Urban roads deteriorating across NJ, rest of nation
A new, national study of urban roads finds they are deteriorating, costing drivers and businesses more and more each year.
The study by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group, concluded that 28 percent of major, urban roads are substandard.
"The trend we are seeing with urban pavements, which are the most critical and heavily-traveled, (is) continuing to get worse," said Rocky Moretti, TRIP's director of policy and research.
TRIP based its study on Federal Highway Administration data from the year 2013. Moretti said by their estimate, the total cost for driving on rough roads is $109 billion annually, averaging $516 per motorist.
Trenton-area roads came in fourth-worst on the TRIP list, with 48 percent of those roads rated poor. The New York/Newark area came in seventh-worst among larger cities.
Tracy Noble, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said that equates to each motorist who travels through Trenton spending $764 in vehicle operating costs as a result of those bad roads.
"While motorists don't want to pay for the repair of the roads in the form of a gas tax, they are in effect paying for it out of their pocket in these larger sums, because of the deterioration of our roads," Noble said.
According to Noble, New Jersey needs a moderate gas tax hike.
"It has not been raised in so many years," she said. "Our transportation infrastructure is very old, and we need a sustainable solution to correct it, repair it, so that we can move forward with a safe transportation network."
Noble said the state can absorb the tax hike shock if they budget for it.