Sun Editorial: NJ has bad roads

New Jersey also held the bottom spot in the survey last year

A recent study says New Jersey has the nation’s worst highway system when it comes to costs and quality. Like we needed a study to tell us that.

The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report, which looks at and ranks each state’s highway system, ranked the state dead last when it comes to roads, spending on roads, fatalities, congestion, etc. New Jersey also held the bottom spot in the survey last year.

Before we focus on the negative, and there’s a lot of negative, the survey did reveal that New Jersey was tops in rural interstate pavement conditions and fourth in overall fatality rate. So there’s that.

Where the state tends to fall behind is in pretty much every other category. In fact, in the 13 categories the study looked at, New Jersey was in the bottom five states in eight of the categories. At least we’re fairly consistent.

The study has the state last in total disbursements per mile – by a lot – and congestion.

The study says the state spends $511,266 per mile on overall disbursements. Florida, No. 49 in the ranking, spends $241,100 per mile. The average is a lowly $71,117.

The study’s recommendations: spend less, improve pavement and reduce congestion. Thank you for that, study-maker people. We never would have guessed those would be top priorities.

Sure, New Jersey is an expensive state, so maybe the costs here will be higher than in, say, South Dakota. But at the same time, we’re not a very big state either, so, comparatively speaking, we don’t have a whole lot of pavement to keep in tip-top condition.

Here’s a thought: All 80 spots in the  General Assembly are up for election in November. How about all of the candidates take a couple of minutes to explain what they would do to, say, even get the state close to 49th place in terms of spending on highways? Do they have any ideas about improving pavement too? Congestion might be too tough for them to tackle, but they should feel free to toss out any ideas they have on that issue as well.