AAA urges Trump Administration to focus on road & infrastructure improvements

Posted at 4:19 AM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 06:29:23-04

AAA is urging the Trump Administration to make road and infrastructure improvements a top priority. A new study by the group says more than 415,000 crash fatalities and serious injuries can be prevented over the next 20 years if the government starts implementing 6 key roadway improvements outlined in the study.

AAA would like to see $146 billion spent on fixing and improving roadways not only in the Tampa Bay area but nationally, as well.

"When it comes to developed countries, the United States is near the top of the list when it comes to traffic fatalities. It's something that we really need to address here," said Joseph Carrasco, with AAA.

Drivers locally say there are any things that need to be fixed when it comes to our roadways.

"There's a lot of potholes on the streets that are main roads," said Timothy Hernandez.

Hernandez takes Hillsborough Avenue often and says that road is particularly bad when it comes to traffic and crashes.

Raul Vargas says he worries about breaking down on the side of a highway because there isn't a lot of space.

"Especially when I am with my family and my eight-month-old son," he said. "You want to be responsible at the same time and avoid other people."

According to the study, last year more than 3000 people died in a traffic crash across Florida. That number is 7% higher than 2015, and 26% higher than the year before that. The intersection of Dale Mabry and Waters avenue is a hot spot - data shows since January, there's been 47 crashes.

So what can be done? The study highlights 6 improvements the government should start making:

  • Convert key intersections into roundabouts
  • Install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects
  • Add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossings
  • Insert median barriers on divided highways
  • Install shoulder and centerline rumble strips
  • Pave and widen shoulders

"An interesting stat in the study shows that there are about 30 instances where there could be conflict between cars or potential for traffic accidents in a traditional intersection, and in a roundabout that is downgraded to about eight," said Carrasco.

The study says nationwide, for every dollar spent on the improvements, there would be a return of about $2.40 cents. over 20 years, that totals nearly $350 billion.

If you're interested in finding out whether the road you take in Hillsborough is a hot spot for crashes, click here.