The national transportation research group TRIP has released a new report focused on the state of rural roads across America, and the results are not good news for Virginians.
The report “evaluates the safety and condition of the nation’s rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation’s rural transportation system is in need of improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity.”
TRIP also ranked each state in three areas: Rural Roads in Poor Condition, Structurally Deficient Rural Bridges, and Fatality Rate on Rural Roads (per 100 million vehicle miles of travel).
Virginia is in the top 15 of two of those lists, coming in at 14th for rural roads in poor condition, and 11th for rural road fatalities.
Moreover, the rate of traffic fatalities on Virginia’s rural roads is nearly five times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state. Only 10 states have deadlier rural roads.
“This is a top 15 list that we don’t want to be a part of. The TRIP report is conclusive proof that Virginians deserve better when it comes to transportation,” said Paul Miklich, President of Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance. “That begins with ensuring we have adequate transportation funding so that Virginians can enjoy reliable, efficient and most importantly, safe roads whether traveling through a city or our beautiful countryside. Only with proper funding will our rural communities—and our entire state—be able to thrive.”
“The TRIP report sheds light on the importance of safety on rural roads and the need for improved infrastructure for future economic vitality,” said Joyce Waugh, president and CEO of the Roanoke Regional Chamber.
Seven percent of Virginia’s rural bridges are labeled as structurally deficient.
Read the full TRIP report http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Rural_Roads_VA_TRIP_Release_06-27-2017.php , and learn more about how you can advocate for better transportation funding through VTCA’s public education and outreach program, Virginians for Better Transportation.
South Carolina was ranked the highest for rural road fatalities.