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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

                                                  
READING AREA ROADS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS MORE THAN $550 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 – Twenty percent of major roads in the Reading urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $555 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Reading urban area ranks 24th among mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) 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 conditions.


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

“In 2013, Pennsylvania’s legislators funded many highway and other transportation projects which have enabled us to start making significant transportation improvements throughout the commonwealth,” said George Wolff, founder of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, a broad-based group of business groups, labor and other transportation users. “However, the progress started by Act 89 will be severely impeded unless Congress passes a multiyear federal transportation bill, similar to that which passed overwhelmingly in Pennsylvania.”

In 2013 twenty-eight 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 nation’s rough roads stress nerves and cost billions in unnecessary vehicle replacement, repair and fuel costs,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA managing director of government relations & traffic safety advocacy. “Full investment in our nation’s transportation system will reduce the financial burden on drivers and provide them with a smoother, safer and more efficient ride."

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 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."

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.

“The deteriorating condition of our nation’s urban roads threatens the health of the nation’s economy, reducing the efficiency of a region’s businesses and employers,” said Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director, Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition. “Attracting jobs and expanding a region’s economy requires a well-maintained, efficient and safe transportation system. Funding needed transportation improvements must be a top priority at the federal, state and local levels and Congress must do its part by authorizing an adequately funded, long-term federal transportation bill."           

“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.”