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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact: Carolyn Bonifas Kelly 703.801.9212 (cell)
Wednesday, November 14, 2018                                                    Rocky Moretti 202.262.0714 (cell)
Report available at: tripnet.org                                                      TRIP office 202.466.6706

NEW YORK-NEWARK-JERSEY CITY AREA DRIVERS LOSE NEARLY $2,800 PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES - $24.8 BILLION STATEWIDE IN NEW YORK. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER ROAD AND BRIDGE DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION & HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS
Eds.: The statewide report includes regional pavement conditions, bridge conditions, congestion levels, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for the state’s largest urban areas. TRIP has also prepared customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica areas. Info-graphics for each area and statewide can be downloaded here.

New York, New York– Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost each New York-Newark-Jersey City area driver $2,768 per year – a total of $24.8 billion statewide in New York - due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Adequate investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is needed to relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New York, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization.

The TRIP report, “New York Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, more than two-thirds of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) are in poor condition. The report also finds that the New York-Newark-Jersey City area’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. In addition to the statewide report, TRIP has produced customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica areas.

Driving on deficient New York-Newark-Jersey City area roads costs the average driver $2,768 annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The chart below details costs to drivers of driving on deficient roads statewide and in New York’s eight largest urban areas.

The TRIP report finds that 46 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area are in poor condition and another 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $719 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Statewide, driving on rough roads costs New York’s drivers a total of $7 billion each year.

“Today’s TRIP report highlights the poor conditions that New Yorkers across the state face on our roads and bridges every day,” said John Corlett, legislative committee chairman at AAA New York State. “Every year, AAA services more than 200,000 flat tire calls throughout New York – many of which were due to potholes and other hazardous road conditions. This is a symptom of the lack of adequate investment in roads. I look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to fully fund the needs of our road and bridge system, which will enhance safety and help improve the quality of life for the millions of drivers who travel on our roads and bridges every day.”

Traffic congestion in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area is worsening, causing 74 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing the average driver $1,765 each year in lost time and wasted fuel. New York drivers lose a total of $13 billion annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion.

“The Business Council of Westchester, the county’s largest advocacy business membership organization, will continue to stress the importance of investing in infrastructure funding at all levels of government,” said John Ravitz, executive vice president and COO of the Business Council of Westchester. “It is essential that Westchester’s roads, bridges, tunnels and overpasses are safe for the business, tourist and local ridership. Those of us who are charged with creating new economic development for the county need to be able to state clearly that our transportation system is safe and accessible.”

In the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, eight percent (491 of 6,525) bridges are in poor condition, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components and another 65 percent (4,269 of 6,525) are rated in fair condition, indicating some deterioration to major components of the bridge. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. More than half – 52 percent – of New York’s bridges are at least 50 years old.

In the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, on average, 623 people were killed in traffic crashes each year from 2014 to 2016. The financial impact of traffic crashes costs each New York-Newark-Jersey City area driver an average of $284 annually – a total of $4.8 billion statewide in New York. New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.83 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.18. The fatality rate on New York’s non-interstate rural roads is approximately three and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.11 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.60).

The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, mostly by trucks, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $2,768 yearly price tag for New York-Newark-Jersey City motorists - $24.8 billion statewide in New York,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving New York’s drivers time and money.”