New report shows sitting in traffic can cost you money

A national research group found traffic congestion can cost Roanoke-area drivers $629 annually

ROANOKE, Va. – Since the pandemic, more people are back on the roads. Here in Virginia, that increase can cause a headache for many drivers. Now a new study released Thursday examines the condition, use and funding of the state’s transportation system.

TRIP, a national transportation research non-profit, has been reporting on efficient and safe surface transportation for more than 50 years. Its latest report is looking at Virginia.

“As far as the roads in Virginia goes, I think they’re in pretty good condition, you know, there are a lot of potholes here and there but that happens anywhere you go,” said Allen Shiplett of Roanoke.

Shiplett isn’t fazed by the road conditions. TRIP’s new study shows Roanoke actually stacks up well compared to other areas in the Commonwealth, with 45% of Roanoke-area roads in good condition, ranking better than Richmond, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Despite this, there’s still a price for poor pavement.

“10% of major roadways in the Roanoke area are in poor condition and 25% are in mediocre condition, costing the average Roanoke-area driver $407 annually in additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads,” said Rocky Moretti, Director of Policy and Research for TRIP.

As far as traffic is concerned, ask anyone sitting on I-81 and you’ll likely hear some frustration. According to the study, that congestion can cost you as well, taking into account the value of lost time and wasted fuel.

“TRIP’s report found that the annual cost of traffic congestion to the average Roanoke area driver is $629 annually as a result of losing 25 hours stuck in traffic and wasting an additional 11 gallons of fuel,” added Moretti.

The report goes on to say a safe and reliable transportation system is critical to keeping Virginia mobile and moving the state forward.

To view the full report, click here.

About the Author

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.

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