Vancouver is Canada's worst city to drive in, study claims
Ranked 48th out of 100 cities worldwide, Vancouver is the worst Canadian city to drive in on a list compiled by a German online car parts retailer.
Those behind the study included five Canadian metropolitan areas: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver came in around the halfway point, but ranked significantly worse than the other Canadian cities. Calgary fared best at 10th overall, while Montreal and Toronto were in 13th and 14th places and Ottawa came in 22nd.
The ranking was based on several factors, including congestion, cost of parking, pollution, collisions, road rage, road condition and rate of collisions. More information on how the calculations were made is available on kfzteile24's website.
With all scores in hand, a final ranking was established, and Dusseldorf, Germany came in first. Kolkata, India ranked last.
While Vancouver was in the middle of the pack overall, the city came in 71st when it came to traffic congestion. Congestion level was calculated based on the TomTom Traffic Index, and delays caused by temporary construction work were not taken into account.
Calgary scored well in the congestion category, coming in fourth. Ottawa was 27th, Montreal 31st and Toronto 41st.
Vancouver's former manager of traffic and data management, Steve Brown, said the city's "poor" ranking can be attributed to how the measurements were chosen.
Brown, who now serves as rapid transit manager, said TomTom evaluates congestion by calculating the difference between free-flowing traffic times and peak period times.
Under this system, cities that are always congested could rank higher than areas like Metro Vancouver, where traffic often moves well outside of rush hours.
Brown added that it should be noted Vancouver ranks highest in Canada for walkability (LINK), and that about half of trips in the city are taken by foot, bicycle or transit, not by private vehicle.
"Additionally, we have seen a 32 per cent decrease in distance driven per person since 2007," Brown said in a statement to CTV News.
He added that Vancouver implemented a congestion management system in the spring which includes monitoring trends and using technology to analyze and manage travel time.
While Vancouver ranked poorly in congestion, it was rated as being better than Hong Kong, Beunos Aires, Moscow, Bangkok, Los Angeles and other major cities. The city with the least congestion is Bern, Switzerland.
When the cities are ranked by gas price – a calculation based on prices on Aug. 18, converted to U.S. dollars – Vancouver ranks 31st. The city with the lowest prices is Lagos, Nigeria, according to the study. Seattle came in 7th, the other Canadian cities in 27th to 30th, and Hong Kong in last place.
Vancouver ranked 71st for cost of public parking at about US$15 per hour (vs. US$27.61 per hour in the worst city, New York).
B.C.'s largest city was 29th in terms of public transit alternatives (behind of Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, and slightly ahead of Ottawa), and 32nd for speed between the downtown core and the airport.
All five Canadian cities did well in the air pollution category, with Calgary in the lead, Ottawa in second, Vancouver in fourth, Toronto in 10th and Montreal in 14th. Cities ranked worst for air pollution include Lagos, Karachi, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Kolkata and Manchester.
Vancouver was in the middle of the list when it came to number of traffic-related injuries, 71st worst for road rage and 37th best for road quality.
The company behind the study said it hopes the results will be used to encourage cities to learn from others.
"Poor urban planning or a lack of civil education can make driving the most stressful experience of somebody's day," chief marketing officer Thomas Kloubert said in a statement.
"We hope that this study will act as a catalyst for those cities in the negative end of the ranking to invest in safer, cleaner and more efficient roads, and consider how methods adopted by higher scoring cities can be utilized in their own locations."