A survey released last week says that Kansas ranks 2nd in the nation in highway performance and cost-effectiveness in the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation.
“I would say that Kansas is one of the shining stars of the states,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, one of the study’s lead authors. “Kansas taxpayers, I think, have a reason to be proud of the way that their state highway system is run and maintained.”
Kansas ranks 24th in fatality rate, 6th in deficient bridges, 10th in rural Interstate pavement condition, 22nd in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 15th in urbanized area congestion.
“There’s actually 11 separate categories that we rate the state in,” Feigenbaum said. “Four have to do with disbursements, or how much money Kansas is spending on its system. Three have to do with the quality of road pavement, how smooth it is. Three other characteristics have to do with safety, making sure that the system is safe for users and then one looks at congestion.”
Kansas’s best rankings are rural arterial pavement condition (6th), deficient bridges (6th) and rural Interstate pavement condition (10th). Kansas’s worst rankings are fatality rate (24th) and urban Interstate pavement condition (22nd). Kansas’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 27th largest system.
“The most recent data we have for this year’s report is 2015 and 2016,” said Feigenbaum. “With the cuts in the past few years, I would expect that the future years of this report, for example, the one that we release later this year or early next year, is going to show some degradation.”
Feigenbaum said that to this point, the spending numbers had not dragged down the state’s score.