TRIP, The Road Information Program, has once again reported on the costs of bad roads, and they are considerable. Where are the worst?
TRIP’s study, “Rough Ride In The City: Metro Areas With the Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Our Roads Smoother,” found that the ten large urban regions (500,000+ population), with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements in poor condition are: San Jose 66%, Los Angeles 65%, San Francisco-Oakland 58%, Kansas City 58%, New Orleans (pre-Katrina) 56%, San Diego 54%, Sacramento 50%, St. Louis 46%, Omaha 46% and New York City 45%. [Link to PDF file.]
In an appendix to the report, I find that TRIP considers 19 percent of Oklahoma City-area roads to be Good, 12 percent Fair, 26 percent Mediocre, and an appalling 43 percent Poor, missing the Top Ten by only a couple of percentage points. According to TRIP, these roads cost the average local motorist $568 per year in depreciation, component wear, tire wear and poorer gas mileage. (The San Jose driver, facing roads even worse, shells out $705; the marginally-less-horrible roads in Tulsa run up a $527 tab.)
A report on the state’s Interstates only, issued earlier this year, bore less bad news: the freeways aren’t nearly as bad as the surface streets. On the other hand, congestion, especially in urban areas, is growing rapidly.