awesome.

October 23, 2011
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October 23, 2011
Click to view Zooper's profile

These tend to show the serious lack of public transportation in some areas of the U.S.

October 25, 2011
Click to view Srterhune's profile

If there was an award for the worst drivers in the world, pretty sure Tulsa would win that one. Thanks Doug for proving it on a Global News Network.

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