An annual highway report from the nonprofit libertarian think tank Reason Foundation confirms many drivers’ worst suspicions about New Jersey roads: the state has the worst in the nation. This marks the second year in a row the report has placed New Jersey dead last in its rankings, and findings suggest New Jersey has a long road ahead in improving its roads.
The nonprofit foundation reported that New Jersey is spending more per mile on its highway system than any other state for its inadequate road conditions. In fact, it ranks 50th for capital and bridge costs, maintenance costs and overall spending for highway transportation projects — over $500,000 dollars spent per state-controlled lane mile.
“It shows that we are more than twice as expensive, pay more, twice more (than) what the next closest state is,” said Republican Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Hunterdon).
Peterson cited the report as evidence that the gas tax, which was increased by 23 cents three years ago to stabilize the Transportation Trust Fund, is doing little to help the overall system.
As for silver linings, New Jersey’s overall road-fatality rate was the fourth-lowest in the country, and it received the top spot for rural interstate pavement condition.
Still, the consensus is that the Garden State’s roads are in need of improvement. The research suggests even minor changes could move the needle, but until then — buckle up.