We’re #46! (New York’s Highways, That Is)
Nothing to be proud of. Although moving up one notch from last year, New York’s state highway system ranked 45th in the nation, according to the 20th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems of Reason Foundation, an organization focused on policy research. The highways’ infrastructure is not impressive particularly when it comes to bridges, narrow lanes and the condition of both urban and rural roads. But there is good news when it comes to motor vehicle and highway safety: New York’s fatality rate was the 7th best in the nation.
That the overall score is so low points to the tremendous deficiencies in the physical condition of the roads that exist. The infrastructure is so poor notwithstanding that New York spent 2.6 times more on highway repairs than the national average per mile.
New York has the 16th largest state-run highway system in the nation.
The study evaluates eleven categories of roadway performance: Capital- Bridge Disbursements per Mile, Maintenance Disbursements per Mile; Administrative Disbursements per Mile; Total Disbursement per Mile; Rural Interstate Percent Poor Condition; Rural Other Principal Arterial Percent Poor; Urban Interstate Percent Poor; Urban Interstate Percent Congested; Rural Arterial Percent Narrow Lanes; Percent of Deficient Bridges.
Reason Foundation’s report tracks the performance of state-owned highway systems of the United States from 1984 to 2009. The study is based on spending and performance data submitted by the state highway agencies to the federal government. Other organizations evaluate the safety of more local roads, such as the safety of roads in the New York metropolitan area.
New York finds itself in unflattering company in some measures:
· Almost two-thirds of the poor-condition rural interstate mileage is in just five states: California, Alaska, Minnesota, New York and Colorado.
· Over half (52.7 percent) of the poor-condition urban interstate mileage is in just five states: California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Texas.