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DC: The Ninth Worst Place to Own a Car?

by Borderstan.com May 8, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,006 2 Comments


At least there are eight other worse places in the United States than DC to own a car. (Luis Gomez Photos)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

A survey of Jalopnik readers rated DC as the ninth worst place to own a car, based on traffic, “confusing roads’ and cab drivers that ‘operate on a completely different plane of existence.” BTW, the motto of Jalopnik’s website is “Drive Free or Die.” A little take-off from the New Hampshire motto?

As DCist notes, the traffic clearly qualifies the city for the top 10 list. The cab drivers (not all, some are lovely drivers) seem content to meander through the city at their own pace.

But confusing roads? The entire city is laid out on a grid! Some cities with bigger problems based on the survey include Boston, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco. Here’s the full list.

Parking your car in Borderstan is not as easy as it used to be either, with proposals for resident-friendly regulations being under consideration in the Dupont-Logan area. And as for car break-ins — smash-and-grabs as we locals call them — let’s not even go there.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, Jalopnik also listed the best place in America to own a car: Colorado.

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  • Kori

    I think navigation is the easiest part of driving in DC, and I have zero sense of direction. The only place I really get confused is Rock Creek Park, which I avoid all together unless I’m actually going to the park. I never know when roads are opened or closed, or one way, or two way.

  • M

    Navigation around town can be tricky, especially for the uninitiated (tourists and new arrivals). For example, one-way streets that become one-way going the other way (O & 14th), one-way at rush hour streets (17th, 18th, Rock Creek), lanes that change direction at rush hour (Connecticut), the way the streets shift at squares (like NY and Mass near the Convention Center), and many places where you just have to know what lane to be in because NOBODY will let you in if you find yourself in the wrong lane. And just remember the first few times YOU drove through DuPont Circle. The fact that drivers are unforgiving, rude, and aggressive does not help the situation.

    The article is SO right about the cabs. Basically, anything goes for them. I was in B’mer a few years ago and noticed that the cabs are prohibited from making U turns. We REALLY need that law in DC. I also have seen cities in Europe where the cabs can only pick up fares at a cabstand (instead of in the middle of intersections like they do in DC). Sounds like a great idea to me!


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