Many Californians had a bumpy ride to work this morning, if a new analysis is to be believed.
MoneyGeek, a personal finance website, used federal highway data to try and determine which states in the country have the best roads and which have the worst. Out of all 50, California ranked dead last – and anyone who has hit a pothole on Highway 101 or bumped along the right lane of I-5 understands why.
MoneyGeek’s analysis looked at urban and suburban highways (not small, local city streets) for its analysis. They used Federal Highway Administration data on road “roughness” to compare conditions across states.
The Federal Highway Administration deems roads with a roughness score under 95 are in good condition, between 95 and 170 are acceptable, and anything higher is poor. “For example, California’s roughness index score of 160 means that the state’s road conditions are borderline acceptable, on average,” the report explained.
The report found 44% of California’s roads analyzed were in poor condition. That’s the highest of any state, MoneyGeek said. Only 22% of the state’s roads were in good condition.
Who has it better than us? New Hampshire drivers have the smoothest rides, the analysis found. Three Gulf Coast states come next – only 5% of roads are in poor condition in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, MoneyGeek found.
Despite its harsh winter weather, Minnesota rounds out the top five, where an impressively low 4% of roads analyzed were in poor condition.
As for the states that performed poorly, those both big and small, urban and rural, east and west can be found on the list of the worst 20.
The 20 states with the worst roads are found below:
|Rank||State||“Road roughness” score||% roads in poor condition||% roads in good condition|
The analysis found there wasn’t a clear connection between how much a state spends on its roads and how smooth they are. Typically, the more miles of road a state has, the more they spend. There were some exceptions, MoneyGeek found. California, for example, pays less than other states when you consider just how many miles of road there are to maintain.
New York and Pennsylvania spent disproportionately more than states of similar size. Both are among the top 20 for roughest roads, so it appears there’s still more work to be done.
See MoneyGeek’s full analysis here.