Tulsa 5th in Nation for High Vehicle Costs Due to Rough Roads –
Drivers Pay $898 Annually
October 23, 2018 – Driving on deteriorated Tulsa roads costs an average motorist $898 annually, the fifth most of any major city. That’s according to a new report evaluating pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population). Additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair include maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear, and accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation. Oklahoma City was sixth at $897.
“Those traveling daily not only put their lives at risk but bear the weight of the problem - with many wasting thousands of dollars each year on rising transportation costs due to crumbling roads and wasted fuel,” said Mark Madeja, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “As citizens we need to realize that we get what we pay for and our roads are a factor of our tax investments. AAA urges our state and city to prioritize transportation infrastructure improvements to ensure safe, efficient and reliable mobility.”
These findings were released last week 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 200,000 or greater can be found in the report and appendices. The charts below detail the top 20 large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest share of pavements on major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in poor condition, and the highest vehicle operating costs.
In 2016 one-third (33 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 driver $599 annually. The nationwide annual cost to motorists of driving on deteriorated roads totals $130 billion.
Road conditions could deteriorate further as the rate of vehicle travel continues to increase and local and state governments find themselves unable to adequately fund road repairs.
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 miles of travel in the U.S. increased by 16 percent from 2000 to 2016 and increased by six percent in just the three years from 2013 to 2016. Travel by large commercial trucks in the U.S. increased by 29 percent from 2000 to 2016 and is anticipated to increase by approximately 56 percent from 2018 to 2045, putting even greater stress on the nation’s roadways.
“The needs of our nation’s infrastructure continue to grow. This report provides clear evidence that deteriorating roads are a strain on motorists and bad for the economy,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Transportation and Infrastructure Ed Mortimer. “It is past time for federal lawmakers to come together to enact a long-term infrastructure modernization plan.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) semi-annual report on the condition, use and funding needs of the nation’s surface transportation program found that the current backlog in needed road and highway rehabilitation is $419.5 billion and that the nation’s current $41 billion annual investment in maintaining the condition of roads and highways should be increased by 33 percent to $61 billion annually to improve the condition of America’s roads and highways.
“Motorists are facing a rough ride in many urban areas because of a lack of adequate funding for road repairs,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Some states and regional governments have begun to address their needs through recent funding increases, but it will also take action by the federal government. Congress can help by fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund with a sustainable source of user-fee based revenue.”