California Roads Suck: Update on TRIP

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
california roads suck update on trip

Yesterday, we reported that California roads suck, linking to KGTV. The station used The Road Information Project (TRIP) as their source. Bozzie wanted to know more about this "non-profit organization that promotes transportation policies that relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, improve air quality, make highway travel safer and enhance economic productivity." Yes, well, The Sierra Club's 1999 newsletter described TRIP as “a non-profit highway research organization sponsored by equipment manufacturers and distributors, material suppliers and businesses involved in highway engineering, construction and financing.” True dat. Back in ‘04, TRIP named Keith Harlan, then president of the general contracting firm A.M. Cohron & Son in IA, to their board. They also elected Paul Diederich, then president of Industrial Builders Inc. in Fargo, N.D., to their executive committee. TRIP’s list of state-by-state “ news releases” shows that the org. plays the “INSERT STATE NAME HERE roads suck” game around the country. And, as yankinwaoz pointed out, TRIP reckons the financial “cost” of bad roads includes fuel “wasted” by sitting in jams. California's roads still suck, but next time, we promise we'll be more cynical about media manipulation– if such a thing is possible.

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  • Dean Dean on Mar 14, 2008

    Hmm, if I make my money working on road infrastructure projects, it would certainly be in my best interest to promote the idea that our roads and bridges suck and need a lot of work. And of course, it would be even more in my best interest if I promoted said idea behind the mantle of some (illusorily) arms-length non-profit agency that could presumably fool the gullible into believing that the motivation is to improve our environment, congestion and safety rather than to prompt governments to spend more money with my company. No, I'm not at all cynical.

  • Juniper Juniper on Mar 14, 2008

    At least TRIP is pushing for better roads. Sierra Club would prefer no roads at all.