DOT IN CRISIS: Utah’s failing roads tag citizens $640 a pop each year

As difficult as this figure is, according to TRIP city roads in California cost drivers even more

DOT in Crisis News August 07, 2015
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According to a recently released national TRIP report on urban roads, road conditions in Utah are costing drivers up to $640 more per year than if roads were in decent shape.
In a statement to Utah Public Radio, Abby Albrecht, executive director of the Utah Transportation Coalition, said the TRIP report shows that nearly one-third of urban roadways in the region are in poor condition, citing tire damage from potholes, glass damage from rocks and extra fuel expense from congestion as major problems with a far-reaching economic impact.
“If we don't have good, workable transportation infrastructure, it slows down the economy,” Albrecht said. “It slows the goods and services, it [means] people sitting in commutes longer, and it just adds onto the deficit of our economy.”
Albrecht went on to indicate that a big part of the problem is cities and counties struggling to maintain crumbling infrastructure with limited funding provided through the gas tax via the state and federal governments. However, one upside is Utah lawmakers having passed legislation this year allowing local governments to put a transportation-specific tax increase proposal on the election ballot. This tax increase would amount to only a portion of a percentage point and thus cost the average Utahn about an extra $40 per year; nonetheless, it would provide major public infrastructure improvements.
“It will be dedicated to municipalities transportation needs. So, preservation and maintenance of existing roadways, sidewalks and safety signals, improvements to bus service.”
While Utah is certain in straits, according to the TRIP report bad roads in Los Angeles and San Francisco are costing drivers more than $1,000 per year in extra expenses.

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