The Maine Better Transportation Association’s “Worst Road in Maine Contest” has become a sure sign of spring. As the weather warms and potholes pop up on local roads and highways like crocuses, we ask Maine drivers to consider the impact potholes, ruts and cracking pavement have on their everyday life. This year, everyone who completes an entry will receive a bright orange bumper sticker, and the winner will receive the $296 grand prize. That is the amount Mainers pay in extra maintenance and repair costs due to bad roads, according to a recent study by The Road Information Program (TRIP), a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research organization.
The contest is currently underway and will continue until May 15th at midnight. The purpose is to raise awareness of the personal cost of bad roads, whether it is in increased vehicle maintenance costs, safety risks, lost travel time or other impacts.
In some cases, the cost is measurable. According to Maine Better Transportation Association President Tom Gorrill: “A recent study shows the average Mainer pays $296 a year in added vehicle maintenance costs due to bad roads. The truth is there is a greater cost in safety risks, lost mobility and missed business opportunities.” According to TRIP, the cumulative statewide vehicle operating costs for Mainers is more than $300 million.
“We do this contest to remind our state leaders that bad roads impact their constituents’ lives every day. And it is no wonder. When you look at how the rest of the country is doing, the ride is definitely rougher in Maine,” said Gorrill. According to MaineDOT and Federal Highway Administration data, 46 percent of the state’s principal arterials had poor pavement compared to 32 percent nationally; 66 percent of the state’s minor arterials are “poor” compared to 48 percent nationally; and 91 percent of the state’s rural major collectors were poor, compared to 67 percent nationally. Data also shows that accidents occur more frequently on rough roads – between 13 and 75 percent more often, depending on the type of state road.
The 2014 Worst Road in Maine contest ends on May 15 at midnight EDT. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. To enter, please complete a contest entry form and submit a photo at www.FixMaineRoads.org. News and information about the contest also will be posted at www.Facebook.com/FixMaineRoads. Full contest rules are at www.FixMaineRoads.org.
For information, contact Maria Fuentes 207-622-0526 or 207-592-0227