The Business Council of Westchester yesterday joined with TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization, to announce the results of a new study that shows that the costs of repairing our deteriorating roads would be a lot less than what we are paying now in maintenance, accidents, wasted time and other costs.
“This report shows that we are taking a short-sighted approach,’’ said John Ravitz, Vice President and COO of the Business Council of Westchester. “Adequate investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is badly needed to relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New York. Thanks to TRIP for shining a light on these conditions that are detrimental to our quality of life and our economy. Infrastructure funding has been a top BCW legislative priority over the last four years. Future employers need to know that our roads, bridges, tunnels and overpasses are safe and accessible.”
The report by TRIP showed that New York-Newark-Jersey City area drivers are paying $2,768 per year – a total of $24.8 billion statewide in New York – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.
“New York Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, more than two-thirds of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) are in poor condition. The report also finds that the New York-Newark-Jersey City area’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. In addition to the statewide report, TRIP has produced customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica areas.
The TRIP report finds that 46 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area are in poor condition and another 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $719 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Statewide, driving on rough roads costs New York’s drivers a total of $7 billion each year.
“Today’s TRIP report highlights the poor conditions that New Yorkers across the state face on our roads and bridges every day,” said John Corlett, legislative committee chairman at AAA New York State. “Every year, AAA services more than 200,000 flat tire calls throughout New York – many of which were due to potholes and other hazardous road conditions. This is a symptom of the lack of adequate investment in roads. I look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to fully fund the needs of our road and bridge system, which will enhance safety and help improve the quality of life for the millions of drivers who travel on our roads and bridges every day.”