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The cost of commuting in South Central Pa.

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Deteriorating roads and bridges are having an impact on how much drivers in South Central Pennsylvania spend to get out and about, according to a new report by Washington, D.C., research group TRIP.

The study factored in costs due to repairs, wasted time and fuel while stuck in traffic and the cost of traffic crashes.

Taken together, the issues cots the average driver in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster area $1,646 per year. Philadelphia comes in higher at $1,798. Pittsburgh is lower at $1,418.

“You don’t get into a situation where you have the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country and all these rough roads and high-level traffic congestion overnight. And, you don’t turn those problems around overnight. With that said, denial is not helpful,” said Frank Morettu, director of policy and research for TRIP.

To view the report, click here.

A few local statistics from the report:

-41 percent of major roads in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster urban area are in either poor or mediocre condition.

-The average driver in the area wastes 22 gallons of fuel per year due to congestion.

-That congestion is worsening, causing 45 hours of delay for the average driver.

The report also calls attention to issues with bridges and overpasses throughout the state. TRIP points out 25 percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient. Another 17 percent are functionally obsolete. These roads are still deemed safe to travel by state inspectors but are in need of repairs.

To see what bridges and overpasses near you are in need of work, click here.

The report comes just as lawmakers begin the scramble to pass a budget by the end of June. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has proposed a series of measures related to transportation that are expected to generate $1.8 billion over five years.

Some lawmakers have competing proposals.

Among Corbett’s ideas, he wants to lift the cap on the oil company franchise tax, which distributors pay based on the wholesale price of oil. Critics are concerned the cost would be passed onto consumers at the pump. To read more about the governor’s proposals, click here.

“It’s a question of: how will government charge you? Are we going to charge you to fix the problem? Or, are we going to ignore it and allow the costs to incur in (light) of safety and congestion? It’s your choice,” said Transportation Sec. Barry Schoch Wednesday.

6 comments

  • MyTakeOnIt

    And there is a whole world of bad traffic signal road sensors that are sensing traffic that is not there which holds a signal or string of signals red for the maximum time because the municipalities are not doing routine maintenance to detect and correct the problems. Wasted fuel. Wasted time. Earlier stacking of traffic which starts the congestion earlier than "rush hours". A secret less detectable and preventable before road maintenance issues that cost much much more money. It would be nice if someone broke that news story.

  • Guest

    As a central PA transplant, it amazes me that the "morning rush" starts at 6:30 and lasts past 9. The "lunch rush" lasts from about 11:30 until 2, and the "evening rush" lasts from about 4 until 7. Essentially, you will hit traffic if you plan on leaving home at any time between 6:30 in the morning and 7:00 at night. I leave my house 45 minutes before my start time at work, and I work approximately 7 miles away. Ridiculous.

  • laura

    Salve, quando ho fatto per la prima volta un commento su questo blog ho erroneamente spuntato “notifica nuovi commenti via email”… ora purtroppo ogni volta che viene aggiunto un commento ricevo quattro email con lo stesso commento. C’Ť un modo per annullare questo servizio? Grazie!

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