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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chicago and Milwaukee are extremely close by (90 miles apart) and have the Lake Michigan shoreline to draw them to each other linearly.

Chicago and Milwaukee are accessible to each other without making going from one to the other a "trip". Chicagoans think nothing of making a few hours drive north for a Cub-Brewer game or to go to Summerfest. Milwaukeeans head south easily to take in what Chicago has to offer.

Will the midwest ever have any other two metro areas that are as linked (and in many respect merging) as these two or does distance prevent anything comparable from ever happening?
 

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The only other two metros I could see comparable to Milwaukee-Chicago would be Detroit-Toledo, and I don't know if those would merge as well as we're doing right now.

The big thing that makes our corridor unique is the fact that Chicago is a world-class city, the 3rd largest population in the US, and is still growing at a massive rate. Big companies are still plopping down in Chicagoland - and that only helps the move north (Milwaukee).
 

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The Cleveland-Akron area is already a CSA, but not yet a metro area. They share the same media market with Canton, plus many commuters and jobs. Most already consider them one. On the SW Ohio side Cincinnati and Dayton are growing closer all the time.
 

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^Bingo. Ohio's been merging metros for years. Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown are already "one region" while Cincinnati-Dayton is already occuring. Toledo is trying to merge with Detroit while Columbus is slowly merging with West Virginia/Appalachia. The only non-merging city is Lima, and thank God for that.

As for others in the Midwest, I hear Omaha and Lincoln are merging.
 

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^Bingo. Ohio's been merging metros for years. Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown are already "one region" while Cincinnati-Dayton is already occuring. Toledo is trying to merge with Detroit while Columbus is slowly merging with West Virginia/Appalachia. The only non-merging city is Lima, and thank God for that.

As for others in the Midwest, I hear Omaha and Lincoln are merging.
I would agree with Ohio. The cities are pretty well connected. Not only Cincinnati and Dayton, but Columbus too (with Springfield in between). And really Indy and Louisville (and Lexington) are not that far away. It is not really "trip" distance. There is a little triangle being formed in that area. And I am not the only one that has noticed as Honda has decided to build a large new assembly factory right in the middle in Greensburg, Indiana.

Also, if I had to throw another one out there I would say Kansas City and Topeka with Lawrence in between.
 

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There is a little triangle being formed in that area. And I am not the only one that has noticed as Honda has decided to build a large new assembly factory right in the middle in Greensburg, Indiana.
I always wondered, how well do the "triangle" cities interact with each other? You have Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. They are all so close to each other.

Do people move between cities often for jobs, etc? Do people travel between cities for concerts, sports, tourism, business?
 

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As far as commuting is concerned, Chicago-Milwaukee isn't even the most interconnected major metro in the Midwest. Even if the Racine MSA merged with the Milwaukee MSA the commuter exchange rate between the Milwaukee MSA and the Chicago MSA would have only been 3.1% in the last census. That number needs to be at least 15% for two metros to form a CSA, and that's only if local opinion supports it. Dayton and Cincinnati on the other hand was at 8.9% and that's under their current MSA definitions. If Clinton County joined the Cincinnati MSA that number would probably jump to over 10% based on the 2000 data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I fully agree with the comments on the intensity of relationships such as Cleveland-Akron and Detroit-Toledo. They go without saying. Even Chicago-Rockford shares some of these attributes.

However, my original question dealt with two truly major cities (Chicago and Milwaukee) which are close by, unquestionably intertwined, and filling in with a mid-region (Gurnee/Kenosha) which is located where it is because of its relatinship between the two.

So ulimately I was thinking along the lines (still rather weak at this point) of the following type of possiblities:

Cincy-Indy
Louisville-Indy
Det-Cleve
Clev-Col
Col-Cincy

or even Clev-Pgh (which is out of the region, I realize)

i think distance would make it hard for any of them to replicate the Chgo-Milw model
 

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CinDayCol is a possibility, if the Big Darby Creek watershed between Springfield and Columbus ever were to be developed in (which is highly unlikely, as of now).

Cincinnati-Indianapolis will never happen. Detroit-Cleveland is highly unlikely, unless Lake Erie starts tearing down the beach-parks and starts popping in Miami condos. Cleveland-Columbus will never happen, unless Mansfield and Delaware start merging (the former is dying, the latter is sprawling west). Cleveland-Youngstown-Pittsburgh is already connected, so that isn't even a question.
 

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Dayton has nearly 850,000 people in its metro, while Toledo has about 650,000. Dayton is larger than Omaha and Albuquerque. Toledo is larger than Wichita or Des Moines. They may not be the biggest cities in the nation, but they're not small towns by any measure.

If you look at it on a relative scale, Milwaukee is about 16% of Chicago's population. In comparison, Toledo is about 15% of Detroit's population, while Dayton is 40% of Cincinnati's population.
 

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BTW, there is technically only about 25 miles of "rural" land between Detroit and Cleveland, with about half of that stretch between Toledo and Port Clinton. Cleveland--Lorian-Elyria--Sandusky--Port Clinton is growing together, while Detroit-Monroe-Toledo is growing together. And inbetween those two "merging" areas you have Oak Harbor (about 5 miles from Port Clinton and about 9 miles from Toledo.)

That doesn't mean Detroit and Cleveland will ever grow together. In fact the only thing the two share is Cedar Point...;)
 

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Yeah, that "rural area" probably will never be built upon due to the different nature preserves and eroding soils of Ottawa County. Granted, I believe that's a good thing, as Lake Erie is rare to have an open spot of land that is "natural."
 

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Dayton has nearly 850,000 people in its metro, while Toledo has about 650,000. Dayton is larger than Omaha and Albuquerque. Toledo is larger than Wichita or Des Moines. They may not be the biggest cities in the nation, but they're not small towns by any measure.

If you look at it on a relative scale, Milwaukee is about 16% of Chicago's population. In comparison, Toledo is about 15% of Detroit's population, while Dayton is 40% of Cincinnati's population.
Thank you. Granted, Dayton and Toledo may not be as household name-ish as Milwaukee or whomever but they are substantial-sized metropolitan areas cursed in a state that has a bizillion cities. Hell, if Akron were in Iowa, it'd be the Baltimore of Iowa or something.
 

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Thank you. Granted, Dayton and Toledo may not be as household name-ish as Milwaukee or whomever but they are substantial-sized metropolitan areas cursed in a state that has a bizillion cities. Hell, if Akron were in Iowa, it'd be the Baltimore of Iowa or something.
That's so true.

Especially in the south! Imagine a city of 850,000 in any of the southeastern states, it'd be assumed it was a major city!
 

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Well, I've talked about this before, it's the "Omaha-syndrome." The largest city in the state thing (or in some cases, the ONLY city in the state). Wichita, Omaha, Des Moines, Louisville, Little Rock, Richmond, Birmingham, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, etc are quite isolated in their respective states (or simply the largest) and since every state has to have some national reputation, they are the city that fronts the state. Had Louisville jumped the Ohio River into Indiana, it'd be Fort Wayne. Had Little Rock crossed the Mighty Mississippi, it'd be KnoxvilleWest. If Omaha took a drive down I-35, it'd be competing with Springfield for Missouri's "third city." So feel blessed (any of you in those states/cities) you are your state's prominant city or join the ranks of Rochester, Dayton, and Grand Rapids.
 

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^^That's a good point. A city like Des Moines would not be as prominent if it were located in a state with three or more major cities, like Texas, California, Florida, or Ohio.
 

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^Or quite honestly, even Indiana. Fort Wayne and South Bend are easily comparable, metropolitan-wise, to Des Moines.
 
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