Surprise! National Survey Finds Baltimore, D.C. Are Tough Places to Drive

    It will surprise no one who has tried to learn that Baltimore and Washington, D.C., have been declared two of the toughest American cities to drive in, according to a newly released national study. But the survey still provides some interesting tidbits and context.

    The study, released this week by WalletHub, a national financial services company, rated the top American cities to drive in, from No. 1, Lincoln, Neb., to No. 100, Oakland, Calif. Baltimore ranks 87th on the list, and D.C. is 86th.

    The company convened a team of experts and rated the cities’ driving environments on four broad criteria: cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance (Baltimore was 71st, D.C. was 58th); traffic and infrastructure (Baltimore was 77th, D.C. was 91st); safety (Baltimore was 94th, D.C. was 90th); and access to vehicle maintenance (Baltimore was 63rd, D.C. was 68th).

    On the metric of highest accident likelihood in a city compared to the national average, Baltimore and D.C. were dead last (or first, depending on your perspective) — tied with Boston and Los Angeles. D.C. was No. 5 in highest number of hours spent in traffic congestion per vehicle (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia were tied for first).

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.