It’s easy to see that Michigan is working on the road problem.  Projects approved and funded during the Snyder Administration have been clogging up the works across the state since last spring but the state has taken advantage of fewer people on the roads, especially in the spring, to get some work done.   But the big question now is how to fund the rest of the improvements needed, and there are many.

A new report from CoPilot, using Federal Highway Administration statistics, shows that Michigan has the 9th worst roads in the nation, and 1/3 of our roads are in poor condition.

California is the worst.  The states of Rhode Island and New Jersey are just about as bad.  San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles are the top 3, with at least two-thirds of all their roads in poor shape.  Detroit ranks fifth-worst.  Saginaw and Flint were near the top of the worst small and midsize cities.

Apart from being unpleasant to drive on, poor roads are linked to worse traffic, reduced safety, and increased vehicle ownership costs. Research from AAA found that potholes alone cost drivers $3 billion a year in vehicle repair costs.

So where are the best roads in America?   Less than 10 percent of major urban roads are considered poor in Georgia (6.1 percent), Tennessee (8.6%), Florida (8.7 percent), Idaho (8.7 percent), and Indiana (9.3 percent).

Here’s what the report found in Michigan:

  • Percentage of all major roads in poor condition: 33.2%
  • Interstates and freeways in poor condition: 7.8%
  • Arterials in poor condition: 32.5%
  • Minor arterials in poor condition: 39.1%
  • Daily vehicle-miles per capita: 26.5
  • Miles of road per 1k people: 5.2

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Percentage of all major roads in poor condition: 26.4%
  • Interstates and freeways in poor condition: 5.8%
  • Arterials in poor condition: 26.4%
  • Minor arterials in poor condition: 34.5%
  • Daily vehicle-miles per capita: 24.9
  • Miles of road per 1k people: 4.9
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