Policy Study

Maryland Ranks 41st in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Maryland’s best rankings are in its rural fatality rate, overall fatality rate, and structurally deficient bridges.

Maryland’s highway system ranks 41st in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a two-spot decline from the previous report, where Maryland ranked 39th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Maryland ranks 7th in overall fatality rate, 15th in structurally deficient bridges, 47th in traffic congestion, 41st in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 27th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Maryland ranks 46th in total spending per mile and 45th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Maryland needs to reduce its spending per mile and traffic congestion. Maryland is in the bottom 10 for three of the four disbursement categories (total, capital and bridge, and maintenance) and the bottom five states for traffic congestion. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Maryland’s overall highway performance is better than Delaware (ranks 48th), but worse than Pennsylvania (ranks 39th) and Virginia (ranks 21st),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Maryland is doing better than comparable states like Massachusetts (ranks 47th) and New Jersey (ranks 50th).”

Maryland’s best rankings are in its rural fatality rate (1st) and overall fatality rate (7th).

Maryland’s worst rankings are in its traffic congestion (47th) and total disbursements per mile (46th).

Maryland’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 43rd largest highway system in the country.

Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-controlled highways in 13 categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending (capital, maintenance, administrative, overall) per mile.

The Annual Highway Report is based on spending and performance data submitted by state highway agencies to the federal government for 2018 as well as urban congestion data from INRIX and bridge condition data from the Better Roads inventory for 2019.