Shocking: Study From Guys Who Build Roads Says Texas Must Build More Roads

Categories: Transportation

Thumbnail image for pothole.jpg
A few too many of these on Dallas streets.
Bitching about how terrible the roads are in Dallas is a time-honored tradition. It's also easy. Quantifying just how terrible they are? That's more difficult. Luckily for you, TRIP, a D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to transportation research, just released its annual "Future Mobility in Texas" report.

First, the bad news. Bad roads cost Texans $23.2 billion per year through wrecks, maintenance costs, tire wear, increased gas consumption, and wasted time. In Dallas, the per-driver cost breaks down to $1,543.

Some of that cost comes from the 312 fatal traffic accidents in DFW last year, some from the fact that 47 percent of roads in Dallas are in poor or mediocre condition, and some simply because the roads don't have the capacity to handle current traffic levels.

Things aren't getting any better, either. Bond money is running out, and funding for road construction and maintenance in the state is about to be cut in half, to $2.6 billion per year, despite a needs assessment by the Texas Transportation Institute that found that $9.9 billion is needed. The need will only continue to grow as the state's economy and population continues to grow.

Now, the good news. The cost of driving in Dallas is actually down from where it was two years ago, and a driver here is better off than his counterpart in Houston, who spends $1,891. Plus, our roads aren't nearly as poor as San Antonio, where 67 percent are in serious need of repair, and traffic fatalities are down considerably from levels five years ago.

The other bit of good news is that this is one problem that can be fixed by pouring money into transportation infrastructure. (What solution would you expect from a nonprofit whose board of directors is made up almost entirely of representatives of the road construction industry? Increased investment in public transit?). If the investment doesn't happen, TRIP predicts dire consequences for cars and the people who drive them.

The catch, of course, is that there has to be money to throw around and the political will to do so. Which is about as likely as, well, the road construction industry advocating for public transit.

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15 comments
TSTS
TSTS

Love the dry headline.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Meanwhile if our federal government begins to engage in a series of partial defaults, issuing script (like California) because it is unable to sell its debt on the velocity it now must maintain, and begin a program of non-reimbursement to the states (like Obamacare has done with Medicaid) in Education, highways, social services, FDA, Agriculture, and many others, the states will crater.

 

In effect, it is quite within the realm of possibilities that beginning in 2013 the federal government will de facto secede from the states by cinching back on matching funds and other federal-mandated programs the states are required to administer.  Highways represent a big chunk of trickle-down monies from Washington D.C.  The Leviathan is running out of other people's money.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

 @downtownworker 

 

If I have to use a driverless car, I want a sleeper model. 2 bedroom, media room, gourmet kitchen and back porch.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @TheCredibleHulk "Chi semina vento raccoglie tempesta." Italian Proverb "He that sows the wind reaps the whirlwind."

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @claytonauger The default and de facto secession is already in motion.  Only in your Liberal dreams, Mr. Auger, can reality be altered.

 

I suggest blotter acid.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @TheCredibleHulk That's why I buy a monthly pass to the State Fair.

 

Yea though I may have a hangover, it won't be today.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @holmantx My Sicilian born grandfather had a better proverb: If you don't start in the morning, you can't drink all day.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @TBonePicker  @claytonauger Like Obamacare, this outrageous government spending way beyond what we collect in taxation, will eventually collapse under its own weight.  Or as a surgeon once told me, “all bleeding eventually stops.”

MStreetMephistos
MStreetMephistos

 @holmantx  @claytonauger

Americans had no idea that conservative rednecks switched from a steady diet of Faux News, Pabst Blue Ribbon and crystal meth to LSD!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 Not tax cuts but spending cuts.

 

A horrifying prospect in deed  CONCEPT!: Pile all the money you can possibly collect in taxation, then cap spending to that amount.

 

it's called a budget.

JFPO
JFPO

@holmantx @claytonauger Yes, liberal dreams are the cause of all our problems. The obvious solution is more tax cuts. Vote Republican!

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