Westword

Denver drivers are certainly familiar with the sad state of the city’s roads. Congestion slows down daily commutes, and Denver’s potholes are notoriously common — and large.

A new study highlights the effects of shoddy road conditions, which are costing motorists more than $2,300 per year in the form of “higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes, and congestion-related delays.” TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group, put together the report, which reveals just how dire the crisis actually is. According to TRIP, 40 percent of roads in Denver are in poor condition, meaning that the pavement is “uncomfortable with frequent bumps or depressions.” These roads, in addition to sucking money from drivers, are also costing lives, wasting time and potentially pushing business away.

“Lives are on the line. Our future is on the line,” said J. Skyler McKinley, director of public relations and government affairs at AAA Colorado, at a press conference at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce today, June 28.

Nearly 400 motorists were killed in accidents in Denver between 2014 and 2016. According to the TRIP study, the lack of certain roadway features, such as lane markings, rumble strips and guardrails, “are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.”

Less tragic but still painful for Denver commuters is the time spent stuck in traffic. On average, they lose 52 hours annually to congestion.

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