9 everyday things we spend more on than roads

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In South Carolina, we pay a motor user fee of 16 cents per gallon of gas.

That may seem like a lot but consider this: This fee has been stagnant since 1987.

That’s 27 years!

Back then gas cost an average of 90 cents per gallon. Today, its over $3.

Let’s break these numbers down. Combining state and federal taxes, the average South Carolina family pays about $40.97 each month to help maintain our state’s roads and bridges.

That’s just not a lot when you look at some of the things we spend our hard earned dollars on. Especially when we KNOW it’s all falling apart.

So, let’s take a look at some things that just have to be more important than the roads you drive on each day.

1. COFFEE

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A cup of Starbucks coffee cost an average of $3.25. If you visit the coffee shop before work every day, that’s $65 a month and $780 a year.

2. ELECTRICITY

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Americans spend an average of $159 for electricity and natural gas. That’s nearly 3.5 times as much as we spend on roads.

3. CELL PHONES and LANDLINES

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We spend nearly 3.5 times more for telephone service than we do roads, about $161 a month.

4. CABLE and INTERNET

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At $124 a month, cable and internet services cost us 2.5 times more than roads.

5. TOBACCO

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If a pack of cigarettes cost $4.35, you’re spending $130 a month to light up. That’s 3 times more than you pay for roads.

6. ALCOHOL

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the average American spends 1 percent of their expendable income on alcohol. If you have two drinks a night, five nights a week, that’s roughly $175 each month, depending on the cost of your favorite beverage.

7. FAST FOOD

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If the average cost of a fast food meal is $6, and you ate one fast food meal 5 days per week, that adds up to $125 a month and $1,500 a year. When you become a family of four, that amount shoots up to $6,000 a year!

8. DATE NIGHT

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Movie tickets = $10.50/adult
Popcorn = $8
Soda = $5
Candy = $4
Two hours of entertainment = $47

9. GAMBLING

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Did you know some Americans spend at least $12 on lottery tickets each week? That’s $52 a month!

Do we need safer roads more than we need Starbucks and lotto tickets? We think so.

Election Day is quickly approaching! Sign the SC Pride Pledge to make roads a top priority at the voting booth in November.

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

SC Citizens Create Road Map of Shame, Take the Election “Fix Our Roads” Pledge

Contact: Bill Ross, Executive Director – SCFOR
(803) 315-2731

Columbia, SC – First, the SC Alliance to Fix Our Roads (SCFOR) played fill in the blank with citizens and the response was overwhelming. South Carolina roads are:

“Dangerous,” “Embarrassing,” or “Like a Third World Country”

The list went on with thousands of responses as South Carolinians voiced their concerns about the worsening state of our roads and bridges. In response, elected officials across the state have pledged to make fixing roads their first priority in the next legislative session.

With election season in full swing, SCFOR is announcing the launch of a fully interactive map of South Carolina on www.fixscroads.com, where our state’s drivers can submit photos, videos and other information via social media with the hashtag #scroads. Messages will be uploaded to the map in real time.

The interactive “Road Map of Shame” is another addition to the digital grassroots “Fix SC Roads” campaign which is geared toward giving a voice to South Carolina citizens on this critical issue. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to encourage the General Assembly, via citizen involvement, to get serious about improving our infrastructure.

In addition, SCFOR is asking voters to take a pledge to make infrastructure funding their first priority at the ballot box this November. The pledge asks supporters to question their candidates about the issue.

“The General Assembly once again played kick the can down the broken, pothole filled road this past legislative session. It’s a dead end,” said Bill Ross, Executive Director for SCFOR.

“We do know they have heard the voices from our grassroots campaign as many of our state’s leaders are now pledging to fix the issue come January. This next phase of the campaign is to make sure they follow through with real plans,” said Ross. “South Carolinians are ashamed of the state of our infrastructure and are demanding solutions we can all be proud of.”

“Just look at the map,” Ross summarized.

South Carolina’s highway system is the 4th largest in the nation. Over 47% of our road pavement is in “poor” condition and is deteriorating every year. Only 15% is rated as “good.” 1,625 bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and the average person will pay an additional $255 per year more in vehicle maintenance because of poor road conditions.

To learn more, visit www.fixscroads.com

The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads is a non-partisan, nonprofit, statewide organization made up of business leaders, associations and chambers of commerce who believe that the time to fix our crumbling roads is way overdue. Everyday that goes by that our elected officials are not taking action; is costing money and putting lives at risk.

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

SC House Takes Step to Solve SC Road Problems

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives Jay Lucas just announced a Special Infrastructure and Management Committee to focus on road funding and reform to the operations of the SC Department of Transportation.

This is a great first step, and we applaud Speaker Lucas for taking this action, but we know serious decisions will need to be made by this committee real soon. We look forward to seeing the solutions this committee proposes.

The details of what Speaker Lucas and Chairman White wish to accomplish is in this release from the Office of the Speaker of the House:

 

Improving Our State’s Infrastructure: Road Funding & DOT Reform

Speaker Pro Tempore Lucas and Chairman White appoint Special Infrastructure & Management Committee to address both road funding & agency operations

(Columbia, SC) – To help identify steps our state can take to improve the conditions of our state’s roadways, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas – under his authority as Acting House Speaker – in conjunction with Chairman Brian White of the House Ways & Means Committee today announced the formation of a Special Ad Hoc Committee. The Infrastructure & Management Committee will work to identify funding sources that can be dedicated to improving our roadways and will focus on what reforms at SCDOT are necessary to ensure those funds are being managed in a way that best addresses our infrastructure needs.

“It’s not all a lack of dollars, it’s not all mismanagement but the two go hand-in-hand and somewhere in this equation, something’s not adding up right,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Lucas. “It’s time we get to the bottom of all this, because all South Carolinians are far too familiar with the end results this has produced so far – less than satisfactory roads.”

“This is the number one issue facing our state.  Our roads impact everyone.  It’s a diverse problem, affecting all areas of the state, and we need a broad approach and perspective to examine all aspects of the issue,” said Ways and Means Chairman Brian White.  “We’ve heard a large outcry from citizens regarding the condition of our roads, and the House is poised to thoroughly examine this growing concern.  We continue to hear that inadequate funding is the issue, but there are systematic problems which must be addressed prior to simply increasing funding.”

Rep. Gary Simrill, who was appointed Chairman of the bipartisan 13-member Infrastructure & Management Committee said the Committee plans to begin working right away and has scheduled a public meeting for September 16th at 1:00 pm in Room 110 of the Blatt Building.

“Ask any Lawmaker, from any corner of our state, they’re all hearing the same thing from folks back home – what are you going to do about our roads?!” Chairman Simrill stated. “This is a statewide concern, a statewide problem, and it’s going to require a statewide solution. Adequate funding is just as important as the responsible management of those funds. This Committee has a big task ahead of it, and it’s our goal to find solutions that will work better and improve both sides of this equation.”

Appointees to The S.C. House Infrastructure & Management Ad Hoc Committee

Rep. J. Gary Simrill, Chairman (District 46 – York)

Rep. Merita A. “Rita” Allison (District 36 – Spartanburg)

Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford (District 68 – Horry)

Rep. Chandra E. Dillard (District 23 – Greenville)

Rep. J. Wayne George (District 57 – Marion)

Rep. Phyllis Henderson (District 21 – Greenville)

Rep. William G. “Bill” Herbkersman (District 118 – Beaufort)

Rep. William M. “Bill” Hixon (District 83 – Aiken)

Rep. Lonnie Hosey (District 91 – Allendale, Barnwell & Orangeburg)

Rep. Harry B. “Chip” Limehouse, III (District 110 – Charleston)

Rep. Joseph H. “Joe” Neal (District 70 – Richland)

Rep. Russell L. Ott (District 93 – Calhoun)

Rep. R. Shannon Riley (District 13 – Greenwood)

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

Deadliest and Safest Places to Drive

 

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Betterroads.com has released a list of the deadliest and safest states to drive in the United States based on research by University of Michigan professor Michael Sivak. The rankings are based on the number of traffic fatalities per one billion miles of driven road.

The Ten DEADLIEST Places to Drive:

  1. West Virginia
  2. South Carolina
  3. Montana
  4. North Dakota
  5. Arkansas
  6. Kentucky
  7. Louisiana
  8. Mississippi
  9. Oklahoma
  10. South Dakota

The Ten SAFEST Places to Drive:

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Minnesota
  4. Connecticut
  5. Washington
  6. New Jersey
  7. Utah
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New Hampshire
  10. California

Are you surprised by these rankings? Read more here: http://goo.gl/salAUU

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

Someday SC Roads Will Get Better

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Since the beginning of the Fix Our Roads campaign, voters across the state have been outspoken on the state of our roads. You’ve described them as bad, embarrassing, dangerous, awful, disgraceful, unsafe, and the list goes on.

Now is NOT the time to silence those concerns! Election day is approaching, and it’s time we kick this campaign into high gear to make sure lawmakers and candidates have fixing our roads at the top of their priority list!

Here’s what you need to know:

· One-third of all state roads are in poor condition – or worse!
· One of every 5 bridges is dangerously substandard!
· We spend $255 per year in extra car maintenance because of poor roads!
· Dangerous roads played a part in 1 out of 3 fatal accidents in 2013!

Now is the time to act! Do you have photos or videos of failing roads in your community? Share them with us to display on our interactive map so we can show legislators how big this problem has become.

Here’s how you can help:

· Share this website on Facebook and Twitter to get your friends and family involved.
· Upload your photos to our website – www.fixsxroads.com.
· Post your photos on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/scfor
· Tweet photos using the hashtag #SCroads.
· Learn how candidates on your ballot plan to fix our roads.
· And most importantly, vote on November 4.

The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads is a non-partisan, nonprofit, statewide organization made up of business leaders, associations and chambers of commerce who believe that the time to fix our crumbling roads is way overdue. Everyday that goes by that our elected officials are not taking action, it is costing you money and putting your lives at risk.

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

Top 10 worst SC bridge #fails

Have you ever wondered where the worst bridge in the state were located? Ever wondered how smart driving over those bridge really was? Read on and let’s figure out just how smart we are for letting our bridges get to this point.

This doesn’t happen in Greenville!

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Driven on I-85 lately? Here’s a fun fact: The bridge carrying 92,700 vehicles per day of I-85 traffic between Laurens Rd and the Hubbell Lighting is structurally deficient. Driving over that bridge may not be too smart.

West Columbia is for drivers

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Live near downtown and want to head over to West Columbia? Be advised that the bridge immediately before the Augusta Road exit on I-26 carrying 81,200 vehicles of interstate traffic per day, won the coveted rating of “POOR”. That’s about this awesome.

Read More

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

200+ ways you think SC roads stink

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After a couple of weeks of listening to what people in South Carolina think about the condition of roads in this state, we just had to share some of the top responses with you. We pulled some of the most used terms and some of the more colorful responses to represent the tidal wave of sharing.

Below is our sample, but the point is clear. There are limitless ways to say South Carolina roads must be fixed.

To the responses!

Key Word Responses

  • Dangerous – 36 responses
  • Awful – 9 responses
  • Abysmal – 1 response
  • Appalling – 3 responses
  • Bad – 19 responses
  • Damage/Damaging – 7 responses
  • Deadly – 6 responses
  • Deplorable – 9 responses
  • Disgrace/Disgraceful – 6 responses
  • Embarrassing – 22 responses
  • Filled with potholes – 26 responses
  • Failing – 3 responses
  • Horrible – 40 responses
  • Hazardous – 4 responses
  • In need of… – 27 responses
  • Poor – 11 responses
  • Pathetic – 2 responses
  • Shameful – 9 responses
  • Shit(ty) – 3 responses
  • Terrible – 28 responses
  • Travesty – 1 response
  • The Worst – 22 responses
  • Unsafe – 7 responses

Uniquely Phrased Responses

  • “A slap in the face for honest tax paying citizens”
  • “Rougher than a wooden rollercoaster ride”
  • “Reminds me of Mexico”
  • “A threat to economic development”
  • “An example of a lack of priorities”
  • “Hurting our state. Making life hard for SC citizens”
  • “In cardiac arrest!”
  • “Interstate 26 has holes the size of smart cars!”
  • “Like a 3rd world country”
  • “Ignored in Myrtle Beach”
  • “In substandard condition overall”
  • “Inadequate and antiquated”
  • “Destroying my automobile”
  • “Lousy”
  • “Still in the 1940’s. The only state in the union where 70% of roads are dirt.”
  • “SC roads are like driving on gravel roads”
  • “Tearing up my car”
  • “Unacceptable and need work!”
  • “Worn out”
Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

Expectant Mother Jolted By Highway Pothole, Speaks Out For Road Repairs

Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Jasper County, S.C. – In the Lowcountry, motorists are asking how Twitter and Facebook can save lives, by fixing deteriorating roadways.

News Three first told you about the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Road’s campaign for drivers to send photos of damaged drags through social media.

Since then, a crumbling, jagged road laced with potholes gave one driver a close call. Now, she’s urging lawmakers to take action to fund repairs for herself, her unborn child, and other drivers along Highway 321.

“I thought, ‘Did I hit something or somebody?’ But then when I realized it was a pothole that I hit, I was crying, I was upset,” Jennifer Rushing says.

The stretch she hit is an area that cars speedily scrub down each day.

“The road’s in terrible condition. It’s the entire strip. It’s probably about a hundred feet of area there that is just damaged, cracked potholes,” Rushing says.

It was her encounter with one pothole that gave her a wake-up call.

“I hit the pothole, and immediately lost control of the car. I was slamming on brakes trying to get it back,” she remembers.

In a panic, she braced herself to be rear-ended by the car following closely. But instead of two car wreck, she was jolted from the hole. She says it blew her tire, messed up the rim, and took off the paint.

A thousand dollars in repairs later, she wants a fix not only for her vehicle, but for roads like Highway 321 outside of Tillman. She says patching it isn’t enough.

Read More

Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

You need to wake up and take action today!

South Carolina roads are a complete mess and must be fixed NOW.

Demand action from your legislator and tell him/her to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads.

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Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!

South Carolina Roads Are…

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Dangerous? Embarrassing? Broken?

Wrecked. There is no question, South Carolina roads are crumbling. It’s bridges are unsafe. We all know and have to live with it every day. And while you swerve to avoid that next pothole – legislators in Columbia are avoiding debate on any plan to fix them. Here are the facts:

  • South Carolina has the 4th largest highways system in the country
  • The state’s roads are deteriorating more each year
  • Road conditions played a role 1 in 3 fatal accidents in 2013
  • Accidents cost the state $3.3 billion per year
  • 19% of the state’s bridges are “substandard”
  • 1,625 bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete

Pavement Conditions

We need your help to show lawmakers that there is no more time to waste! You can tell us what you think about South Carolina’s roads. You can upload photos from around the state – and you can make your voice be heard in Columbia. Take action now! Share this information on FaceBook and Twitter. Sign-up for more information and let your legislator know that fixing SC roads is the first priority.

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Tell legislators to stop kicking the can down our damaged roads and take action now!