New report examines the fiscal implications of chronic underinvestment in road repair

Repair Priorities

State departments of transportation (DOTs) are spending more money building new roads than maintaining the ones they have—despite the fact that roads are crumbling, financial liabilities are mounting and conditions are not improving for America’s drivers.

$45.2 billion
The amount states would need to spend to bring roads in poor condition into a state of good repair while also maintaining their existing systems.

Those are the findings of Repair Priorities 2014: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads, a new report out today from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense. The report examines road conditions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, how much states currently invest in road repair and how much they would need to spend to adequately maintain America’s roads.

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Making the most of limited transportation dollars: WYDOT does it right

State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) across the country face tightening budgets, and one DOT recently stepped up to make the most of the funds it has.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has positioned itself responsibly for the future. On November 16, the agency announced it will stop approving highway expansion projects and will focus resources toward repair of the state’s existing road system. This announcement comes just months after the publication of Repair Priorities, a report by Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, which made recommendations along these lines.

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Smart growth news – July 18, 2011

Carmageddon: Public transit ridership up, officials say
Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2011
Ridership on at least a few Metrolink lines has increased today compared to a normal summer Saturday afternoon, spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt said. Coffelt said that last Saturday there were 127 riders on the first train from Oceanside to Union Station and that today there were 257 riders. In the opposite direction, there were 102 riders from Union Station to Oceanside last week and there were 154 today.

Planner: Foot traffic key to smarter, healthier towns
Burlington Free Press (Vt.), July 17, 2011
What’s been the most significant development in transportation for the 21st century? The Segway? How about electric-assisted bicycles? Levitating trains? Renowned British Columbian author and planner Todd Litman nixed those candidates before a stymied audience last week at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

The State of Metropolitan America: Suburbs and the 2010 Census
Brookings Institution, July 14, 2011
The research that my colleagues at the Brookings Metro Program have conducted with respect to the 2010 census results thus far has focused on three of these subject areas: population, race and ethnicity, and age. In each of these areas, amid dynamic national demographic shifts, we see continued or increasing similarities between cities and suburbs.

More Roads May Pave The Way To More Traffic
National Public Radio, July 9, 2011
For decades, urban areas across the country have been adding lanes and building roads to fight congestion, but a recent study by University of Toronto researchers finds that widening and building more roads actually creates more traffic.

Lower Manhattan poised to be vibrant community
Crain’s New York Business, July 17, 2011
Missing the city’s energy and the creative types who made up their social circle, the family is moving back to the neighborhood. Now a lively stretch filled with eclectic restaurants, Stone Street is transformed but no less appealing.

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