I heard a joke years back: Chicago may be corrupt but at least it’s clean while Philadelphia is both corrupt and dirty. On a new list of America’s dirtiest cities, Chicago isn’t in the top 10:
While such sentiments don’t appear in tourist brochures, that glorious grit has landed Baltimore in the Top 10 dirtiest cities, as chosen by Travel + Leisure readers in the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey. Of course, visitors gauge “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water.
This year’s American State Litter Scorecard, published by advocacy group the American Society for Public Administration, put both Nevada and Louisiana in the bottom five—echoing the assessment of T+L readers who ranked Las Vegas and New Orleans among America’s dirtiest cities.
The top 10 dirtiest cities according to Travel + Leisure readers, starting with the dirtiest: New Orleans, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York City, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, and Houston.
The top 10 dirtiest states according to the “2011 American State Litter Scorecard,” starting with the dirtiest: Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Montana. The best states: Washington, California, Iowa, Maine, and Connecticut. I like the conclusion on the slideshow: “Scorecard not definitive: Contributing inquiry into poorly probed matter.” Somebody should study the issue…
Having been to many of these places, I have always thought that Chicago’s tourist area, including the Loop and River North, was quite clean and attractive, as far as cities go.