Brilliant Independent Study ranks New Orleans #1!!
Shell Oil recently commissioned an independent study to find “Autopias,” evaluating the 50 largest metro areas in the country on the basis of — are you sitting down? — “where cars would most like to live if they had their way.” Basically, if cars could talk, they’d tell us where they want to live.
Well, Phoenix was No. 4, Atlanta No. 3, St. Louis No. 2 and — pop a Valium — New Orleans was numero uno, at the top of the list.
What I’m hearing is: “Hi! I’m a car. I want to spend my life on New Orleans streets.”
Somebody call the Funny Farm.
This is another direct quote: “The Shell study showed that some cities clearly have an edge in how vehicle-friendly they are, and New Orleans topped the list, thanks to the time and effort local drivers invest in caring for their vehicles.”
Well, if you live here, it’s not like you have a choice; you have to take care of your car. With so many streets with potholes designated as historic landmarks, potholes that have devoured small children, dogs and bicycles, you visit a front-end alignment mechanic about as often as you pass by your grandma’s house.
Have you had the pleasure of attempting to negotiate, in Algiers, a one-block stretch of Woodland Avenue between Tullis and Gen. DeGaulle that looks as though seismic activity has resulted in a jumble of upended tectonic plates?
And then there’s the 6000 block of Gen. Diaz in Lakeview where you can’t go faster than 5 mph unless you want to visit an oral surgeon.
Don’t forget Calhoun Street between Claiborne and Fontainebleau in Uptown New Orleans. It makes some of the roadways in the funkiest towns in interior Mexico look like drag strips.
[Since this is my neighborhood, I’ll just add that the same stretch of State Street is even worse.]
I repeat: New Orleans’ top ranking in the survey was based in part on its No. 1 ranking in the quality of fuel and motor oil category and the fact that LOCAL RESIDENTS SPEND MORE ON CAR CARE THAN RESIDENTS IN MOST OTHER AREAS.”