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Most Drivable Cities

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
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24
OK, one thing wrong here:

All the "Good Drivable" cities are medium sized and all the "Bad Drivable" cities are large.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
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12
You Can't Get There From Here

So, what's new? Most driveable places are generally places that people really don't want to go to; the least driveable are over-committed because everyone's there.

So why have a list that tells us what we already know? Okay, I forgot...young Billy Gates needs fodder to fill up the MSN bandwith....
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
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25
Technical Difficulties

Navigator keeps shuting down every time I try to open the link so, just because I'm curious, could someone post what the ten most and least drivable cities were?
 

seannelson

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
The 10 Most Drivable Cities


1. Corpus Christi, TX
2. Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX
3. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
These south Texas cities share several characteristics that make them great for motorists. All three cities have very low gas prices and a good driving climate with little snow and hail, and few days below freezing. Drivers in Corpus Christi spend only 6 hours per year stuck in traffic, compared with the national average of 62 hours per year. Corpus Christi also has the lowest travel time index (an indication of free-flowing traffic) of any city in the study. In Brownsville drivers spend only 5 hours annually in congested traffic, and only 5% of the freeways are congested during peak periods. Like Corpus Christi and the Brownsville area, Beaumont-Port Arthur has little congestion. It can get hot in these cities though, and they have slightly more wind and ultraviolet radiation than average. Also, Texas' urban roads are rougher than average.


4. Pensacola, FL
5. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL
These two Florida cities score well in every category. The roads are smooth and uncongested, the weather is clear, and the gas prices are low. Both Pensacola and the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area have a low travel time index and little annual delay per peak road traveler.


6. Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City scores well in the mobility category thanks to a low travel time index and little annual delay per peak road traveler. The climate for driving is a bit better than average and gas prices are very low, but Oklahoma's drivers have to put up with bad roads.


7. Birmingham, AL
Birmingham's scores are above average in every drivability category. It has very low gas prices and a good travel time index. The climate is good$#151;little snow, hail, and wind$#151;and the roads are smoother than the national average.


8. El Paso, TX
El Paso has very low gas prices but the roads are rough. Mobility is good too$#151;the travel time index is low and there is little annual delay per peak road traveler.


9. Memphis, TN
Memphis scores well in all the categories$#151;low gas prices, good mobility, mild climate, and smooth roads.


10. Tulsa, OK
Tulsa has very low gas prices, good mobility, and a driving climate that is better than average. Oklahoma's rough urban roads kept Tulsa from ranking higher.


The 10 Least Drivable Cities


1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
2. San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles was very clearly the least drivable city studied. L.A. has the nation's worst mobility$#151;the highest travel time index (1.9), the highest annual delay per peak road traveler (136 hours), and the highest roadway congestion index. San Francisco has the highest gas prices in the nation ($2.20/gallon). Although both cities have rough roads, they have great driving climates.


3. Chicago, IL
Although its gas prices were lower than average, Chicago scores poorly in every other drivability category. The Windy City has rough roads, a poor driving climate, and slightly worse than average mobility.


4. Denver, CO
Denver has a very poor driving climate and rough roads. Traffic congestion is slightly worse than average mobility, but at least Denverians pay less for the extra gas they use when stuck in traffic.


5. Boston, MA
Like many large cities, Beantown suffers from rough roads and slightly worse than average mobility. Low gas prices help offset a generally poor driving climate.


6. Oakland, CA
Oakland has very high gas prices, very rough roads, and a great deal of traffic congestion. Like nearby San Francisco, Oakland's only positive is its great climate.


7. Detroit, MI
The Motor City has very rough roads and a driving climate that is worse than average. Drivers who can put up with those deficits are rewarded with average congestion and low gas prices.


8. New York, NY
Motorists in the Big Apple contend with rough roads and slightly worse than average congestion. The plusses: New York has average gas prices and an average driving climate.


9. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
The Emerald City has worse than average mobility and slightly rougher than average roads. On the other hand, it has a better than average driving climate and average gas prices.


10. Washington, D.C
Traffic congestion and rough roads make D.C. a difficult place to get around. On the positive side, the nation's capital has a better than average driving climate and lower than average gas prices.


Other Notes:


Overall, cities in the Northeast rank poorly, with Philadelphia at #44, followed by Hartford at #53 and New York at #70. Meanwhile, Southern cities enjoy high rankings due to low gas prices, little traffic, short travel times, and fair climate. The most drivable large city is Atlanta, which ranks 20th overall.
San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose have the highest gas prices in the nation.
You'll be exceeding the daily average of 2 1/2 hours spent in the car by a typical American if you live in Washington, D.C., Miami or Seattle, when it comes to traffic congestion and average travel time.
Detroit, Fresno, and Sacramento have the roughest roads.
Keep the AC on when driving in San Bernardino, Austin and San Diego, which take the top spots for warm weather climates.
Bringing up the chilly rear is Anchorage, Rochester and Buffalo, where your car's heater will be on for much of the year.


Content provided by Sperling's Best Places
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
The cities that aren't drivable are that way because they are cities.

Those drivable cities are just wanna-be cities.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
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25
Thanks seannelson.

I have to agree with Huston and Miles, the most drivable cities are smaller ones with flat geography in locations that most people would really care to visit. Based on the data used for this survey, large and older cities start out with the cards stacked against them. Not a good list. Perhaps a list of Best and Worst Cities to Get Around In would be better. This would rank a city based on walkability, traffic density and patterns, commute times, gas prices, accessability of public transit, road conditions, etc... We could start our own subjective Cyburbia list right here.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
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25
WOOHOO #3!

While being #3 is admirable, I think we should strive for excellence! With a lot of hard work and determination the #2 spot is achievable. The only thing San Francisco has on us is gas prices. How hard could it possibly be to get them up $.40? I doubt we'd be able to beat LA though without shutting the CTA and Metra down.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,481
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44
Ah ok

I have driven in downtown Detroit and downtown Chicago more than a few times. I agree it is bad. BUT.... If you have ever tried to drive on Michigan Highway 28 (M-28) between Newberry and Munising, there is this long strait section called the Seney Stretch. To make things worse in the middle of no were and the speed limit is 55. Oh and they enforce it. I have been pulled over more than a few times on that stretch.

You drive for 20 min, and you swear that you just passed that camper 2 miles back.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
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23
i've noticed here, granted it's not often that i drive, that the traffic seems to be much worse about 10-15 miles outside of the city. There are some places in the suburbs i just refuse to go . . . and the only time i'll make a trip out to ikea is after 8pm on a monday or tuesday night. That traffic is just stupid.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
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7,342
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31
This list is crap. You can't compare NYC with Corpus Christi. This list would be more accurate if they compared cities based on population or growth rate. You could have the most drivable small cities, medium cities and large cities. Like Biscuit, I like the idea of having a list that accounts for ALL methods of travel, not just drivability.

By the way, Corpus Christi is not that bad of a place. The water is not as nice as South Padre, but it still has decent beaches and resorts. If the city would put more emphasis on economic development other than petro-chem, then Corpus might become more desirable. Housing prices are low and the seabreeze is nice. Also, Corpus has an interesting history traced back to the old conquistadors of Spain and the Spanish forts/missions.
 

Mud Princess

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Messages
4,896
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27
Well, of course the cities in the northeast rank poorly. It's difficult to keep the roads in good repair when you have frost heaves for a substantial portion of the year. I'd like to see a ranking of the cities with the best potholes... ;)
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
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24
Mud Princess said:
... I'd like to see a ranking of the cities with the best potholes... ;)
The entire state of Miss. You can beat up your car pretty good there. :)
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Re: You Can't Get There From Here

Miles Ignatius said:
So, what's new? Most driveable places are generally places that people really don't want to go to; the least driveable are over-committed because everyone's there.
I think that just about sums it up!
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Oklahoma cities' high drivability makes it that much harder to press for light rail or an enhanced public transportation system. People would rather drive lemons than ride the bus!!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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59
I'm surprised to see Oklahoma City on the list. My car was battered driving through that city not too long ago. The expressways are mostly concrete, only unmaintained, so there's that old-school Pennsylvania-style "thock-thock thock-thock thock-thock" pavement feedback. In Oklahoma, though, it's far more bone-jarring, and the city isn't very attractive.

El Paso is also on the list of most driveable cities. There's a lot of capacity for a city its size, in typical TxDOT style. However, the city has perhaps the nation's worst billboard and sign clutter; while the pavement is smooth, the scenery is awful. There's also traffic mingling from south of the border, and folks on El Paso roads tend to be quite aggressive drivers.

Denver's roads aren't really that rough. There is construction everywhere, but there's always the option of surface streets, with very wide arterials on section and half-section lines. There's no billboard or sign clutter, and as long as you're westbound, the scenery is impressive. Big problems are the proliferation of SUVs, and very aggressive driving.

The source of the study has a very interesting city comparison guide. One of the criteria on the page is a very well-known chain establishment.
 
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