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Wichita: the large city of least congestion

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at 7:55 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at 11:13 p.m.

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In its nearly 144 years of existence, Wichita has boasted many nicknames: Peerless Princess, Cowtown, Broomcorn Capital of the World, Doo-Dah and Air Capital of the World.

Now comes the latest title:

Least Congested Large U.S. City.

In a news release issued Tuesday by www.homeinsurance.com, Wichita received the title based on data that included commute times, traffic delays, student-to-teacher ratios, percentage of single-family homes and population density. The cities ranked had populations between 300,000 and 700,000. Wichita’s population is about 385,000.

“This is great news for current and prospective Wichita residents who crave city life without sacrificing personal space,” Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, online editor of the site, said in an e-mail to The Eagle. She said the blog caters to homeowners across the country and tries to provide unique information to its readers.

“When we promote the city, we highlight the ease of getting around Wichita,” Go Wichita President and CEO Susie Santo said Tuesday. “We’ll add this to our list of accolades to highlight another reason why Wichita is the perfect location to host meetings and conventions.”

The blog called Wichita an “Uptown, Not Cowtown.”

“Even at the most congested times, a 20-minute commute only takes an average of two extra minutes,” the blog said of Wichita. “This former cattle-driving post now represents a true cultural center with a symphony orchestra, grand opera, art galleries, art museum, historical museum, zoo, and multiple popular cultural festivals.”

Omaha finished second, in part because 1.13 million people live within a 50-mile radius of the city but neither its roads nor its classrooms were cluttered, the blog read.

The other top cities include Kansas City, Mo., for its professional sports teams, appreciation of the arts, number of boulevards (second only to Paris), and public fountains; Albuquerque, N.M., for its arts and crafts and proximity to the mountains; and Tulsa, for its number of sculptures and trails and its annual citywide block party day.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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