Rhody Highway Dollars: Little (Too Much?) Bang for the Buck

As a function of compiling a snapshot of the condition of the state so as to enlighten the House Senior Deputy Majority Leader, I went looking for an update on the highway situation. This analysis popped up, a state ranking by the Reason Foundation of highway conditions, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They looked at state highway systems

in 11 categories, including congestion, pavement condition, fatalities, deficient bridges and total spending.

You will be shocked! shocked! (… okay, you won’t but apparently the Senior Deputy Majority Leader will be) to learn that Rhode Island ranks 49th out of fiftieth, getting special mention in the text of the analysis.

Taxpayers in New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and Alaska have the worst-performing highway systems in the nation.

The Senior Deputy Majority Leader purports to believe that Rhode Island’s highways are under-funded. Possibly, as with our school systems, this is not so much a matter of under-funding as a lack of will on the part of our elected officials to set standards so as to obtain a reasonable return on the expenditure of our tax dollars.

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Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

And I’m guessing that Alaska is in last because for part of the year, some of their highways are actually water.

Tara
Tara
11 years ago

I live in Pawtucket, and drive 95 south 4 times a day. The state police have trucks pulled over on both the 95 north and south side every time I drive by, at $2000 a wack. Why would they fix it, it is probably the only way they actually make money in this state. I wonder where that money is really going, is is not going to fix the highway!

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
11 years ago

–“I live in Pawtucket, and drive 95 south 4 times a day. The state police have trucks pulled over on both the 95 north and south side every time I drive by, at $2000 a wack. Why would they fix it, it is probably the only way they actually make money in this state. I wonder where that money is really going, is is not going to fix the highway!”
Rhode Island is copy-catting those notorious southern speed trap towns of decades ago.
But hey, with each passing year Rhode Island comes more and more to resemble a banana republic rather than a legitimate, productive state.
Perhaps the pineapple over Atwells Avenue should be replaced by a banana!

doughboys
doughboys
11 years ago

Given the usage of our roads here as opposed to some little used highways in the west and midwest (drive from Tucson to Salt Lake City to Sacramento someday and you’ll see what I mean) our roads are in pretty good shape overall. The new I-Way seems to have been a success as backups are much less often and smaller on 195W etc.
As a state we also get back about a $1 for every $1 taxpayers contribute compared to some of the southern states which get much more than their own dollar back. I believe Mississippi got something like $1.80 back for every dollar they put in last year. Thats out Congressmen and Senators not sniffing out enough earmarked pork for us to feed on like those states though.

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