STATE—In their biennial survey of New Jersey motorists, the AAA Clubs of New Jersey found that New Jersey’s drivers believe that local roadway conditions are continuing to deteriorate.
These findings were part of the AAA Clubs of New Jersey 2010 Report to the Legislature, which highlights the opinions of motorists across New Jersey on a range of issues from traffic safety to commuting trends.
While most New Jersey drivers (39%) believe that their commute has remained the same over the past two years, fewer drivers believe it has gotten better. Today five percent believe it has improved compared to eight percent in 2007.
“New Jerseyans spend so much of their days in their cars, commuting to and from work, which makes it even more important to ensure that the roads are maintained and commutes improved,” Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said.
Major Interstate Highways continue to receive high rankings – 51% defined road conditions as good, although that number is down 3 points from the last survey in 2007.
But the view of local road conditions have steadily declined over the last decade. In 2009, 20% of drivers described the conditions as poor, compared to 18% in 2007 and 16% in 2003. In addition, 37% of drivers described conditions as good, down from 41% in 2003.
“When the local roadways suffer commuters not only feel it while driving – it hits them in the wallets. Poorly maintained roads costs thousands in repairs and car maintenance,” Noble said.
The results of this survey illustrate the need for a stable, sustainable funding source for the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The AAA Clubs of New Jersey have long advocated for tightening TTF bond practices, reasonable increases in transportation user fees and most importantly, an end to the diversion of funds.
As the Legislature looks to address the need for funding of the TTF, AAA Clubs of New Jersey believes that the existing transportation revenue sources should be reviewed to ensure that 100% of that funding is allocated to transportation expenses, including:
- Heavy truck fees
- New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority
- Good Driver Surcharge
- Motor Vehicle Commission Fees
“Before new sources of revenue are discussed, it’s important that the state stop the diversion of transportation revenue from transportation services,” Noble said.
It is estimated that the TTF funds will be fully dedicated to repayment of bonds by the end of 2011. The AAA Clubs of New Jersey believe it is imperative that the Legislature address this issue quickly to ensure continued funding to maintain and improve New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure.
“Without a funding source, roadways will continue to worsen costing taxpayers and drivers more in the long run,” Noble added.
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