Who designed this road? It’s a question many of us have asked as we sat in traffic on a road that always seems to be overcrowded. Some roads seem like more potholes than road. Others have spots that are notorious for being the site of car crashes. The design and maintenance of our roads have a substantial impact on drivers. According to a recent report by TRIP, a nonprofit organization focusing on surface transportation issues, New Jersey drivers lose $2,000 per year to substandard roads and bridges.
The report entitled, “New Jersey Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility” considers costs associated with traffic accidents, traffic delays caused by congestion and vehicle operating costs. The traffic crashes in included in the cost are limited to those where roadway features are considered a contributing factor. The statewide total of these costs was $11.8 billion.
Investing in infrastructure such as road maintenance and bridge repair is a necessary component of safety. When considering ways to reduce traffic accidents and save lives, it is important to remember that road design can make as much difference as driver training. Even the safest driver can struggle to avoid an accident when a pothole causes a tire to blowout. Congestion on New Jersey roads is a problem that will get worse before it gets better. The investment must be made before the problem grows out of control.
The TRIP report called for increased funding for surface transportation improvement. It is a call that will not likely win many supporters. Every New Jersey driver pays some price for the troubling state of our roads. Some pay the ultimate price. It’s time something was done about it.
Source: Construction Equipment Guide, “Deficient Roadways Cost New Jersey Drivers Billions,” 11 February 2015