NY roads cost drivers an extra $1,691 per year

The Transportation Research Group published data that reveals just how costly New York State roadways and bridges are for motorists. The report found that poor roadways cost drivers in New York a total of $24.9 billion per year. The study evaluated major urban regions in the state to get a grasp on how bad conditions were. In our area, both Syracuse and Rochester were a part of the study, but much of the data in the report was state-wide data. In Rochester, the yearly cost to drivers is $1,691 due to poorly maintained roads. For those in Syracuse, the yearly cost to drivers is $1,663. Researchers took into account a number of factors, such as time, congestion and safety to come up with that annual figure. The data also revealed that since the early-90s motorists are driving a significantly greater distance. In fact, the report shows that the increase was 21% since 1991. Similarly, New York’s population has seen an 18% increase as well over the same period. In fact, the report even showed an increase of more than 3% in each of the last four years — revealing how much more traveling New Yorker’s are doing today.It read in part, “A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one third of major urban roads and highways in New York having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.”The report was critical of New York State roadways, too, as it pertains to pavement condition. The report found that just 21% of roadways managed by the state were in “good” condition. The rest were rated as either “fair,” “mediocre,” or in “poor.” That meant 79% of New York’s roads are in some state of disrepair, which puts added cost on drivers in the state.In Syracuse, 53% of roadways at the state-level are considered to be in mediocre or poor condition. In Rochester, 29% of state-level roadways fall into the same categories. The condition of roadways in New York State cost motorists an extra $6.3 billion per year, according to the report. The study also pointed out just how poorly maintained bridges are in the state as well. This is something that FingerLakes1.com has highlighted before, but this latest study reveals that throughout the state 12% of bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” which means there is significant damage to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. These bridges are either weight restricted, or closed to local traffic only.In Rochester and Syracuse this included 57 and 68 bridges respectively, which were classified as “structurally deficient.” Another 315 bridges between Rochester and Syracuse were considered “functionally obsolete,” which is only slightly rated above structurally deficient. It means that they no longer meet current highway design standards.The study also revealed that one-third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are due to roadway features, or as the study points out — roadway conditions. The report read, “Highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.”For those who feel like they’re wasting gas, or wasting time, TRG revealed that wasted fuel costs motorists $889 in Rochester and $530 in Syracuse annually. Time is also wasted in New York, as drivers in-and-around Rochester and Syracuse waste 39 and 22 hours annually. The research found that billions more would need to be invested to even begin putting a dent in this very costly problem. Until then, motorists will be the ones who feel the brunt of the cost on the road. The full-report from the Transportation Research Group can be read here.Let us know what roads in your neighborhood are falling into disrepair by commenting below or sending a photo to [email protected].

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