Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Worst Cities for Driving are the Best Cities for Transit

A few days ago Walkscore released their best cities for transit rankings. Atlantic Cities wrote about it here. Here are the ten best:
  1. New York (81)
  2. San Francisco (80)
  3. Boston (74)
  4. Washington, D.C. (69)
  5. Philadelphia (68)
  6. Chicago (65)
  7. Seattle (59)
  8. Miami (57)
  9. Baltimore (57)
  10. Portland (50)
Today Jalopnik (an auto blog) featured a reader's list of the ten worst cities for driving. Link here. Here are the worst cities for driving:

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York City
  3. Miami
  4. Fresno
  5. Boston
  6. New Orleans
  7. Chicago
  8. Hawaii (A place, not a city)
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Austin, TX
The overlap between these lists is not likely a coincidence. Frenso made the worst list due to the highest rate of auto theft in the country, and New Orleans floods a lot. Otherwise, the worst places to own a car are about what you would expect because auto ownership is expensive in these places. I suspect that a more rigorous analysis (to the level of Walkscore, so not crazy rigor) would lead to a near perfect correlation. Raise the cost of driving through tolls, fees, insurance, parking and inconvenience and fewer people will drive. 

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