Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Miami is Ruder Than New York - You Got a Problem With That?

Finally, a little road talk on Exit 55. According to the Associated Press,

For the second straight year, rude Miami drivers have earned the city the title of worst road rage in a survey released Tuesday.

Miami motorists said they saw other drivers slam on their brakes, run red lights and talk on cell phones, according to AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based automobile membership club offering travel services and roadside assistance.

So how did they come to this conclusion? Again, from the AP (written by Sarah Larimer):

More than 2,500 drivers who regularly commute in 25 major metropolitan areas were asked to rate road rage and rude driving in telephone surveys between January and March. The survey was conducted by Prince Market Research has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

So let's break them down, shall we? Let's start with the Top 10:
1. Miami
2. New York
3. Boston
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C.
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Sacramento, Calif.
9. Philadelphia
10. San Francisco

OK, I can say that I have personally driven in numbers 1,2,3,5,7, and 9. Of course, the East Coast rules here, with five of the top 10 on the right side of the map. Interestingly, I think there's a correlation between rudest drivers and worst rush hours. I always thought Washington's was the worst - by far - with Boston and LA (from what I've heard - never been to LaLa Land) nearby. I have driven in Miami during rush hour and it's pretty brutal, so no shock there. So in short - none of this surprises me, with the exception of Sacramento (what?). Boston drivers are always going to be rude if one of the following situations exists:

a) You have out of state license plates...ESPECIALLY New York plates. You see, the fine folks in The Hub are no doubt angry today that New York beat them out for being the second rudest city. That's what kind of rivalry exists.
b) You refer to the road that forms roughly a half circle around Boston as "I-95." Interstate 95 was meant to go through downtown Boston, but NIMBY'S (love 'em!) killed it, so the route number was eventually moved to the outer ring of the metro area - a road formerly known as route 128. So when you listen to the traffic, they will NOT use "I-95", it will always be "128." They're so inflexible.

Incidentally, Steve Anderson's amazing website has more on 128 here. You can link from that site to Steve's other efforts on New York, Washington, Montreal and Philadelphia - and a lot more. It's one of several road sites that I will recommend to you going forward.

To the next group:

11. Houston
12. Atlanta
13. Detroit
14. Minneapolis-St. Paul
15. Baltimore
16. Tampa, Fla.
17. San Diego
18. Cincinnati
19. Cleveland
20. Denver

This is a group that I'm not as familiar with. Sure I've been to Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Tampa, Cleveland, and Denver, but of that group, I've only really driven in Baltimore, Tampa, and Cleveland. Again, I see the correlation between difficult rush hours and rudeness/road rage.

21. Dallas-Ft. Worth
22. St. Louis
23. Seattle-Tacoma
24. Pittsburgh
25. Portland, Ore.

Come on, Portland? All they do is microbrew beers out there! They're too nice otherwise. I've only been to the 'Burgh in this group, and I thought they were as "East Coast" as anyone else. But hey - all Steelers fans are nice!

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