Hey, here’s one of those pesky little “best and worst cities” lists that, for a refreshing change of pace, does NOT trash Fresno.
You wouldn’t know it from that jerk who cut you off on Blackstone Avenue just a few hours ago, but the folks at NerdWallet.com, a financial-literacy website, reported that Fresno is one of the 10 best cities for car drivers. Their number-crunching is based on how long motorists are stuck in traffic, how high gas prices are, and how overcrowded a city is. Fresno ranked at Number 10, behind Raleigh, N.C.; Bakersfield; Wichita, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; Tulsa, Okla.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Omaha, Neb.; El Paso, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Even though Fresno has a high population density, car drivers are only delayed by 15 hours per year on their daily commute,” NerdWallet reported on its finance blog over the weekend. “Gas prices hover around the national urban average. Additionally, you can use your car on the weekends to go exploring the nearby national parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
NerdWallet based its score in part on traffic delay figures from Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute. Among the cities in the Top 10, Fresno ranked behind only Bakersfield in estimates of how many hours per year the average driver is jammed up on the roadways. Texas A&M estimated that the average in Bakersfield was 12 hours a year, compared to 15 hours in Fresno.
Predictably, the automobile-clogged freeways of the Bay Area and Southern California resulted in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles being bogged down among the 10 worst cities for drivers. In each of those cities, drivers were estimated to be delayed in traffic jams for 61 hours — more than 1 1/2 work weeks — every year. The worst average delay was reported in Washington, D.C., at 67 hours a year.
When you look at it that way, it kind of makes the daily 5 o’clock clog on Highway 41 around the McKinley Curve look like a piece of cake, doesn’t it?