The role of the street network as a factor in the City’s well-being cannot be overstated. In the simplest of terms, roadways form the economic backbone of a community. They provide the means for goods to be exchanged, commerce to flourish, and commercial enterprises to generate revenue. As such, they are an investment to be maintained.
The overall condition of an agency’s infrastructure and transportation network is a key indicator of economic prosperity. Roadway networks, in general, are one of the most important and dynamic sectors in the global economy. They have a strong influence on not only the economic well-being of a community, but a strong impact on quality of life. Well-maintained road networks experience multiple socioeconomic benefits through greater labor market opportunities and decreasing income gap.
As a crucial link between producers and their markets, quality road networks ensure straightforward access to goods and drive global and local economies. Likewise, higher network quality has a strong correlation to improvements in household consumption and income. Roads also act as a key element to social cohesion by acting as a median for integration of bordering regions. This social integration promotes a decreased gap in income along with diversity and a greater sense of community that can play a large role in decreasing rates of poverty.
Conversely, deterioration of roads can have adverse effects on a community and may bring about important and unanticipated welfare effects. Local governments should be aware of when cutting transportation budgets. Poor road conditions increase fuel and tire consumption while shortening intervals between vehicle repair and maintenance. In turn, these roads result in delayed or more expensive deliveries for businesses and consumers. Economic effects of poor road networks, such as time consuming and costly rehabilitation, can be reduced if a proactive maintenance approach is successfully implemented. To accomplish this, a pavement assessment and analysis should be completed every few years in an effort update the budget models and rehabilitation plans.
It is difficult to know what the future holds, but maintaining a 5-10 year plan that is based on best pavement management practices and defensible data can go a long way toward saving your city valuable tax-dollars and improving the level of service in your community.
Want to learn more about setting up a pavement management program in your city? Check out "Designing and Implementing a Pavement Management System" - An IMS Whitepaper