BATON ROUGE – Baton Rouge drivers are spending about $2,500 a year for bad roads and traffic, according to a report from TRIP, a national transportation research group.
According to the report released on Wednesday, the bad roads in the area are costing drivers statewide $6.5 billion a year.
"Look, in Baton Rouge there is one issue that's the number one issue to every business owner in the area, and it is the traffic mess that is Baton Rouge," Adam Knapp, CEO BR Area Chamber, said.
The report notes that it is not just costing drivers money, but a lot of time as well.
"The average motorist in the Baton Rouge area is losing an additional 47 hours annually stuck in traffic. This is additional time that you're not getting to your son's ball game," Rocky Moretti, director of research for the report, said.
A group of local leaders used the report as a call for legislative action.
"If we choose to do nothing, then we will continue to do what we've always done, and get the results we've always gotten. If we choose to invest, we can make a difference and control our own destiny," Dr. Shawn Wilson, LA DOTD secretary, said.
Knapp said that he believes drivers would invest in projects to prevent the steep cost for drivers every year.
"If you can guarantee that there's no government waste in that program then yeah, we would vote to have our dollars going towards those projects because we're so furious about the traffic mess in Baton Rouge," Knapp said.
The report looked at the state's largest cities, including New Orleans, Shreveport and Lafayette. However, Baton Rouge topped the list for the highest cost to drivers.