This is a familiar sight to many people in New Jersey. Everyone has experienced the horrible roads that never seem to get fixed despite constant construction by the state. This is often treated as just an inconvenience but it is very costly and occurs more than you would think.  The American Society for Civil Engineers found that 66 percent of New Jersey’s roads are in poor condition [1]. If there is one thing that is constant throughout New Jersey it is the fact that the roads are filled with pot holes. From the North West part of the state to the Jersey Shore it is guaranteed that there will be potholes which, despite your best efforts, you will not be able to avoid. “substandard roadways give rise to accidents, traffic jams and tire damage—costing an average of $601 per New Jersey motorist each year [1].”

There are a myriad of reasons for the poor roads. New Jersey has a high population density and is near two major cities in which thousands of people New Jersey commute to and from. Weather can play a factor too since water can go into the roads and freeze and expand, making it even worse. Our roadways and modes of transportation are also old. The dean of the Rutgers School of planning says “We’re the oldest, most mature part of the nation. It’s where the early industrial development took place, where the first highways were built, the greatest rail concentrations. [1]

New Jersey sought to alleviate it’s constituent’s concerns by letting them file claims so that the state can reimburse drivers for damage caused by potholes. However, this has been a massive failure since “he state has paid only 12 of the 2,655 claims submitted in 2014 [2].” This has left New Jersey drivers having to pay for damages done by the state’s road with no help.

The state of New Jersey should make improving the roads and infrastructure one of the most important goals. Politically it makes sense since any politician that can manage to fix the potholes and improve the roads will be seen as a deity. To do this Trenton will need to find funds. They can do this by diverting cash or by collecting extra revenue through some sort of tax. Perhaps they should use the money collected from tolls and put it to good use. The reason why it is claimed that drivers should pay for tolls is because roads need upkeep and maintenance. However, with the conditions of the roads, the tolls should be paying the drivers! Since the state only has authority with consent from the governed it is should be an objective of utmost importance that the roads and transportation infrastructure of the state be improved.




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