Driving While Philadelphian

In Boston they're fast and crazy. In Jerusalem their horns seem wired to their accelerators. In Cairo, well that's the only place in the world where I didn't ever try to drive -- it's those donkey carts.

Driving in Philly? It's an afterthought. You're on the phone, flying down the breakdown lane, you gotta problem with that?

Allstate Corp. has released it's annual, semi-bogus report about the nation's worst drivers, and we're a winner, folks, if you look at the 10 biggest cities. They didn't include Boston, where I learned my bad habits, because Allstate doesn't issue insurance there under its own name. Nervous?

This seemed the right time to tap Rich Shnitzler, a frequent caller, whose background in urban planning (the RISD-schooled antique car buff has done traffic studies in London) leads him to note the city's maddening randomness in areas of governance and practice. On this, the occasion of his daughter's learning to drive, he did a study close to home.

Today's metro column.