Potholes taking a toll on drivers

Tim Fleischer reports from Manhattan
February 26, 2014 2:04:59 PM PST
It's no secret that we have had one of the worst winters in many years when it comes to pot holes and rough streets. You only have to look down at the West Side Highway to see how bad. But now, a new report reveals that drivers are truly paying for it.

Whether we wait in long lines of congested traffic or having our cars pound along rough roads filled with potholes, it's costing drivers thousands of dollars.

"The average motorist wastes nearly $2300 a year," Will Wilkins, Executive Director of Trip, said.

According to Trip, a national transportation research group, broken down that's $673 dollars drivers spend a year on operating costs driving over roads that are rutted and pot-holed.

Drivers spend $1280 dollars a year in wasted time and gasoline sitting in congestion.

Traffic accidents cost drivers another $328 dollars a year.

That's a grand total of $2,281 dollars a year.

And with the federal transportation bill expiring in September, a coalition of transportation advocates is urging Congress to increase both federal funding and the gas tax to help save drivers money.

"Every dollar invested returns $5.20 in terms of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption and improves safety," Wilkins said.

While city streets do not received direct federal improvement money, it's believed the city would still benefit from an increase in federal highway spending.

"It's very, very important for the city as well to make sure there is a new transportation bill so that it can get its fair share the money for its other desperately needed projects," Denise Richardson, managing director of GCA NY, said.

The area experienced a banner year in potholes.

"In January, we had 13,000 flat tire calls in New York which is a record number," John Corlett of Triple A New York said.

The toll on drivers is mounting and the infrastructure, these transportation advocates urge, must not be neglected.

"We are falling behind in transportation. We are not maintaining our facilities in a state of good repair," Richard Anderson, President of New York Building Congress, said.