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Toledo in 38th place of 100 driveable cities

Other state municipalities fare worse

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    Toledo did poorly in car-road safety and access to vehicle maintenance. The city did well in traffic and infrastructure.

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Toledo might not be the best place to drive, but it’s far from the worst. At least, that’s the conclusion of WalletHub’s 2017 report on the best and worst U.S. cities for drivers.

The report ranked Toledo 38th overall out of 100 major cities in the nation.

This year’s report compares a sample of the 100 most populated U.S. municipalities across four categories: cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance; traffic and infrastructure; safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance. Analysts evaluated category rankings based on 25 weighted metrics, the average of which determined each city’s overall score.

The report declared Corpus Christi as the best U.S. city to drive in and San Francisco as the worst.

Toledo rated poorly in two of the four categories. It ranked 74th in car and road safety and 81st in the per-capita number of auto-repair shops, car washes, and gas stations. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said Toledo has the 10th lowest number of gas stations per capita among the 100 cities.

Toledo did better in the traffic and infrastructure category, ranking 43rd in road quality, commute time, and precipitation rates.

“As a region we need more money for transportation and infrastructure,” said David Gedeon, vice president of transportation at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. “By many metrics, we’re unable to make the upgrades that we need to the infrastructure. The fact that we don’t have the money we really need to to improve roadways appears to have a large bearing on our ranking in the report.”

Mr. Gedeon noted poor roadway conditions also cause safety problems.

Though he says TMACOG has been “aggressive” in trying to get funding, “there’s only so much money available.” Potential revenue-generating measures such as a statewide gasoline tax have not drawn much support.

Toledo’s best category ranking was 13th in cost of vehicle ownership and maintenance, which is based on factors such as automobile and auto-maintenance costs, average gas prices, insurance premiums, and parking rates. Toledo scored high because of its relatively low gas prices, which was averaging $2.12 a gallon for regular gas when the survey was taken, Ms. Gonzales said.

Although Toledo rated only sightly above average overall, it outranked other major Ohio cities, including Columbus (ranked No. 43), Cincinnati (No. 51), and Cleveland (No. 79). Dayton was not included in the report.

“Hopefully this study will help people relocating to some of these cities think about what driving, or having a car in one of them, is worth,” said Ms. Gonzales. “By looking at this data, city officials might be able to better gauge what transportation issues need prioritization.”

To compute the rankings, WalletHub used data from several sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Automobile Association, and Allstate Insurance.

Contact Ahmed Elbenni at aelbenni@theblade.com or 419-724-6194.

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