Baton Rouge and state highways receive shaky rankings from national studies

    Baton Rouge and Louisiana’s highways were ranked in two separate studies released this week and it likely comes as no surprise that neither ranked the state’s roads positively. 

    According to the 2019 Urban Mobility Report, by Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute, congestion on Baton Rouge’s highways cost commuters an excess of 25 gallons of fuel in 2017, the 15th highest amount out of nearly 500 cities in the nation. Congestion cost commuters an average of $1,010, the 21st-highest in the nation. 

    Other findings from that report include:

    • The average Baton Rouge commuter spends 57 hours in traffic annually, ranking 24th

    • Commuters here burn 25 excess gallons of fuel while in traffic, ranking 15th

    • Truck congestion costs $64 million, ranking 50th

    • Total congestion costs $525 million, ranking 50th

    In a separate report released Thursday, the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation ranks Louisiana 34th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition in its 24th Annual Highway Report. The ranking is an improvement from last year’s 37th ranking. 

    The study credits Louisiana’s cost-effectiveness to the state’s ability to “keep its per mile costs low.” Administrative costs per mile ranked 6th in the nation, while total spending per mile was ranked 17th. 

    In safety and performance, Louisiana came in 29th for traffic congestion, 39th for rural interstate pavement condition and 49th for urban interstate pavement conditions.

    “To improve in the rankings, Louisiana needs to improve its urban interstate pavement condition, reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges and lower its highway fatality rates,” says the lead author of the report. 

    Compared to nearby states, the report ranks the state’s overall highway performance higher than Oklahoma, but worse than Alabama, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.

    Read the full Annual Highway Report.

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