Urban road conditions in major metropolitan areas are in terrible shape and could deteriorate further as traffic increases and transportation remains underfunded, according to a new report by the TRIP national transportation research group.
The report found that around 32% of the nation’s major urban roads have pavement that is in substandard or poor condition, including interstate highways, freeways and other arterial routes.
Just 28% of roads in major urban areas were rated as being in good condition.
The five urban areas with populations of 500,000 or more listed with poor road conditions were: San Francisco/Oakland, Los Angeles, San Jose, Detroit, and Milwaukee. TRIP found that 71% San Francisco’s urban roads were in poor condition, nearly 11% worse than Los Angeles at number two.
“This important TRIP report highlights the need for federal leadership to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit," said Ed Mortimer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive director of transportation infrastructure. "With both presidential candidates highlighting the importance of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, the time is now to address this critical issue."
TRIP estimates that rough driving over these poorly maintained roads costs drivers nearly $112 billion per year. Vehicle travel growth rates have returned to pre-recession levels and commercial transportation has also grown significantly, according to TRIP, putting the nation’s underfunded infrastructure under even more strain.
Road deterioration translates into increased ownership, repair, fuel, and tire costs, per TRIP, and it can also accelerate depreciation of vehicles.
“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding falling short of the amount needed to make needed improvements, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP executive director.
“Without adequate investment at the local, state and federal levels, our nation’s crumbling pavements will be more than just a nuisance for drivers – they’ll be a roadblock to economic growth and quality of life," he added.
To access the full report, click here.