Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Contact: Rocky Moretti 202.262.0714 (cell)
Carolyn Bonifas Kelly 703.801.9212 (cell)


Eds.: The TRIP report contains pavement condition data and driver costs for urban areas with a population of 200,000 or greater.

Washington, DC – Driving on deteriorated urban roads costs motorists as much as $1,049 annually, according to a new report that evaluates pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population) and mid-sized (200,000-500,000 population) urban areas and calculates the additional costs passed on to motorists as a result of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by increasing needed repairs, maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear, and accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation.

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 developmentPavement 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 (VOC).

Large, mid-sized, and small urban areas are listed below according to rank:

  Large Urban Areas - 500k+ Poor Share Mid-Sized Urban Areas - 200k-500k Poor Share Large Urban Areas - 500k+ VOC Mid-Sized Urban Areas - 200k-500k VOC
1 San Francisco - Oakland, CA 71% Antioch, CA 57% San Francisco - Oakland, CA $1,049 Jackson, MS $944
2 San Jose, CA 64% Concord, CA 56% San Jose, CA $983 Antioch, CA $942
3 LA - Long Beach - Anaheim, CA 57% Madison, WI 49% Milwaukee, WI $944 Concord, CA $923
4 Milwaukee, WI 54% Oxnard, CA 48% LA - Long Beach - Anaheim, CA $921 Madison, WI $910
5 Honolulu, HI 54% Round Lake Beach - McHenry - Grayslake, IL-WI 44% Tulsa, OK $898 Laredo, TX $858
6 Akron, OH 49% Jackson, MS 44% Oklahoma City, OK $897 Appleton, WI $855
7 Cleveland, OH 49% Santa Rosa, CA 43% Cleveland, OH $887 Oxnard, CA $852
8 New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT 46% Green Bay, WI 43% Honolulu, HI $851 Lubbock, TX $801
9 Providence, RI-MA 46% Stockton, CA 43% Akron, OH $837 Green Bay, WI $795
10 Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD 43% Victorville-Hesperia, CA 42% Riverside-San Bernardino, CA $795 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO $782
11 Seattle, WA 41% Appleton, WI 41% El Paso, TX-NM $788 Santa Clarita, CA $780
12 Sacramento, CA 41% Santa Clarita, CA 41% Baton Rouge, LA $755 Santa Rosa, CA $776
13 Riverside - San Bernardino, CA 40% Laredo, TX 40% Fresno, CA $755 Little Rock, AR $771
14 Memphis, TN - MS - AR 40% Lafayette, LA 40% Sacramento, CA $754 Victorville-Hesperia, CA $768
15 Bridgeport-Stamford, CT-NY 40% Lubbock, TX 39% Memphis, TN - MS - AR $746 Thousand Oaks, CA $765
16 Fresno, CA 40% Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 38% Denver-Aurora, CO $739 Lafayette, LA $765
17 Denver-Aurora, CO 40% Thousand Oaks, CA 38% Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD $732 Stockton, CA $743
18 Baton Rouge, LA 38% Canton, OH 38% Detroit, MI $732 Shreveport, LA $727
19 Colorado Springs, CO 37% Little Rock, AR 38% Bridgeport-Stamford, CT-NY $730 South Bend, IN-MI $720
20 Oklahoma City, OK 37% Modesto, CA 37% Providence, RI-MA $724 Fort Wayne, IN $719

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.

“Drivers are paying a hefty price for our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges,” said Kathleen Bower, AAA senior vice president of public affairs and international relations. “Those traveling daily through urban cities bear the weight of the problem – with many wasting thousands of dollars each year on rising transportation costs due to pot holes and wasted fuel. AAA urges Congress and the current administration to prioritize transportation infrastructure improvements to ensure safe, efficient and reliable mobility across the United States.”

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.”