Road are expensive to build and maintain. And, it appears, we're not maintaining them very well. "In many urban areas nationwide, 30-60 percent of roads are in poor shape," according to an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials report.
One solution, which would also be good for the environment, is to invest more in rail networks. A study by the HNTB Corporation found rail networks induce development and increase property values.
Here is a recent article from John Gurda, Milwaukee historian, on his experience with the rail system in Zurich. Elisabeth Rosenthal, in a piece for the New York Times, tells the story of Vauban, Germany, and their experiment as a car-free city.