Road to Ruin

Drivers in Buffalo Niagara region lose more than $1,700 a year because of poor infrastructure according to latest TRIP Report

Driving your car in Buffalo Niagara is costing you money. A lot of money.

TRIP, a national, non-profit transportation research organization, conducted a recent study on road and bridge conditions in New York’s largest urban areas, including Buffalo Niagara. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and AAA of Western & Central New York hosted a presentation and discussion of the findings in our area, and it’s a pretty rough road when it comes to local infrastructure.

Elizabeth Carey – Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications, AAA Western and Central New York


According to the study, roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lacking in safety features cost each area driver $1,726 a year. That’s due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

There is also a chain reaction effect that impacts on the local economy – employees commuting to and from work, companies delivering products and services, and general business travel.

“Economic development does not happen without well-designed, well-maintained and well-funded infrastructure,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “The safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people is at the core of our economy. The lack of resources to adequately address our infrastructure needs now – and in the future – is a major impediment to economic growth and investment.”

The TRIP Report details the cost of driving on deficient roads including:

  • Vehicle operating costs – i.e. flat tires, bent rims, damaged alignment, accelerated depreciation
  • Congestion-related delays – lost time, higher fuel usage and costs, etc.
  • Safety – the costs of accidents and crashes in which roadway features – or lack thereof – were a contributing factor.

The TRIP study found two-fifths of local and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre conditions. Ninety percent of local and state-maintained bridges – 20 feet or longer –  are in poor condition.

TRIP also reports that our roadways and becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays that choke commuting and commerce.  As the Buffalo Niagara region continues to experience a resurgence in its economy, it is more important than ever that adequate investments in infrastructure be made at the local, state and federal levels.

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About Grant Loomis

Vice President, Government Affairs