Letter to the Editor: The condition of Delaware’s highways

The condition of its (Delaware’s) highways and bridges is critical to the performance of a state’s economy. In its latest Annual Highway Report (August, 2019) the Reason Foundation ranks Delaware 42nd among all the states in the condition of its highways.

The Reason Foundation Report uses 13 factors to determine an overall rating for each state.

Delaware receive high ratings for the structural condition of its bridges, and urban and rural arterial pavement condition. And Delaware’s fatality rate per 100 million vehicle-miles is average.

Due to age, traffic and weather state highways steadily deteriorate and require sustained spending on maintenance. The more a state spends per mile of highway, the Report gives a lower ranking assuming that high maintenance demand equates to greater road deterioration.

Delaware ranks 49th among the states in maintenance and administrative disbursements per state controlled lane-mile. Maintenance disbursements are the costs to perform routine upkeep, such as filling in potholes and repaving roads. Administrative disbursements include general and main-office expenditures in support of state-administered highways.

Delaware ranks 48th among the states in the percent of urban interstate mileage in poor condition with 12.2% of urban mileage rated poor compared to a 5.2% national weighted average.

Finally, Delaware ranks 38th among the states in peak hours spent in congestion per auto commuter.

Wyoming has the least congestion and New Jersey, New York and California the most.

Delaware’s Department of Transportation will spend $301 million on the state’s road system this year (FY 2020). The Reason Foundation Report ranking would argue that this spending should be increased. The obvious source for more highway maintenance revenue would be the state’s tax on gasoline. At 23 cents per gallon, Delaware ranks 36th among the states with Pennsylvania ranked 2nd (58.7 cents), New Jersey ranked 11th (41.4 cents) and Maryland ranked 14th (36.7 cents).

Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director

Center for Economic
Policy and Analysis

Caesar Rodney Institute

Social Security has resource for teachers and students

It typically takes people a lifetime of planning to reach their retirement goals. The earlier young workers know about saving for their future, the better chance they’ll have at achieving a comfortable retirement. This is why Social Security has created a resource specifically for teachers and students.

Our Information for Educators page contains a toolkit with information and resources to educate and engage students on Social Security programs and services. Within the toolkit, you’ll find:

•Two lesson plans with objectives

•Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan

•Links to Social Security webpages

•Talking points

•Quiz questions and answers

It’s important for students to understand why Social Security was created and why it is essential to their lives today and in the future. This knowledge and understanding will provide students a strong base on which to build their financial future.

You can access the webpage and toolkit at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/educators.html.

Young workers can also see how Social Security directly relates to them at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/students.

Encouraging young people to save now for long-term goals that are decades away can be somewhat difficult. Let them know they have a better chance of realizing their dreams if they start planning and taking action early. And also let them know that they can share this information with friends, both in person and on social media.

Carolyn Nichols

Social Security District Manager in Dover

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