Maryland’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. This transportation system forms the backbone that supports the state’s economy. Maryland’s surface transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions while providing its businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers and employees.
As Maryland looks to retain its businesses, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses. Making needed improvements to Maryland’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long-term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access.
With a current unemployment rate of 6.6 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Maryland must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all Maryland residents. Meeting Maryland’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.
An inadequate transportation system costs Maryland residents a total of $6.2 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
- TRIP estimates that Maryland roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $6.2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.
- TRIP has calculated the annual cost to Maryland residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in the state’s two largest urban areas (estimates for the Washington, DC area include the entire urban area). The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.
Population and economic growth in Maryland have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.
- Maryland’s population reached 5.9 million in 2012, a 23 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was approximately 4.8 million. Maryland had 3,856,604 licensed drivers in 2011.
- Vehicle miles traveled in Maryland increased by 39 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 40.5 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 56.2 billion VMT in 2011.
- By 2030, vehicle travel in Maryland is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
- From 1990 to 2011, Maryland’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’seconomic output, increased by 54 percent, when adjusted for inflation.
“Founded in 1971, TRIP ® of Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization that researches, evaluates and distributes
economic and technical data on surface transportation issues. TRIP is sponsored by insurance companies,
equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers; businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and
construction; labor unions; and organizations concerned with efficient and safe surface transportation.”