Oklahoma City and Tulsa are among best drivable cities

Monday, July 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa makes a national top ten list about our roads. It may make you feel a little better about that rush hour commute! Tulsa squeezed in at number 10 as one of the most drivable cities in the United States.

Oklahoma City also made the list. What makes a city like Tulsa so appealing when it comes to traffic? Apparently, there are several factors.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says this is one of those surveys where Tulsa has an advantage over big cities. Our drivers don't spend hours in traffic. According to the 2002 Urban Mobility Report, Tulsa's "rush hour" or the most congested time of day -- lasts for about four hours. That's half as long as cities like Los Angeles or Dallas.

Smooth sailing traffic is what got us on the list of the top ten most drivable cities. Several factors went into this survey. Some things helped us, others held us back. Sperling's Best Places web site came out with the list of most drivable cities. They ranked them based on low gas prices, climate, free-flowing traffic, and smooth driving surfaces.

Poor Oklahoma roads did set the city back. Potholes are a familiar sight for most Tulsa drivers and it bumped the city down a couple of notches on the list. City officials say they're constantly working to improve the roads; it's just a matter of having the money to do the work.

Mark Brown, City of Tulsa traffic engineer: "Roadway maintenance and new infrastructure will be an on-going activity for a long time to come, it'll be an on-going program." Tulsa's most drivable status may come as a surprise for those who remember when Tulsa topped another traffic list, one that was not so positive.

State Farm reported two of the most dangerous intersections in the country were here. The insurance company named 51st and Memorial and 71st and Memorial as hazardous to driving health in 2001. At the time city officials questioned the lists accuracy, saying it had more to do with Tulsa drivers then Tulsa streets.

City officials also say compared to other cities, Tulsa doesn't have a traffic problem. "The people I talk to they tell me we don't have a problem and most of those people have experienced the frustration and congestion in other cities."

Oklahoma City bested us on the list of drivable cities. They were number 6. Bad roads also kept them from scoring higher.