Over 75% of Utah roads are under city or county jurisdiction, and nearly 25% of vehicle miles traveled are on these local roads, which connect Utahns to their communities, the region, and the interstate highway system. Local connections provide a framework on which cities and counties grow – with roadways being one of the longest lasting pieces of infrastructure that a community will build.
Utah Foundation conducted a survey of Utah’s cities and counties to gain a better understanding of local roads, as well as what these entities would like to see in their transportation network in the future. Many survey respondents expressed a desire to increase funding to achieve better maintenance, as well as to build additional features for active transportation. Of the survey’s findings, some common threads emerged regarding local roads and their contribution to quality of life in both cities and counties.
This report uses existing research focused on active transportation, economic impacts of transportation investment, and connectivity to suggest ways local entities might benefit from a different focus on their transportation systems. Investment in transportation can yield much fruit, but these benefits are highly dependent on the context in which they are employed.
- 82% of city and 95% of county respondents believe current transportation funding is insufficient.
- Proactive pavement maintenance can save cities and counties hundreds of thousands of dollars per lane-mile over the life of a roadway.
- The Class B and C Road Fund covers roughly only one-third of local transportation costs.
- Nationally, access to schools, friends and family, and health care at a neighborhood level were all top priorities for homebuyers in 2014.
- Research in thirteen large metropolitan areas across the U.S. showed that benefits of “above-average walkability” could get property owners a sale price premium of an additional $4,000 to $34,000 over homes with average levels of walkability.