In a big city, you’re lucky if you can find a parking spot, let alone a pretty road. It’s not easy, but these ten urban centers have got it figured out.
10.) San Diego, California
The southern California city of San Diego isn’t only an incredible place to be, it’s a decent place to drive as reader Grand Moff Talkin’ explains.
Perfect driving city. Beach drives, desert drives, hilly drives. San Diego has it all. It has some of the best streets to cruise on. Sunset Cliffs Blvd, the Silver Strand, El Cajon Blvd, Sixth Avenue.
SD also has plenty of freeways. The 5 is backed up? Take the 805 or the 163 or even the 15.
Even if the freeways are clogged, there are plenty of alternate routes on sidestreets, like Genesse, Kearny Villa or Linda Vista to get north-south, or Nimitz and El Cajon Blvd to get East-West. Also, a lot of these side streets have 40-50 mph speed limits.
9.) Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Maybe its low population is to be thanked or maybe Milwaukeeans just know when the right time to drive. Who knows, it’s just a good place to drive. Even Forbes agrees. Reader Miss Mercedes has the low-down.
For whatever reason, downtown traffic is usually non-existent, so driving is mostly stress free. And Milwaukee’s streets aren’t nearly as tyre-homicidal as Chicago’s.
The downside of course, is that being in Milwaukee means you have to be in Wisconsin.
8.) Taipei, Taiwan
Thanks to an impressively popular public transportation system, Taipei’s roads are becoming more and more user friendly to private motorists. Reader MaWeiTao can share some info.
Traffic is still a problem, but it’s much better than it used to be with the massive expansion of the subway system. Plus, numerous elevated roadways cut through the city making for an awesome experience. The best part, however, is that it doesn’t take more than 20 or 30 minutes to be up on the mountain roads.
Just remember to look out for idiots overtaking on blind turns.
7.) Ottawa, Canada
Ottawa’s set of scenic drives and parkways give the Canadian capital city an advantage on top of most other North American cities. In most urban areas, you’re lucky if you even have a bypass road to get through or around the city, but in Ottawa, these parkways make driving a treat.
Just watch out for those Mounties.
6.) Pyongyang, North Korea
The roads of Pyongyang might not be completely empty, but close enough. As long as you can figure out the whole lack of fuel issue and try your best to stick to the strict speed limits, you should be good. Reader J-Tenno knows what’s good.
Empty streets that seem to have relatively good road surface, almost no pedestrians and almost no other cars to speak of.
What to worry about:
- Some unfortunate pedestrian walking on the street - but who cares, he will probably be executed.
- Maybe a police officer - but it ain’t nothing a couple thousand wons wouldn’t fix.
- Kim Jong Un’s furious gaze.
Good luck getting there, though. Or getting out.
5.) Amman, Jordan
Interesting how a city like Amman that is built off of ancient infrastructure and layouts can be one of the most preferred highly-populated areas to drive. Reader northbx can explain.
It’s built on seven hills. Insane old city center with tiny twisty streets literally dating to the Roman Empire, main arteries interrupted by traffic circles in the nearer new neighborhoods, wide West Coast-style arterial roads further out, and interstate-grade highways to get you out of town altogether.
Driving in town is like driving in New York City: you make your own lanes and your own chances. The traffic lights flash green before turning to red, and then you take off to red-yellow-green, drag strip style. And if you want to try your hand at hairpin turns and high speeds, head down to the Kings Highway and the Dead Sea.
4.) Ordos, China
Ordos, China might resemble a city to the outside world, but spend a little time there and you might notice something missing. Like people. Reader As Du Volant can give some detail.
The Kangbashi New Area (often referred to as just Ordos, though it’s technically a part of Ordos) in China.
It’s a huge city that was never more than sparsely inhabited since it was built. Miles upon miles of wide, empty highways for your driving pleasure.
3.) Nice, France
If you thought the Lake Michigan waterfront was nice, Nice, France will blow your mind. Take a relaxed, effortless drive down a coastal Mediterranean road and bask in the beauty that is southern France. Or head just out of the city to some of the most famous coastal mountainside roads in the world. Your call. This is what reader 472CID had to say.
Nice France, it’s been in multiple video games (Driver 3, Forza Horizon 2), gorgious scenery, twisty coastal roads, proximity to Alps, Monaco, etc.
2.) Naypyidaw, Burma
Their highways may be large, but Naypyidaw sure doesn’t have a big enough population to fill them up. I guess it’s always good to be safe than sorry. And hey! More room for the rest of us.
1.) Prague, Czech Republic
Not only is Prague a beautiful city for sights, it’s also a surprisingly welcoming place to motorists. Reader SKHRVC can spell it all out.
The reasons are simple: Traffic jams are not so bad, the only rush hour is in the morning and you can easily avoid it. The police is more than meek, they don’t mind some small shenanigans and hooning.
In the city centre, you can hear Ferraris and Porsches hitting redline regularly. On the city beltway, you can seriously floor it, especially on the weekend nights there’s nobody except you. Your little European Wangan.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Campus France via Flickr