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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     Contact: Frank Moretti (202) 262-0714 (cell)
Thursday, July 23, 2015                                                        Carolyn Bonifas Kelly (703) 801-9212 (cell)
Noon EDT Media TeleconferenceDetails Here                              Report available at: www.tripnet.org

                                                  
TRENTON AREA ROADS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS $764 EACH YEAR. AS TRAVEL GROWTH RETURNS TO PRE-RECESSION RATES, ROAD CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO DECLINE FURTHER WITHOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDING AT LOCAL, STATE & FEDERAL LEVELS
Eds.: The TRIP report contains pavement condition data and driver costs for urban areas with a population of 250,000 or greater.

 

Washington, DC – Forty-eight percent of major roads in the Trenton urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $764 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Trenton urban area ranks fourth among mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) in the percentage of roads in poor condition and sixth in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

These findings were released today by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The report, Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding, travel trends and economic development. Pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 250,000 or greater can be found in the report and appendices. The chart below details mid-sized urban areas with the highest vehicle operating costs (VOC) and share of pavements in poor condition.


Rank

Mid-sized Urban Area
(250,000-500,000 population)

Percent

Poor

Rank

Mid-sized Urban Area
(250,000-500,000 population)

VOC Per

Driver

1

Flint, MI

54%

1

Temecula--Murrieta, CA

 $ 857

2

Antioch, CA

52%

2

Flint, MI

 $ 839

3

Santa Rosa, CA

49%

3

Antioch, CA

 $ 831

4

Trenton, NJ

48%

4

Jackson, MS

 $ 818

5

Temecula--Murrieta, CA

47%

5

Santa Rosa, CA

 $ 811

6

Scranton, PA

46%

6

Trenton, NJ

 $ 764

7

Reno, NV

46%

7

Hemet, CA

 $ 758

8

Spokane, WA

44%

8

Reno, NV

 $ 748

9

Jackson, MS

44%

9

Lansing, MI

 $ 733

10

Lansing, MI

39%

10

Scranton, PA

 $ 717

11

Baton Rouge, LA

38%

11

McAllen, TX

 $ 716

12

Shreveport, LA

36%

12

Baton Rouge, LA

 $ 705

13

Madison, WI

36%

13

Spokane, WA

 $ 685

14

Hemet, CA

36%

14

Madison, WI

 $ 685

15

Stockton, CA

34%

15

Oxnard, CA

 $ 669

16

McAllen, TX

33%

16

Victorville--Hesperia--Apple Valley, CA

 $ 664

17

Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley, CA

32%

17

Shreveport, LA

 $ 663

18

Davenport, IA

31%

18

Stockton, CA

 $ 657

19

Syracuse, NY

30%

19

Modesto, CA

 $ 636

20

Modesto, CA

30%

20

Davenport, IA

 $ 591

21

Oxnard, CA

30%

21

Wichita, KS

 $ 591

22

Provo--Orem, UT

30%

22

Provo--Orem, UT

 $ 583

23

Lancaster, PA

27%

23

Ann Arbor, MI

 $ 571

24

Fort Wayne, IN

27%

24

Reading, PA

 $ 555

25

Ann Arbor, MI

26%

25

Corpus Christi, TX

 $ 549

“New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure is deteriorating, and without significant and sustainable long-term investment it will only worsen,” says Tracy Noble, manager of public affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Ignoring the funding problem at both the state and federal levels not only impacts mobility and safety on our roadways, it also impacts the quality of life for every New Jersey resident.”

In 2013 more than one quarter (28 percent) of the nation's major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $516 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $109.3 billion.

"The long-term preservation and maintenance of our national transportation system depends on federal investment," said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). "We can do better than the uncertainty of short-term extensions. America needs Congress to fully fund a multi-year surface transportation bill." 

The federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs.  But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of the current federal surface transportation program, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), which expires on July 31, 2015, threatens the future condition of the nation’s roads and highways.      

"The crumbling streets in Trenton and in cities across the nation are a reflection of Congress' inaction and inability to pass long-term, adequately funded federal transportation legislation. Without additional funding and a long-term bill, our roads will continue to deteriorate, our quality of life will suffer and New Jersey businesses will lose out on economic opportunities," said Phil Beachem, president of the New Jersey Alliance for Action, a non-partisan, non-profit infrastructure advocacy group.

With vehicle travel growth rates returning to pre-recession levels and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, mounting wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways is expected to increase the cost of needed highway repairs. Vehicle travel, which remained largely unchanged from 2008 to 2013, increased by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014 and increased 3.9 percent during the first four months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. And, the amount of large commercial truck travel in the U.S. is expected to increase by 72 percent from 2015 to 2030.         

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding set to expire this month, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director.  “Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by authorizing a long-term, adequately funded federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways.”