When it comes to summer road trips, we’re No. 1

A new study has determined Oregon is the best state to take a summer road trip.
Not surprising, but definitely a bone of contention for naysayers from other states.
WalletHub’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips weighed 20 components in three broad categories and ranked the Beaver State No. 1 ahead of  Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, and Ohio. At No. 50 is Connecticut, trailing North Dakota, Delaware, Mississippi, and South Dakota.
Oregon ranks No. 3 for Fun & Scenic Attractions, No. 4 for Road Conditions & Safety, and No. 32 for Driving and Lodging Costs.
Well, who’s to argue about the Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Weird Portland, Autzen Stadium, Hayward Field, incredible state parks and Shakespeare. I don’t know how many of those actually were considered by WalletHub.
I’ve got a pretty good idea about road conditions and safety. Having grown up on the Oregon Coast, I know an average of 35 mph is about as fast as it gets between Memorial Day and Sept. 30. Unless, you’re just begging for a head-on it’s awfully hard to do much damage going 20 mph up or down the coast.
Of course in Portland, automobiles can’t go much faster than 10 mph as they dodge cyclist whizzing by from all directions — never mind the red lights and “Stop” signs. Even on the open roads and freeways, no state mandates slower speeds than Oregon, so the only thing you really have to worry about are tractor-trailers crawling up mountain passes at 15 mph.
Where Oregon ranks below average is driving and lodging costs. In Portland, where most of our visitors spend a few nights, the average stay costs $123.66 (way more than the typical wage earner makes in a day), and that’s before the obligatory transient tax. State Park camping fees are high, especially when you tack on the reservation charge on top of the advertised rate. But in this case, you usually get all you pay for, and sometimes, more. Fuel taxes push Oregon’s prices well above the driver-friendly states.
In the driving and lodging category, WalletHub considered gas prices, toll costs, car repair costs, the price of three-star hotels, amping fees, and the number of lodging units (campgrounds, hostels, condominiums, villas, lodges) per 100,000 residents.
When it came to road conditions, per capita vehicle miles, population Density, driving laws, road quality, bridge quality, fatalities per 100 Million vehicle miles, car Thefts, and violent crime.
Attractions took into account National Park units per 100,000 square miles, number of attractions, nightlife options per 100,000 residents, Scenic Byways, summer weather, and accommodation and food services establishments per 100,000 residents.
In just one component, “Most Scenic Byways” did Oregon rank in the Top 5 or Bottom 5, tying Utah for No. 3.

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    Greg Stiles

    Covering the Southern Oregon business and economy since 2001. Read Full
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