Traffic on a Calgary street. — Image from Twitter/660 News Traffic
LONDON: All surveys are to be taken with a pinch of salt such as this one, which claims Calgary, Alberta, is the world's most pleasant city for vehicle users.
The survey was conducted by European auto parts vendor Mister Auto.
The third-largest Canadian city scored highest in a combination of 15 parameters that included, among others, road quality, traffic quality, number of fatal accidents, and cost of parking and fuel.
However, regular Calgary commuters will dispute the assessment.
While jams in Calgary are not particularly horrendous, the city ranked in ninth spot out of the top 10 most congested Canadian cities in a 2017 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard.
Calgarians spent an average of five per cent of their commute in congestion, or 16 hours in traffic during peak times, reported the Edmonton Journal in a Feb 6, 2018 article.
In contrast, Montreal took top honours as Canada’s most congested city, with drivers spending 50 hours — or 13 per cent of their commute — stuck in traffic, said the daily newspaper.
Back to the Mister Auto survey. According to Mister Auto, Dubai came in second, while two other Canadian cities also placed in the top 10: Ottawa and Vancouver. The highest-scoring European city is in Switzerland while only one US city ranked in the top 10. No Asian cities made it to the top 10.
The world's top 10 cities for drivers (scores)
1. Calgary, Canada (100)
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (97.87)
3. Ottawa, Canada (96.60)
4. Bern, Switzerland (96.23)
5. El Paso, United States (96.01)
6. Vancouver, Canada (95.99)
7. Gothenburg, Sweden (95.66)
8. Düsseldorf, Germany (95.36)
9. Basel, Switzerland (95.28)
10. Dortmund, Germany (95.27)
As for the details, on the level of traffic jams, you are much better off living in El Paso, USA or Malmö, Sweden than you would be in Mumbai, India. Brisbane, Australia, Salvador, Brazil and Stockholm stand out for air quality, which is at its worst in Lagos, Nigeria.
It is also worth noting that four Swiss cities - Bern, Basel, Zurich and Geneva - are at the top of the list for road quality.
With regard to accidents, taking into account the size of their populations, Manchester, England and Stockholm, have the lowest fatality rates. At the other end of the scale, Lagos, Orlando, Florida and Kolkata, India are among the most dangerous cities for drivers.
Finally, Sydney, Australia is an extraordinarily expensive place to park (with an average cost of RM160 for two hours), worse than New York (RM157) and Brisbane (RM126). A litre of petrol is cheapest in Lagos (RM1.65), Dubai (RM2.42) and San Antonio, USA (RM2.61).
The study focused on 100 cities across the globe, which were ranked on the basis of 15 criteria, linked to infrastructure, safety and costs.