Crumbling roads and infrastructure not only pose a burden to taxpayers, but they also account for billions of dollars in other expenses, liabilities and injuries incurred by Michigan residents.
In addition to causing problems for motorists, the congested traffic, faulty roads and poorly lit crosswalks are also affecting the ability of pedestrians to travel safely on foot.
Pedestrians are at risk
Since 2008, and as reported by Michigan Live, there were more than 600 crashes involving pedestrians in Ann Arbor, including a 16-year-old who was fatally struck while in a crosswalk. Other pedestrian accidents have seriously injured the city’s many high-school and college students.
Without visible markings and flashing lights illuminating the city’s crosswalks, pedestrians are at risk of being hit while crossing the streets, and may often suffer catastrophic injuries. To reduce pedestrian traffic accidents, officials are beginning to make improvements to the crosswalks by adding additional lights and other safety designs.
City officials claim Ann Arbor requires $2 million to improve the city’s infrastructure, as reported by the MLive Media Group. While this is a start, pedestrians may also take their own safety precautions, such as wearing brightly colored clothing and reflective gear and crossing only at designated crosswalks.
Poor infrastructure results in more crashes, injuries and fatalities
As reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, extra maintenance and repair funds are necessary because of crumbling roads causing accidents and delays from traffic congestion. As a result of the failing infrastructure, each driver in Ann Arbor incurs costs estimated at $642 every year just to maintain or repair their vehicle. Broken streets and highways also lead to an increase in fuel consumption, which could become costly at the gas pumps.
Reportedly, one out of every 10 bridges in Michigan is structurally deficient, making it much more dangerous for smaller vehicles to share the roads freely with trucks. According to TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group, one-third of the state’s major crashes and fatal car accidents relates to Michigan’s poor road design. Ultimately, these accidents cost motorists an additional $3.9 billion per year for higher insurance premiums and wages lost through serious injuries.