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TribBlog: Losing Traction

Texas highways are efficient, unless you're in a car.

Texas highways are efficient, unless you're in a car.

Texas slipped on the Reason Foundation's annual highway rankings, to 17th from 12th, based on how the state compared with others in 11 categories.

They liked the state's limits on administrative costs and its control of maintenance spending, and its "relatively low number of deficient bridges." But they knocked the state for falling behind 38 other states in urban interstate congestion. That's not particularly surprising to anyone who drives in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin.

The whole report is online. North Dakota has, by Reason's reasoning, the most efficient state-owned highway system in the country; Alaska has the least efficient. Some of the biggest states got lousy grades: California was 48th; New Jersey, 47th; and New York, 45th.

The authors don't sound impressed with the overall state of highways in the U.S.: "The study finds over half of all state-owned highways across the country are congested and 25 percent of bridges are deficient or functionally obsolete."

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