New study reveals how bad roads and bridges are costing NY residents


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bad roads, bridges and traffic congestion are costing Western New Yorkers nearly $1,900 a year. That is one of the findings in a traffic study released Wednesday.

The study ties New York’s transportation infrastructure to economic development and New Yorker’s general quality of life. The good news is, the government is injecting billions of dollars into the state’s economy, much of that toward fixing those deteriorating roads and bridges.

The study entitled, New York Transportation by The Numbers, was compiled by a Washington-based research group called TRIP, short for The Road Information Program. It focuses on the state’s transportation infrastructure.

“The TRIP report found that in the Buffalo area, the average area motorist is spending an additional 48 hours annually stuck in traffic due to traffic congestion, and wasting an additional 23 gallons of fuel due to traffic congestion,” said Rocky Moretti, TRIP.

The report covered every region of the state, finding drivers in the Buffalo Niagara area spent $420 extra in vehicle operating costs, $402 due to needed safety features, and more than $1,000 getting stuck in traffic. Totaling nearly $1,900 a year.

Statewide, transportation deficiencies cost New York drivers about $28 billion a year.

Buffalo stands out right now as having the second-worst congestion cost per motorist, only second to that of New York City,” added Brad Buyers, FAIR.

“From a safety perspective, AAA’s top concern is protecting motorists. So all motorists deserve to save roads and bridges, while strong infrastructure has a direct impact on New York’s economy,” Elizabeth Carey, AAA of Western and Central New York.

And the State DOT has boosted spending on roads and bridges by nearly 40-percent over the last three years.

“Some of that has gone to some significant mega-projects across the state but it also has provided additional resources for re-surfacing and reconstructing major components of the state’s transportation system,” said Moretti.

Researchers point out the federal government is boosting its share of road and bridge work in New York by nearly 50%, much of that coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by Congress late last year.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

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