TRIP Reports: Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Nevada Drivers A Total Of $3.2 Billion Annually

Trip LogoDeficient, Congested Roadways Cost Nevada Drivers A Total Of $3.2 Billion Annually – As Much As $1,700 Per Motorist. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Nevada motorists a total of $3.2 billion statewide annually – with costs as high as $1,744 per driver in the Las Vegas urban area – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Nevada, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Nevada Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Nevada, 24 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Thirteen percent of Nevada’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 1,300 people were killed in crashes on Nevada’s roads from 2010 to 2014. The state experienced the largest increases in the nation in vehicle miles of travel and population growth between 2000 and 2015, further stressing an already overcrowded and underfunded transportation system.

Driving on deficient roads costs each Las Vegas area driver $1,744 per year, while Reno-Tahoe area motorists lose an average of $1,192 per year. These costs come in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

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The TRIP report finds that 24 percent of Nevada’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 41 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 35 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs Nevada motorists a total of $812 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“The results of the TRIP report reinforce the urgency and need to responsibly invest in our local infrastructure now,” said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown. “Investment in our infrastructure is imperative for our public safety and the mobility of commuters and goods throughout our community.”

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Nevada, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer. TRIP estimates the annual value of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion in Nevada is approximately $1.6 billion per year.

“The importance of developing and maintaining our transportation infrastructure is critical to the successful economic diversification going on in northern Nevada,” said Carson City Mayor Robert L. Crowell.

A total of 13 percent of Nevada’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Two percent of Nevada’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 11 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

Traffic crashes in Nevada claimed the lives of 1,313 people between 2010 and 2014. Nevada’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.08. The fatality rate on Nevada’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly two and a half times higher than the 0.99 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

The efficiency and condition of Nevada’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $144 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Nevada, mostly by truck. Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually to and from Nevada are carried by trucks and another 21 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, Nevada’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”

NEVADA TRANSPORTATION

BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Nevada

 

$3.2 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Nevada motorists a total of $3.2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

$1,744 – Las Vegas

$1,192 – Reno-Tahoe

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Nevada’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Las Vegas urban area driver $1,744 annually, while the average driver in the Reno-Tahoe area loses $1,192 each year.
48 %

1st

Vehicle miles of travel increased 48 percent in Nevada between 2000 and 2015, the largest increase in the nation.
45 %

1st

 

Nevada’s population reached approximately 2.9 million residents in 2015, a 45 percent increase since 2000 and the largest increase in the nation during that time.
46 Hours- Las Vegas

18 Hours – Reno-Tahoe

The average driver in the Las Vegas urban area loses 46 hours annually as a result of being stuck in congestion, while the average Reno-Tahoe area driver loses 18 hours each year.
 

24%

Statewide, 24 percent of Nevada’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Forty one percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 35 percent are in good condition.
34% – Las Vegas

52% – Reno-Tahoe

Thirty-four percent of Las Vegas area major roads and highways and 52 percent of Reno-Tahoe area major roads and highways have pavements rated in poor or mediocre condition.
191 – Las Vegas

37 – Reno-Tahoe

In the Las Vegas urban area, an average of 191 people were killed in traffic crashes over the last three years, while an average of 37 people were killed on Reno-Tahoe area roads in the last three years.
2 1/2 The fatality rate on Nevada’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly two and a half times higher than all other roads in the state (2.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.99).
$144 Billion Annually, $144 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Nevada, mostly by truck.

nv_statewide_trip_infographic_oct_2016

 

 

Executive Summary

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Nevada’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Nevada, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Silver State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on agriculture, tourism, natural resource extraction and manufacturing, the quality of Nevada’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Nevada as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

In December 2015 the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, the funding falls far short of the level needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, and fails to deliver a sustainable, long-term source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

COST TO NEVADA MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Nevada motorists a total of $3.2 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Nevada motorists a total of $812 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost Nevada motorists a total of $804 million each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Nevada drivers a total of $1.6 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the state’s largest urban areas and statewi

 

nv2POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NEVADA

The rate of population and economic growth in Nevada has resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Nevada’s population reached approximately 2.9 million residents in 2015, a 45 percent increase since 2000 and the largest increase in the nation during that time.
  • Nevada had 1.8 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Nevada increased by 48 percent from 2000 to 2015 –from 17.6 billion VMT in 2000 to 26.1 billion VMT in 2015. This was the largest VMT increase in the nation during that time.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Nevada is projected to increase by another 30 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Nevada’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 28 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased by 27 percent during that time.

NEVADA ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 24 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads and highways in Nevada having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Twenty-four percent of Nevada’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 41 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 35 percent are in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of major roads in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in the state’s largest urban areas.

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  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Nevada motorists a total of $812 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

NEVADA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than one in ten locally and state-maintained bridges in Nevada show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Two percent of Nevada’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Eleven percent of Nevada’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in Nevada’s largest urban areas.

 nv4HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN NEVADA

Improving safety features on Nevada’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Traffic crashes impose a significant economic cost in Nevada. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • A total of 1,313 people were killed in Nevada traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014, an average of 263 fatalities per year.
  • Nevada’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 is higher than the national average of 1.08.
  • The fatality rate on Nevada’s non-interstate rural roads in 2014 was nearly two and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.99).
  • In the Las Vegas urban area, an average of 191 people were killed in traffic crashes over the last three years, while an average of 37 people were killed in the Reno-Tahoe area in traffic crashes over the last three years.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of traffic crashes.
  • Traffic crashes in Nevada imposed a total of $2.4 billion in economic costs in 2014. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor (which includes one-third of crashes) imposed $804 million in economic costs in 2014.
  • According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the economic costs of traffic crashes includes work and household productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, legal and court costs, congestion costs and emergency services.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Where appropriate, 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.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

NEVADA TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Nevada, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Nevada is approximately $1.6 billion per year.
  • The average driver in the Las Vegas area loses 46 hours annually as a result of being stuck in congestion. Lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion cost the average Las Vegas driver $984 each year.
  • In the Reno-Tahoe area, the average driver loses 18 hours each year due to congestion. The average Reno-Tahoe motorist loses $383 annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion.
  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN NEVADA

Investment in Nevada’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The recently approved five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NEVADA

The efficiency of Nevada’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $144 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Nevada, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Nevada are carried by trucks and another 21 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.*
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 

 

 

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