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TRIP Reports:Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Average Portland Area Driver More Than $1,000 Annually, A Total Of $1 Billion Statewide

Trip LogoCosts Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

 Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Maine motorists a total of $1 billion statewide annually – $1,035 per driver in the Portland 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 Maine, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Maine Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Maine, 26 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Thirty-four percent of Maine’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 700 people were killed in crashes on Maine’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs each Portland area driver $1,035 per year 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. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in Portland and a statewide total is below.

maine-1The TRIP report finds that 56 percent of major roads in the Portland urban area are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $524 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“Maine’s transportation system is the cornerstone of the state’s economy,” said Paul Bradbury, P.E., Airport Director, Portland International Jetport.  “Every business in Maine depends on it, as do our citizens.  That’s why Question #6, the transportation bond on Maine’s statewide ballot, is so important.  It will make needed investments in our bridges and roads, as well as our airports, marine and rail facilities, and trails systems, while leveraging millions of dollars in federal funds.  This is critical for the safety of the traveling public, and for the many businesses across Maine that depend on our system to ship their products to market.”

Traffic congestion in the Portland area is worsening, causing 14 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing each driver $332 annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

A total of 34 percent of Maine’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Fifteen percent of Maine’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 19 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. In the Portland urban area, 11 percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 25 percent are functionally obsolete.

Traffic crashes in Maine claimed the lives of 737 people between 2010 and 2014. Maine’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.08. But, the fatality rate on Maine’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.32 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly three and a half times higher than the 0.39 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

The efficiency and condition of Maine’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck. Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually to and from Maine are carried by trucks and another 14 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, Maine’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”

MAINE TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

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

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Maine

 

$1 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Maine motorists a total of $1 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

$1,035 – Portland

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the Portland urban area in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Portland driver $1,035 annually.
737

147

A total of 737 people were killed in Maine traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014, an average of 147 fatalities annually.
 

4 %

Vehicle miles of travel on Maine’s roads and highways increased by four percent from the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015.
3.5X The fatality rate on Maine’s rural roads is nearly three and a half times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (1.32 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.39).
 

26%

Statewide, 26 percent of Maine’s major urban roads are in poor condition. Fifty-eight percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 16 percent are in good condition.
$89 Billion Annually, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck.
 

34%

A total of 34 percent of Maine bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Fifteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 19 percent are functionally obsolete.
14 hours-Portland

$332-Portland

 

Congestion is robbing Maine drivers of time and money. The average driver in the Portland urban area loses 14 hours annually to congestion. Lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion costs each Portland driver $332 annually.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

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.

Executive Summaryme_trip_infographics_oct_2016

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Maine’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Maine, 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 Pine Tree 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 with 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 manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and fishing, the quality of Maine’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 Maine 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 MAINE MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Maine motorists a total of $1 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Maine motorists a total of $494 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 Maine motorists a total of $382 million each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Maine motorists a total of $135 million each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the Portland urban area and statewide.

maine-2POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MAINE

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

  • Maine’s population reached approximately 1.3 million residents in 2015.
  • Maine had 1 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles of travel on Maine’s roads and highways increased by four percent from the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015.

MAINE ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 26 percent of major urban roads and highways in Maine 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 Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • 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-six percent of Maine’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 58 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 16 percent are in good condition.
  • In the Portland urban area, 22 percent of major roads are in poor condition and 34 percent are in mediocre condition. Twenty percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 25 percent are in good condition.
  • 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 Maine motorists a total of $494 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

MAINE BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in Maine 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.

  • Fifteen percent of Maine’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.
  • Nineteen percent of Maine’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.
  • In the Portland urban area, 11 percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 25 percent are functionally obsolete.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN MAINE

Improving safety features on Maine’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. 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 737 people were killed in Maine traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014, an average of 147 fatalities per year.
  • Maine’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was lower than the national average of 1.08.
  • The fatality rate on Maine’s non-interstate rural roads in 2014 was nearly three and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (1.32 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.39).
  • In the Portland area, 14 people were killed on average annually in traffic crashes over the last three years.
  • Traffic crashes in Maine imposed a total of $1.1 billion in economic costs in 2014. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $382 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.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • 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 20 years.

MAINE TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Maine, 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 Maine is approximately $135 million per year.
  • In the Portland urban area, the average driver loses $332 annually as a result of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Portland driver loses 14 hours annually stuck in traffic.
  • 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 MAINE

Investment in Maine’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The 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 MAINE

The efficiency of Maine’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, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Maine are carried by trucks and another 14 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).

 

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.

nv-1

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.

nv3

  • 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).

 

 

 

Four Students Take Top Honors in 6th Annual National Video Contest on America’s Transportation Infrastructure

0bfbaaaf-135e-44c9-b056-688a1a82534aHigh school students from Washington state and Massachusetts, an undergraduate at New York University and a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon were all named winners of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) 6th annual “Student Transportation Video Contest.” The selections were announced during the Oct. 4-6 ARTBA National Convention, held in Tucson, Ariz. They will each receive a $500 cash prize.

The association received 30 entries this year in two categories, general transportation and a new safety category. Sponsored by ARTBA’s Research and Education Division (RED), the contest aims to raise awareness about infrastructure issues by challenging students to develop a brief video exploring various topics relating to America’s transportation network. Submission topics ranged from funding the Interstate Highway System, developing public transit, transportation innovation, infrastructure for cyclists, distracted driving, and autonomous vehicles.

The competition was advertised on college scholarship websites, posted on online video contest sites, shared with Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) members and high schools that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). It was also shared on ARTBA’s social media accounts. Submissions were reviewed and winners selected by a panel of ARTBA members.General Transportation Category

Age Group One (Elementary, Middle or High School Students)

Josh Jaffe, Seattle Academy, Seattle, Wash.

Jaffe is an 11th grader at Seattle Academy. His video discusses the need to further develop the city’s public transit system to accommodate a growing population, making suggestions to expand and repair current infrastructure to access more communities.

Age Group Two (Post-Secondary/College/Graduate Level)

Timothy Gersten, New York University, New York City

Gersten, a film and television major at NYU, describes in his video how infrastructure is financed through  the federal gas tax. He mentions how lagging funding leaves roadways and bridges significantly deficient, and suggests further investment to renew, promote sustainability and develop infrastructure plans.

Safety Category

Age Group One (Elementary, Middle or High School Students)

Christopher Pomeroy, Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, Mass.

Pomeroy’s video discusses the need to incorporate more autonomous vehicles on the road to improve safety for all drivers and reduce road accidents. He is an 11th grader at Hopkinton High.

Age Group Two (Post-Secondary/College/Graduate Level)

Abdi Musse, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Musse is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. His video focuses on the need to improve work zone safety conditions to prevent accidents and deaths. It promotes avoiding distracted driving by limiting phone usage and obeying work zone signage.

Established in 1902, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, federal agencies, the White House, news media and the general public

ARTBA Reports: 2016 Primary Results Confirm Gas Tax Increase Vote Not Politically Toxic

29d04b3d-4453-4557-a059-9cf73a6a6df3A new analysis of eight states that passed legislation to increase their state motor fuel taxes in 2015 to pay for important new transportation improvements shows that 98 percent of Republican and Democratic lawmakers who supported the bill won their primary races in 2016.

“These results should dispel any notion that voting to increase the state gas tax is politically toxic,” says American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who conducted the research. “Voters expect lawmakers to put forward solutions to help reduce traffic congestion, improve road safety and help grow the economy. They are also willing to pay for these expanded investments.”

According to the ARTBA Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC) analysis, eight states—Iowa, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Nebraska, Washington, and Michigan—approved a gas tax increase or its equivalent in 2015. Six of these states had a Republican governor and Republican majority legislature at the time the legislation was passed.

For most state lawmakers who voted on a motor fuel tax measure last year, 2016 is the first time they are facing re-election. In the eight states, 231 Democratic state legislators voted in favor of increasing state motor fuel taxes (66 percent of all Democrats in office at the time of the vote). In the 2016 primaries, 125 of these Democrats were up for re-election, with 122 winning their primary race. Just three Democrats who supported a gas tax increase and were up for re-election lost their seat in the primaries. One hundred and thirteen Democratic lawmakers voted against a gas tax increase in 2015, with 39 of those legislators up for re-election in 2016, and one losing their seat in their primary race.

In 2015, 440 Republican state legislators supported successful legislation to increase state gas taxes (65 percent of all Republicans in office at the time of the vote). In the 2016 primaries, 293 of these Republicans ran for re-election, with 287 winning, and only six losing their seat.

The ARTBA-TIAC analysis is available at www.transportationinvestment.org.

Established in 2014, TIAC is a first-of-its kind, dynamic education program and Internet-based information resource designed to help private citizens, legislators, organizations and businesses successfully grow transportation investment at the state and local levels through the legislative and ballot initiative processes.

Voters Feel Nation’s Infrastructure Needs Attention

Baby & GBy:  Greg Sitek

Days are flying by at a record-breaking pace as the presidential candidates race to the finish line in what, in my opinion, is the most vicious campaign since I was first eligible to vote. No, it wasn’t Lincoln vs. Douglas.

There are almost as many issues as there are dollars in our national debt. Among them is our infrastructure. A failing infrastructure is not conducive to growing a strong economy. Both parties recognize this face and have addressed it in campaign rhetoric.

With 90 days left before Election Day, a national poll released recently by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) found that half of registered voters say the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse over the last five years, and a majority of voters said roads and bridges are in “extreme” need of repair.

The findings were part of a new national poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure amid a high-profile election. The poll found that registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure as an issue that should be addressed and believe that the federal government should do more to improve infrastructure across the board.

“Americans across the political spectrum understand the dire state of U.S. infrastructure and believe that the federal government should do more to improve our infrastructure,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Voters recognized that increased federal funding for assets such as roads, bridges, and inland waterways will have a positive impact on the economy, and they are looking to the federal government to repair and modernize.”

The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:

• Nearly half (46 percent) of registered voters believe that the state of the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse in the last five years.

• A significant majority (80 – 90 percent) of registered voters say that roads, bridges and energy grids are in some or extreme need of repairs.

• Half (49 percent) of the surveyed population feel that the federal government is primarily responsible for funding repairs to the nation’s infrastructure.

• Seven out of every 10 registered voters say increasing federal funding for infrastructure will have a positive impact on the economy.

• More than eight out of every ten Americans consider water infrastructure (86 percent), solar powered homes (83 percent) and smart infrastructure (82 percent) as the top three important innovations for the future of infrastructure.

• Voters across the political spectrum think that the federal government should do more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 68 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats sharing this sentiment.

Registered voters also feel that government across the board should be doing more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 76 percent of individuals surveyed wanting more from state governments, 72 percent looking to the federal government to do more and 70 percent expecting more from local governments.

“Both presidential nominees have voiced their strong support for infrastructure investment,” says Ron DeFeo, CEO of Kennametal and chairman of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative. “The specific ideas and proposals they offer over the next 90 days will be critically important, and voters should consider them carefully on Election Day.”

Currently, there are 4.12 million miles of road in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration, including Alaska and Hawaii. The core of the nation’s highway system is the 47,575 miles of Interstate Highways, which comprise just over 1 percent of highway mileage but carry one-quarter of all highway traffic. The Interstates plus another 179,650 miles of major roads comprise the National Highway System, which carries most of the highway freight and traffic in the U.S. Most of the roads in the U.S., 2.94 million miles, are located in rural areas, with the remaining 1.18 million miles located in urban areas. Local governments are responsible for maintaining and improving 3.18 million miles of road or 77.3 percent of the total. State highway agencies are responsible for over 780 thousand miles of road, or 19.0 percent. The federal government is responsible for only 150 thousand miles of road or 3.7 percent, largely roads in national parks, military bases and Indian reservations. Of the 4.07 million miles of road, about 2.68 million miles are paved, which includes most roads in urban areas. However, 1.39 million miles or more than one-third of all road miles in the U.S. are still unpaved gravel or dirt roads. These are largely local roads or minor collectors in rural areas of the country. (Source: Highway Statistics 2013 Table HM-20, HM-10, HM-12, HM-15, VM-202)

You don’t like the way things are going?

Do something about it!

Vote!

Just because you vote don’t think your job is done. Keep track of your representatives in local, state and federal government.

Remember they work for you. You pay their salaries and benefits, and they are well paid. Make them accountable and communicate with them regularly. It is your country.

Additional information is available at: The Atlantic – Donald Trump’s Big-Spending Infrastructure Dream

FORTUNE – Both Republicans and Democrats Want More Infrastructure Spending Now

The Hill – Poll: Dems, GOP agree infrastructure worsening

AEM – www.aem.org

Site-K Construction Zone http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=12782