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Fixing Sacramento’s Bad Roads Could Decrease Fatalities and Improve Business

As more and more vehicles enter the roadways in the Sacramento Valley each year, the traffic situation is becoming more dire. Sacramento is becoming infamous for the bad traffic and frequent congestion on a majority of its roads, with one-third of them rated by TRIP, The Road Information Program present in the area, as poor quality due to intolerable amounts of potholes, cracks and road decay, unproductive traffic flow, and more than fifty “structurally deficient” bridges. Billions of dollar each year are lost due to motor vehicle accidents and damage costs, as well as productive time wasted being stuck in traffic or due to traffic fatalities. With these unreliable roads, new businesses and commerce are unable to efficiently grow in Sacramento and drivers are imperiled unnecessarily. 

Traffic fatalities are steadily increasing due to the poor condition of many California roads. A large amount of these fatalities occur in the Sacramento Valley, where disconnects among traffic, speed limits, and road quality contribute to motor vehicle accidents both on dangerous country roads and inside city limits. However, a number of simple improvements on these roads and highways can increase commuter safety and possibly alleviate some of the physical and financial burdens of the epidemic congestion.  

TRIP has recently suggested that improved visibility with increased lighting can make the roads safer, along with better shoulders and guard rails for vehicle safety. It has also been suggested that widening the lanes and adding rumble strips to alert motorists when to slow down can improve traffic flow and make the country roads less perilous. Like everything else, however, these expansive repairs will require a significant financial investment that is contingent on improving and continuing the economic growth in the city.

The heavy traffic congestion and poor road quality in Sacramento has made driving in the city a nuisance in recent years. It has been reported that the number of new businesses cropping up in the area and surviving has been steadily declining. The productivity and persistence of new businesses requires steady access to the public interface, and frequent congestion, traffic jams, construction, and car accidents make driving intolerable enough for many Sacramento residents that it is possible new businesses are struggling to gain a proper foothold in the area. The increasing number of motor vehicle accidents ensures that more money is being spent on automotive repair rather than spurring new business. In addition, traffic jams cause commuters to arrive at their destinations late, decreasing productivity and therefore monetary gain. Improved traffic and road repair will decrease accidents and congestion, allow drivers to reach their destinations more reliably and quickly, and spur economic growth in the area. With these developments, new businesses may survive and thrive at a higher rate and generate increased commerce.

The report submitted by TRIP in late 2014 posits that the success of new business and economic growth rely on improved traffic and safer roads to increase productivity and reduce the number of accidents, and consequently money spent on repairs. Widening lanes and improving traffic flow can reduce congestion, allowing drivers to quickly and safely reach their destinations. Installing highway safety features, like guard rails, lights, and rumble strips, will reduce the number of car accidents and fatalities on country roads in the Sacramento Valley. However, these necessary improvements and repairs will require a substantial increase in highway funding, which promotes but also relies on economic growth and improved financial stability. Still, upgrading California roads and adding necessary safety features is good for both businesses and drivers alike, which is well worth the investment needed to give Sacramento a much-needed economic boost.