Michigan Road Facts
Making investments to improve our state’s roads and bridges is sound economic policy. We continue to lose over $3 million each day or over $1 billion annually in our transportation assets. For every dollar invested in maintaining our roads and bridges we save at least six dollars in reconstruction costs. We can not continue to pass down the responsibility to future generations.
Simply put, there is not enough money being generated to support our infrastructure system. Our current need just to maintain the system we have is approximately $1.6 billion more annually and that need continues to increase at an alarming rate of over $100 million per year. If Michigan motorists paid $120 more annually, our roads and bridges could be maintained at a high and safe level.
The average Michigander pays $357 annually in unnecessary repairs to their vehicles due to poor roads. (Source: TRIP April 2012 report) Replacing tires, struts, shocks, etc becomes more frequent as our roads and bridges get worse. By investing a little more in our infrastructure, everyone would see less damage to their vehicles and less need for repairs.
Road conditions also affect the safety of those riding on them (Source: TRIP March 2012 report). It is estimated that one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes are in part due to poor road conditions, and poor roadway design. We can potentially save 1,000 lives over the next 10 years if we improve the condition of our roads and bridges.
According to the report: “Where appropriate, roadway improvements such as providing rumble strips, adding turn lanes, removing or shielding obstacles, adding or improving medians, widening lanes, widening and paving shoulders, improving intersection layout, providing better road markings, and upgrading or installing traffic signals could reduce the severity of serious traffic crashes.”
We are in a crisis situation when it comes to our infrastructure in Michigan and we can not wait any longer to increase our investment towards it. We can see a benefit not just by driving on better, safer roads but also increases in efficiencies in transporting goods, improved economic conditions and increased tourism activity, helping showcase the beautiful resources Michigan has to offer, but we all must invest more.
An article published in The Chicago Tribune: ”States driven toward zero death crash goal,” included the following information:
“A new study by the University of Minnesota evaluating the effectiveness of zero-death programs found that the states that have worked the longest promoting the four “E’s” of safety — enforcement, education, engineering and emergency medical services — have been the most successful at reducing crash fatalities.”
Targeting resources directly on the problem, whether it’s beefed-up police enforcement in specific locations or redesigning roads to slow traffic where accidents are prevalent, has had the biggest effect on reducing fatalities, the researchers found.