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32Our measures of pace of life were variations on those in the 31-country study. First, we again clocked the walking speeds of pedes-trians, walking alone, over 60-foot distances in downtownlocations during business hours. Second, as an indicator of workspeed, we timed how long it took bank clerks to either givechange, in set denominations, for two $20.00 bills, or to give ustwo $20.00 bills for change. (Requests for making change were al-ternated with those for giving change simply so that experi-menters would not be running around with wads of money intheir pockets.)33Third, as a measure of people’s concern withclock time, we counted the proportion of randomly selected menand women in downtown areas who were wearing wristwatchesduring business hours. In most cases subjects were wearing shortsleeves, allowing us to easily observe whether they were wearingwatches. People in long sleeves were approached and asked thetime of day. We also added a fourth indicator of the pace of life—talking speed. In each city we tape-recorded the responses ofpostal clerks to a standard question—to explain the difference be-tween regular mail, certified mail, and insured mail. Later, re-search assistants played back the tapes and calculated “articulationrates” by dividing the number of uttered syllables by the total timeof the response.W H E R E I S L I F E FA S T E S T ?147
Fast and Slow Cities in the U.S.A.Lower ranks indicate faster speeds and more watches worn.OverallWalking Bank Talking Watches Pace 34SpeedSpeedSpeedWornBoston, MA12662Buffalo, NY257154New York, NY31111281Salt Lake City, UT44161211Columbus, OH52217119Worcester, MA692266Providence, RI779919Springfield, MA81152022Rochester, NY9202267Kansas City, MO10631532St. Louis, MO111520915Houston, TX121082119Paterson, NJ131741131Bakersfield, CA142813517Atlanta, GA15327236Detroit, MI162112342Youngstown, OH171318330Indianapolis, IN181823824Chicago, IL191231327Philadelphia, PA203052211Louisville, KY2116212915Canton, OH2223142615Knoxville, TN2325243011San Francisco, CA241935265Chattanooga, TN253513224Dallas, TX2626281528Oxnard, CA273030237Nashville, TN288262433San Diego, CA292734189East Lansing, MI3014331234148A G E O G R A P H Y O F T I M E
Fresno, CA3136251719Memphis, TN3234101934San Jose, CA3329293022Shreveport, LA3432193328Sacramento, CA3533323626Los Angeles, CA3624363513The Speedy NortheastIn general, our results confirm the widespread impression that theNortheastern United States is fast-paced, whereas the West (moreaccurately, California, which accounted for eight of the nine west-ern cities) is more relaxed. The three fastest cities, and seven ofthe nine fastest, were from the Northeast. Northeasterners gener-ally walk faster, give change faster, talk faster, and are more likelyto wear watches than people in other U.S. cities.