1. Fact checking Shivraj Singh Chouhan: How bad are roads in United States; details may surprise you

Fact checking Shivraj Singh Chouhan: How bad are roads in United States; details may surprise you

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is at the centre of a row after saying the roads in his state is far better than those in the US.

By: | Updated: October 30, 2017 1:19 PM
shivraj singh chouhan, us roads, shivraj singh chouhan us roads, madhya pradesh,, madhya pradesh us roads Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a meeting with the Member of the US House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard in Washington on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is at the centre of a row after saying the roads in his state is far better than those in the US. Last week, while addressing a business round-table organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum in Washington, Chouhan had said, “When I got down at the Washington airport and travelled on the road, I felt the roads in Madhya Pradesh are better than the United States… I am saying this not just for the sake of saying.”

Chouhan’s statement not only invited criticism from the opposition in India but also took the social media by storm, as Twitterati flooded the microblogging site with memes making fun of Chouhan’s statement. However, the MP Chief Minister has refused to take back his statement. Instead, on Sunday in Bhopal, Chouhan cited a report cited to claim that 92 per cent of the roads in Washington are in “poor” shape.

“I want to give you an example. If you go to the city through the super corridor from the Indore airport, you will find world class roads. This was in my mind when I was speaking in the US,” he said.

“I had read a report that 92 per cent of the roads in Washington are in poor shape,” he said, adding, “I went there for branding of Madhya Pradesh and not to highlight the poor condition of roads in some localities, but the Congress sees politics in everything,” he said.

Chouhan had reportedly quoted a report by TRIP, a national transportation research group. Following are some of the findings about the roads in the US highlighted by TRIP in its earlier reports

State of rural roads in the US

In a report titled ‘Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland’ TRIP had published some little known facts about the state of rural roads in the world’s biggest economy. The report was published on the TRIP website in June this year.

It said, “Sixty-six cities of 50,000 or more in the U.S. do not have direct access to the Interstate Highway System.”

The report further said, “Rural transportation accessibility and connectivity is critical to transportation-dependent business sectors including the growing energy production sector, advanced manufacturing and tourism. Many jobs located in urban areas also depend on economic input from rural communities.”

According to the report, poor state or rural roads continue even as the US population had nearly doubled from 165 million to 323 million since the Interstate Highway System was designated in 1956. It further said, “The abandonment of more than 100,000 miles of rail lines in recent decades, mostly in rural areas, has reduced access in many rural communities and increased reliance on trucking for freight movement.”

It also quoted a report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), saying “connectivity is particularly poor in rural portions of Western states because of the significant distance between Interstate highway routes and the lack of adequate rail service.”

Public transportation in rural America: “Only 60 percent of rural counties nationwide have public transportation available and 28 percent of those have very limited service.”

About fatalities on rural roads in the United States, TRIP said, “non-Interstate roads have a traffic fatality rate that is approximately two-and-a-half times higher than all other roads. In 2015, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.18 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, compared to a fatality rate on all other roads of 0.83 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. (Link of the report: http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Rural_Roads_TRIP_Report_2017.pdf)

Status roads at the national level in the US

At the national level also the condition of roads is not as shiny as it may appear to the outside world, according to Twitter.

“Forty-four percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $120 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $553 per motorist,” it said, adding, nine percent of America’s bridges are structurally deficient.

According to the report, 43 percent of America’s major urban Interstates experience congestion during peak hours, costing American motorists around $121 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs.

Not only this, “motor vehicle crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost U.S. motorists $93.6 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays workplace costs, insurance costs and legal cost, TRIP said. (Link of the report: http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Fact_Sheet_National.pdf)

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  1. H
    Oct 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm
    BJP leadership must remove Shivraj Singh Chavan and Vasundhara Raje from CM post immediately as they have completed more than two terms and are indulged in a false statement. BJP must remove all CMs and ministers who have completed more than two terms for good and clean governance. Otherwise, they will involve in vested interests and corrupt practices.
    1. V
      Oct 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm
      The worst road in Washington probably will be at par with the best road in MP.
      1. Shobhit Sharma
        Oct 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm
        big ch...........utiya . Modi to Feku hai hi uske chele usse bhi bade feku hai .
        1. Shobhit Sharma
          Oct 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm
          modi aur iske chele sare hain
          1. A
            Abhishek Mittal
            Oct 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm
            It seems like US has the best roads in the world, but once you're in there it is difficult to absorb the fact that they are not in a very good condition.
            1. B
              b khosla
              Oct 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm
              He forget to mention the roads in MP are lined with gold and Congress digs up the gold leaving behind dangerous pits.
              1. A
                Amit Singh
                Oct 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm
                I have never been to USA but belong to MP and visit there regularly. I can tell about roads in and around District and City Satna. They are non existent on all 4 sides i.e. towards Rewa, Panna, Maihar and Chitrakoot. Maihar and chitrakoot roads are a bit better but are of worst quality. For last 10/15 years of BJP Govt all roads are getting constructed but surprisingly not getting completed. Probably because of 2 construction firms Dilip Buildcon and Topworth associated with CM and Union HM respectively. Corruption at its best
                1. B
                  Balvir Gupta
                  Oct 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm
                  But Congress ad other opposition parties dangerously critical of Modi Govt. and BJP ruled states are blind to see the truth in the American report cited by Mr. Chauhan.
                  1. P
                    Oct 30, 2017 at 4:36 pm
                    The bar for road condition to be deemed poor is too high in the United states. Most of the common rural roads, and all parkways, turnpikes and interstates are better than the best roads in India.
                    1. Y
                      Yash Pal
                      Oct 30, 2017 at 8:17 pm
                      Exactly. What is 'good' here is 'poor' in the US. It would be better if the commentators (especially bhakts) study the specifications and standards of construction of respective Countries and also get photographs 'of some of the 'poor' roads.
                    2. S
                      Oct 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm
                      Looks like written by the MP Chief Minister's own party colleague...
                      1. K
                        Oct 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm
                        In what way does this add up or compare to Indian or Madhya Pradesh roads.?
                        1. s
                          Oct 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm
                          Poor man has lost 92 of sensible thinking power. He is the CM who went to US to sell M.P as a B and appears to have lost himself after seeing US. He is living in a world of halluciniation. May be the TRUMP effect.Poor man has lost his marbles and has started seeing things ulta pulta.
                          1. D
                            Dr. Anil
                            Oct 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm
                            Dear H'ble CM - You may be right ??? After hearing your statement - Most of NRI would come to live in your state. Did you ever go to tribal areas of MP ? if not please must visit you may find roads comparable to Somalia. Good to know that roads in MP are better than USA - you deserves Congratulations.
                            1. I
                              Oct 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm
                              In Washington people die not due to poor road but due to speeding or rash driving and speeding can be done only if roads are in good condition
                              1. Tushar Kanta
                                Oct 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm
                                All glitters are not gold..
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