Montana Highway System Ranks High in Cost-Effectiveness Study
A study by the Reason Foundation claims Montana has one of the best-performing, most cost-effective highway systems in the country. Reason Foundation Assistant Director of Transportation Policy Baruch Feigenbaum explains
"The reason that states rank highly, is because they do a good job at spending relatively small amounts of money and having a high quality system," Feigenbaum said. "We look at disbursements: that's the amount state's spend on their state highway network. In terms of roadway quality, we look at pavement conditions, then we look at safety and lastly we look at traffic congestion. Montana's rank of sixth overall is very strong."
Montana’s neighbor North Dakota placed first in the study, which uses state reported data to the Department of Transportation. According to Feigenbaum, Montana fared particularly poorly in one category.
"Even though Montana ranked highly overall, there were a few rankings that were very concerning," Feigenbaum said. "The most concerning was the fatality rate which was actually second worst in the country and that is definitely a problem. I will say we see higher fatality rates in rural state's with small populations."
Montana’s Highway fatality rate was the second highest in the country, close to two (1.89) for every 100 million vehicles and more than double the rate in low highway fatality states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.