Did we Really Need a National Study to Figure this Out?

Oklahoma City – A new national study shows that major roads in Oklahoma’s metro centers are among the nation’s worst.

State Rep. Mike Thompson said the report shows the need to ensure more tax dollars are used for road repair and maintenance.

He has filed legislation this year, House Bill 3342, to require that all car tag and other motor vehicle fees now diverted to other uses be dedicated to road maintenance.

“It’s time for our road taxes to start funding road repair,” said Thompson, an Oklahoma City Republican who chairs the House Transportation Subcommittee. “It’s a simple concept that the majority of Oklahomans endorse – as many as 81 percent of Oklahomans support this proposal in some polls.”

According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, Oklahoma’s roads are among the worst in the nation.

TRIP’s report, “Keep Both Hands on the Wheel: Metro Areas With the Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Our Roads Smoother,” ranked Oklahoma City in the top 10 metro area with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements in poor condition.

The report found that 41 percent of major Oklahoma City roads are in poor condition and that 40 percent of roads in Tulsa are just as bad. Interstates, freeways and other critical local routes were included in the state.

TRIP estimated that Oklahoma drivers pay additional expenses for vehicle maintenance as a result of Oklahoma’s bad roads. The report estimates drivers pay an additional $682 per year because of Tulsa’s crumbling roads and an additional $661 in Oklahoma City.

“Bad roads are an indirect tax on working families,” Thompson said. “It’s time we used the direct road taxes they already pay upfront to improve the state’s highways and bridges.”

House Bill 3342 has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 99-0 vote and now awaits a vote from the state Senate.

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