Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Report Says States Let Urban Roads Go to Pot(holes)

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Report Says States Let Urban Roads Go to Pot(holes)

Article excerpt

"This report clearly shows that the states aren't taking care of the real needs of our nation's cities and suburbs when it comes to highway spending." With these words Mark Schwartz, president of NLC and a city council member from Oklahoma City, Okla., represented NLC in releasing a report showing that our nation's urban highways are crumbling while states are diverting money to build new roads.

"We realize that there are political pressures at work here -- it's hard to cut a ribbon over a filled pothole," Schwartz said "However, sound fiscal policy dictates that we've got to take care of the maintenance needs we have before spending billions on new construction."

The most heavily traveled roads in America are potholed, cracked and crumbling while states are building new roads, a practice that accelerates road decay, increases the price to fix roads and costs American drivers billions annually in car repairs, according to a new study released by the Surface Transportation Policy Project and the Environmental Working Group.

The report found that the average U.S. driver will travel the equivalent of the distance between New York and St. Louis every year on urban highways in poor or mediocre condition and spend $.8 billions annually repairing damage to their cars caused by these roads. By comparison, state highway departments spent four times less -- $1.2 billion per year -- fixing these same roads.

The researchers created a pothole index to rank road conditions based on a comparison between amounts states are spending to repair urban high-ways in poor or mediocre condition and actual condition of the roads. …

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