Touching on a volatile topic, Baton Rouge has the 11th-worst roads among midsized cities in America, according to a national report issued Thursday.
A total of 38 percent of the roads in Louisiana’s capital are rated as poor based on federal data, according to the Washington, D.C.-based TRIP transportation research group.
TRIP is financed by highway construction firms, insurance companies, labor unions and others.
In terms of lousy roads, Baton Rouge is rated 11th among 25 cities with populations of 250,000 to 500,000.
Motorists often complain about rough rides on interstates and surface streets, and heated gripes about traffic congestion are sort of a cottage industry in Baton Rouge. Even now, state transportation officials are preparing to unveil possible relief for traveling near the Interstate 10 Mississippi River bridge.
In addition, the Louisiana Senate has asked state road leaders to consider converting inside shoulders to travel lanes on Interstate 12 between the I-10/12 split and Walker, at least during morning and evening rush hours.
New Orleans fared better among cities with populations of 500,000 and more — 25th worst.
However, 42 percent of roads in New Orleans were rated as poor, a problem that accelerated after Hurricane Katrina did immense damage to the city’s infrastructure in 2005. “And one result of driving on these rough roads and highways is that the cost to own and maintain a vehicle increases because cars and trucks wear out more quickly, require more maintenance and consume more fuel,” the report says.
TRIP estimates that driving on bumpy roads nationally costs motorists an average of $516 annually in extra expenses. However, that hidden cost is $705 per year in Baton Rouge and $713 in New Orleans, according to the study.
Long shot legislative efforts to make sweeping improvements on state roads and bridges died during the 2015 Legislature.
That means any such push will be delayed until a new governor takes office in January.
The TRIP report says data for the review came from the Federal Highway Administration based on information submitted by state departments of transportation.
Road conditions apply to those overseen by both state and local governments.
The study is not the first time that TRIP has blasted road conditions in Louisiana.
In 2010, the group said Baton Rouge had the ninth-bumpiest roads among midsized cities.
In the same year, TRIP said Baton Rouge-area motorists spent an extra $1,052 per year because of congested, unsafe and worn roads.
The report issued on Thursday says 38 percent of Baton Rouge roads are poor, 27 percent mediocre, 16 percent fair and 18 percent good.
The rankings listed Baton Rouge as one spot ahead of Shreveport, with 36 percent of its roads rated as poor.
The midsized city with the worst road conditions is Flint, Michigan, TRIP said.
San Francisco topped the worst roads list for cities of more than 500,000.
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