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March 23rd, 2009

Worst Cities to Drive In

I’m not exactly an expert on the matter, but I have driven in a few different cities. Portland’s easy to get around and though Philadelphia’s a little tricky, it’s not too bad. While I doubt I’ll ever attempt at driving in New York, it seems like it would be stressful, but not too bad since the grid system makes decent sense. I remember my dad driving in Boston when I was a kid and getting frustrated at how every street he needed to go down was One Way in the oppposite direction.

All that said, I think the most confusing city to get around in is Washington, DC. And I say that as someone that’s lived in the area for over ten years (though I’ve only driven in it maybe a dozen times). The layout of the city makes very little sense and I’ve never seen so many changes in traffic patterns as in the District. Driving in the nation’s capital is why in-car GPS was invented, I’m convinced. Dennis Regan’s conclusion that L’Enfant designed DC just to mess with the stupid Americans strikes me as very plausible.

Your thoughts?

Posted in Cars, Everyday Life

Dave Walls March 25, 2009, 2:47 pm

Having just done two business trips to DC in two weeks, I completely agree. Chicago has worse traffic (IMHO), but no city is as complicated to get around in than DC. If it wasn’t for my GPS, I would have gone nuts.

Remember, this is coming from a lifelong East Coast-er. Someone who has been to DC tons of times. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for a newbie.

Thank GOD I took the train the second time around, and used the Metro. It felt like a vacation.

Viren April 3, 2009, 8:32 pm

Oh come on! That’s because you only ever travel in the tourist areas. Most of DC is in a simple grid — except the state avenues which are diagonals. Just about all the traffic craziness is around the Mall and on Rock Creek Parkway. So, stay away from the touristy areas 🙂

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