Trying to minimize wear and tear on your truck fleet? Then you might want to stay away from New Jersey and look for more business in North Dakota.
A new report on the condition of state-owned highways and roads has found that New Jersey has "the worst-performing, least cost-effective highway system in the nation." North Dakota, with its wide-open spaces and relatively small population, has done the best job of cost-effectively maintaining its roads and bridges.
The study, titled The 17th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems, was conducted by the Reason Foundation, a group that describes itself as "a free market think tank" that advises governments and private businesses on transportation issues, among other subjects. The report measures the condition of state-owned highways and roads, and then ranks each state's performance through 2006 in 12 categories. Examples include pavement condition, bridge condition, congestion, traffic fatalities, and highway maintenance costs.
A few other stats of interest: Alabama wins the "most improved" award, moving up 14 spots from No. 43 the previous year to No. 29 in overall cost-effectiveness. Massachusetts' roads are safest in terms of traffic fatalities, while travelers in Montana are at greatest risk. California is king when it comes to traffic congestion: 83 percent of its urban interstates are congested, say the researchers.
To download a copy of the full 66-page report, go to www.reason.org/ps369.pdf.